The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 Ti hasn’t been announced yet, but already the rumor mill is starting to swirl around an upgraded model of the best graphics card for the consumer market you can buy – assuming you can actually find one for sale, that is.
Given the ridiculous state of the graphics card market following the release of the first batch of Nvidia Ampere graphics cards in September and October of 2020, adding one more Nvidia graphics card to the mix might seem like a strange move.
But given that an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 Ti would arguably be the most powerful consumer graphics card available – and thus command an additional premium over its MSRP on account of price-gouging from unscrupulous ne’er-do-wells – if you have the budget for an RTX 3090 Ti if and when it is released, you might have a better shot at grabbing one for yourself given the much lower demand stemming from its premium price tag over its fellow Ampere cards.
With Nvidia Lovelace expected to launch sometime next year, how realistic is it to expect an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 Ti at this point? If it is released, how much is it likely to cost? What are the specs we’re most likely to see and what will it’s performance be like?
We’ve gathered as many leaks, news, and rumors about the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 Ti as we could find and gathered it all right here, giving you everything we know and have heard about the highly-anticipated upgrade to Nvidia’s most powerful graphics card ever.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 Ti: cut to the chase
What is it: An upgrade to Nvidia’s current top-of-the-line graphics card
When is it out: Unknown, but possibly as soon as January 2022
How much will it cost? Unknown, but will likely start around $2,000/£2,000/AU$3,000, with some third-party, after-market cards selling for double that and more.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 Ti release date
Without an official announcement, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 Ti release date is obviously a matter of speculation, but there are some things we have heard that point to a release coming sooner rather than later.
With production disruptions over the supply chain crisis and semiconductor shortage throughout 2021, it’s been generally surprising to see the typical two-year cadence of graphics card generation releases remain largely intact.
The RTX 3080 was released in September 2020, and the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 is expected to be announced in Q3 2022, which is roughly two years from the launch of the RTX 3080. The other card releases have tracked reasonably near where there predecessors were, but therein lies the leap we have to take: the RTX 3090 Ti has no predecessor, since there was no RTX 2090 or RTX 2090 Ti.
The closest we get is the RTX Titan which, for a Turing card, squared up rather well against the RTX 3090 in terms of performance. The RTX Titan really wasn’t a consumer-oriented product, though. It was aimed at creative professionals and content producers who needed a substantial amount of graphics performance.
With no real analog for the RTX 3090 in the Turing generation, all we can do is look at the calendar and see that the window for a release is closing before it cuts into the launch of the next-gen Lovelace cards.
Some well known component leakers claim that while other Nvidia graphics cards might be seeing delays over the component shortages, the RTX 3090 Ti isn’t among them.
This makes sense, since the RTX 3090 Ti is likely to have more limited production runs than cheaper graphics cards like the RTX 3050 and RTX 3070 Ti, so it isn’t as likely to be impacted by component supply issues.
If the RTX 3090 Ti is still on track for an announcement, we expect it to come at CES 2022 next month, with the card going on sale in late January.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 Ti specs
There are two main differences between the RTX 3090 and the upcoming RTX 3090 Ti, according to reports. First, the GA102 GPU in the 3090 Ti is said to feature 10,752 CUDA cores, compared to the 10,496 cores for the base RTX 3090.
What’s more, it will feature a different board design and memory layout, using 12 2GB modules instead of 24 modules at 1GB each. The VRAM on the RTX 3090 runs at about 19.5Gbps, while the memory speed on the faster Micron VRAM the 3090 Ti is said to be using runs at about 21Gbps.
This could help push the card’s memory bandwidth above the 1TB/s mark, besting the RTX 3090’s 936GB/s. That huge increase in VRAM and memory bandwidth would be essential to improving framerates at the high end.
By increasing the bandwidth for memory transfers into VRAM, higher resolution textures will load faster, which means individual frames can be drawn faster.
This could mean the difference between playing Doom Eternal at 51fps in 8K, which the RTX 3090 averaged in our tests, and approaching, if not consistently clearing, 60fps in 8K in the same game.
The only other major difference we expect to see is the card’s TDP. The RTX 3090 Ti might have as high as 450W TDP, which is 100W more than the RTX 3090. On the plus side, we also expect a different power connector, and the card will be able to leverage PCIe 5.0 where possible for even better performance.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 Ti performance
Speaking of performance, it’s hard to know where the RTX 3090 Ti might come in relative to the RTX 3090, other than to say we expect it to be better than the base model.
Without benchmarks though, it’s hard to say how much we can expect. If there is any metric that might be relevant with cards this powerful, it’s gaming performance in 8K.
The RTX 3090 makes easy work of most 4K gaming, and we expect the RTX 3090 Ti to improve on that, but in 8K gaming, you might be able to consistently maintain 60fps on some major AAA titles with the RTX 3090 Ti. The RTX 3090 almost gets you there, but the RTX 3090 Ti just might be able to put you over the top.
Until some benchmarks start leaking though, it’s hard to put a number to anything.