Nvidia pulled the wraps off some of the worst kept secrets in the tech world today in its CES keynote address, revealing several new GPUs for both desktop and mobile, updates on the adoption of several of its technologies such as RTX and DLSS, as well as products and services for everything from eSports to “creators.” Here are some of the highlights.
The big announcement is the all-new RTX 3090 Ti, which is pretty much exactly what we speculated it would be a few weeks ago. It is the “Big” Ampere chip with nothing cutdown or left out of the die. It’s the swan song for Ampere and the pinnacle of the company’s current technology. It’ll pack 10,754 CUDA cores, compared to 10,496 in the previous version. Though it has the same 24GB of GDDR6X memory on a 384-bit bus, the Ti version’s chips have been upgraded to 21Gb/s compared to 19Gb/s on the 3090. The company says the GPU will be capable of roughly 40 teraflops of compute performance, which is four more than the 3090’s 36 Teraflops. Oddly, the company didn’t divulge any information about pricing or availability, and only said more information would be forthcoming soon. We can assume from the recent past that the price will likely be “if you have to ask” and its availability will be listed as a “laughing” emoji.
On the other end of the spectrum it also launched the RTX 3050, which aims to bring ray tracing to the masses at just $249 MSRP. This midrange GPU will feature 2,560 CUDA cores and 8GB of GDDR6 memory on a narrow 128-bit memory bus, which the company says allows it to play ray traced games at 60fps. We must assume given its specs they mean at 1080p and with DLSS enabled, also. The RTX 3050 will be available (cough) on January 27th. It’s not clear that games will be playable at those settings, but Nvidia is finally bringing ray tracing to midrange GPUs.
The RTX 3050 may be a good upgrade for midrange gamers even if ray tracing performance isn’t very strong. With 2560 CUDA cores and a 1.78GHz clock, this GPU may offer a great upgrade path for anyone still using a GTX 1060 or possibly even a GTX 1660. A TDP of 130W means the GPU only requires a 550W power supply. The one potential weak spot of the card is the 128-bit memory interface. The RTX 3050 is likely to field somewhere between 224-240GB/s of memory bandwidth. That’s a modest increase over the GTX 1060 or GTX 1660 but we know ray tracing puts additional pressure on memory bandwidth.
Nvidia also declared laptops as the fastest-selling category of PCs currently, which is not much of a surprise given the fact that we’re all still stuck at home, and for this crowd the company announced two new high-end mobile GPUs: the RTX 3070 Ti and 3080 Ti. Nvidia has packed the 3080 Ti with 16GB of GDDR6 memory, which the company says makes it the perfect laptop for both gamers and content creators. In fact, it says a laptop with the 3080 Ti inside it will be faster than the Titan RTX. Laptops with this new flagship mobile chip will start at $2,499. The 3070 Ti-based laptops will start at $1,499, and there’s not much information beyond that.
Additionally, the company is adding more RTX titles to its roster, with the latest being The Day Before, Rainbow Six Extraction, Escape from Tarkov, and Dying Light 2 Stay Human. It also announced seven new titles will support its low latency technology dubbed Reflex, including the upcoming God of War on PC. Finally, in what seems like a snub of the much-maligned Battlefield 2042, it announced it is bringing Battlefield 4 and 5 to its GeForce Now streaming platform starting today (January 4).