back to article You're stuck inside, gaming's getting you through, and you've $1,500 to burn. Check out Nvidia's latest GPUs

Nvidia launched its GeForce RTX 30 series last night, its latest family of real-time ray-tracing graphics processors aimed primarily at PC gamers. CEO Jensen Huang introduced three new GPUs: the RTX 3070, RTX 3080, and the RTX 3090 in a video apparently shot from his kitchen. They’re all based on an 8nm Samsung-fabricated …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The RTX 30's Ampere processor architecture runs three core functions: render graphics, process machine-learning applications, and execute game engines."

    You forgot this new techno for decoding SSD traffic before handing it over to the CPU. Forgot the name though. IOX or XIO ...

    Putting this aside, if we consider the 3090 the Titan version of previous gen, it's funny how, with AMD coming on the front scene, we're all of a sudden back the pre cryptocurency hyper-inflation. Means a lot, really.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      "You forgot this new techno for decoding SSD traffic"

      It's added. RTX IO.

      C.

      1. Paul Shirley

        Re: "You forgot this new techno for decoding SSD traffic"

        The Nvidia teaser suggests 'decoding' means decompressing resources on the GPU. SSD relevant only by being fast enough to be bottlenecked by CPU decompression and write bandwidth to the card.

        In a world where AMD power both gaming consoles and AMD aren't dead on the PC I wonder how many games will adopt this Nvidia solution?

        1. Cederic Silver badge

          Re: "You forgot this new techno for decoding SSD traffic"

          I assume that's a game driver feature, so the game will merely ask, "Load this data from storage to GPU" and the driver will go, "Aha, I know how to do that a bit quicker".

          It's only an assumption though so I'm sure a more informed reader will correct me :)

          1. Topperfalkon

            Re: "You forgot this new techno for decoding SSD traffic"

            As far as I could tell through the press releases, it'll be supported through Microsoft's DirectStorage API, which will be part of DirectX, so basically, yes. Doesn't necessarily mean engine developers have to support those features mind you.

        2. Topperfalkon

          Re: "You forgot this new techno for decoding SSD traffic"

          It seems to be replicating what UE5 demonstrated in their PS5 demo, so I sort of expect Epic to integrate it as a supported feature in UE5 at the very least. Which means it should just come out of the box with a large number of games that end up using that engine.

    2. Christopher Reeve's Horse Silver badge

      Yep, a little competition is great - even though we don't know how good that competition is going to be yet.

      One thing that's a little disappointing is the relatively small memory on the 3080. There's a lot of people with 10 series cards (because they were so dominant for so long) that didn't upgrade to 20 series (because prices were too high), it would be slightly bitter to go from a 1080ti with 11GB to a 3080 with 10GB. Even if the silicon performance is markedly better, the limited VRAM might come back to haunt you sooner that you'd like - and it's an awfully big step up to the 24GB 3090. Lets hope that a more sensible 3080ti comes along some time, possibly along with a decent 3060 at a lower price point?

      1. Steve Todd Silver badge

        Given that there’s very little out there that makes use of all that RAM, and software houses are going to write code such that it fits on current mid to high end hardware, then ONLY 10GB isn’t going to be a problem.

        The only reason the 2080 had 11GB is because it was a multiple of the memory bus width. The faster GDDR6 in this uses a narrower memory bus, but still gets more throughput because of the newer memory type.

      2. Cederic Silver badge

        Not just the prices, it was a massive cost for relatively minor performance gains.

        I'm a bit torn on the 10GB. It doesn't feel terribly futureproof but at the same time games are already just silly in how much storage they require. Maybe raytracing will help with that, so I think I'll join you in the "need more VRAM" club.

        1. Baldrickk Silver badge

          10GB GDDR6X Memory not an issue

          As stated above, even the most graphically intense games don't use that much memory.

          And in the same way my i7 6700K has half the on-board cache of my previous Core 2 Quad despite being faster with twice as many threads, we're going to need to cache less data on the GPU due to better performance cycling it in and out as needed.

          It's rumoured that Ti versions might be announced, with the main feature being increased memory.

          I don't see memory being an issue right now, or in the near future for gaming.

          I can see how if you are using the GPU for rendering or AI purposes, it could be something you may want.

          1. Baldrickk Silver badge

            Re: 10GB GDDR6X Memory not an issue

            From Nvidia:

            RTX 30-Series

            Why only 10 GB of memory for RTX 3080? How was that determined to be a sufficient number, when it is stagnant from the previous generation?

            [Justin Walker] We’re constantly analyzing memory requirements of the latest games and regularly review with game developers to understand their memory needs for current and upcoming games. The goal of 3080 is to give you great performance at up to 4k resolution with all the settings maxed out at the best possible price.

            In order to do this, you need a very powerful GPU with high speed memory and enough memory to meet the needs of the games. A few examples - if you look at Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Metro Exodus, Wolfenstein Youngblood, Gears of War 5, Borderlands 3 and Red Dead Redemption 2 running on a 3080 at 4k with Max settings (including any applicable high res texture packs) and RTX On, when the game supports it, you get in the range of 60-100fps and use anywhere from 4GB to 6GB of memory.

            Extra memory is always nice to have but it would increase the price of the graphics card, so we need to find the right balance.

      3. Oneman2Many

        I'm sure I read they are supporting tensor memory compression offering up to 40% memory gain. So that 10GB is more like 14GB.

        1. jotheberlock

          You mean 'up to' 14GB, if the only thing you're working with is tensors, which isn't going to be the case, surely?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So, is 70 80 90 the new 60 70 80 ?

    1. Cuddles Silver badge

      Yep. Same as Intel, which now go up to 9. Poor choice on Nvidia's part really, since the next step will mess up the theme. Will they go to 40100 or 4100? Neither one quite fits in with the x0y0 names they've stuck with for a while. At least Intel's next logical step is to turn things up to 11.

      Obviously this is all much more important than what the hardware actually does.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Kane Silver badge
          1. theOtherJT

            there's an xkcd for everything...

            https://xkcd.com/670/

      2. Automatic

        Surely it would be the RTX 4090 Ti SUPER.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          RTX 4090 Ti SuperCaliFragilisticExpialidocious, shirley?

    2. Baldrickk Silver badge

      No.

      60 is still to be announced.

      70, 80, 90 is

      70, 80, Titan of previous generations

      1. Baldrickk Silver badge

        sigh... downvotes for supplying correct info.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nice chip, shame about the jacket

    Hate to do fashion police and all but leather jackets generally, and especially the kind being flaunted by Mr Huang, should not be allowed. Sorry.

    1. RuffianXion

      Re: "neither side was short of a few shekels"

      When you're as rich as Huang is, fashion norms cease to be applicable.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "neither side was short of a few shekels"

        Just because he's rich, doesn't make it right ......

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "neither side was short of a few shekels"

        When you're as rich as Huang is, fashion norms cease to be applicable

        Agreed. If you sit outside at a seafront restaurant in Puerto Banus Marina (Malaga, Spain) watching the multi-millionaires strolling casually from their super-yachts to go and get a bite to eat, you will be continuously astonished at the complete and utter lack of taste that people will display when they're super-rich enough to think that they don't give a shit what other people think about their appearance.

        1. JetSetJim Silver badge

          Re: "neither side was short of a few shekels"

          > you will be continuously astonished at the complete and utter lack of taste that people will display when they're super-rich

          Perhaps taste is stratified according to what people are willing to pay for it? Your not-tuned-to-obscene-wealth tastes are perhaps not developed enough to appreciate the subtleties of how the super-rich need to signal their immense wealth, and therefore importance, to the rest of the world.

          Nothing says "I'm super important" more than a glossy picture of an ugly old man in a crap suit with a (third) trophy wife posing on top of a grand piano in a room covered in gold leaf/paint

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: "neither side was short of a few shekels"

            I think the leather jacket has become an Nvidia keynote brand

            Fortunately they are now able to render the leather jacket onto the video in real time so he doesn't have to wear it

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nice chip, shame about the jacket

      I own a leather jacket. How dare you question my cool credentials! ;)

  4. Mog_X

    By the time you have enough disposable income to drop on the 3090, you are probably around the age when your eyesight is starting to degrade so you won't get the full benefit.

    Same applies with audiophiles with tinnitus or age related hearing loss.

    1. JetSetJim Silver badge
      Boffin

      Perhaps you want to connect it to one of these bad boys, and sit really close to it.

  5. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Mouth-watering specifications and possibilities

    But no Windows 7 drivers.

    This is going to be a real soul-crusher for me. I want the performance, but I don't want Windows 1 0.

    Arrgh !

    1. Russ Tarbox

      Re: Mouth-watering specifications and possibilities

      FWIW I hated Windows 10.

      However, installing in more recently for some project VMs, it's actually now a much nicer to use operating system than Windows 7 overall. Of course, I install a start menu alternative still (or Cairo Shell). I was coloured impressed. Also the new PowerTools is cool.

      If you've not tried it lately I'd recommend spinning up a VM to see what's changed :)

      1. Cederic Silver badge

        Re: Mouth-watering specifications and possibilities

        I don't understand the hatred for the Windows 10 start menu. My vanilla installation looks extremely similar to Windows 7. I could add weird tile things but I don't have to and didn't.

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

          Re: Mouth-watering specifications and possibilities

          It's not just the PlaySkool interface, it's the ads for "apps", the principle of pushing you to the Store and just the overall feeling that MY computer no longer belongs to me.

          But, since I am an avid gamer, and since that card really calls to me, it seems that I will fall to the Dark Side before long.

          <sigh>

          1. Cederic Silver badge

            Re: Mouth-watering specifications and possibilities

            I don't have ads, I don't buy things from the Store and my computer belongs to me.

            If you'd blamed the telemetry and associated hoovering of private data then I'd have agreed with you wholeheartedly. The UI though is entirely usable and quite harmless.

        2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Mouth-watering specifications and possibilities

          >I could add weird tile things but I don't have to and didn't.

          Depending on your version of windows10 you had to spend time removing them, and then removing them again when it does an update - or on some versions you can't

          1. Qumefox

            Re: Mouth-watering specifications and possibilities

            I've never had a feature update put tiles back on the start menu that I had previously removed before. Nor have I ever seen an ad on the start menu.

            1. Baldrickk Silver badge

              Re: Mouth-watering specifications and possibilities

              Try searching for an app.

              It's annoyingly often I search for an app, Windows fails to locate it, but is perfectly happy to offer up a "bing" search result and some similar searches.

              Most recently happened with winscp, which is properly installed and not just sat in a folder somewhere with the portable version. And this is on a brand new install with about three applications installed (hadn't even gotten around to installing steam yet)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mouth-watering specifications and possibilities

      If you're a gamer, and if you're interested in those, presumably you are, you'll *have* to move to W10, as some games already don't run anymore on W7.

      I had to upgrade to 10 for Borderland 3 ...

  6. batfink Silver badge

    Right

    Time to buy a 20-series card then.

    1. RM Myers Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Right

      Correct. The 30xx's will cost you an arm and a leg. The 20xx's will now only cost an arm and the leg below knee. Definitely time to buy that 2080 ti.

  7. Sampler

    As an SFX user

    I hope the third part cards have more standardised cooling, otherwise that's a fair bit of hot hair getting blasted at the PSU / divider in most SFX sandwich layouts...

  8. HildyJ Silver badge
    Coat

    Money to burn

    Before I'd invest in a new graphics card, I'd make sure I'd upgraded my monitor, RAM, and SSD. I'd also look into a motherboard and CPU that can fully utilize the GPU. Then, if I wanted to play online, I'd look at my internet service and router. Only then would I look at a new video card (and I'd probably wait for AMD's announcement).

    Fortunately, I have other priorities for my money so I don't have to worry about it.

  9. Qumefox

    I just want to see non-Nvidia non-marketing raster (No RTX) benchmarks for these cards. Something tells me that when you ditch RTX which was being pushed hard in the keynote slides and which very few games actually make use of yet, that the true performance of these cards aren't going to be anywhere near the stated leaps over 10x0 and 20x0 that their marketing was pushing hard.

    1. J. Cook Silver badge

      I'd also like to see the power draw on these; while the 3090 says it requires a 750 watt supply, I'd like to know just how many amps it's pulling through the two pci-e power connectors...

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