Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 Ti Review
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 Ti Review, About 18 months ago, Nvidia released the first RTX Ampere GPUs, such as the premier GeForce RTX 3090, a $1,500 graphics card that we called boring and meaningless in our day-one review.
The RTX 3090 makes very little sense to gamers because there was no need for a large 24GB VRAM buffer, and 8K gaming isn’t a thing despite Nvidia’s best efforts.
Unfortunately, the entire graphics processor segment for the last year and a half could be summarized as “boring and somewhat worthless,” with the adjective “hopeless” thrown in for good measure.
Even meaningless items like the RTX 3090 were virtually impossible to find after the introduction and for months unless you were prepared to pay clearing rates of $3,000 for the quickest GPUs on the market.
Thankfully, prices have begun to fall, albeit they are still exaggerated in most cases.
You can now acquire an RTX 3090 for $1,900, which is still 30% above MSRP but far less than the $3,000+ prices we saw not long ago.
However, the old RTX 3080 is presently selling for $1,100, implying that the 3090 is nearly 70% more expensive for what amounts to 10-15% greater performance at 4K.
You may argue that the RTX 3090 isn’t “useless” because it’s the cheapest graphics card with a 24GB VRAM buffer. Again, this is useless to gamers, but the large memory buffer might be a lifesaver for certain value-based, so there you have it.
How about a GeForce RTX 3090 Ti, on the other hand? Would a Ti model with 2.5 percent more cores, a 10% faster clock speed, and 8% greater memory bandwidth be beneficial to anyone? I suppose it depends on the cost. But, for $1,500, it’s not going to be able to replace the original.
This isn’t a “refresh,” in which you get a minor upgrade at the same cost before the following generation arrives; rather, it’s a “milking.” A minor performance boost in exchange for a significant price increase, with the MSRP rising to $2,000.
The 3090 Ti is nothing more than an overclocked 3090 with a ridiculously high power rating of 450 watts, roughly a 30% increase over the original 3090. Isn’t that stupid? It certainly sounds like it, but before we get to the benchmarks, let’s have a look at the three RTX 3090 Ti boards we have on hand.
The Cards: Asus, MSI, and Gainward
Starting with the Asus TUF Gaming OC, the RTX 3090 was already a big card, but the 3090 Ti is even bigger.
It weighs 1677 grams, which isn’t too bad, but the proportions are huge, measuring 325mm long, 150mm tall, and a staggering
63mm broad, making it a 3-slot graphics card.
It appears to be identical to any other TUF Gaming graphics card from the 30-series. Three 100mm fans are enclosed in an aluminum shroud, with a full-size aluminum backplate on the underside. Three DisplayPort outputs and two HDMI outputs are included in the stainless steel I/O mount.
When we get down to the PCB, we find a PCIe 5.0 16-pin power connector, which the 3090 Ti cards come with an adapter that
feeds three 8-pin PCIe cables into the PCIe 5.0 16-pin power connector.
Since no power systems support this connector (at least none that you can buy right now), the 3090 Ti cards come with an adapter
that feeds three 8-pin PCIe cables into the PCIe 5.0 16-pin power connector.
This is essentially the same 12-pin connector as the Nvidia Founders Edition devices, with four additional sense pins.
The RAM is perhaps the most significant enhancement for all 3090 Ti graphics cards. The capacity hasn’t changed from the original, so it’s still 24GB, but memory density and frequency have improved, increasing the capacity of the memory modules from 1GB to 2GB, resulting in only 12 modules on the front side of the PCB. The performance of memory cooling will be greatly improved as a result of this.
For all 3090 Ti graphics cards, the RAM is arguably the most important upgrade. The storage hasn’t altered from the initial, so it’s still 24GB, but memory density and speed have improved, resulting in memory modules with capacities ranging from 1GB to 2GB and just 12 modules on the front side of the PCB. As a result, the memory cooling performance will be substantially improved.
Instead, the majority of the memory chips are attached to an aluminum plate, which is less effective at removing heat. Overall, this is a pretty attractive card with a great mounting mechanism for connecting to the PCB.
When the TUF Gaming was put to the test within the Corsair Obsidian 500D in a 21°C environment, the hot spot reached 79°C, with the memory reaching 78°C. The fans ran at 2400 RPM, and the cores were set to 1.99 GHz right out of the box.
We also put the MSI RTX 3090 Ti Suprim X through its paces, and it’s a beast. It is without a doubt the largest graphics card we’ve ever seen, taking up four slots and weighing 2145 grams.
It’s 305mm long and 140mm tall, but it’s 71mm broad, which means it takes up four slots, which is insane.
Three 95mm fans are wrapped in a wacky-looking fan shroud, and there’s a good-looking backplate with a lot going on at the back.
Brushed aluminum, LED-backlit logos, vents, and a sleek little black skirt round it off nicely. Despite the large I/O bracket that takes up three slots, MSI only has three DisplayPort and a single HDMI output, which means one less HDMI port than the Asus model.
It’s getting to the point where the Suprim X appears to be in a world of its own. Unlike the TUF Gaming, which used a mix of cooling fins and aluminum brackets, the Suprim X is almost entirely made out of fins. The fin stacks have eight nickel-plated heatpipes running through them.
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A massive nickel-plated base connects the GPU and GDDR6X storage to the heatsink, coming into contact with all 12 system memory.
When inserted inside the Corsair Obsidian 500D in a 21°C environment, the Suprim X reached a maximum temperature of 88°C for the hot spot and 82°C for the memory.
The fans were only spinning at 1700 RPM, thus the Suprim X was practically silent. Out of the box, the cores were normally clocked at 1.99 GHz.
We didn’t include any findings in our graphs because we only acquired the Gainward RTX 3090 Ti Phantom GS the day before our evaluation went public.
We did, however, have time to set it up and run it for an hour to conduct a temperature analysis.
Three 90mm fans are placed in a plastic shroud in this triple-slot configuration. It’s a stylish design, with black anodized pipes running end to end.
A full-size backplate wraps around the rear, with some air vents cut off at the end. Because the PCB is so short, this area of the backplate is rather large.
Gainward crammed their premium RTX 3090 Ti graphics card onto a 205mm long PCB, which is astounding considering the card is 310mm long.
This means that a huge portion of the card enables air to pass through it, which should significantly improve cooling performance.
Gainward, like MSI, has opted for a single HDMI and three DisplayPort outputs, as well as a single 16-pin PCIe 5.0 power connector.
Now, thanks to a huge triple-slot cooler with eight heat pipes and a large copper base, the Phantom GS is fairly heavy at 1837 grams.
Gainward has been generous with the heat pads, and there are enough on the backplate as well, making this a solid-looking 3090 Ti.
When placed within the Obsidian 500D case in a 21°C room, the Phantom GS reached 84°C for the hot spot, with 76°C for the memory.
These temperatures were attained with a fan speed of 1850 RPM, putting the Phantom GS on par with the larger MSI model in terms of cooling capability. The cores were usually clocked at 2 GHz as well.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 Ti (Complete Review)