The RTX 3090 is almost here. Dubbed the "BFGPU" of the new Nvidia Ampere family (that's a reference to Doom's BFG, in case you're wondering), the RTX 3090 is set to be the world's fastest graphics card when it launches this Thursday, September 24th, thanks to its ability to play and capture games in 8K - a feat which sounds impressive until you realise that the number of 8K displays you can actually buy at the moment is practically zero. Still, if you're dead set on having the best graphics card around for the foreseeable future, I've gathered together everything you need to know about the RTX 3090, including its specs, price, where you can buy one, and what time it goes on sale.
I'll be updating this article on a regular basis as we get closer to the RTX 3090's launch, so be sure to check back often so you can stay up to date. I'll also be testing the RTX 3090 myself very soon, too, so it won't be long before we can see exactly what kind of speeds this ludicrously overpowered GPU is capable of producing.
RTX 3090: What you need to know
What is it? Nvidia's first 8K gaming GPU
When is it coming out? September 24th
What time does it go on sale? 6am PT / 2pm BST
How much is it? £1399 / $1499
RTX 3090 release date
This is the day that you'll be able to buy both the Nvidia Founders Edition of the RTX 3090 and third party partner versions of the card from Asus, MSI, Gigabyte, EVGA and other manufacturers. You might find it difficult to get hold of one until early next year, though, as Nvidia have already apologised about their "limited supply" of cards available at launch.
RTX 3090 price
The Nvidia Founders Edition of the RTX 3090 costs £1399 in the UK and $1499 in the US. Third party versions of the card, however, are likely to be a lot more expensive depending on how much they've been factory overclocked by the manufacturers.
On the plus side, if you buy an RTX 3090 between its release date and October 29th, you'll also get a free copy of Watch Dogs Legions and a year’s subscription to GeForce Now.
Where to buy an RTX 3090
The RTX 3090 goes on sale at 6am Pt / 2pm BST today, September 24th, and below you'll find a list of retailers who have RTX 3090 product pages, as well as various bits of pricing information.
In the UK:
- Nvidia Store
- Overclockers UK - cards now available for pre-order
- Ebuyer - no availability
- Scan UK - cards now available for pre-order, earliest availability is Sept 29th
- Currys PC World - several cards unavailable for delivery or collection
- Aria PC - all cards out of stock
- Novatech - all cards out of stock
In the US:
- Nvidia Store
- Amazon US - all cards out of stock
- Newegg - all cards out of stock
- Best Buy - all cards out of stock
- B&H Photo - all cards out of stock
So far, these are the cheapest RTX 3090 prices I can find in the UK and the US, but for more information, check out our dedicated Where to buy the RTX 3090 article.
RTX 3090 specs
As you'd expect from the BFGPU of Nvidia's RTX 3000 family, the RTX 3090 has the best specs of the lot, coming in with a massive 24GB of memory like the outgoing Nvidia RTX Titan, and an enormous number of CUDA cores. Nvidia haven't released all of the RTX 3090's specs just yet, such as memory speed or memory bandwidth, but I've summarised the keys specs they have announced below.
RTX 3090 specs
CUDA Cores: 10496
Base / Boost Clock: 1.4GHz / 1.7GHz
VRAM: 24GB GDDR6X
Memory Interface Width: 384-bit
Recommended System Power: 750W
Despite being much closer in price to the RTX 2080 Ti, Nvidia have positioned the RTX 3090 as a replacement to the RTX Titan rather than the 2080 Ti. Previously, Nvidia's Titan GPUs weren't really classed as consumer graphics cards. They used the same architecture as their GeForce siblings, but were very much intended for professional content creation rather than purely for gaming. With the RTX 3090, however, Nvidia have left the Titan name behind and created a new 90 tier right at the top of their RTX 3000 family, no doubt in the hopes of persuading ardent enthusiasts to cough up a bit more cash so they've got the latest and greatest.
The RTX 3090 also comes with 2nd Gen ray tracing cores and 3rd Gen Tensor cores for improved ray tracing and DLSS performance. Nvidia say their RTX 3000 series will be able to offer up to twice the ray tracing performance compared to the previous generation, although so far, they've only released figures that show each card's combined ray tracing and DLSS performance as opposed to their raw ray tracing speeds. As a result, it's probably best to take this figure with a pinch of salt until proper benchmarks start to come through. Either way, the RTX 3090 is sure to be significantly faster than the RTX 2080 Ti. That much is pretty much a given at this point.
As Nvidia were keen to point out during their RTX 3000 series launch event, the RTX 3090 is the first consumer graphics card to be able to play games in 8K. That's a resolution of 7680x4320, which is four times as many pixels as 4K. At the moment, 8K gaming monitors don't really exist yet. Instead, we're only just about starting to see 8K TVs coming through, and even then the cheapest of the lot will set you back at least £3000 / $3000-odd. As a result, you're going to need a heck of a lot money if you're really going to make the most of what the RTX 3090 is capable of when it comes to raw gaming performance.
At the moment, Nvidia are promising speeds of 60fps at 8K on the RTX 3090, and have released the following graph to show you what to expect. As you can see below, some games such as Control, Wolfenstein: Youngblood and even Death Stranding will be largely unplayable in 8K without the assistance of Nvidia's DLSS tech.
The good news is that Nvidia are developing a special DLSS 8K Ultra Performance mode for the RTX 3090, which will accelerate its DLSS performance even further in supported games. At time of writing, these games include Boundary, Bright Memory: Infinite, Control, Death Stranding, Justice, Minecraft, Ready Or Note, Scavengers, Watch Dogs Legion and Wolfenstein: Youngblood, but it's currently unknown whether more games will follow in their wake (and how quickly we can expect them to get support added in).
Naturally, you're going to need a beefy power supply so you don't end up throttling the RTX 3090, and Nvidia recommend you have a 750W PSU at the absolute minimum. The Founders Edition of the RTX 3090 will also make use of Nvidia's new 12-pin power connector, but the good news is that an adapter for this will be included in the box. Third party RTX 3090 cards, on the other hand, only need a regular 2x 8-pin power connector.
Those are the headline facts for the RTX 3090, and I'll be updating this article with more information as it becomes available. In the meantime, you can read all about our favourite GPUs in our roundup of the best graphics cards, what games currently support ray tracing and DLSS, as well as find all the best current graphics card prices in our regularly updated graphics card deals hub.