The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 Ti is a monstrous graphics card with an interesting story to tell. It is the first ‘Ti’ product in Nvidia’s flagship 90 series, and it is likely to replace the Titan-class GPUs of the past. The GeForce RTX 3090 Ti almost never made it to market. After several months of delay, it was launched at a time when graphics card prices began to plummet.
If the RTX 3090 Ti is on a yearbook, it will probably have the following text under the photo. “It seems very, very expensive.” This beast-like product has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $1,999. If the $1,999 price has any real meaning in today’s ‘GPU-lost generation’, it’s that this powerful graphics card is readily available on the market. It’s more expensive than the relatively mediocre GeForce RTX 3090’s already high price of $1,499.
It’s not a price that makes me want to buy it, but it’s too early to judge. I’ve been in the past few weeks EVGA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti FTW3 Ultrawas used, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 Ti Founders Editionalso used And I realized I needed to keep in mind the following five facts:
‘Endgame’ for the RTX 30 series
The 3090 Ti unlocks the full potential of the RTX 3090. Taking advantage of Nvidia’s all-out GA102 GPU architecture, the specs have been slightly improved. It has more ray tracing cores, a faster base clock, and faster GDDR6x memory. It is 5-10% faster than the RTX 3090, but in actual use, it was difficult to feel a difference compared to the GeForce RTX 3080, which is less than half the price in gaming.
My first impressions of using the RTX 3090 Ti were that it was excessive, excessive, and expensive. Of course, it’s the fastest, most refined and flexible GPU in the Nvidia GeForce lineup. It is an overwhelming masterpiece representing the Nvidia Ampere architecture. But unfortunately, the RTX 3090 Ti seems to barely fill a footnote in the GPU chronicle.
ⓒ Thiago Trevisan/Foundry
GeForce but not for gamers
One thing I quickly realized about the EVGA FTW3 3090 Ti graphics card is that, despite its name, it is a GPU that is too much for gaming. It’s a true hybrid GPU thanks to its massive 24GB of VRAM. This means that it is best suited for content creation, 3D rendering, and other professional workflows.
Obviously, the RTX 3090 Ti outputs slightly more frames than the $1,199 GeForce RTX 3080 Ti. However, given the price difference, it soon becomes clear that the 3080 Ti, which is a few hundred dollars cheaper, is a much more reasonable choice. And the $999 RTX 3080 12GB version is also the best GPU for high-end gaming.
At a macro level, the 3090 Ti is the best workstation-class GPU for ‘somehow’ gaming. Many professionals have good reason to choose the RTX 3090 series over the typical Quadro workstation.
not without disadvantages
Even if you spend a lot of money to buy a product, that’s not all. You need a large capacity power supply to handle the close to 500 watts of power consumed by the EVGA FTW3 3090 Ti. For example, if you choose a CPU such as the Intel 12900KS or AMD Threadripper, a power supply exceeding 1,000 watts is not an overkill.
You’ll also need at least three 8-pin power cables to connect to the custom 12-pin adapter onboard the RTX 3090 Ti. This is common with high-end GPU custom versions, but the Founders Edition also requires more cables (the 3090 Founders Edition only has two 8-pin cables).
To power the RTX 3090 Ti, you’ll need three 8-pin connectors that plug into a single 12-pin adapter. ⓒ Thiago Trevisan/Foundry
The higher the power consumption, the greater the heat. Most 3090 Ti products such as EVGA FTW3 have very thick coolers, so there is no problem with the GPU itself. However, other components have to bear the tremendous heat from the GPU. Therefore, airflow and fans in the case are essential to keep the components cool. The space should also be spacious. These GPUs are too bulky to fit in a mini-ITX case. Even in a medium-sized case, a 3.5-inch slot cooler would be a burden.
The RTX 3090 Ti produces an unprecedented level of heat, which is hard to detect if you don’t use it next to it for a few weeks (air conditioning must be running in the summer).
Provides a glimpse into the next generation of products
The RTX 3090 Ti is the final product of the RTX 30 family and offers a glimpse into the next generation of Nvidia graphics cards. In the future, the power consumption will increase even more due to the tremendous performance.
The EVGA RTX 3090 Ti FTW3 Ultra is bigger than the Nvidia Founders Edition. ⓒ Thiago Trevisan/Foundry
The first thought that came to mind when using the 3090 Ti was the oversized cooler design. Typically, custom graphics card manufacturers use similar coolers across multiple GPU tiers, and the differences between them are modest. However, the cooler on the 3090 Ti FTW3 Ultra was thicker than I expected. This suggests that future cooler designs will be even larger to meet the growing cooler requirements as power consumption increases.
MSRP stock exists
This is probably the most important information. The GeForce RTX 3090 Ti is the first RTX 30 series graphics card that can be easily purchased for MSRP at launch.
On the day of the 3090 Ti launch, some models priced at $1,999 were easily found on the internet, and even flashy custom versions like the EVGA FTW3 and Asus Strix could be purchased for $200-$300 more. By comparison, most custom versions of the non-Ti RTX 3090 cost between $500 and $800 (and even more) more.
After years of chip shortages, the RTX 3090 Ti was launched at a time when GPU prices were starting to plummet. Prices plummeted and supply increased. The $1,499 RTX 3090 wasn’t really worth it, and the $699 RTX 3080 got the most attention. The RTX 3090 Ti’s ridiculously high price of $1,999 doesn’t make it the graphics card most people want. Even if it’s the same or cheaper than many of the RTX 3090 custom GPUs on the market today.
It’s no wonder the RTX 3090 Ti’s sales have been sluggish, coupled with low cryptocurrency mining demand and the proximity to the next-generation Nvidia GPU launch expected later this year. In the booming market of 2021, when the RTX 3080 alone used to cost nearly $2,000, it might have made sense. But now the trend is returning to normal.