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Nvidia reveals RTX 3000-series Ampere GPUs

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 beats the RTX 2080 Ti for a cool £469, while the RTX 4090 promises to deliver useable 8K ray tracing performance.

3 pc gfx cards on a dark background

Nvidia has finally given us a look at its latest GeForce RTX 3000-series Ampere GPUs, and Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang says the new GPUs represent the company’s ‘greatest generational leap ever.’ There are some big promises here, including ray tracing at 8K and RTX 2080 Ti performance for £469 inc VAT.

Let’s start with the GeForce RTX 3080, which is due to launch on 17 September 2020. Nvidia says the 3080 will double the performance of the RTX 2080, while costing the same price.

Launching at £649 inc VAT, Nvidia says the RTX 3080’s 10GB of G6X memory runs at 19GHz (effective), with a total memory bandwidth of 760GB/sec. We haven’t seen the full specs yet, but Nvidia claims the RTX 3080 offers ray tracing power of 58 TFLOPs, wwith Tensor power of 238 TFLOPs. The GPU has 8,704 CUDA cores and a 1.71GHz boost clock.

Nvidia’s own RTX 3080 card also comes with Nvidia’s ‘revolutionary’ new cooler design, which the company says runs 20°C cooler than the RTX 2080 cooler, and three times quieter.

Next up is the RTX 3070, which looks set to be very appealing indeed if it delivers on its promise. According to Nvidia, the 3070 is faster than the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti (a GPU found on cards that currently cost over a grand), but will cost just £469 inc VAT.

Nvidia quotes performance figures of 40 ray tracing TFLOPs and 163 Tensor TFLOPs, as a comparison with the RTX 3080, and the GPU has 5,888 CUDA cores with a 1.73GHz boost clock. The RTX 3070 is due to be released later in October, and will come with 8GB of GDDR6 memory attached to a 256-bit memory interface.

Finally, Nvidia saved the big reveal until last, which is the ‘giant Ampere’, which Huang jokingly called a ‘BFGPU’ – the GeForce RTX 3090. According to Huang, the RTX 3090 is so powerful that it can even enable ray tracing at 8K, assuming you have a monitor that will run at that resolution.

It comes equipped with 24GB of G6X memory attached to a 384-bit memory interface, and Nvidia quotes its RT performance at 69 TFLOPs, and its Tensor performance at 285 TFLOPs. The RTX 3090 has 10,496 CUDA cores, and will have a boost clock of 1.7GHz. RTX 3090 cards are due to be priced from £1,399 inc VAT, with availability from 24 September.

All the new GPUs will support PCI-E 4, and are built on a custom 8nm fabrication process by Samsung. Interestingly, Nvidia also seems to have quietly made SLI an even more niche feature – of all the new GPUs announced, only the RTX 3090 has an NVLink connector.