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Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 Ti review

This graphics card is based on a fully-enabled Ampere GA102 gaming GPU, and features 24GB of memory, but it's also extremely expensive.

EVGA Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 Ti

Our Verdict


This fully enabled Ampere chip is the fastest desktop GPU ever, but the benefits are slight and the price is extreme.

We might have become accustomed to graphics card prices that bear no relation to reality over the past couple of years, but the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti doesn’t even need a cryptocurrency mining boom, a relentless army of eBay scalpers or a silicon shortage to get an unashamedly silly price attached it, because Nvidia has actually done it for us this time. Yep, Nvidia came up with that price of $1,999 all on its own, and that’s just the starting price for the Founders Edition.

At Custom PC, we’ve been reviewing the latest gaming GPUs since 2003, and we run a number of grueling benchmarks in order to gauge performance. Our game tests include measuring the frame rate in Cyberpunk 2077, Doom Eternal, and Metro Exodus, all with and without ray tracing, and we also test with Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. For more information, see our How we test page.

What does nearly two grand buy you in terms of GPU horsepower then? The GeForce RTX 3090 Ti represents the all-out last gasp for Nvidia’s Ampere architecture before the first Nvidia Ada GPUs turn up at the end of the year. It finally brings us a fully enabled GA102 GPU, which is as far as Ampere can possibly go without a brand-new GPU design.

Plenty of Nvidia’s existing GPUs are also based on the GA102 GPU, of course, from the GeForce RTX 3080 upwards, but they each have several of their streaming multiprocessors (SMs) disabled.

Even the former king of the castle, the RTX 3090, had two SMs disabled. By enabling those last two SMs, the full power of Ampere has finally been unleashed, but that only makes for a miniscule spec difference between the RTX 3090 and 3090 Ti.

EVGA Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 Ti

Those two extra SMs only get you two extra RT cores for ray tracing, for example, and an additional 256 CUDA cores, plus eight more Tensor cores. That’s the same spec difference between the RTX 3070 and 3070 Ti, and there isn’t a price difference of anywhere near $500 between the MSRPs of those two GPUs.

Nvidia has also tweaked a few other aspects of the spec, taking advantage of the binning process that’s given it these fully working and highly clockable GPUs over the past couple of years. For starters, the RTX 3090 Ti has a boost clock of 1860MHz, compared to just 1695MHz on the RTX 3090.

The huge 24GB allocation of GDDR6X memory has also been given a speed bump from 1219MHz (19.5GHz effective) to 1313MHz (21GHz effective). Combine this with the 384-bit wide memory interface, and this is the first desktop GPU to officially surpass the 1TB/s figure for memory bandwidth.

EVGA Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 Ti

The downside to all these high frequencies, of course, is power consumption. Nvidia recommends a minimum of an 850W PSU for the RTX 3090 Ti, and we don’t recommend skimping here. We tried to get it working with a Corsair HX750 PSU with 80 Plus Platinum specification, to see if a high-end 750W PSU could do it, but it fell over in every game test after a minute or so.

We’ve changed the PSU in our GPU test rig since our last GPU review, so we can’t give you comparative figures for other GPUs, but our AMD Ryzen 9 5900X system drew 680W from the mains when the RTX 3090 Ti was running at full pelt. You’ll want a decent, high-power PSU if you aim to run this card.

Speaking of which, the RTX 3090 Ti also introduces us to the new PCIe 5 16-pin power connector (the RTX 3090 Ti still uses the PCIe 4 interface, however) on the edge. It’s a neat and tidy bundle of pins, but unless you have the appropriate cable for a modular PSU for it, you’ll need to use the cable adaptor that comes bundled with RTX 3090 Ti cards, which splits a 16-pin plug into three 8-pin standard plugs.

EVGA Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 Ti

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 Ti performance

The GeForce RTX 3090 Ti is undoubtedly the fastest gaming GPU at the moment, but the difference between this extremely expensive card and cheaper ones is tiny. If you wanted to describe it without words, you could pinch your index finger around 1mm away from your thumb while squinting at someone.

Nvidia RTX 3090 Ti Assassin’s Creed Valhalla frame rate

One test where the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti excelled was in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. With Resizable BAR enabled and a load of clock speed at its disposal, the RTX 3090 Ti (finally) became the first Nvidia GPU to beat the Radeon RX 6900 XT in this test at 4K. The GeForce RTX 3090 Ti frame rate averages 72fps in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla at 4K, compared to 67fps for the Radeon RX 6900 XT, which is a cracking result.

GeForce RTX 3090 Ti Assassin's Creed Valhalla 1440p frame rate

GeForce RTX 3090 Ti Assassin's Creed Valhalla 4K frame rate

Nvidia RTX 3090 Ti Doom Eternal frame rate

The GeForce RTX 3090 Ti excels in Doom Eternal, with an average frame rate of 282fps at 4K with Ultra Nightmare settings. You can even enable ray tracing and still play the game at 4K on the RTX 3090 Ti without the average frame rate dropping below 100fps.

GeFoece RTX 3090 Ti Doom Eternal 1440p frame rate

GeFoece RTX 3090 Ti Doom Eternal 4K frame rate

Nvidia RTX 3090 Ti Metro Exodus frame rate

The GeForce RTX 3090 Ti average frame rate is 83fps at 4K with the Ultra preset, which is only 2fps faster than the RTX 3090, and there was a similarly small difference between the two GPUs with ray tracing enabled.

Nvidia RTX 3090 Ti Cyberpunk 2077 frame rate

The average 4K GeForce RTX 3090 Ti Cyberpunk 2077 frame rate is 46fps at the UItra preset, and 46fps at the Medium ray tracing preset with DLSS on Balanced.

Irritatingly for us, CD Projekt Red’s latest patch for this game also alters the way the game handles ray-traced shadows, with them now responding to all light sources, rather than just sunlight outdoors. This has a positive impact on image quality, but it also drops performance a bit, and also means our results for the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti aren’t comparable with the results from our other recent GPU reviews.

As a result, the RTX 3090 Ti didn’t quite hit our frame rate target of a 45fps 99th percentile in Cyberpunk 2077 at 4K with Medium ray tracing and DLSS enabled, but a bit of tweaking in the settings should get it there. Of course, other GPUs will now be slower at these settings than before too, but it’s hard not to be disappointed that a two grand GPU can’t handle this game at 4K with Medium ray tracing and DLSS, let alone Ultra ray tracing.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 Ti pros and cons


  • Fastest desktop GPU ever
  • Loads of memory
  • In stock at MSRP


  • Extremely expensive
  • High power draw
  • RTX 3080 Ti is almost as quick in games

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 Ti specs

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 Ti specs list is:

Stream processors / CUDA cores 10,752
RT cores 84 (2nd-gen)
Tensor cores 336 (3rd-gen)
Base clock 1560 MHz
Max boost clock 1860 MHz
Memory 24 GB GDDR6X
Memory clock 1313 MHz (21 GHz effective)
Memory bandwidth 1,008 GB/s
Memory interface 384-bit
Card interface 16x PCIe 4
Power connectors 1 x 16-pin / 3 x 8-pin

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 Ti price

Price: Expect to pay $1,999 (£1,879).

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 Ti review conclusion

Just six months ago, RTX 3090 cards were going for close to $2,500, which somehow makes the RTX 3090 Ti’s $1,999 starting price a bit more palatable, but there’s no getting around the fact that this is a ridiculous price for a GPU that’s only a smidgen faster than the RTX 3090. More to the point, the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti isn’t far behind either, and will save you over $800 if you want a still blisteringly fast gaming GPU.

If you really want the absolute fastest desktop GPU available, and you’re happy to pay the extreme price for a fully enabled, clocked up speed-binned chip, then the RTX 3090 Ti is indeed that GPU.

It’s also good to finally see the full potential of Nvidia’s killer Ampere architecture, but there’s simply no way you can justify a $1,999 MSRP when the RTX 3090’s MSRP is $1,499 (and is nearly as quick for both workstation and gaming tasks), and the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti’s gaming performance is so close. If you want a 4K gaming GPU, do your bank account a favor and buy the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti instead.

If this GPU is far too expensive for your budget, which we think is a fair description of most PC gamers, then make sure you check out our full guide to the best graphics card, where we take you through your best options at a range of prices. Since we published this review in 2022, we also now have a full GeForce RTX 4090 review, which is the latest GPU based on the Nvidia Ada architecture and is a much better buy than the RTX 3090 Ti.