NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Founders Edition Video Card Review

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Founders Edition Video Card Back View with RTX 3090 Logo

Introduction

NVIDIA launched the GeForce RTX 30 Series in September of 2020, and at the top of that SKU was the GeForce RTX 3090.  The GeForce RTX 3090 was made available in late September 2020, one week after the launch.  The GeForce RTX 3090 was launched with an MSRP of $1,499. 

We were able to review our first GeForce RTX 3090 based on a manufacturer add-in-board partner custom retail video card in April 2021 with the GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3090 GAMING OC video card.  That video card has a factory overclock and custom design.  What we haven’t yet had a chance to review was the Founders Edition design directly from NVIDIA, until today.  Today we have our full review of the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Founders Edition video card.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Specs

The GeForce RTX 3090 is based on the Ampere architecture and manufactured on Samsung 8nm; it uses the GA102-300 die.  It has 2nd Generation RT Cores and 3rd Generation Tensor Cores supporting Ray Tracing and NVIDIA DLSS.  The GeForce RTX 3090 has 82 SMs, 10,496 CUDA Cores, 328 TMUs, 112 ROPs, 82 RT Cores (2nd Gen), and 328 Tensor Cores (3rd Gen.)  It operates with a boost clock of 1695MHz.  It has 24 GB of GDDR6X memory on a 384-bit bus at 19.5GHz providing 935.8GB/s of memory bandwidth.  The TDP/TBP is 350W.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Founders Edition

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Founders Edition video card is one chonky video card, this is a thick boi in all angles.  The length is 12.3” long, but it’s the width and slot size that really make it large, it ha a width of 5.4” and a height of a 3-slot card, exactly 2 inches.  It’s also pretty heavy at 4.84 pounds.  The requirements to run it are not small either, it requires NVIDIA’s 2x PCIe 8-pin (adapter to 1x 12-pin included), and has a recommended PSU of 750W with an official TDP/TBP of 350W.  It has 3x DisplayPort and 1x HDMI ports.

Otherwise, the Founders Edition design is iconic and very unique.  It utilizes a custom-sized and shaped PCB, that allows a push-pull fan design with a fan on both sides.  The fan toward the end has a pass-through through the heatsink that allows air to be pulled through it completely over the heatpipes.  The fans are also very large on this video card, larger than the RTX 3080 Ti, these are 110mm fans with thick blades and angled.

Power is connected by the included custom power splitter, which takes 2x 8-pin power connectors into the one power plug on the video card.  The GeForce RTX text on the top lights up with LEDs, and the “X” aesthetic lights up with LEDs also on the front of the video card.

Note that our GeForce RTX 3090 Founders Edition was an early purchased version, and lacked Resizable BAR support.  We, therefore, sought out NVIDIA’s free BIOS firmware update which updates the BIOS to support Resizable BAR.  We updated the BIOS without issue, and our card was running Resizable BAR in all our tests today. 

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Brent Justicehttps://www.thefpsreview.com
Former managing editor of GPUs at HardOCP for 18 years, Brent Justice has been reviewing computer components since the late 90s, educated in the art and method of the computer hardware review, he brings experience, knowledge, and hands-on testing with a gamer-oriented and hardware enthusiast perspective. You can follow him on Twitter - @Brent_Justice You can sub to his YouTube channel - Justice Gaming https://www.youtube.com/c/JusticeGamingChannel You can check out his computer builds on KIT - @BrentJustice https://kit.co/BrentJustice

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