Best RTX 3090 Graphics Card

best overall

ASUS ROG Strix Gaming RTX 3090

ASUS GeForce RTX 3090 ROG Strix
  • Sleek design
  • Great clock speeds
  • Silent & good thermals
best value

MSI RTX 3090 GAMING X TRIO 24G

MSI GeForce RTX 3090 GAMING X TRIO
  • Great price to performance
  • Well designed

Two kings are competing for the GPU throne. The RTX 3090 from Nvidia and the RX 6900XT from AMD.

Both of them are very close in terms of raw rasterization performance, but because of the 24GB of VRAM and faster memory bandwidth on the 3090, the RX 6900XT lacks a bit in 4K resolution. Once you factor in ray tracing and DLSS, the clear winner this time around is Nvidia.

So, if you truly want to have the best of the best in your computer, you should be going for the green team. However, getting your hands on this GPU beast is going to prove quite difficult considering the lack of stock and mining craze.

Nevertheless, if you do manage to find a shop that has GPUs stock, it is probably a good idea to do a little bit of research to figure out exactly which model of the RTX 3090 you should get.

Usually, the different models of a GPU are similar in many aspects, but assuming that this is going to be or at least should be a long-term investment, it is better to find something that is going to satisfy your needs in every aspect. Design, cooling, and performance.

Make sure that you are making the right decision by looking through this list of the best RTX 3090 variants available.

Related:Best RTX 3080 Graphics Card

Table of ContentsShow

The Pros:

  • Sleek and simple design
  • Good stock boost clocks
  • Quiet and cool

The Cons:

  • No groundbreaking disadvantages

When it comes to high-end GPU products, ASUS always delivers. Their variants might come with a heftier price tag, but if you are a fan (no pun intended) of cool and silent graphics cards and if you don’t care about the extra cost, you will always end up happy with a Strix.

Again, ASUS delivers reliable cooling and performance with the new Nvidia SKU lineup. Even the RTX 3090 shows promise considering that it is a card that can easily go over 400 W of power consumption. Five years ago most enthusiasts and reviewers would compare it to a furnace. But, that’s not the case this time around even when sucking 400 W of power.

Let’s see what the ROG Strix Gaming RTX 3090 can deliver.

Pricing

Believe it or not, the ROG Strix is actually a bit cheaper than some other alternatives on the market right now which is a rare occasion. Asus usually grabs the top spot for GPU costs. The MSRP of the Strix RTX 3090 is $1800 which is about $300 over the Founders Edition. That is a big price hike but take into consideration that all of the other AIB models will come with a similar increase in pricing.

Design

Design-wise it looks great in my opinion. Of course, this is entirely subjective. But, with so many over-the-top “gamery” designs today, it is good to see something a bit simpler and straightforward. The entire card is mostly black with a few a couple of silver-like aluminum accents.

Although, it is a bit disappointing that the GPU shroud is made out of plastic considering that this thing costs almost $2000.

But, in terms of cooling, we don’t think it would have made a huge difference.

Performance and Overclocking Capabilities

The Strix is also impressive when it comes to performance. Out of the box, you will be getting an 1860 MHz boost clock (Gaming mode) which is 160 MHz higher than the Founders Edition. There’s also the OC mode that can take the boost clock to 1890 MHz. It is one of the best factory boost clocks you can find on the market.

 So, if you are not interested in overclocking yourself, this might be the AIB you are looking for.

Even if you are an OC enthusiast, this model from ASUS is again a good choice. The overclocking headroom is larger than most of the other variants. Although, the OC headroom overall for all GPUs of the 3000 series isn’t exactly great, so keep that in mind.

The Strix is capable to reach a 1950 MHz GPU core clock. Although, your mileage may vary. This could bring up to 6% performance uplift over stock when gaming on 1440p.

Thermals and Noise

On stock settings, ASUS’ RTX 3090 is pretty silent and cool, averaging around 65 °C. This is all thanks to the good contact between the heatsink and the GDDR memory, VRM, and over the entire PCB.

You won’t be bothered too much by the sound fans because they won’t be spinning up that often or fast.

The Pros:

  • A lot of RGB options
  • LED display
  • Great overclocking headroom

The Cons:

  • Average stock boost clocks

Gigabyte has been mostly consistent with their releases for these past several years both with their AMD and NVIDIA GPUs. Especially with their low-mid end variants such as the Gaming OC and WINDFORCE. But, if you are looking for the best of the best, you should not be looking at those. Your interest should focus on the Aorus Xtreme.

The RTX 3090 Aorus Xtreme is huge. It is 319 mm long, 140 mm wide, and 70 mm tall. You won’t be fitting the Aorus Xtreme in an ITX case, for sure.

Pricing

Unfortunately, it seems impossible to find any kind of information about the original pricing of this GPU from Gigabyte. Currently, the price for this one on websites such as Newegg or Amazon sits at a “comfortable” $3000. But, as we all know this is because of the mining craze and lack of stock.

Design

The design of the Aorus Xtreme is exactly what the name hints at. Extreme from every angle. That is not necessarily bad, but we would prefer something simpler like the Gaming OC from Gigabyte or TUF from ASUS.

Overall, it is a pretty good-looking graphics card made out of high-quality materials and with a lot of RGB. Not only does the Xtreme come with RGB lighting, but it also has its own LED display that can be customized as you wish. The display can be used for monitoring temps, FPS, clocks, or you could even add your own gifs, text, etc. And of course, if you don’t like it, you can always turn it off.

Performance and Overclocking Capabilities

This is where the Aorus Xtreme falls a bit short. At least when in stock preset. Even though the name itself promises a lot, it doesn’t deliver anything unexpected or crazy. Although, if you are lucky you could push the clocks even further, surpassing the ROG Strix RTX 3090.

In the end, we all know that a few extra MHz is not going to bring a lot of real in-game performance. The FPS boost may not be more than 2% over the Strix card. However, if you are an overclocking enthusiast and want to push it to its limits, this might be a good subject.

Remember, your mileage may vary. Although, we have seen some reports of people pushing it over 2000 MHz without any modified or extra cooling.

If you don’t care about overclocking, you should know that the maximum factory boost clock is 1860 MHz. Basically the same as the Strix.

Thermals and Noise

The thermal performance does not seem too impressive either, especially if you plan to noise normalize the GPU. Based on multiple sources, temperatures can average up to 80+ °C when the fans are noise normalized at 40 dBA.

This shouldn’t be acceptable, considering that other variants can easily stay under 70 °C within the same conditions.

The Pros:

  • Great cooling
  • Mostly positive user reviews
  • Only 300mm long

The Cons:

  • Over-the-top design and RGB
  • Additional HDMI 2.0 or 2.1 would be nice

EVGA is usually quite respected in the PC world mostly because the company delivers reliable, high-quality products while also offering great customer support. They may not be as frequent or popular as ASUS or MSI on the market, but that does not mean they don’t deserve a spot on this list.

EVGA’s RTX 3090 FTW3 is a great all-rounder and can definitely be compared with some of the other options in this article.

Pricing

On the official EVG website, the 3090 FTW3 Ultra is listed at $1869.99. This does not really come as a surprise. We know that most of the AIB variants are at least $300 more expensive than the Founders Edition.

But, it is $70 more than the Strix. Does EVGA have anything that can back up this kind of price? Should you really go for this card instead of anything else? Well, let’s see.

Design

As mentioned previously, aesthetics, styles, or design should be completely subjective. But, sometimes, some things really are objectively awful looking and the FTW3 Ultra is definitely one of those things. Some people do enjoy a lot of RGB, but this is overkill at best.

There is one huge white translucent piece of plastic taking up a huge part of the GPU. Whether the RGB under the translucent plastic is off or on, it looks like it does not belong. Especially on a piece of technology like this.

Once you ignore that white piece of plastic, it doesn’t look half bad. It has three fans and the entire shroud is black without any weird accents, shapes, etc.

One thing that EVGA has over other companies is software. The Precision X1 is the most intuitive, stable, and easy-to-use RGB software out there. That’s a huge plus in everyone’s book.

Performance and Overclocking Capabilities

EVGA isn’t exactly famous for the big OC headroom on their GPUs. Although, the 3090 FTW3 Ultra does sound promising for overclocking because you can easily switch to another preinstalled BIOS that allows for a higher power limit. By default, switching to the OC BIOS may get you about 30 MHz plus over the stock 1800 MHz boost clock as seen on benchmarks.

The 1800 MHz stock boost clock may not seem very impressive, but the FTW3 Ultra still holds up pretty well against ASUS and Gigabyte in terms of raw FPS.

Thermals

When it comes to cooling and noise, EVGA never miss their mark. Not even with a power-hungry GPU such as the RTX 3090. Out of the box, this thing always stays under 70 °C without any additional adjustments.

The noise levels get up to around 40 dBa once the fans start to ramp up to 1800 RPM. But, that is something that you should expect out most of the other choices in this article.

The Pros:

  • Close to MSRP
  • Simple triple-fan design
  • Better boost clocks than advertised

The Cons:

  • Thermals similar to Founders Edition

When talking about the best AIB variants, we can’t just skip out on MSI because they always manage to deliver in the high-end market. The flagship tier for the previous Nvidia series, the RTX 2080 Ti Lightning Z was one of the fastest GPUs at the time. It overclocked incredibly well.

Unfortunately, there is no Lightning Z for the 3090 or for any other 3000 series GPU for that matter. But, we do have the Gaming X Trio 24G. We’ll see how it fares against its competitors.

Pricing

Believe it or not, but this time around, this variant’s MSRP is not $300 over the Founders Edition. And no, it is not more than that. It is actually less than that. This MSI GPU is listed at $1,589. This is a lot cheaper than its competitors. So, if it proves good, it may get to be the best overall.

Design

Similar to the Strix design, the GAMING X TRIO 3090 is simple and clean. On the front, you get three equally sized fans with the MSI logo in the middle. There are a few jagged edges here and there, but nothing too aggressive. Even if it was, keep in mind that the front will be facing towards the bottom in most PC cases.

On the side, there is an RGB MSI Logo. There is also one line of translucent white plastic, similar to that of EVGA. This one is a lot more subtle and it looks good. The problem is that the LED strip inside is very poor.

There are only six LEDs behind the plastic, so the lighting isn’t properly spread out. That’s a big minus for the lovers of RGB. Although, keep in mind that this could be fixed in the future or it might just be some models and not all.

Additionally, if you are worried about GPU sag, there is a bracket that comes in the box that can provide some extra support.

Performance and Overclocking Abilities

On MSI’s official website, specifications show a boost clock of 1785 MHz, but from several different sources, it seems like the GAMING X TRIO can jump up to an average between 1800 – 1900 MHz. This is quite impressive considering that the much more expensive competitors offer similar stock performance.

For overclocking, the GAMING X TRIO does not exactly shine, but it can deliver up to 50 MHz more if you bump up the power limits. But, the temperature increase with such an overclock is probably not worth it.

If you are chasing for overclocks, we suggest picking the Strix or the Aorus Xtreme.

Thermals

The heatsink itself isn’t very impressive which is understandable considering the minimal price bump of the Founders Edition. Either way, the triple fan setup is more than enough to keep the hungry 3090 beast cool and quiet enough. It does manage to go a bit over 70 °C in certain workloads.

It’s not the best but is certainly not the worst.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 – Which One Should You Get?

The question remains: Which one of these you should get?

Well, if you are looking for something that performs well in every aspect, the ASUS STRIX RTX 3090 is best overall. You get outstanding overclocked core clocks out of the box while silent and cool.

However, if you don’t care about the extra performance from factory overclocks, the MSI RTX 3090 GAMING X TRIO is going to be the best value for your money.

Nevertheless, any of these cards is a great option and you won’t be disappointed with your decision.

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Branko Gapo
Branko Gapo

Keeping up with the incredibly fast evolution of computer technology is impossible. That is why Branko will be using his knowledge on this matter to share news and information on all the latest essential technological innovations and advancements.