It’s a big year for PC upgrades, and Nvidia’s next-gen GPUs are finally here to play. After months of leaks, perhaps more than any Nvidia launch in history, the company finally showed off what its second crack at ray-tracing is properly capable of.
The show was mostly a performance briefing, designed to highlight the performance benefits of the RTX 3090, 3080 and 3070 over the original RTX 2000-series cards that launched in 2018.
There was plenty of info in the leadup to the event. Nvidia officially confirmed the existence of a new 12-pin power connector for their flagship GPUs, even after months of speculation and third-party vendors had confirmed that they would be using two or three standard 8-pin PCIe connectors.
Update: This story has been updated at the bottom with full international pricing, and separate cutaways for the new software and ray-traced demos shown.
Update 2: The Australia Nvidia website has been updated with local pricing for Nvidia’s RTX 3090, 3080 and 3070 models. The 3090 will be available for $2429, the 3080 for $1139, and the 3070 from $809:
Third-party vendors also started revealing their upcoming spins on the RTX 3090, 3080 and 3070. Gainward was the first to do so officially, and others followed suit only hours before Nvidia’s launch officially began.
But before the RTX cards were officially launched, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang announced that Fortnite would be getting ray-tracing. It’d also be getting DLSS support “soon”, but Nvidia didn’t outline when that would be during the livestream.
Immediately after, Nvidia Reflex was announced. It’s coming as part of the September Game Ready driver, and is designed to reduce system latency across a variety of games.
Nvidia RTX Voice is also being incorporated into a new piece of software, Nvidia Broadcast. The Broadcast is designed to leverage the GPU for streamers, enabling effects like automatically blurring the background, or creating a green screen effect without actually having a green screen effect.
The next piece of software was Nvidia Omniverse Machinima, a tool designed to facilitate fan-made videos. Nvidia played an example video using Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord, showing a short siege on a city.
Nvidia then went into a quick breakdown of ray-tracing and the early implementations on the Nvidia RTX line, and the first version of deep-learning super sampling (DLSS). Death Stranding was brought up to highlight the benefits of DLSS, particularly given how effective it was at 4K.
We then got a look at the difference in shaders, RT cores and Tensor cores between the RTX 30-series and RTX 20-series GPUs. Nvidia then showed off a performance slide comparing the raytracing performance between the Turing GPUs and Ampere, showing mostly a 1.5 times or greater performance lift in games like Quake 2 RTX, Metro Exodus, Battlefield V and Control.
The slide didn’t mention frame rates or specifics, but it did note that all tests were done at 4K on an “i9 CPU”. A night-time version of Nvidia’s Marbles ray-tracing demo then played, offering a comparison to the ray-traced Marbles demo running on Turing hardware shown at the GTC conference.
Jensen Huang then began talking about Nvidia RTX IO, a new caching technology designed to streamline the transfer of storage to memory. It was paired with a new ray-tracing trailer for Cyberpunk 2077, and was followed by the reveal of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090.
The card has a fan on the front and rear to improve airflow, a V-shaped PCB, and a two-slot design.
The two fans are independently controlled, and is designed to direct hot air to the top of the PC case where the system exhaust fan then extracts it out of the case.
A pricing chart then revealed that the RTX 3080 would be priced internationally at the same price as the RTX 2080 Super:
The RTX 3080 will sell for $US699 internationally. Australian pricing is still being confirmed. The RTX 3070 will be sold for $US499.
A new trailer for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War — which will support ray-tracing, but also Nvidia’s new Reflex functionality for lower input lag — then played. Like most ray-tracing trailers, there wasn’t a huge amount of gameplay shown but more of a focus on environments and lighting.
Nvidia then began talking about making a “giant GPU that is available all over the world”.
The RTX 3090 has support for 8K/60fps gaming, with clips then playing of Control and Wolfenstein: Youngblood. Little details were provided on the settings and actual performance — or the amount of ray-tracing applied — but a slide noted “RTX On with DLSS 8K”. The price: $US1499, which works out to about $2033 in current pricing. Add shipping and the Australia Tax on top, and you’ve got yourselves the most expensive gamer GPU on the market.
What’s interesting is that there were no comparisons drawn between the RTX 3090 and the RTX 2080 Ti, particularly given the deliberate branding.
Nvidia confirmed that the RTX 3080 will launch worldwide on September 17, while the RTX 3090 would be available internationally on September 24. The RTX 3070, meanwhile, will launch in October.
The 30-series GPUs would also be the first to support the AV1 codec, and single-cable connections to 8K HDR TVs through the HDMI 2.1 ports.
also wow the 3070 beating the 2080TI, definitely need to see real world results to believe that
Yeah, the 3080 looks like two-slot minimum. Single slot cards is going to be only for entry-level stuff now, it seems.
kind of wonder if this will change the way case and mobo are designed, if the future is a 2 slot min scenario
It’s been this way for a while now, most of the single slot cards have been either super low end ‘This is integrated graphics by another name’ type cards or a few highly specialised mini/ITX type cards often based on mobile chips. Certainly the ‘standard’ has been double slot for anything ’60’ series or higher from nVidia since…all the way back to the 9600GT…
Similarly many modern motherboard layouts assume a 2 slot GPU. Most ‘Gaming’ Motherboards either put an M2 slot in that area, or in some cases nothing at all. More entry-level boards usually put a PCIe 1x slot (that nobody really uses) instead.
3090 is definitely going to be a ‘check your dimensions…thrice’ type of card, though I suspect anyone stumping up for it, like the Titans before it, won’t care about changing case if necessary.
Wow those prices are surprisingly reasonable. Double 2080 power for maybe two-thirds the price? Sign me up.
That being said pricing is actually reasonable… i mean there will still be mark ups but i expect the 3080 to be just or under 1.5k which is the same range as the 2080 supers
A shame ive already done my ugrade (hdd was dying on olde 10 yr old rig so was time to redo everything) i missed out on both intel 10th gen and now this =P
Did a full major build since my pc was waaaaaaaaaayy beyond its life span and got a 2080 super around the same price as the 3080 xD
I was holding off from the original RTX cards, as I thought by the time ray-tracing is in enough games to make it worth my while, new cards will come out that will make the ray tracing on the original RTX cards useless from a performance point of view. Was expecting higher prices from NVidia, they must be a little concerned about AMD this time around.
3080 I think is the go for gamers, waiting on some rendering/workstation results from the 3090, the extra RAM is good for Resolve.
There’s been rumours flying for months (years?) about Ampere and RDNA2 back and forth, but my expectation for some time, and still is:
AMD will come out very competitive in the mainstream to high-end market. We’ve seen this before starting at the lower end, and more recently with the 5700(XT) challenging the 2070 series. As a result I think that’s why you see the 3070 and 3080 priced (relatively) competitively.
nVidia will still trump everything with it’s super ridiculous big bad card (it now prefers to go by the name of RTX 3090). AMD won’t be able to match the raw performance, BUT it’s so far into the extreme territory that it’s only serving as a halo product for the masses.
I expect this still to bear out, AMD beating the 2080ti solidly is great, and will put it on par with something like the 3080 hopefully, but nothing in the rumours has suggested anything like the power of the 3090, which is fine tbh.
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World news – CA – Nvidia’s RTX 3090, 3080 And 3070 GPUs: Australian Price, Specs, Release Date