Being Nvidia's flagship graphics processing unit in the last-gen Ampere lineup, the Geforce RTX 3090 Ti is the second 'Big Ferocious GPU' (BFGPU) introduced by the technology company. Although this graphics card was released at an eye-watering cost of $1,999, that price significantly dropped after the launch of the RTX 4090.
The 3090 Ti Founder's Edition is currently selling for around $1,500, with only certain third-party AIB models, like the MSI Gaming X or Zotac Trinity OC, which are slightly higher at $1,600. As a result, many gamers are considering this GPU over the RTX 4090, which is being sold for over $2,000 by leading online retailers.
Aside from the difference in pricing, there are a few more factors to consider before buying this graphics card over the 4090. This article will take a closer look at why the 3090 Ti may not be the best choice in 2023.
Note: This article is subjective and solely reflects the opinions of the writer.
Are next-gen video cards surpassing the RTX 3090 Ti, despite its solid performance?
The RTX 3090 Ti is undeniably a high-performance graphics card, delivering impressive power and capabilities. With its superior processing power, abundant VRAM, and advanced features, it has been a sought-after choice among gaming enthusiasts and professionals.
However, as technology continues to evolve rapidly, newer options from both AMD and Nvidia have emerged, pushing the boundaries of performance even further. These next-gen GPUs offer improved efficiency, enhanced ray tracing capabilities, and higher frame rates, making the RTX 3090 Ti appear less appealing in comparison.
As a result, many consumers may question the value and long-term viability of investing in the RTX 3090 Ti with the availability of more advanced alternatives on the market.
On paper, the RTX 3090 Ti is a true behemoth, which is based on the GA102 graphics processor that can also be found in the RTX 3090 and the RTX 3080 Ti. This 30 Series GPU packs 10,752 CUDA cores, 336 Texture Mapping Units (TMUs), 112 Render Output Units (ROPs), and 84 RT cores.
The Nvidia GPU comes with 24 GB of GDDR6X video memory that's based on a massive 384-bit memory bus. The memory in this card is capable of a total bandwidth of 1,008 GB/s, which is just shy of a terabyte.
Based on all of this information, the card is certainly a beast. Unfortunately, it's extremely power inefficient and is only rated for 450W power draws. Additionally, the GPU is too large, which could lead to potential compatibility issues when it's being plugged into the system.
The 3090 Ti's on-paper specs translate very well to video games. The Nvidia flagship card handles every game quite well at 4K resolution. When pitched against the RTX 4080 and the RX 7900 series, its value proposition falls apart. The RTX 4080, Nvidia's latest launch, starts from $1,200, with third-party AIB options going up to $1,400. This GPU outperforms the RTX 3090 Ti by a solid 16% margin.
In general, the 4080 is more efficient with power. It's rated at 320W, and in practice, draws around 250W. In addition, the RTX 40 series cards come with support for DLSS 3 and frame generation techniques. This makes the 4080 a much better option since it allows for future proofing as well.
Options from the competition
Interestingly, both the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT and the 7900 XTX outperform the RTX 3090 Ti and are available at a much lower price. In fact, the 7900 XT is equally matched with the 3090 Ti when it comes to rendering prowess, but the AMD option costs just $900.
Furthermore, the 7900 XTX is faster than the aforementioned RTX 4080, but is even cheaper with an affordable price tag of $1,000. Unfortunately, AMD Radeon cards do have some downsides such as slightly worse ray tracing performance, lack of frame generation technology in AMD FSR, and underwhelming performance when it comes to creative software.
In general, users will have to sacrifice on certain key elements to save a few hundred bucks.
Overall, the RTX 3090 Ti is a solid high-performance video card which is more than enough for the average gamer. However, Nvidia's competition and the parent company itself have already come up with multiple more lucrative options that make much more sense than this last-gen flagship GPU. Therefore, it is best to side with one of the other options listed above.