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Nvidia announces souped-up RTX 3080 Ti, 3070 Ti graphics cards

Both GPUs are launching this month

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Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Nvidia is continuing to expand the second generation of its RTX 30-series GPUs with the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti and RTX 3070 Ti, which will both be released in June, the company announced Tuesday during its Computex 2021 presentation.

The RTX 3080 Ti, which Nvidia described in its announcement as its “new gaming flagship,” will be released worldwide on Thursday, June 3, for $1,199. That’s the same price as the RTX 2080 Ti, the highest-end GPU in Nvidia’s initial line of graphics cards capable of real-time ray tracing, which debuted in September 2018. (The price is what Nvidia will charge for the Founders Edition of its GPU; cards from third parties will start at that level and go up from there.) It’s also $300 lower than the cost of the massive RTX 3090.

In terms of raw hardware specifications, the RTX 3080 Ti features 12 GB of GDDR6X video memory (an extra 2 GB over last fall’s RTX 3080, which launched at $699). But the reason that the RTX 3080 Ti is priced much closer to the RTX 3090 than the RTX 3080 is that its specs are much closer to those of the RTX 3090 on paper, aside from having half the VRAM. Check out the specs comparison in this table:

Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti vs. RTX 3080, RTX 3090

Spec RTX 3090 RTX 3080 Ti RTX 3080
Spec RTX 3090 RTX 3080 Ti RTX 3080
CUDA cores 10,496 10,240 8,704
Video memory 24 GB GDDR6X 12 GB GDDR6X 10 GB GDDR6X
Memory bus 384-bit 384-bit 320-bit
Memory bandwidth 936 GB/s 912 GB/s 760 GB/s
TDP 350 W 350 W 320 W
Price $1,499 $1,199 $699
Release date Sept. 2020 June 2021 Sept. 2020
Nvidia via The Verge

The RTX 3080 Ti will deliver a 50% improvement in performance over the RTX 2080 Ti at 4K resolution, according to Nvidia’s benchmarks. Gamers upgrading from the GTX 1080 Ti, which launched in March 2017, will get a card that is “2x faster in traditional rasterization and much faster with ray tracing and other cutting-edge gaming features enabled,” Nvidia said in a news release. The company released a gameplay video of Doom Eternal running at 60 frames per second in 4K resolution on an RTX 3080 Ti; you can watch it on YouTube.

Nvidia also announced the RTX 3070 Ti on Tuesday, an upgraded version of last fall’s RTX 3070, which the company said is its “most popular” RTX 30-series GPU. The RTX 3070 Ti will deliver 50% more performance than the 2-year-old RTX 2070 Super and twice as many frames per second as 2017’s GTX 1070 Ti, according to Nvidia. It packs 8 GB of video RAM just like the RTX 3070 — but it’s the faster GDDR6X memory instead of GDDR6. Nvidia will release the RTX 3070 Ti on June 10 for $599, which is $100 more than the starting price of the RTX 3070.

As part of Nvidia’s continuing efforts to make its GPUs less attractive to cryptocurrency miners, both the RTX 3080 Ti and RTX 3070 Ti will have their Ethereum mining rate halved in software. Of course, mining operations aren’t the only reason that GPUs have been even more difficult to buy lately; the ongoing worldwide semiconductor shortage has hit this market hard, further constraining supply as demand remains high. In an investor call in April, an Nvidia executive said that the company is expecting that demand will continue to outstrip supply “for much of this year.” So don’t expect you’ll have much better luck getting your hands on these newly announced GPUs.

In addition to revealing two new graphics cards at Computex, Nvidia announced that more games are getting support for Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) — the company’s proprietary technology that upscales games and increases frame rates through image reconstruction — and ray tracing. Support for both ray tracing and DLSS is on the way for games such as Doom Eternal, Icarus (the next game from DayZ creator Dean Hall), and Lego Builder’s Journey, whereas Red Dead Redemption 2 and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege are getting DLSS only.

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