NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti Brings Out The Big Guns

Gaming enthusiasts and professional PC users rejoice — NVIDIA has just released a brand-new graphics card, and it's more powerful than ever before. The new NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti comes as a direct successor to the brand's previous flagship RTX 3090. This time around, the GPU comes with even better specifications, a seemingly endless list of capabilities, and access to all of Nvidia's latest tech. The catch? It's so expensive that most gamers will never get their hands on it.

The lead-up to this moment has been quite long. Nvidia initially unveiled the graphics card during CES 2022 and introduced it as the gaming titan it will most likely turn out to be. The GPU was announced alongside the budget-friendly RTX 3050, further highlighting the large gap between these two cards. However, although the RTX 3050 received a release date right away, NVIDIA didn't commit to a launch date for the RTX 3090 Ti at the time of announcement. Instead, it left potential customers with the promise that more would be revealed during the month of January. That never happened.

How does the RTX 3090 Ti compare to the RTX 3090?

Delayed as it may be, the graphics card is finally here, ready to take its place atop any ranking of the best GPUs on the market. NVIDIA certainly hasn't stinted on a set of specifications that can sweep just about any gamer off their feet. It has 10,752 CUDA cores, 24GB of 21Gbps GDDR6X memory, 78 ray-tracing teraflops (TFLOPs), 40 shader TFLOPs, and 320 tensor TFLOPs. NVIDIA notes that this will make the GPU 60% faster than the last-gen RTX 2080 Ti, but the comparison is irrelevant — it's the previous flagship, the RTX 3090, that we should be comparing this new GPU to.

Although the RTX 3090 Ti is the winner in such a match-up, the specifications aren't that much better than the RTX 3090. At this level of graphics power, there is only so much more the current generation can provide. Of course, when NVIDIA releases the upcoming next-gen "Ada Lovelace" RTX 4000 GPUs, we may start seeing a whole new level of performance. Until that point, we are still relying on NVIDIA's Ampere architecture, and RTX 3090 Ti is definitely pushing the limits of this GPU.

In terms of raw specs, the RTX 3090 has slightly fewer GPU cores (82 vs 84), fewer CUDA cores (10,496 vs 10,752), as well as fewer tensor and RT cores, but these numbers are very small. The new flagship RTX 3090 Ti also offers higher clock speeds and a noticeable increase in memory speed (21Gbps vs 19.5Gbps). The GPU also manages to surpass 1TB/s of memory bandwidth, whereas the RTX 3090 maxes out at 936GB/s.

Price is the real roadblock

Specifications are just one part of the whole package, of course. After all, the real measure of a graphics card's worth lies in its performance. As the GPU has only just launched, we will need to wait a few days for a good sample, including benchmarks that compare the RTX 3090 Ti to its predecessor. One way or another, a performance increase is to be expected. The question is — is it worth it?

The answer is tricky, but for the vast majority of users, it's going to be a "probably not." The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti is aimed at the most demanding gaming enthusiasts and professionals: for most of these people, if they're lucky enough to already own an RTX 3090, there's likely no need to upgrade. This is especially true because the GPU is expensive, both in terms of actual money and in terms of power usage. It brings up the TDP from 350 watts to 450 watts, and that's just the Founders Edition. NVIDIA's board partners will likely release even more powerful versions of the card, and that inevitably means higher power requirements, too.

Still, if the RTX 3090 Ti has left you weak at the knees due to how great it all seems to be, the pricing of the card will deliver the final blow. NVIDIA announced that the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti will arrive priced at $1,999 for the Founders Edition. Much like the power requirements, we can expect to see a bump in pricing for custom versions of the card. Considering just how expensive it is, the GPU will be just as beefy as it will be unattainable to most users, so it likely won't have much of an impact on the state of the GPU shortage.