NVidia Reveal The Next Generation Of GPUs With The 30 Series
Pour One Out For Those Who Just Bought A 20 Series
During its hotly anticipated GeForce Special Event, NVidia has revealed the second-generation of its GeForce RTX series of graphics cards with the GeForce RTX 3070, RTX 3080, and the all-conquering RTX 3090. In peak-2020 fashion, the showcase was held in the kitchen of CEO Jensen Huang, and from what was shown off, they have cooked up something special.
Releasing later this year, the new GPUs will offer far better performance than NVidia’s current range of products, with even the entry-level RTX 3070 surpassing the company’s current top performer, the RTX 2080 Ti. The RTX 3080 will become NVidia’s new flagship card, aimed at gamers chasing super high frame rates and resolution, on top of those elusive ultra-settings.
The RTX 3090 is a different beast altogether, aimed at professionals and content creators, the card is the first GPU in the world that allows users to play, capture, and watch in 8K HDR at 60fps. However, big performance requires a big card, with the RTX 3090 taking up 3-slots and requiring a minimum 750W power supply – no wonder Huang referred to it as the BFGPU, it’s a big fucking GPU!
As listed on the NVidia’s official site, the new cards will boast several world firsts, including:
Dual-Axial, Flow-Through Thermal Solution — Up to 2x more cooling performance, with a stunning unibody design. Gamers and creators will be able to enjoy unrivaled performance while their GPUs simultaneously run cooler and quieter than ever.
Exquisite Mechanical and Electrical Design — A stronger mechanical structure — with a new low-profile leaf spring along with a new 12-pin power connector — allows more space for components and cooling, and is compatible with 8-pin connectors in existing power supplies, with an included adapter.
HDMI 2.1 — The increased bandwidth provided by HDMI 2.1 allows, for the first time, a single cable connection to 8K HDR TVs for ultra-high-resolution gaming.
AV1 Decode — First discrete GPUs with support for the new AV1 codec, enabling gamers to watch up to 8K HDR internet video using as much as 50 percent less bandwidth.
The dramatic performance improvement we see on these cards come courtesy of NVidia’s new Ampere GPU architecture, which succeeds the Turing architecture from 2018’s cards. Ampere brings with it a move to Samsung’s 8nm production process, a shift towards using semiconductors with smaller transistor size, providing power, cost and performance advantages. NVidia goes as far as calling this the greatest generational leap the company has seen in its hardware, adding that ‘Twenty years from now, we’ll look back and realize that the future of gaming started here”. They are talking a big game.
This increase in overall architecture will also facilitate the introduction of second-generation Ray Tracing Cores, providing improved ray tracing performance, especially at higher resolutions. According to the brand, increased ray-tracing combined with DLSS (deep learning super sampling), an AI-powered way to upscale your games seamlessly to higher resolutions while maintaining stable performance, will create the ‘holy grail of gaming graphics.’
Current games such as Control use boosted ray tracing to create reflections during chaotic combat sequences, while others like Metro Exodus utilise it to create beautiful global illumination. However, it is the upcoming crop of titles like Cyberpunk 2077 and Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War where we will really see the 30 series shine. Even Minecraft looks like a work of art when boosted through the latest RTX features!
NVidia has overwhelmingly dominated the hardware space, with a recent Steam Hardware Survey indicating 73.82% of all computers feature a GPU from the company. In recent years, however, the positive public perception has started to shift, with the big green company becoming more known for increased margins than increased performance.
That looks set to change in the upcoming generation, with one of the most surprising things revealed during the showcase being how reasonably priced the new cards are. For example, the RTX 3080 weighs in at $1,139AUD, and while this may seem high, compared to the RTX 2080ti which cost $1,899AUD when it launched in 2018, the new price is quite palatable. With this new line of GPUs we are getting 50%-80% more performance than the previous generation, for a fraction of the cost. Colour me sold!
This market shift will no doubt lead to a period of ‘RTX-madness’, as buyers rush to scoop up the limited stock of the new cards that wash up on our shores.
Be wary, however – many companies and individuals are attempting to get rid of their RTX 20xx series cards before the next-gen drops, and while you may find a bargain in the chaos, carefully weigh-up your options. You may be better off getting one of the newer cards for a few bucks more.
With Sony and Microsoft ready to launch their next-generation hardware, NVidia is yet again propelling the PC master-race ahead of the game. We are looking at the future of gaming, and the future looks incredible.
The second generation of RTX cards launches on September 17th, with the RTX 3080 ($1,139AUD), followed by the RTX 3090 ($2,429AUD) on September 24th, and the RTX 3070 ($809AUD) launching sometime in October.