02 September 2020 04:42
Today, NVIDIA announced its upgraded RTX 30-series graphics cards, with the 3070, 3080, and 3090 in tow. These brand-new GPUs sport insane graphical performance, blowing away the last-generation of RTX 20-series cards in both specs and price. You'll find an all-new cooler here, as well as one of the most powerful GPUs that NVIDIA has ever created. RTX 3070 it the perfect mid-level graphics card at $499 While $499 is a bit above entry-level, and more mid-range, the RTX 3070 will be the card to beat within its price point. They claim that it's 60% faster than the original RTX 2070, making it a fantastic card for those who want killer performance without breaking the bank.
Stepping it up from 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM to 10GB of GDDR6X, you'll have the performance of "up to 2x faster than the RTX 2080." That's right, NVIDIA claims that the RTX 3080 is as powerful as two RTX 2080 graphics cards, which were among the highest-end offered last-generation. You'll find that the RTX 3080 can easily deliver 4K60 gaming, likely at ultra, if what NVIDIA has told us is true. To get this kind of performance on 20-series RTX cards, you'd have to pick up two 2080's, which would have set you back around $1,400 combined. The RTX 3080 will be the sweet spot for PC gamers, I think, as it offers insane specs at a price that many were already planning on spending. That's because it's a BFGPU, or Big Ferocious GPU, according to NVIDIA.
Packing up to the RTX 3070 GPU and the latest 10th gen i7 processors, this desktop is great for those on smaller budgets who don't need to play AAA titles at 8K60 on the RTX 3090. The NVIDIA RTX 3080 will be available starting September 17, while the 3080 comes September 24 and the 3070 will be launched sometime in October. Today, Nvidia showed us the true promise and vision of ray tracing—making virtual environments look as real as possible based on how light is cast and reflected off surfaces and objects. But it's always been easier to use those effects in an animated film because nothing needs to be rendered in real-time. Nvidia changed all that when it released its RTX 20-series graphics cards. For the first time ever, real-time ray tracing in video games was made possible. When Nvidia released its first ray tracing graphics cards two years ago, not only could you count the compatible games on one hand, but the lighting effects in those games were mostly limited to simple reflections or shadows. Nvidia had spent so much time hyping up its newest architecture at the time and touting the amazing realness of ray tracing, but there wasn't much concrete evidence, especially in the hands of consumers, to make that hype seem palatable. As time went on, games like Metro Exodus and Control started to incorporate more complex lighting in its scenes, but the performance hit wasn't soft. A high-end card like the RTX 2080 Ti may handle ray tracing enabled games at 1080p, but raising the resolution to 4K can often tank the frame rate to below 60 fps, sometimes with ray tracing off too. But with all the improvements Nvidia showed off this morning during its big RTX 30-series announcement, this is the ray-tracing we've been waiting for over the last two years. Nvidia has once again pulled out all the stops to keep its graphics crown, and with surprisingly low prices on the RTX 3080 and RTX 3070, you might be better off asking for a new graphics card this holiday season than a new console. Everything looked as good, perhaps even better, as fully rendered cut scenes in the best video games. That's because the original Marbles video was created with fully path-traced, photorealistic, real-time ray tracing graphics. It was running on Nvidia's highest-end graphics card, a Turing architecture-based Quadro X 8000. It's more like someone shot a marble running the gamut of paint cans and brushes with a RED camera than a cut scene in a video game. It's the same video but run on Nvidia's Ampere architecture, which powers today's new RTX 30-series graphics cards. Screenshot: Nvidia 720p, 25 fps with Turing graphics. Screenshot: Nvidia 1440p, 30fps with Ampere graphics. According to Nvidia, the enhanced Marbles version is running at over four times the performance of the original version—easy to believe when you compare the day time lighting and shadows of the first version to the reflections, shadows, glow lighting, and other complex lighting effects of the new version. And if that's not impressive enough, take a glance at what Cyberpunk 2077 is going to look like running on Ampere graphics. Like the original Marbles, all Cyberpunk 2077 trailers and gameplay up until this point have looked fantastic—but Ampere takes it to a whole other level. Nvidia took a huge gamble releasing its first RTX cards when it did, and if you bought a new RTX 20-series card two years ago or just bought one last week, I'm sorry to say you may have wasted your money. But quite frankly, given that we haven't heard much about AMD PC graphics cards in a while and Intel only just confirmed that its discrete GPUs will have ray tracing, I don't see how either of those will be able to compete, even if the cards sell for peanuts in comparison. Nvidia isn't going to repeat the price-increasing moves it took with Turing — and Ampere sounds like it'll deliver real gains over Turing (or Pascal). Ampere and the RTX 3000 family pack up to 28B transistors and the cards are built at Samsung, on the company's 8N process. These cards use GDDR6X, with an improved signaling system that allows for higher clocks and they offer a surprising feature — improved storage I/O (dubbed RTX I/O). The RTX 3080 can perform 2x the ray/triangle intersection calculations per clock compared with Turing, with 58 RT TFLOPS (these numbers are vague enough to not be worth comparing much, but more does generally equal better) and the ability to leverage concurrent RT + graphics or concurrent RT + compute. The RTX 3080 is a $600 card with up to 2x the performance of the RTX 2080. DLSS has improved substantially since Turing debuted, and while it isn't available for every game, the performance improvements of using it are very real. Meanwhile, there's also the RTX 3090 — a GPU Nvidia is claiming can run at 60fps, even in 8K. At $1,500, the RTX 3090 isn't cheap — but Nvidia's premium GPU pricing has never really been the issue we took with its product positioning. There's a lot more to talk about with the RTX 3000 series, including some of the new software capabilities and the cooling system. Overall, my initial impression of the positioning on these GPUs is very positive — Nvidia clearly is bracing for a fight when RDNA2 launches, and the claimed 1.9x performance improvement over Turing is going to be sharply compared and contrasted against AMD's claimed 1.5x further improvement over RDNA.