Nvidia just raised the performance ceiling for both its desktop and laptop graphics cards, announcing at CES 2022 an RTX 3090 Ti desktop GPU and RTX 3080 Ti and 3070 Ti mobile chips. On the other end, the company announced a new $249 RTX 3050 desktop card.
We’ll start with laptops. The new RTX 3080 Ti, coming to dozens of new gaming systems in the next few months, comes with 16GB of GDDR6 RAM, and is supposedly more powerful than the desktop Titan RTX GPU. Nvidia claims these chips can run games at 1440p at 120 frames per second or higher.
One step down is the RTX 3070 Ti, a discrete graphics card that is 1.7x faster than the RTX 2070 Super GPUs found in last-gen gaming laptops. It appears to deliver only slightly less performance than the RTX 3080 Ti, with Nvidia claiming the RTX 3070 Ti can play games at 1440p at 100 FPS or higher.
Laptops powered by the RTX 3080 Ti and RTX 3070 Ti will be available starting on February 1.
We can also expect new ultra-thin gaming laptops running on Nvidia’s new fourth-generation Max-Q, which comes with CPU Optimizer, a framework for the GPU to enhance the performance, temperature, and power of next-gen CPUs. This way, Nvidia’s chips can offload some of the power from the CPU to improve gaming performance and efficiency.
Another feature included in the new Max-Q software called Rapid Core Scaling tells the GPU which cores it needs to use based on real-time workloads. Nvidia says this allows for more than 3x better performance when running demanding apps. Nvidia also claims its 4th Gen Max-Q enables up to 70% better battery life, but we’ll believe it when we see it.
Desktop users who need raw power and have a large enough budget should aim their attention toward the new RTX 3090 Ti, a beastly desktop GPU with 40 Shader TFLOPs, 78 RT-TFLOPs, 320 Tensor-TFLOPs, and 24GB of 21Gbps G6X memory.
Unfortunately, Nvidia didn’t talk about what sort of performance to expect, stating only to “tune in later this month for more details.”
Those who don’t need the fastest performance can opt for the RTX 3050, which Nvidia claims can run the latest games at over 60 frames per second. The more budget-friendly chip comes with second-generation RT cores for ray tracing and third-gen tensor cores for DLSS and AI. Digging into the specs, the GPU has 8GB of G6 memory, 18 RT-TFLOPs, 9 Shader-TFLOPS, and 73 Tensor-TFLOPS. The RTX 3050 will be available on January 27 starting at $249, or $80 cheaper than the RTX 3060.
“For the first time, you can play ray traced games on a 50-class GPU at over 50 frames per second,” said Jeff Fisher, the senior vice president of Nvidia GeForce.
Nvidia admitted that 75% of gamers are still using GTX GPUs, though some of that isn’t by choice. The ongoing chip shortage has made it nearly impossible to purchase an Nvidia RTX desktop graphics card. We can only hope the supply for these newly announced chips is better than what we’ve seen over the past few years, but we won’t be holding our breath.