Nvidia’s RTX 3090 Ti GPU: Everything we know about the new gaming flagship

Get those wallets ready.

nvidia rtx 3090
Image via Nvidia

Nvidia’s RTX 3090 is getting a significant upgrade for 2022. The card is barely a year old, having been released in September 2020 as part of the company’s new Ampere architecture.

But despite its status as the flagship gaming GPU, the RTX 3090 Ti is set to reach even newer heights. Here’s everything we know about the upcoming Nvidia RTX 3090 Ti following Nvidia’s CES 2022 Special Address.

This post has been updated since its original publication.

The RTX 3090 Ti could need a 1000W PSU

Image via Twitter

If you’re planning on grabbing the RTX 3090 Ti, expect it to use a lot of juice. Weeks before the card was due to launch on the market, a leaked listing of MSI’s SUPRIM X RTX 3090 Ti model appeared online.

The spec sheet showed pretty much everything we could expect from the new gaming flagship, including its staggering power draw. MSI listed the card’s expected power consumption at a staggering 480 watts–130 watts more than what the regular RTX 3090 demands. MSI’s spec sheet also recommended users have a 1000W power supply, and that the card would require three separate 8-pin connectors in order to function.

The screenshot shown above matches MSI’s format for their spec sheets, and the 10,752 CUDA core count matches what was already known. It’s also no surprise that MSI’s SUPRIM runs at a peak of 1,900MHz under its boost mode, although it shows just how diminishing the returns are when the “EXTREME Mode” is only a measly 20MHz faster than the regular “GAMING Mode & SILENT Mode”.

Here’s what the RTX 3090 Ti will look like

Nvidia GeForce 3090Ti
Screengrab via Nvidia

A shot of the RTX 3090 Ti appeared online, courtesy of Videocardz, ahead of Nvidia’s CES showcase. This image held true once it appeared during Nvidia’s Special Address for CES 2022. The Founders Edition model follows the similar trend to the rest of the 30-series GPUs, although third-party vendors will undoubtedly make their own models with more colorful designs and different cooling approaches.

The RTX 3090 Ti will run roughly 10 percent faster than the RTX 3090

The RTX 3090 Ti will be clocked at 1560MHz/1860MHz for its base and boost speeds. Compared to the base and boost clocks on the RTX 3090 — and the expected 100W increased power draw — this should result in approximately a 10 percent uplift. Exactly how much individual games get will vary, though, and it’s not known what the performance differential will be when ray-tracing is enabled.

The 3090 Ti will have faster memory

rtx 3090 ti
Image: Nvidia

According to Taiwanese Uniko’s Hardware, the new RTX 3090 Ti will feature GDDR6X memory from Micron, designated as MT61K512M32KPA-21U. The last part of the code seems to confirm that the memory will have 21Gbps of bandwidth per module, up from the RTX 3090’s current 19Gbps.

Nvidia confirmed the bump in memory speed during its Special Address for CES 2022 when it revealed the 3090 Ti will feature 24GB of G6X memory at 21Gbps.

While the upgrade might seem negligible, the extra speed can come in handy for heavy rendering workloads and extreme gaming scenarios, like 4K gameplay with all ray-tracing effects enabled.

The RTX 3090 Ti is expected to have larger memory modules

Another major expected update, as reported by WCCFTech, is the use of 2GB GDDR6X memory modules. The current RTX 3090 only has 1GB memory modules, so this change means the RTX 3090 Ti could provide the same amount of memory at slightly lower temperatures (because there are fewer memory modules to cool).

That improved efficiency means Nvidia will be able to squeeze more performance out of the RTX 3090 Ti, although there’s a potential catch. The current rumors suggest the RTX 3090 Ti could have an expected power draw of at least 450 watts — 100 watts more than the RTX 3090 demands. The extra power usage shouldn’t be an issue for users, though. With the RTX 3090 already costing thousands of dollars, any potential buyers for the RTX 3090 Ti would have no trouble covering the cost of its beefier power requirements.

The RTX 3090 Ti should showcase the full potential of the RTX 30 series

rtx 3090 ti
Running games at 4K with multiple real-time ray tracing effects — like Cyberpunk 2077 — should be a cinch for the RTX 3090 Ti. Image: Nvidia / CD Projekt Red

Another major difference between the RTX 3090 Ti and the RTX 3090 is that the former is expected to have access to the full GA102 GPU core. The GA102 chip has formed the basis of Nvidia’s flagship 30 series cards to date, but no consumer-level gaming card to date has utilized its full capacity. (The RTX A6000 and A40 both make full use of the GA102’s capabilities, but those cards are thousands of dollars more expensive than the RTX 30-series line and are designed for professional workloads.)

The GA102-350-A1 chip, which is all but confirmed to feature in the RTX 3090 Ti, will have 10752 CUDA cores, up from the RTX 3090’s 10496 CUDA cores. This won’t be of any use in gaming specifically, but for those who use their gaming PC for heavy-duty workloads like 3D rendering, machine learning and video encoding, the extra cores will help with performance.

Nvidia revealed that its RTX 3090 Ti will have 40 shader teraflops, 78 RT teraflops, and 320 tensor teraflops. For reference, the standard RTX 3090 possesses 36 shader teraflops for an increase of 10.5 percent. Meanwhile, there’s about a 12 percent increase from the RTX 3090’s 69 RT teraflops. Likewise, tensor teraflops get an 11.6 percent bump.

RTX 3090 Ti: Expected release date, price

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang announcing the 30 series RTX GPUs. Image: Nvidia (YouTube)

While Nvidia hasn’t announced an official release date, or the card’s existence, the current speculation is that the RTX 3090 Ti will launch sometime in January 2022. WCCFTech reports that the card would launch alongside a refreshed RTX 2060 and an upgraded RTX 3070 Ti. The card was eventually announced at CES 2022, although Nvidia didn’t provide a specific launch date at the time.

Given the card’s expected performance — and Nvidia’s own expectations that the chip shortage won’t be resolved for most of 2022 — it’s highly possible that the RTX 3090 Ti will retail for $2500 or more, given the current prices for most RTX 3090 models. Some custom RTX 3090 Ti cards have already been priced beyond 3000 Euros in Germany and Switzerland, although final pricing in most territories is yet to be finalised.