that Gaming OC cards from Gigabyte are amazing. Not in the sense that they’re the best at this or the best at that, but they do what they’re supposed to do. The cost a little more, but you get a little more, and that’s not just in one area. It’s not like you get performance, at the sake of a lousy cooler or vice versa. Instead, you get a happy middle ground of strong performance, great cooling potential and reasonably quiet acoustics, especially when compared to their direct competitors, and sometimes you’ll likely see it trade blows with the big boys which can sometimes cost even more money.
Performance-wise, it’s a 3090 Ti. I can’t relay it any clearer. It was launched to be the best, and it is the best, but, and it’s a big point that I need to make. This card is not for everyone. When going through our benchmarks, you’ll see, and it’s more evident in the lower resolutions, that the card essentially acts as a bottleneck for the titles we tested and in a lot of tests, the lower-end RTX 3080 or 3080 Ti performed better, and this brings me to my original point, that, just like the RTX 3090, they are Titan cards in drag. Sure at 4K they bring the fight and I’m sure if we broke out the 8K display, we’d see some stunning visuals while still getting super strong performance, but realistically, how many people are doing that?
For content creators, like ourselves, using 6K and 12K Black Magic cameras, a card like this is a godsend, as the applications we use will chew through that 24GB of VRAM like button, and have that little extra boost in performance over the non-Ti can shave off rendering times and help save time, and in a lot of content creation businesses, time equals money, and that’s why a card of this calibre demands exactly that.
Should I Buy One?
Overall, it’s the best consumer graphics card on the market right now, and I feel it won’t be beaten, until NVIDIA beat it themselves, with the impending 4000 series of GPUs, but until then I’ll say this. It’s not for everyone, but that doesn’t even really matter. If you need it, you’ll get it. If you want it, you’ll get it. If you can’t afford it, you’ll dream of it and that’s all there is to it.
NVIDIA has been on something of a hot streak recently. Since the launch of the RTX 3000 series of GPUs they have been riding high on the leaderboards and stock shares, creating a set of powerhouse cards at reasonable prices, at least on paper. Of course, the prices are only reasonable at MSRP, and in the state of today’s market, the cost of technology is still relatively high. Coupled with the ongoing silicon shortage, the price of everything seemed like it would never fall, but there’s light at the end of the tunnel my friends. Prices are falling, the stock is normalizing, and gamers are actually getting their hands on graphics cards at long last!
Now for a while, the RTX 3090 was the beast, the daddy, the big guy that held a mantle that nothing else came close to. Yes, some would say it was never truly a gaming card and was more like a Titan in all but name, but the performance was clear, it was godlike, and how do you better something that’s godlike? You make it faster of course.
And with things finally settling down, Nvidia has stepped into the ring once again to try to shake up the Now that things have finally started to settle down, and before the RTX 4000 series is dropped, supposedly sometime later in the year, NVIDIA have stepped into the ring once again to try to shake up the market, but hopefully in a good way this time with the RTX 3090 Ti! A card that was announced at the start of the year but seemed to have a bit of a rocky launch, with its fair share of delays, but now it’s here and don’t be fooled, this is the most powerful consumer graphics card in the world (or so they say). Compared to the previous king, the RTX 3090, this card has more of almost everything but who is it aimed at, and more importantly, how much better is it than its little, yet still big, brother?
NVIDIA Ampere Streaming Multiprocessors
2nd Generation RT Cores
3rd Generation Tensor Cores
Powered by GeForce RTX™ 3090 Ti
Integrated with 24GB GDDR6X 384-bit memory interface
WINDFORCE 3X Cooling System with alternate spinning fans
Protective metal backplate
4 Years Warranty (Online registration required)
What Gigabyte Had To Say
The GeForce RTX™ 3090 Ti GAMING OC 24G features the WINDFORCE 3X cooling system, which includes three unique blade fans, alternate spinning, vapor chamber, 8 composite copper heat pipes, 3D active fan and screen cooling. These cooling technologies provide high efficiency heat dissipation and also keep the graphics card in a low temperature at any time, resulting in higher and more stable performance. The upgraded unique blade fans precisely fine-tuned the angle and the shape of the fan blades, coupling with the triangular fan edge and 3D stripe curve on the fan surface to smoothly guide the airflow. The upgraded cooling fans can generate a greater amount of air intake at the same fan speed. With the double ball bearing design, its structure has better heat endurance and efficiency than sleeve structure. The middle fan spins in reverse to optimize airflow for heat dissipation, enabling more efficient performance at a lower temperature. The vapor chamber touches directly on the GPU, VRAM and MOSFETs. It efficiently transfers the heat that is generated from the interior cores to the cool zone of the heat sink. Then, screen cooling extends the heatsink to allow air flow to pass through, providing better heat dissipation and low working temperatures for the entire graphics card. The onboard dual BIOS switch allows users to choose between OC and SILENT mode based on their needs without software. Both modes offer the optimal settings tuned by GIGABYTE, providing a handy and more flexible functionality. In addition, the metal cover with the brushed and mirror surface expresses the art of texture, making the card more aesthetic and more suitable for the users who prefer the elegant and simple design.
Packaging & Unboxing
The front of the box has the same design as the other products in the gaming OC line from Gigabyte; featuring a design that resembles a large mechanical eye. We can also see the typical product information that you would find on any graphics card box; telling you about what features it has and how much memory it has.
Around the back, we can see a large portion of the box taken up by information on the cooling solution for the card. Also, on the back of the box is more detailed information on the minimum system requirements and information on the architecture.
On the bottom of the box is a multitude of languages that all give you a little more information on the card.
Inside the outer sleeve of the box is a mostly featureless black box that has nothing but a Gigabyte logo on it.
Inside the inner box is some foam with an information pamphlet on it.
With the foam moved, we are presented with the GPU itself in all of its glory, along with the accessories.
Before we look at the GPU, we need to look at those accessories in the box. Included with this card is a 3×8-pin to 12-pin PCIe power adaptor that is required for the use of this card if your power supply does not support this connector, and an adjustable metal GPU support bracket.
A Closer Look
First thing’s first, we need to look at the front of the card. The card features a triple fan design with alternating fans for more efficient heat dissipation; the fans all sit within a glossy looking metal plate that is glued to the plastic shroud of the card. In some places the plate has some printing on it to add to the design of the card, these glossy parts have a near mirror finish that could easily accentuate the RGB in your system.
The fans are a nine-blade design, and they spin in an alternating pattern, with the middle fan spinning in the other direction from the fans on either side of it. The fan hub features a Gigabyte logo on a metal badge that looks simple and mature.
The back of the card has a metal backplate that is attached to the shroud to provide extra structural rigidity to the card, which will hopefully help prevent unwanted GPU sag. The backplate also features a very large air pass-through hole that should help with heat dissipation by letting the air run through the card instead of getting trapped near the hot components.
The cooling solution for the card starts with the heat pipes; there are six of them spread across two heat sinks that are split into one that is for the air pass-through and one that is connected to the vapour chamber cooling.
Speaking of the vapour chamber, we can get a slight glimpse of it here. We can see that many of the smaller components here aren’t touching it, the thermal pads used are actually touching a separate bit of metal that is touching the vapour chamber.
The rear I/O on the card is pretty much what you would expect from a high-end card these days; three display port connectors and a single HDMI, so anyone with a display that can take full advantage of a card this powerful has what they need to connect to it.
The power connector on the card is the new 12-pin standard; the card comes with an adaptor in the box for if your power supply doesn’t support this connector. The location of the power connector is right in the middle of the card, so making your cables look nice might be a challenge.
From the side we can get a look at how gargantuan this card really is; the card is so large that it takes up a whole four PCIe slots, even though it only screws in on two, its size means it blocks an additional two slots. From here we also get our first look at the power connector for this card, it features the new 12-pin standard and this particular card even has cut-outs for the power connector in the heat sink fins.
How We Test
We continue to update our testing methods around once per year. As such, we re-test older hardware to reflect changes over time. These can be driver updates, Windows updates, game patches, and more; all of which have an impact on performance figures. Furthermore, we update our test bench to newer and more relevant hardware. This means that our new reviews aren’t always comparable to those of older reviews, so please compare the testing methodology on older reviews should you be trying to compare them with newer ones.
Replicate Our Results
When it comes to our benchmarks in our reviews, the benchmarks are pretty self-explanatory and kept as simple as possible, although there are a few exceptions. Remember that your choice of a graphics card, CPU, the silicon lottery, and other factors can yield different numbers, and there’s always a margin for error when using any software.
Links are provided below, as well as the settings we use. We encourage you to not just look at how one product compares to any other, but how it compares to your own. If you’re looking to build a new system, you should benchmark your current PC using the benchmarks available to you. You should then look at the percentage improvement from your current hardware to the hardware tested here to give you a ballpark figure of how much of an upgrade this will provide you with.
Graphics Card Test System
Killawatt style electricity usage meter wall plug
Precision Gold N05CC Decibel meter
To gauge performance levels which are easily reproduced time after time, by both ourselves and our readers, we now stick strictly to games default profiles. Given how powerful most modern cards are getting, we’ve began using more demanding profiles for most games, but will otherwise state on a per game basis if we use other profiles beyond High, Ultra, Maximum or their respective equivalent at all resolutions. V-Sync is always disabled in our testing, as are FreeSync and G-Sync technologies or similar. We also exclude brand exclusive texts in tests that compare AMD/NVIDIA, such as DLSS only testing as that’s a one sided battle. Graphics card power usage is set to optimised or balanced, and the system power mode is set to High Performance within Windows and the available GPU driver software. Identical settings are used for all resolutions unless otherwise stated.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
Forza Horizon 5
Horizon Zero Dawn
Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Watch Dogs Legion
1080p (Full HD)
Some tests will also include features such as NVIDIA DLSS and Ray Tracing. However, these will be clearly labelled and may only appear in reviews for graphics cards that support those features. 8K testing will only appear in reviews of flagship cards that we consider capable.
3DMark Fire Strike (download)
Port Royal DXR
MSI Afterburner (download)
Everyone has a reasonable noise level preference when it comes to components on a computer. Some can handle all fans at 100% load to keep temperatures down; some want an entirely silent computer. To accurately gauge the noise output of a graphics card, we position a Precision Gold N05CC one meter above our open-air test bench and take an average reading at idle and load.
We take power readings during the idle state with no background applications running. Then again at 50% completion of the Unigine Superposition benchmark, using the average as the final published result.
We take temperature readings after 10 minutes of desktop idle with no background programs running, then take the recorded maximum delivered from Unigine Superposition after a 4K optimised run, confirming the numbers are accurate with HWMonitor. Furthermore, the ambient temperature is always kept +/- 1c from 21c.
3DMark tests your system’s GPU and CPU performance by rendering extremely demanding game-like scenes in real-time. The faster the benchmark runs, the better your score. Now your quest begins. What can you do to get a better score?
3DMark is available on Steam here.
Firestrike is a benchmark designed to test the DirectX 11 performance of a system, typically at 1920×1080 resolutions and is a good performance test for low-to-mid performance hardware.
3DMark Firestrike Ultra
This is a much more demanding test that focuses on DirectX 11 performance at 4K resolution and is generally better suited to high-end hardware.
Time Spy is a DirectX 12 benchmark test for gaming PCs running Windows 10 and above only. With its pure DirectX 12 engine, built from the ground up to support the latest API features like asynchronous compute, explicit multi-adapter, and multi-threading, Time Spy is the ideal benchmark for testing the DirectX 12 performance of modern graphics cards and is typically a good benchmark for mid-to-high-end hardware. Furthermore, Timespy Extreme is designed for 4K performance testing.
3DMark is available on Steam here.
3DMark Timespy Extreme
3DMark Port Royal
3DMark Port Royal
3DMark Port Royal is the world’s first real-time ray tracing benchmark for gamers. It shows you how well your PC handles ray tracing effects in real-time. Use Port Royal to benchmark graphics cards that support Microsoft DirectX Raytracing. 3DMark Port Royal was developed with input from AMD, Intel, NVIDIA, and other leading technology companies.
3DMark is available on Steam here.
A lone professor performs dangerous experiments in an abandoned classroom, day in and day out. Obsessed with inventions and discoveries beyond the wildest dreams, he strives to prove his ideas. Once you come to this place in the early morning, you would not meet him there. The eerie thing is a loud bang from the laboratory heard a few moments ago. What was that? You have the only chance to cast some light upon this incident by going deeply into the matter of quantum theory: a thorough visual inspection of the professor’s records and instruments will help to lift the veil on the mystery.
Extreme performance and stability test for PC hardware: video card, power supply, cooling system. Check your rig in stock and overclocking modes with real-life load! Also includes an interactive experience in a beautiful, detailed environment.
Superposition is available from Unigine here.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is a 2020 action role-playing video game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. It is the twelfth major instalment in the Assassin’s Creed series and the successor to 2018’s Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Principally set in the years 872–878 AD, the game recounts a fictional story during the Viking expansions into the British Isles. Players control Eivor Varinsdottir, a Viking raider who becomes embroiled in the centuries-old conflict between the Assassin Brotherhood, who fight for peace and liberty, and the Templar Order, who desire peace through control. The modern-day portion of the story is set in the 21st century and follows Layla Hassan, an Assassin who relives Eivor’s memories so as to find a way to save the Earth from destruction.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Performance
The original shooter-looter returns, packing bazillions of guns and a mayhem-fueled adventure! Blast through new worlds and enemies as one of four new Vault Hunters. Play solo or with friends to take on insane enemies, score loads of loot and save your home from the most ruthless cult leaders in the galaxy.
At the hard edge of the galaxy lies a group of planets ruthlessly exploited by militarized corporations. Brimming with loot and violence, this is your home—the Borderlands. Now, a crazed cult known as The Children of the Vault has emerged and is spreading like an interstellar plague. Play solo or co-op as one of four unique Vault Hunters, score loads of loot and save the galaxy from this fanatical threat.
Borderlands 3 Performance
DIRT 5 is a fun, amplified, off-road racing experience created by Codemasters. Blaze a trail on routes across the world, covering gravel, ice, snow and sand, with a roster of cars ranging from rally icons to trucks, to GT heroes. With a star-studded Career, four-player split-screen, innovative online modes, livery editor and more new features, DIRT 5 is the next generation of extreme racing.
Dirt 5 Performance