Technology

Nvidia announces new RTX 3080 GPU, priced at $699 and launching September 17th

Nvidia is unveiling its new GeForce RTX 3000 series graphics cards today. Nvidia has been teasing these new cards for weeks, and there have also been plenty of leaks before the RTX 3080 was made official today. Based on Nvidia’s new Ampere architecture, the RTX 3080 is designed to succeed the RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti cards with improved performance and ray-tracing support.

Nvidia is promising big performance with the RTX 3080, up to two times that of the RTX 2080, and faster than even Nvidia’s RTX 2080 Ti card. The card will ship with 10GB of GDDR6X memory and will be priced at $699 when it ships on September 17th. Nvidia is using 8,704 CUDA cores on the RTX 3080, combined with a 1.71Ghz boost clock.

At the heart of this new GPU is an updated thermal design. Nvidia has created a new pennant-shaped board for its RTX 3080, combined with a new cooling shroud. The new cooling solution is designed to improve airflow and overcome some of the constraints of the cooling solutions that exist on the RTX 2080 today.

It includes a dual-fan setup that is designed to improve airflow by more than 55 percent, with promises of much quieter and more efficient cooling. Nvidia is using a bracket exhausting front fan, with a flow-through rear fan.

Nvidia is using a new 12-pin connector on its RTX 3000 cards, which is smaller than using two traditional eight-pin connectors. The company will include an adapter that’s compatible with eight-pin cables with its Founders Edition cards. Nvidia has picked a 12-pin connector to allow more space on the board for components and cooling.

Alongside the RTX 3080, Nvidia is also launching a cheaper RTX 3070 priced at $499 in October. This will still be a more capable card than the prior RTX 2080, at a lot less cost. The performance bump will also put the RTX 3070 comfortably above the 1080 Ti and 1080 cards for 1440p gaming.

This RTX 3070 card will also use a similar cooling solution to the RTX 3080, with Nvidia’s promises of improved thermals and a quieter operation. Nvidia’s RTX 3070 will be available at some point in October, priced at $499. Nvidia is using 5,888 CUDA cores on the RTX 3080, combined with a 1.71Ghz boost clock and 8GB of GDDR6 memory.

Nvidia also surprised today with a top of the line RTX 3090 GPU. The RTX 3090 is more akin to the Titan line of Nvidia cards, and includes a massive 24GB of GDDR6X memory. Nvidia is labeling the RTX 3090 a “Big Ferocious GPU” (BFGPU). The card will occupy three slots and include a silencer to make it up to 10 times quieter than the existing Titan RTX graphics card. Nvidia says the RTX 3090 will also be up to 50 percent faster than the Titan RTX, and will require a 750-watt power supply. The card itself is expected to utilize around 350 watts of power.

Nvidia is labeling the RTX 3090 a “Big Ferocious GPU” (BFGPU). The card will occupy three slots and include a silencer to make it up to 10 times quieter than the existing Titan RTX graphics card. Nvidia says the RTX 3090 will also be up to 50 percent faster than the Titan RTX, and will require a 750-watt power supply. The card itself is expected to utilize around 350 watts of power.

While the RTX 3090 clearly promises big power, it’s also huge in physical dimensions, too. The card measures 313mm in length, compared to 285mm for the RTX 3080. It also occupies three slots compared to the more common two, meaning PC builders will have to consider which type of case to slot this into.

Nvidia only just announced this card alongside the RTX 3080, so we’re waiting to hear exactly what type of performance we can expect to see in regular games with and without ray tracing. Given the big promises of 8K gaming, this could be the card we’ve been waiting for to really push 4K gaming into higher frame rates and more reliable performance.