Next generation game consoles have been getting all the headlines lately (Jon Scarr is keeping you on top of the rapid-fire developments on that front), but September kicked off with huge news for PC gaming. On September 1, Nvidia held a launch event for its all-new GeForce RTX 30 series video cards, powered by Ampere (Nvidia’s second-generation RTX architecture). Suddenly PC gamers aren’t feeling like console owners are getting all the cool new toys.
Here’s what you need to know about the Nvidia RTX 30 series video cards, which are coming soon to Best Buy.
A series of world firsts
Nvidia has stacked the GeForce RTX 30 cards with “firsts.” They are the first gaming-class graphics cards capable of supporting up to 24GB of GDDR6X VRAM. They’re the first video cards with HDMI 2.1 support for both 4K and single-cable 8K gaming. They’re the first with onboard support for the AV1 video codec. Nvidia Founder Edition models are the first gaming video cards with dual axial flow through cooling.
RTX 3070, RTX 3080, and RTX 3090
There are three video cards being released as part of this series.
The most affordable is the GeFore RTX 3070 with 5,888 CUDA cores and 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM. Next up is the GeForce RTX 3080 with 8,704 CUDA cores and 10GB of GDDR6X VRAM. The ultimate option is the GeForce RTX 3090, with 10,496 CUDA cores and 24 GB of GDDR6X VRAM.
Quieter, more efficient, and more affordable
Ray tracing was a huge deal when the first generation RTX video cards were released, but it becomes a far more compelling feature with the new RTX 30 series. These cards employ the new Nvidia DLSS deep learning neural network with dedicated AI processors for ray tracing performance that’s up to double that of the first generation. The demos of real-time ray tracing being powered by these new cards was truly mind-blowing.
The RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 both use new GDDR6X VRAM, the world’s fastest graphics memory. The dual axial flow design of the Founder’s Edition cards improves cooling by 55%, which will reduce fan noise.
Despite all the advances in technology and huge performance gains, the new Nvidia cards are expected to be priced below their first generation counterparts (Canadian pricing is not yet available).
A huge leap forward in gameplay + more
The new GeForce RTX 30 series video cards represent a huge leap forward in gameplay. No wonder with the amount of graphics horsepower in play. For example, the mid-range RTX 3080 features 8704 CUDA cores and a 1.71GHz boost for a total of 30 teraflops of performance. That’s mores than double the top specs of those next-gen game consoles.
You can see the difference the RTX 30 cards make to AAA titles like Doom Eternal in this comparison to previous generation cards supplied by Nvidia.
It’s not just gameplay that gets a big boost. These cards support Nvidia Broadcast, with AI-enhanced video and voice output. Creative apps also run faster thanks to Nvidia Studio upgrades.
Enough with the torture, when can I get my hands on one of these new video cards?
They’re coming soon!
Don’t despair, you’ll be able to get your hands on one of Nvidia’s screaming new GeForce RTX sooner than you might think. Multiple 3rd party vendors are releasing cards based on the new architecture including MSI, EVGA, Zotac, and ASUS.
Here are the dates for pre-order at Best Buy Canada:
- RTX 3080 series, September 17 (6 AM PDT; 9 AM EDT)
- RTX 3090 series, September 24
- RTX 3070 series, October 15
Mark those dates on your calendar and check back for pre-order links as soon as they’re live. In the meantime, be sure to check Best Buy’s massive selection of PC games, accessories, and gaming PCs.