Nvidia introduces GeForce RTX 30 series, headlined by the $699 RTX 3080

After months of leaks and rumors, Nvidia has finally announced the GeForce RTX 30 series of graphics cards, consisting of the GeForce RTX 3090, RTX 3080, and RTX 3070. The star of the show is, of course, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090, which is the highest-end card of the bunch.

All of the new cards feature a new design, with dual fans that push air out on one side and pull it in from the other side. The cooling system promises 56% more airflow, three times less noise, and 30% more efficiency. In terms of efficiency, Nvidia says that the new cards offer 1.9x the performance per watt compared to the previous generation.

Starting with the RTX 3090, it costs $1,499 and it's touted as a successor to the Titan cards. However, this time around it will be available from partners, in addition to Nvidia. Nvidia says this is the first graphics card that lets you play games at 8K and 60 frames per second. It boasts 36 Shader-TFLOPS, 69 RT-TFLOPS for ray tracing, and 285 Tensor-TFLOPS for AI-related tasks such as deep learning super-sampling (DLSS). It has 24GB of all-new GDDR6X memory, which Nvidia says is the fastest memory out there.

Nvidia compared the RTX 3090 to the Titan RTX more than something like the RTX 2080 Ti, promising 50% more performance while being up to 10 times quieter. It will be available on September 24.

The GeForce RTX 3080 is the card that's coming the soonest, and it should be the better value in general. It's also the one Nvidia is focusing on the most, since the RTX 3090 is aimed at a small subset of users, just like the Titan cards.

It features 30 Shader-TFLOPS, 58 RT-TFLOPS, and 238 Tensor-TFLOPS, and in the end, it promises to double the performance of the RTX 2080, and largely outpace the RTX 2080 Ti. It has the new GDDR6X memory, too, but it settles for 10GB of it. This GPU will be available September 17 starting $699, the same price as the RTX 2080 was at launch.

The last card announced today was the GeForce RTX 3070, and it's still pretty powerful, with 20 Shader-TFLOPS, 40 RT-FLOPS, and 163 Tensor-FLOPS, which means it's still faster than an RTX 2080 Ti. It has slower GDDR6 memory, but it does come significantly cheaper than the RTX 3080, at just $499, which is significantly lower than the similarly-powered RTX 2080 Ti.

just like with the previous generation, the GeForce RTX 3070 is arriving later than the higher-end models, and it's only set for October for now.

Aside from the new cards, Nvidia also introduced a few new technologies today. One of them is RTX IO, which aims to speed up data transfers between a computers SSD and the GPU memory. This is done by offloading the necessary work from the CPU cores to the GPU, and Nvidia says it can deliver up to 100 times faster speeds compared to accessing the data traditionally from an HDD, while lowering CPU usage by 20 times. This feature works in tandem with the DirectStorage feature for Windows.

Nvidia also announced a handful of new tools for gamers, streamers, and creators. For e-sports gamers, Nvidia Reflex promises to help reduce system latency in games, so reaction times are shortened to give players an edge. This feature is rolling out with a Game Ready driver update in September.

Also in September, Nvidia Broadcast will be available for streamers. Using AI, the tool will allow streamers to blur their background, replace it, or removing it entirely, among other things. The software can keep people in the frame by recognizing where they are or remove background noise to isolate the streamers voice. The tool will be available for RTX cards.

Nvidia also announced Omniverse Machinima, a tool that makes it easier to import models and motion capture data to create machinima, a type of art that uses game assets to recreate movies or other scenes. This tool will be available in beta in October.

With Nvidia's RTX technology now in its second-generation, the company is unlocking more power from its GPUs, and it'll be interesting to see how they perform in real life. We shouldn't have long to wait, considering the range-topping cards are launching in just a few weeks.

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