NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti Founders Edition Video Card Back View with RTX 3090 Ti Logo on Black Background

Introduction

When the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series lineup was announced in 2020, and we all saw the GeForce RTX 3090, branded as “The BFGPU” video card, we all thought this was going to be NVIDIA’s top-end SKU for Ampere.  Fast forward to 2022, and NVIDIA has gone and launched a higher top-end SKU.  Surpassing the GeForce RTX 3090, NVIDIA announced the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti in January 2022 and officially launched the video card at the end of March 2022.  The GeForce RTX 3090 Ti is now the top-end RTX 30 Series Ampere SKU of video card available for gaming, and we went and got ourselves a Founders Edition for review today. 

Apparently, NVIDIA was holding onto this full-spec SKU of its GA102 GPU Ampere architecture in case it needed to pull it out for competition.  Well, they pulled it out.  The GeForce RTX 3090 Ti launched in April of 2022 at an MSRP of $1,999.  The GeForce RTX 3090 Ti is the Ampere architecture (GA102 silicon) completely fulfilled, it is the “full spec” of GA102, every Streaming Multiprocessor (SM) filled, every CUDA Core in place, and nothing cut-down.  This is what Ampere looks like in its full-on complete die specification.  That’s right, even the GeForce RTX 3090 was technically a cut-down Ampere GPU, the 3090 Ti, is not.  You can consider this GA102 as the mother of the GeForce RTX 30 Series, from which all the video cards below it, sprung from.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti Specs

SpecificationGeForce RTX 3090 TiGeForce RTX 3090GeForce RTX 3080 Ti
GPUGA102-350/AmpereGA102-300/AmpereGA102-225/Ampere
SMs848280
CUDA Cores107521049610240
ROPs112112112
Texture Units336328320
RT Cores84 (2nd Gen)82 (2nd Gen)80 (2nd Gen)
Tensor Cores336 (3rd Gen)328 (3rd Gen)320 (3rd Gen)
Boost Clock1860MHz1665MHz1665MHz
Memory24GB GDDR6X24GB GDDR6X12GB GDDR6X
Memory Frequency21GHz19.5GHz19GHz
Memory Bus Width/Bandwidth384-bit/1008MB/s384-bit/936MB/s384-bit/912MB/s
TDP450W350W350W
MSRP$1,999$1,499$1,199

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti is based on the 2nd gen RTX architecture Ampere architecture, manufactured on Samsung 8N same as the rest of the RTX 30 Series.  The GeForce RTX 3090 Ti uses the GA102-350 silicon, while comparatively, the GeForce RTX 3090 is GA102-300 silicon.  The RTX 3090 Ti utilizes all 84 SMs, and 10,752 CUDA Cores, while the RTX 3090 uses 80 SMs and 10,496 CUDA Cores.  The RTX 3090 Ti has 84 Ray Tracing Cores and 336 Tensor Cores, while the RTX 3090 has 82 RT Cores and 328 Tensor Cores.  The RTX 3090 Ti has 112 ROPs and 336 TMUs while the RTX 3090 has 112 ROPs and 328 TMUs.  Therefore, as you can see the RTX 3090 Ti has a bit more CUDA Cores, a couple more RT Cores, a bit more Tensor Cores, and the same number of ROPs.

For clock speeds, the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti has a base clock of 1560MHz and a Boost Clock of 1860MHz.  The GeForce RTX 3090 has a base clock of 1395MHz and a Boost Clock of 1695MHz.  Therefore, the new RTX 3090 Ti has a much-improved GPU clock speed, they really brought it up from 1695MHz to 1860MHz, an increase of 10% higher clock frequency, which can make a difference for sure.

NVIDIA also gave the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti even faster memory, still using 24GB of GDDR6X but now running at 21GHz versus 19.5GHz on the RTX 3090.  That brings the memory bandwidth now to over 1TBs, while it was 935GB/s on the RTX 3090. 

All of this means a higher TDP, to push these features and clock speed NVIDIA gave the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti a 450W TDP which is way up from the 350W TDP of the RTX 3090.  That’s a fairly large increase in TDP, and as such the recommended PSU is 800W and it will require 3x 8-pin power connectors.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti Founders Edition Pictures

The Founders Edition box is sleek and perfectly sized for the video card. It fits snuggly inside protected by foam and the power adaptor is underneath.

In terms of size, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti Founders Edition matches the size of the GeForce RTX 3090 perfectly. It measures 12.3″ inches in length and has a width of 5.4″ inches. It’s a 3-slot video card, 2 inches in depth. It is equally as heavy, weighing 4.84 pounds. The Founders Edition has 3 DisplayPorts 1.4a and 1 HDMI 2.1.

The fan and shroud design is NVIDIA’s iconic unique design, incorporating a push-pull air method with pass-through cooling and custom PCB sizing. The fans are the same 110mm size as the RTX 3090.

While the configuration and build are the same as the GeForce RTX 3090 Founders Edition, NVIDIA states that some refinement has been made to the vapor chamber on the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti’s design.

Uniquely, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti Founders Edition utilizes a new adaptor pin-out on the video card. Instead of the 12-pin connector on the RTX 3090 and below, this is a newer 16-pin connector based on the new ATX 3.0 standard. Technically, the new 16-pin connector is capable of delivering up to 600W of power, and NVIDIA is the first to adopt it. Now, this video card is a 450W TDP video card, so it doesn’t need 600W of power, but it does still need 3x 8-pin PCIe power connectors, and through this 16-pin connector is how NVIDIA achieves it with an included adapter. With the adapter in the box, you connect 3 dedicated 8-pin power cables to this adapter to power this video card. Alternatively, you can also use the new PCIe Gen 5 cable at 450W or greater.

When it is all plugged in, the 3 cable power adapter dongle is a bit of a mess, but that is what it takes with power supplies that don’t have the new PCIe Gen 5 ATX 3.0 cable. It is recommended you use dedicated cables, and do not split off from the same cable, to help even the load on the cables and maintain stability. With the video card installed in the system the GeForce RTX logo on top lights up, as well as the “X” pattern on the front.

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Brent Justice

Brent Justice has been reviewing computer components for 20+ years, educated in the art and method of the computer hardware review he brings experience, knowledge, and hands-on testing with a gamer-oriented...

8 comments

  1. It's actually more of an improvement than I expected, but not enough to make me buy one over an existing RTX 3090. Furthermore, I think that while it's a great card, I'm not sure it makes sense to buy at this late stage of Ampere's life cycle. Aren't we supposed to see its successor late this year?
  2. Thanks @Brent_Justice for the great review.

    I couldn't rightly recommend one of these to anyone unless they had the money laying around and really wanted it now, especially since the next-gen should be out sometime in the next 6 months. Anyone with a 3080 Ti or better can potentially OC their cards for almost the same performance.

    However, I was able to use the EVGA step-up program to upgrade from a 3090 to an FTW3 Ultra 3090 Ti. I figured in for a penny, in for a pound, and went ahead and did it. I've been really happy with it. For the 1st time since I've gotten into 4K gaming (~ 4-6 years ago), I can just leave everything at stock settings. This card replaced a Suprim X 3090 that's now in my other rig and performs the same at stock vs. when I was overclocking that card. It's been so long since I've been able to game without all my case fans cranked that I'd forgotten how nice it can be. The only caveat, as Brent said repeatedly, is that DLSS is still needed if cranking ray tracing settings to the max in demanding games and wanting to go over 60 FPS. I'm o.k. with that since the games I play have DLSS 2.0 and the quality setting looks great to me. I've tinkered with overclocking it but the gains are minimal as it's fairly optimized right out of the box and I see it boost to 1925 MHz-2010 MHz while not exceeding 70c. For me, the fans rarely go more than 82% and are even able to drop into the 50s-60s now and then-same for temps. I spent a lot of time gaming on it last week and can confirm. ;)

    For me, it's been like upgrading from a tricked-out V6 to a well-built midsize V8, without the extra stuff to do the same amount of work.
  3. However, I was able to use the EVGA step-up program to upgrade from a 3090 to an FTW3 Ultra 3090 Ti.
    Same here. Card runs much cooler than my non overclocked EVGA 3080 Ti I stepped up from as well.
  4. It's actually more of an improvement than I expected, but not enough to make me buy one over an existing RTX 3090. Furthermore, I think that while it's a great card, I'm not sure it makes sense to buy at this late stage of Ampere's life cycle. Aren't we supposed to see its successor late this year?

    Agreed. I was only expecting like 2-5% at most.

    This is certainly the greatest card of this generation. Only problem is, this generation is almost over. If you buy one of these now, you are going to have 40xx cards on the shelves in the not too distant future that perform better for less money.
  5. Agreed. I was only expecting like 2-5% at most.

    This is certainly the greatest card of this generation. Only problem is, this generation is almost over. If you buy one of these now, you are going to have 40xx cards on the shelves in the not too distant future that perform better for less money.
    That's why I generally buy at the beginning of a new product cycle when new architectures are released.
  6. 40xx cards on the shelves in the not too distant future that perform better for less money.
    That remains to be seen about the cost. I have no regrets stepping up to my current card, but I have a feeling there is going to be the same issue with inventory and price of the new cards as their was with the 3000 series cards when they were launched.
  7. Agreed @Niner51 . If it wasn't for the step-up I wouldn't have tried to even get the 3090 Ti I got but now but I'm already thinking about how my next card is likely to be an EVGA 4090 of some sort with plans to upgrade it down the road via the same path again. For now, though, I'm happy I can wait it out and let the market settle. This will be the 1st new GPU launch in years that I won't be scrambling to get something at around launch.

    It'll be nice to sit back and just watch how things develop, especially since NV has changed its rollout strategies considerably since Maxwell. I remember how I was shocked how the 2080 Ti came out relatively early during Pascal and they never really released a more powerful consumer card for that gen and even, in the end, there was a great deal of speculation about what coming next after the 2080 Super came out. Ampere, in terms of release progression, was a bit more normal but who knows what NV is really planning for the next.

    From pandemic to supply chain to the battle of fab dominance, and competition, there's a lot in play that can affect how the next-gen will be rolled out. Plus we could also see some kind of unexpected random surprise with the next round of consoles too since news of them should start to ramp up about the 2nd year of the 40 series cards. AMD has been riding pretty high with MS and Sony while NV has partnered with Nintendo but things do change in those markets as well.

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