NVIDIA‘s upcoming BFGPU, the RTX 3090 Ti, is the company’s newest flagship discrete desktop graphics card, a testament to the groundbreaking developments made in graphical fidelity over the past few years. The RTX 3090 Ti is different enough from the standard RTX 3090 that it has warranted its own special release, one that has been riddled with turbulence including last-minute delays and confusing price speculations.
Officially, the card has 24GB of GDDR6X memory running at 21 Gbps compared to the 19.5 Gbps max speed seen on the RTX 3090. That 1.5Gbps increase allows the card to break the 1TB/s bandwidth barrier, becoming the first and, currently, the only card to do so. It also is the first card to utilize the full GA102-350 GPU die that features 10,752 CUDA Cores. Apart from that, the card also has a higher TGP at 450W in contrast to the 350W seen on RTX 3090. However, third-party high-end variants of the card inch closer to 500W.
MSI‘s RTX 3090 Ti SUPRIM X variant will feature a 3.5-slot design to cool the die in an insanely beefy looking graphics card. This variant will clock up to 1965Mhz out of the box and weigh a massive 2.1 kilograms. However, the highlight here is the maximum TDP rated at 480W. That makes it just shy of the 500W mark, something that the upcoming Ada Lovelace RTX 4000 cards will break, with the top-end SKU rumored to have a 600W TDP.
This kind of power requires a power supply that is able to handle power spikes in the range of 600-700W, which means that at least a 1000W power supply would be recommended here, which is absurdly high-end. The amount of heat this card, and the next-gen ones to follow it, will pump out will be enough to make it double as a space heater for cold rooms, or require an air conditioner in warmer climates.
All that power for this?
Despite the insanely high power limits and frequencies easily hovering around 2Ghz, the RTX 3090 Ti fails to produce a significant performance uplift from the RTX 3090. According to the latest reports, the card performs fine at 4K but at lower resolutions, there is barely a noticeable difference in sight. Granted, gaming at 1080p and even 1440p is more CPU-reliant and jumping up to 4K puts the pressure on the GPU, where the RTX 3090 Ti shines but only in relative terms.
CapFrameX, developer of popular PC monitoring software, tweeted that the RTX 3090 Ti is only 10% faster than the RTX 3090 at 4K resolution while consuming 450W of power. They also mentioned that the card maintains the 2Ghz clock speed consistently, which is good to see.
Some performance numbers RTX 3090 vs RTX 3090 Ti, first impression!
— CapFrameX (@CapFrameX) March 25, 2022
That being said, other sources contradict even this measly 10% improvement and claim that the 3090 Ti is, in fact, only 5% faster at best, especially when you compare custom variants from AIBs that usually have higher power limits, as demonstrated above. If NVIDIA does ship the Founder’s Edition of the RTX 3090 Ti, which we know exists due to it being present at the CES 2022 announcement, that variant of the 3090 Ti will likely exhibit higher discrepancy compared to the RTX 3090 FE.
$1499 or $1999?
So far, we also don’t have a clear picture of what the RTX 3090 Ti will cost. While most people were expecting a natural price bump to accommodate for the faster memory, utilization of the full GA-102 die, and higher TDP, one source reports that the card will actually cost the same as the RTX 3090. This may suggest that the actual RT 3090 will see a price cut, but we have no word on that yet.
3090Ti has the same MSRP as 3090: 1499 USD
— MEGAsizeGPU (@Zed__Wang) March 26, 2022
On the other hand, MyDrivers says that the RTX 3090 Ti will retail for $1999 USD or 14,999 RMB in China with some custom high-end variants going for as high as 20,000 RMB in China. Though, this is also not confirmed yet. Moreover, Videocardz has mentioned that they’ve received conflicting reports on the existence of Founder’s Edition RTX 3090 Ti, which is usually easier to find as it is sold directly by NVIDIA at MSRP. No reviewer has received the Founder’s Edition RTX 3090 Ti for testing.
As things stand, the RTX 3090 Ti is an elusive beast. We know that it is more than likely the most powerful mainstream gaming GPU that has ever been released but its pricing and availability are still up in the air, to the point where it feels like even NVIDIA can’t decide what to do. The company has offered no official update on this GPU so we can only rely on leaks and reports to confirm the details and so far, this is the most we know.