The RTX 3090 Just Got Well And Truly Confirmed

The RTX 3090 Just Got Well And Truly Confirmed
Image: Alex Walker (Kotaku)

The link isn’t live now, but for a little while over the weekend, Micron had published a white paper that inadvertently talked up their next generation of memory modules. Which sounds boring as all hell, minus the part where they also spoke about the RTX 3090.

The white paper, which Anandtech and other outlets cheekily poured through before it was pulled down, spoke about Micron’s upcoming GDDR6X memory technology and some of the cards that will use it. One of those is what appears to be Nvidia’s upcoming flagship gaming GPU, the RTX 3090.

For the quickest rundown of GDDR6X and its associated technologies matter, the simplest explanation is greater memory bandwidth. Anandtech ran some math on the figures Micron provided, and worked out that the RTX 3090’s memory bandwidth should surpass 1TB a second, or about double the memory bandwidth available to the Titan Xp. That obviously doesn’t translate to a doubling of performance in video games, obviously.

The more interesting element is that, according to Micron’s brief, the RTX 3090 will ship with 12GB of VRAM. That’s not much more than what the RTX 2080 Ti had (11GB), but the vast jump in memory bandwidth as well as efficiencies gained from a newer process node are obviously going to help a ton.

Image
Image: Micron

If you are eyeing off an RTX 3090, or have been saving up for one with Cyberpunk 2077 around the corner, then you might want to know that it’ll ship with a new power connector. Tweaktown’s industry sources have confirmed an interesting nugget: Founders Edition versions of the RTX 3090 will use a new 12-pin power connector, but partner cards (the ones you buy from ASUS, Gigabyte and so forth) can use 3x 8-pin connectors instead.

8-pin connectors are fairly normal. The RTX 2080, for instance, uses an 8-pin connector and a 6-pin connector, while the RTX 2080 Ti uses two 3-pin connectors. The 12-pin connector detail has been confirmed before, namely by GamersNexus in late July, but AIB partners making the call to use 8-pin connectors instead is intriguing. To be clear: You won’t have to replace your PSU to use a 12-pin connector. And it’s likely that any new cards will ship with an adaptor anyway — Nvidia are smart enough to not sell flagship GPUs that people can’t immediately plug in and use, especially in an environment when just going out and getting a new part has become a right pain in the arse.

And even more details found their way online over the weekend. One user on Twitter spotted a public benchmark listing for the RTX 3080, with Userbenchmark clocking the card running at 2100MHz with 10GB of VRAM. There’s nothing flash about the score — and the usual caveats need to be made about pre-release drivers and hardware that’s still being ironed out — but it does provide some indications of what we can expect the RTX 3080 to ship with.

So, the RTX 3090 and 3080 are on their way. There’s some speculation still that the RTX 3090 will have 24GB of VRAM and not 12GB, and Chiphell had an interesting infographic comparing the rumoured next-gen lineup to their Nvidia contemporaries that pinned the RTX 3090 having about a 40 percent jump on the 2080 Ti. (The power consumption is also much greater, and even Micron’s white-paper noted GDDR6X was more power hungry, too.)

Of course, there are still tons more details to be verified. We’re due to get an official announcement on the lot on September 2 Australian time. Along with the new cards, there should be a massive info dump on the Ampere architecture and some of the innovations it brings. The last time Nvidia did that, we heard about things like DLSS, which has turned out to be one of the best additions to PC gaming in the last couple of years. September 2 can’t come fast enough. After all, Microsoft Flight Simulator is basically the new Crysis these days.

 

Comments

  • Given that no games come close to filling the 11GB in the 2080Ti, I’m not surprised that they’re not pushing more RAM in the 30×0 cards.

  • I have older games that gobble up 20GB of VRAM from time to time.. The issue is nobody monitors VRAM usage AND CACHE usage so people ASSUME 11GB is too much and nothing uses it… they are wrong.

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