The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 is an interesting product, I just wonder why NVIDIA went away from the TITAN branding? As I mentioned earlier in this review this is a TITAN-class graphics card, it is not made to compete with the GeForce RTX 3080, but sit in a category all its own. TITAN graphics cards have always sat in a category all their own, so naming this card the RTX 3090 (without any context) one would assume it would be directly compared to the RTX 3080 and at twice the price one would expect some pretty amazing performance. Leading up to this review we’ve seen the leaked benchmark results and gamers literally freaking out that the RTX 3090 does not blow the RTX 3080 out of the water. On top of that NVIDIA has allowed add-in board partners to create their own custom cards, this was never the case with TITAN cards. So now you have all of these “gaming” cards with slick backplates, custom cooling solutions, and RGB lighting, but the RTX 3090 is not really a gaming card and should not be compared directly against the RTX 3080. NVIDIA had even told us that the RTX 3080 is their flagship gaming card, so the naming and availability of custom cards just makes things more confusing in my opinion.
Now the RTX 3090 is the fastest graphics card currently available from NVIDIA. In all of our gaming tests it did outperform the RTX 3080, but not by a whole lot. We saw anywhere from 5-9% better performance in titles at 4K. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that 5-9% better performance is not worth twice the price. While you can have bragging rights that you have the fastest GPU on the market, you can pick up the RTX 3080 at half the price and think where all of that extra money could go. So again the RTX 3090 should not be compared to the RTX 3080 as it sits in a class all its own. If you are only gaming the price to performance on the RTX 3090 just does not make sense.
Where the RTX 3090 could make sense to you is content creation. That 24GB of GDDR6X memory can go a long way in a content creation rig. For those doing game creation, video editing, modeling, the RTX 3090 could be a card you might want to take a look at. As you saw in our tests rendering certain 3D models and scenes simply would not work on the RTX 3080 as it did not have enough VRAM, but the RTX 3090 handled things just fine. We also rendered a scene with OctaneRender 158.42% faster with the RTX 3090 compared to the RTX 3080. In a world where time is money cutting rendering time down from 5 minutes and 19 seconds to just 37 seconds is worth twice the price. But again these are specific workloads and applications that will make use of what the RTX 3090 has to offer. We did not see a real difference in encoding times using Adobe Premiere. I’m sure you’ll know if the applications you are using will take full advantage of the RTX 3090. Sadly we did not have any other TITAN cards on hand to test and see what the difference between the say a TITAN RTX and the RTX 3090 would be. NVIDIA has told us that the RTX 3090 is on average 40% faster, which is quite impressive given that the RTX 3090 is launching at half the price of the TITAN RTX.
Of course this is a custom card from Zotac, their RTX 3090 Trinity and is their only RTX 3090 offering currently. One thing I really like about this card is that it is not all the big. It conforms to a 2-slot card size, so if you wanted to mount it vertically you really won’t have any issues, unlike the reference-designed card. Zotac has outfitted the card with their own 3-fan cooling solution, which worked quite well and even during full load was not all that loud. The fans will turn completely off during idle and each is individually controllable using their FireStorm app. You also have RGB lighting (of course) with a large Zotac Gaming logo on the top-edge of the card and a smaller logo on the full-cover backplate. The card remains at stock speeds so you only have two PCI-Express power connectors. This card is currently selling at our favorite online retailer for $1499.99.
At the end of the day this is one hell of a graphics card, and one could even call it a value IF…and a BIG IF…you are actually going to make use of what it has to offer. Overall ThinkComputers gives the ZOTAC GeForce RTX 3090 Trinity Graphics Card a 9 out of 10 score.
– Fastest GPU money can buy (currently)
– Half the price of the TITAN RTX
– 24GB of GDDR6X
– Crushes the RTX 3080 in specific applications
– Only 5-9% faster than the RTX 3090 in games
– Naming and allowing custom cards is confusing to me