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Nvidia teases extreme RTX 3090 performance and warns of GPU shortage

If you thought Nvidia’s claim that performance of its flagship GeForce RTX 3080 graphics card was impressive — the company says the RTX 3080 delivers twice the performance of the RTX 2080 that it replaces — then you’ll be in for a real treat with the GeForce RTX 3090. With its triple-slot design and extreme performance designed for creatives, data scientists, and enthusiast gamers, Nvidia claims the RTX 3090 can deliver up to 15% better performance on average than this year’s flagship GPU.

“For 4K gaming, the GeForce RTX 3090 is about 10% to 15% faster on average than the GeForce RTX 3080, and up to 50% faster than the Titan RTX,” the company revealed in a blog post ahead of the card’s official availability. The GeForce RTX 3090 is priced at $1,499 for Nvidia’s Founders Edition, though custom variants can cost more. For comparison, Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3080 only costs $699.

If the numbers prove impressive, you may want to set an alarm to order the RTX 3090. The card will officially be available on Thursday through Nvidia’s website. Nvidia experienced major shortages about a week ago when the RTX 3080 went on sale due to extremely high demand and limited inventory, and the company expects the situation to be similar with the GeForce RTX 3090. “Since we built GeForce RTX 3090 for a unique group of users, like the Titan RTX before it, we want to apologize upfront that this will be in limited supply on launch day,” the company said.

Along with the change to the Ampere architecture from the Turing design used on the older Titan RTX, Nvidia also made some changes to drive the performance of its GeForce RTX 3090. The card ships with 10,496 CUDA cores and comes with a whopping 24GB of memory. This year, Nvidia worked with Micron to use a faster GDDR6X memory format, which will be found on the RTX 3090, as well as the flagship RTX 3080. For comparison, the RTX 3080 only ships with 10GB of GDDR6X memory.

Most gamers, however, will find the performance of the RTX 3080, which comes in at a more affordable price point, to be more than sufficient for their needs. Even though Nvidia is pushing the RTX 3090 into more mainstream systems — like those from HP, Acer, and others — the card is actually designed as the successor to the Titan RTX, a card that was designed for those who require more extreme performance, like those working with data science and artificial intelligence, complex 3D modeling, and high-end creative applications. This year, with the performance gain from the new Ampere architecture, Nvidia is marketing the RTX 3090 as an 8K gaming card that’s capable of rendering scenes fluidly at 60 fps. In the meantime, be sure to check out our RTX 3080 review to determine if you really need the power of the RTX 3090 come Thursday.

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Chuong Nguyen
Silicon Valley-based technology reporter and Giants baseball fan who splits his time between Northern California and Southern…
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