The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3000 series cards are here and in full swing. In it are included RTX 3090, RTX 3080 Ti, RTX 3080, RTX 3070 Ti, RTX 3070, RTX 3060 Ti and RTX 3060.
We’ve explored all of these GPUs, their pricing, specifications, features, pros, and cons to determine which models are a good (or bad) purchase.
If you want to purchase one of the cards, you can check out our Order section at the bottom of the page. There are reports suggesting that the RTX 3000 GPUs will be in short supply even throughout 2022, so you might struggle to find one in stock.
Either way, let’s get right into what these GPUs have to offer.
- December 22, 2021: Updated releases dates, added specifications for all SKUs and more.
- June 12, 2021: Added new benchmarks for the Ti variants of the 3070 and 3080.
- June 9, 2021: New gaming performance leaks for the 3070 Ti.
- June 3, 2021: Added official information regarding the release, specs, and price of the 3080 Ti and 3070 Ti.
- May 24, 2021: Added reported information regarding the RTX 3080 Ti and RTX 3070 Ti specifications. Updated release date too.
- May 16, 2021: New leaks for upcoming RTX 3080 Ti and RTX 3070 Ti
- April 5, 2021: Added information about the RTX 3060.
- March 17, 2021: Corrected some outdated info and added a link to the new RTX 4000 series news article above
- December 20, 2020: Added the info on the RTX 3060 Ti.
- November 22, 2020: Removed the outdated info.
- October 24, 2020: Touched upon the rumored releases and cancelled variants of the RTX 3070 and RTX 3080.
- October 15, 2020: Discussed the availability and driver issues on launch.
- October 11, 2020: Edited some incorrect information.
- September 19, 2020: Updated info and added extra specifications for the RTX 3080, RTX 3070 variant, and RTX 3060.
- September 18, 2020: Confirmed RTX 3070’s release date.
- September 16, 2020: Added benchmarks from reliable reviewers.
- September 14, 2020: Added the date for AMD’s Future of Radeon PC Gaming event (October 28, 2020).
- September 8, 2020: Added RTX 3070 AIB cards.
- September 4, 2020: Added RTX 3080 AIB cards.
- September 3, 2020: Added pre-order section with links to pages where you can pre-order the cards. Also added twelve RTX 3090 AIB cards, specifications will follow soon.
- September 2, 2020: Removed outdated info and updated the article with fresh info revealed at the September 1 NVIDIA GeForce Launch Event. Removed a lot of rumors, speculations, and mentions of DLSS 3.0.
- August 31, 2020: Clarified the naming of the flagship card. Updated the featured image with the ZOTAC GeForce RTX 3090.
- August 25, 2020: Added the water cooling news and the official name for the 12-pin power connector.
- August 23, 2020: Added the full price leaks, physical size rumors, and new power connector clarification.
- August 20, 2020: Clarified the price rumors.
- August 18, 2020: Added the rumored price.
- August 15, 2020: Confirmed GDDR6X and covered the PCB leak.
- August 11, 2020: Covered NVIDIA’s “21 Days, 21 Years” announcement.
- August 9, 2020: Added speculation about professional cards and rumors about NVIDIA sending a “better” review copy.
- August 8, 2020: Cleared up the RTX 2000 series rumors and added a reveal date.
- August 5, 2020: Added the dates for specific versions’ launches.
- August 1, 2020: Clarified the rumors regarding the performance increase over the RTX 2080 Ti.
- July 30, 2020: Added the rumors about the RTX 3080 Ti (now RTX 3090) being 40% faster than the RTX 2080 Ti and news that NVIDIA will begin sampling their Ampere lineup in August.
- July 28, 2020: Added a link to our GPU hierarchy, which might be helpful to get an overview of the current GPU offerings from AMD and NVIDIA.
- July 26, 2020: According to multiple sources, the RTX 3080 will be 20% faster than the RTX 2080 Ti.
Much as they did with Volta, NVIDIA announced Ampere for Data Centers without mentioning consumer GPUs at all. Although the RTX 2000 series wasn’t built on Volta, it still played a role in developing the Turing architecture, the first product to use Tensor Cores, which are instrumental in the RTX 2000 series.
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NVIDIA seemed as though they were determined to beat AMD’s RDNA 2 launch and officially announced their new flagship and enthusiast cards at the September 1 event.
The RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 were released throughout September 2020 while the RTX 3070 came out on a later date in October, the same year.
A budget card, the RTX 3060 Ti, was released on December 2, 2020, and has so far blown people away with its performances at a low price.
The RTX 3060 on the other hand, not so much. It came out in February 2021, but considering the price difference, the Ti variant has a much better value.
After GTC was called off, it was reported that Ampere would be fully announced in August. There were rumors that Quadro RTX cards would be released first, with the RTX 3000 GPUs following, but that was obviously incorrect.
What was once only speculation is now becoming a reality. It’s official; the RTX 3080 Ti and RTX 3070 Ti were announced by NVIDIA during Computex 2021 on June 2, 2021, and the 3080 Ti was available for purchase the next day.
The 3070 Ti became available for purchase on June 10.
But, that’s not all. There are also a few rumors about Super variants of the RTX 3000 series and an RTX 3050 too.
The NVIDIA GeForce September 1 Event
On September 1, Jensen Huang hosted a virtual event where he presented new details of the RTX 3000 series, such as release date, pricing, specifications, and a host of other features.
Watch the full presentation below to familiarize yourself with most of the things you need to know ahead of the launch.
The RTX 2000 Series Cards Are Now Deprecated
Right before the release of the RTX 3000 series, NVIDIA ceased the production of the RTX 2000 cards and told vendors to empty out the shelves containing them to make room for the new GPUs.
A possible consequence of this is that retailers won’t raise the prices of the RTX 3000 cards in order to sway consumers to buy more RTX 2000 cards and clear their inventory.
Like most coveted new technology, NVIDIA’s RTX 3000 series had some serious supply-and-demand issues at launch.
Another issue that popped up was the scalpers. As always, their predatory practices enabled them to get their hands on the goods before everyone else and then sell it at crazy markups, with some even going as high as $60,000.
As expected, those launch day supply issues also affected the launch of the RTX 3070, despite the announced delay to ensure availability.
The majority of these issues came from the incredibly increased demands in 2020 and the global chip shortage.
Judging by NVIDIA’s pricing trend from the GTX 1000 series to the RTX 2000 series, it was widely assumed that the RTX 3000 series would be even more expensive.
|Nvidia GPUs||Price||AMD GPUs||Price|
|RTX 3090||$1,500||RX 6900 XT||$1,000|
|RTX 3080/Ti||$699/$1,199||RX 6800 XT||$649|
|RTX 3070/Ti||$499/$599||RX 6800||$579|
|RTX 3060 Ti||$399||RX 6700 XT||$479|
|RTX 3060||$329||RX 6600 XT||$379|
|RTX 3050||<$249||RX 6600||$329|
Overall, the RTX 3000 Series have competitive pricing against AMD’s RX 6000 series. Well, expect the RTX 3080 Ti which is unnecessarily expensive. It is $500 more expensive than the RTX 3080 and even more expensive than the RX 6900 XT.
The RTX 3090 is the most expensive of the bunch, but we’ll give it a pass because of the 24GB of VRAM and pro-like performance.
Overall, both sides are offering great options for the high-end and mid-range GPU markets. Both Big Navi and Ampere are performing pretty well and we will probably see some interesting offers in the lower-end sector by the end of 2021.
According to NVIDIA (and third-party benchmarks), the RTX 3080 is twice as fast as the RTX 2080, while the RTX 3070 is able to outperform Turing’s previous best showing, the RTX 2080 Ti. The actual specifications for these cards are what blew us out of the water.
Here’s a table that lists the specifications of all the current RTX 3000 Series GPUs.
|SKU||RTX 3090||RTX 3080 Ti||RTX 3080||RTX 3070 Ti||RTX 3070||RTX 3060 Ti||RTX 3060||RTX 3050|
|Memory||24GB GDDR6X||12GB GDDR6X||10GB GDDR6X||8GB GDDR6X||8GB GDDR6||8GB GDDR6||12GB GDDR6||8GB GDDR6|
|Memory bandwith||224 GB/s||256 GB/s||384 GB/s||512 GB/s||512 GB/s||448 GB/s||360 GB/s||224 GB/s|
|Boost clock speed||2491 MHz||2589 MHz||2581 Mhz||2105 MHz||2240 MHz||2250 Mhz||1777 MHz||1777 MHz|
|Launch Date||September 24th, 2020||June 3rd, 2021||September 17th, 2020||June 10th, 2021||October 29th, 2020||December 2nd, 2020||February 25th, 2021||January 27th, 2022|
The RTX 3080 also features 30 shader TFLOPs which is almost three times more than the RTX 2080 Ti’s 11. You can spot an increase in RT cores (in the table above), where the 3080 has 58 and outshines the 2080 Ti’s 34.
However, the biggest leap appears to be in the AI tensor core department, which sees the RTX 3080 with 238 TFLOPs, significantly more than the RTX 2080 Ti’s 89.
Large part of RTX 3000’s success is the GDDR6X memory.
Additionally, RTX 3000 support HDMI 2.1 as it was already part of NVIDIA’s RTX 2000 series.
The NVIDIA Ampere Architecture supports the highest HDMI 2.1 link rate of 12Gbs/lane across all 4 lanes and supports Display Stream Compression (DSC) to be able to power up to 8K, 60Hz in HDR.Qi Lin – NVIDIA Principal Product Manager
Another interesting point is the 12-pin power connector (NVIDIA 12-pin PCIe Molex Micro-Fit 3.0 Connector). Although these new connectors are only present on the Founders Edition. Any other aftermarket SKUs will have the traditional 4,6 or 8-pin connectors.
With SLI gradually being left behind and NVLink still failing to capture mainstream attention, we wonder if we will ever see a fully-realized multi-card setup. It seems as though we won’t get a proper answer to that with the RTX 3000 series.
There has been an announcement from NVIDIA regarding SLI support, but to no avail.
NVIDIA has decided to stop adding new SLI profiles for the RTX 2000 series and earlier GPUs and to instead support game developers to implement SLI natively in their games.
Although NVIDIA considers this to be a step in the right direction, thus far the actual SLI support has been scarce.
The NVIDIA RTX 3090 GPU does have SLI support but only uses the method we just mentioned. In any case, we don’t think this should be an issue because current GPUs have enough power to run the latest games without the need for another card.
The design of the new RTX 3000 series caused some interesting discussions on the internet from the moment it first leaked. Now that the designs have been officially revealed, the leaks proved to be true.
All Founders Edition cards feature dual fans but the fans on NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 3090 and GeForce RTX 3080 cards feature independent push and pull configurations. So the fans are positioned on opposite sides of the heat sink.
Here’s an illustration of how it works:
Third-party cards feature a more conventional two-fan or three-fan design. The image below shows Gainward’s RTX 3090 graphics card, which features a traditional three-fan design.
Judging by the image above, it appears that the RTX 3090 will occupy three slots and possibly require people to further upgrade their case to accommodate their new card. Although this has since been confirmed, the RTX 3080 and RTX 3070 will take up less space, and therefore “only” require two slots.
It has recently been confirmed by EK Water Block (a well-known water cooling solutions company) that they are already working on the new water cooling systems for the next generation of graphics cards.
RTX 3000 Series Features
The September 1 RTX 3000 series launch event revealed many new features coming to the next-gen of NVIDIA GPUs. Let’s take a look.
One of the first things Huang talked about was NVIDIA’s foray into the streaming world. NVIDIA has worked extra hard to make streaming video games an easier task for streamers and a smoother experience for viewers.
This feature is called NVIDIA Broadcast and the tech demo that was shown during the event was very impressive. Below is a video showing off some great AI-assisted features as well as a host of other options which will make streamers’ jobs much easier.
The next thing that was announced was NVIDIA Reflex. It was introduced as an eSports technology that “optimizes the rendering pipeline across CPU and GPU, to reduce latency by up to 50%”.
It was released back in September of 2020 with NVIDIA’s Game Ready driver for the 3000 series. As a sort of continuation of the Reflex technology, Huang also announced four brand new 360Hz monitors.
Of course, the amount of latency reduced will depend on the specific game. At Computex 2021, NVIDIA also announced that they would be bringing Reflex to 4 more games, including Escape From Tarkov and War Thunder.
Additionally, NVIDIA announced the NVIDIA Reflex Latency Analyzer which allows you to calculate your exact system latency. This could help you figure out what exactly is adding to or reducing that latency.
NVIDIA Omniverse Machinima
One of the most impressive things that Jensen Huang announced is NVIDIA Omniverse Machinima.
It’s an app built on our Omniverse 3D workflow collaboration platform. Omniverse is a universal design tool asset exchange with a viewer based on photorealistic path tracing. The engine is designed to be physically accurate simulating light, physics, material, and artificial intelligence.Jensen Huang, during the RTX 3000 launch event
It’s important to note that this wasn’t a launch day feature. It’s still in early access, so we’ll have to wait to see what NVIDIA will deliver.
Below is a demo of what this technology is capable of. For this video, the creators used assets from the Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord video game.
As of June 2, 2021, the NVIDIA Omniverse Machinima app is in open beta and available for anyone to use. You can try it out for yourself.
As was the case with the previous NVIDIA GPU series, the RTX 3000 features ray tracing and there were rumors that the new series would be roughly four times faster than its predecessor.
However, that wasn’t the case as multiple benchmarks, reviewers and users have reported no significant increase in ray tracing performance.
The earliest rumors about RTX IO (then known as NVCache) started back in May. As time passed, they appeared more and concrete. On paper, this looks to be the push that will launch the concept into the mainstream.
This concept is revolutionary. The idea is that the GPU will dynamically utilize the bandwidth from system RAM, VRAM, and SSD to execute multiple tasks simultaneously at a much higher speed.
This is presumably a response to the PlayStation 5’s custom memory solution that is said to be able to increase the loading speed a hundredfold (compared to the PS4).
However, we probably won’t see RTX IO in action until late 2021, and perhaps not even then.
Tensor Memory Compression
This tech will apparently have tensor cores for compression and decompression of VRAM stored items. Estimates suggest that this application of tensor cores could result in anywhere between 20-40% less VRAM usage.
During the official September 1 launch event, NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang touted DLSS 2.0 as the key to high-FPS 8K gaming. However, it should be noted that this technology still hasn’t proven itself, despite these lofty promises.
Some key rumors regarding DLSS 2.0 are that it should work with any game that has TAA (temporal anti-aliasing), but that a game-ready driver will be required. It might be slow, but it’s still a work in progress.
According to Huang, the enthusiast RTX 3090 features 285 Tensor TFLOPs which is more than twice those of the RTX Titan which it replaces. Despite the RTX Titan featuring 130 Tensor TFLOPs, it still held a massive $2499 price tag, so the fact that the RTX 3090 costs $1000 less is almost unbelievable.
As always, it’s best to wait and check out benchmarks before making a decision about buying a new graphics card.
Early looks suggest that, based on benchmarks, the RTX 3080 offers around 80-100% better performance than the RTX 2080. Below is a review from JayzTwoCents which pretty much confirms that increase in performance.
JayzTwoCents’ RTX 3080 Benchmarks
Something else Jay brings up that has been bothering the internet community ever since the design leaked is the temperature. Many were skeptical or outright worried that, because of the fan placement (one on each side), hot air would be blown into the CPU.
However, Jay found that the air directed at the processor is warmish at best. He also said that the overall GPU temperature never exceeded 72°C which is pretty good.
RTX 3080 Founders Edition Review By IGN
Because IGN’s reputation is generally more gaming-oriented, we have included their review in this list as well. During the video, you can see different results across multiple games, but the overall impression is the same: the RTX 3000 series has arrived and brought true 4K 60FPS gaming with it.
Hardware Unboxed’s 3070 Ti Review
As the 3080 Ti and 3070 Ti are finally available for customers, we can finally squeeze in a few benchmarks specifically for these two new GPUs.
First, let’s take a look at Hardware Unboxed’s numbers on the 3070 Ti.
Judging by the average of 12 games benchmarked at 1440p, the 3070 Ti is about 8% faster than the non-Ti 3070 and 8% slower than the RX 6800. This is not exactly impressive.
It is almost 20% slower than the RX 6800 XT.
Combine these results with the fact that this Ti variant is still limited by just 8GB of VRAM, draws considerably more power, and costs $100 more than the 3070. Can this really be recommended? The consensus among tech enthusiasts is that it can’t.
Gamers Nexus 3080Ti Review
If you hoped that the story for the 3080Ti would be any different, you will be disappointed. The 3080Ti is in an even worse position than the 3070Ti.
Yes, it did receive 12GB of VRAM, which is nice to see, but it is also priced at $500 more than the MSRP of the 3080. According to Gamers Nexus, the 3080Ti gains a 1% FPS increase for every $100. Yes, it’s that bad.
On average, the 3080Ti is about 5% faster than the 3080 and almost identical to the RTX 3090. Ultimately, it’s better to simply buy the $1500 3090 so you at least have 24 GB of VRAM. Otherwise, this card is a waste of money.
Linus Tech Tips
It would be hard to have a serious online discussion about technology without Linus’ opinion. As always, he has been able to get the card on time and test it thoroughly.
It’s important to state that Linus and his team have also performed tests for non-gamer GPU users. They have tested the RTX 3080 in professional programs such as Blender, 3D Max, and Maya. As expected, the results are phenomenal.
One of the reasons why Linus is one of the best, if not the best, in the business is his ability to think outside the box. Much like JayzTwoCents, he wondered about the airflow and the temperature, but also measured both the GPU and the overall system temperature.
Although the RTX 3080 does use a lot more power, it’s amazing that they have not only managed to keep the GPU temperature down but have also been able to lower the entire system’s temperature.
This disproves the rumors that due to the RTX 3080’s interesting double fan design, the airflow inside the case would be hindered and possibly heat up the entire system.
As of writing, due to the previously mentioned availability issues, you cannot order the Founders Edition versions from NVIDIA’s official website. They are only available in stores.
Still, the AIB cards are more than sufficient and much likelier to be available.