Making a cameo appearance at CES for maximum impact – much like Will Smith at the Oscars – GeForce RTX 3090 Ti is finally available to customers. As expected, it’s bit of a beast in more ways than one.
As a recap, RTX 3090 Ti heralds the full might of the Ampere GA102 architecture by harnessing the entire complement of 10,752 cores operating at a boost 1.86GHz, compared to regular RTX 3090’s 1.70GHz. Whilst the floorplan remains otherwise the same, Nvidia also boosts the 24GB GDDR6X memory speed from 19.5Gbps to 21Gbps.
These changes make it arguably the fastest gaming card to date, though the decision to eke out the last drop of performance from the Ampere architecture results in power consumption spiralling from 350W to 450W and beyond.
Nvidia hasn’t made Founders Edition cards available to review websites, so all we have to go on is a glut of partner-built solutions. Most air-cooled models require triple or even quad-slot designs, to effectively wick away the surplus heat, and feature either a trio of traditional 8-pin or new 16-pin PCIe 5-optimised connectors. Expect in-game frequency to scale beyond 2GHz for the crème de la crème overclocked offerings.
Putting it all together by comparing high-end cards, ComputerBase has found an Asus GeForce RTX 3090 Ti TUF OC benchmarks a mere 1.2 per cent faster than an RTX 3090 Founders Edition and 6.4 per cent faster than an Asus GeForce RTX 3090 Strix when evaluated at a 4K resolution. That’s not much at all, of course, especially as the latter pair were released in September 2020.
By pushing the underlying GA102 architecture to the limit, this framerate hike is accompanied by a 32 per cent increase in power consumption, observes TechPowerup. Pricing is also out of linear whack, with this card costing $1,999, or 33 per cent more than the non-Ti model.
We’d hazard Nvidia has released GeForce RTX 3090 Ti to stave off the emerging threat posed by higher-clocked versions of AMD RX 6000 series of discrete graphics cards, particularly the Radeon RX 6950 XT.
Based on these results, and with due consideration paid to power and cooling, our advice is to consider RTX 3090 Ti if you absolutely need the best of the best PC gaming in the first half of this year.