Nvidia has just announced its brand-new RTX 3000 series graphics cards and, needless to say, our minds are blown. Maybe that’s even an understatement.
Let’s start off with a bit of technical jargon. The RTX 3000 series is built on an 8nm manufacturing process (down from 12nm). Nvidia has branded this particular architecture as Ampere, which is the successor to Turing (RTX 2000). The kicker here, however, is that it’s basically almost twice as more powerful. This is, without a doubt, the biggest generational leap in graphics performance we’ve ever seen, and it went from being spectacular to downright mind-blowing. There aren’t enough superlatives to really explain this sort of jump in performance.
Because they improved their manufacturing process, Nvidia was able to cram in 28 billion transistors into just a single GPU chip. Basically every single GPU element, be it related to hardware or software, has been improved beyond measure.
But what does this really mean?
Well, for starters, the RTX 3000 series will provide gamers with up to 1.7x better ray-tracing performance and 2.7x better DLSS performance. When you combine all of this info, the result is pretty clear: Nvidia RTX 3000 GPUs will deliver twice the performance per watt when compared to RTX 2000.
Talk about an upgrade!
Most of these changes will benefit titles that employ RTX, but we’re bound to see a huge upgrade in non-RTX titles as well.
Do You Need RTX?
Well, frankly, no. You don’t. Still, it is the future, although it might not be all that alluring or ironed out right now. What will RTX help out with? Reflections, diffused illumination, shadows, ambient occlusion, and an enhanced DLSS 2.0 performance, allowing you to maintain a steady number of frames, therefore having the best possible gameplay experience, even at obscenely high resolutions.
This is nothing to scoff at, especially not in the hands of a talented development studio. You can only notice the depth and quality of RTX-related features when you stack these individual elements on top of each other. That’s when they shine brightest.
Meet the Family
Right now, at the time of this writing, Nvidia has announced three graphics cards: RTX 3070 (with 8GB of GDDR6 memory and almost 6000 CUDA cores); RTX 3080 (with 10GB of GDDR6X memory and 8704 CUDA cores); and RTX 3090 (with 24GB of GDDR6X memory and 10496 CUDA cores). The most potent GPU of the three will go on sale on September 24th for $1499, with the 3080 and 3070 selling for $700 and $499, respectively. 3080 will go on sale mid-September, with the 3070 model coming a month later. The real mind-blowing thing here is that both of these lower-priced GPUs are noticeably better than the RTX 2080 Ti. That’s simply baffling in every way, shape, and form.
No other GPU on the (consumer/prosumer) market can come even close in terms of performance-per-dollar.
3090, however, isn’t the flagship model this time around, but rather a beefy monstrosity that’s powerful enough for 8K gaming. It’s obviously the most powerful GPU on the market, but it isn’t geared towards regular consumers — it’s more of a statement. Or, y’know, aimed at the folks who want to replace their already capable RTX Titan.
Is This a Necessity?
You’re probably wondering: do I need so much power? In short: no. Especially not if you’re an esports gamer. Still, that aside, getting more bang for your buck is never a bad thing. Right now, if you’re looking for a brand-new graphics card, Nvidia should absolutely be the way to go. Furthermore, most new titles require quite a lot of GPU power. Look at Cyberpunk 2077, for example.
Sure, you’ll be able to play it on weaker/older graphics cards, but do you really want to? You’d miss out on all of that graphical goodness and cutting-edge gameplay. Cyberpunk 2077 is an absolute sensory delight, and experiencing to the fullest will require a beefy GPU.
On the other hand, if you don’t need all the bells and whistles that an Nvidia RTX 3000 GPU will provide, you can always wait for the inevitable price drops that’ll hit the market once this latest and greatest tech starts shipping!