Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3090 comes out later today, but the firm has cooled expectations around this graphics card by confirming that it provides a relatively modest boost in terms of 4K gaming over and above the RTX 3080, and also that stock is likely to be even more limited in the case of this launch.
In a blog post, Nvidia observed that the RTX 3090 is about 10% to 15% faster on average than the RTX 3080 with 4K gaming (and 50% faster than its effective predecessor the Titan RTX).
The problem here for some folks is that they were hoping for more like a 20% boost – as recently leaked benchmarks promised – given the price difference between the RTX 3080 and 3090. But as a further (even more recent) leak suggested, in actual fact the gains could be more like 10%, which Nvidia has now effectively confirmed – albeit you might get 15% depending on the exact game.
Certainly some PC gamers and potential buyers have made it clear across various online forums that they are rather disappointed with this state of affairs. Interestingly, the blog post is very much angled to remind us that this GPU is for creators and researchers – and a sequel to the Titan RTX, despite the name change and 3090 rebrand – with ‘extreme gamers’ wanting 8K gaming chops mentioned last.
And the benchmarks shared in the presented graphs are all Blender, Autodesk and the like, with the 4K gaming benchmarks only mentioned in a single line, in passing.
Playing it down
Perhaps this is, at least to an extent, Nvidia’s way of dampening expectations in terms of folks rushing to buy the RTX 3090, alongside further seriously tempering expectations when it comes to the amount of stock that might be available later today.
Nvidia says: “Since we built GeForce RTX 3090 for a unique group of users, like the Titan RTX before it, we want to apologize upfront that this will be in limited supply on launch day.”
And we all know how fast the RTX 3080 sold out – in mere minutes – so presumably the RTX 3090 is going to be a case of blink and you’ll miss it. On Reddit, there are already stories of folks queueing 24 hours in advance outside of bricks and mortar retailers like Micro Center to get their shiny new 3090 graphics card.
In all honesty, Nvidia must realize how swiftly the RTX 3090 is going to sell out, given that people are paying the asking price of this GPU for the lesser 3080 on eBay, more or less, as it is. So the comment about stock levels is clearly damage control, delivered with a subtle reminder that not every gamer should want this card, and it’s really made for serious and heavyweight GPU tasks – so, you know, don’t get too mad when the inventory disappears in a flash, kind of thing.
However, perhaps the revelation of only 10% gains in 4K gaming with some titles will persuade some folks to wait for the RTX 3080 to come back in stock – or indeed to hold fire until the rumored 20GB version of that graphics card shows up, purportedly when AMD’s Big Navi reveal happens.