Today marks the official launch of Nvidia’s RTX 40-series Graphics Processing Units (GPUs). Nvidia has finally confirmed the existence of the RTX 4090 and RTX 4080 graphics cards, ending months of speculation and Nvidia’s recent teases. The RTX-4090 will be available on October 12th with a price tag of $1,599, while the RTX-4080 will be available in November with a price range beginning at $899. Both are driven by the next-generation Ada Lovelace architecture developed by Nvidia.
The Ada Lovelace generation’s most powerful card is the RTX 4090, which is available now. It will have a whopping 24 gigabytes (GB) of GDDR6X RAM. According to Nvidia, it is 2–4 times quicker than the RTX 3090 Ti and will utilize the same power as that card from the previous generation. Based on a computer with a Ryzen 5900X processor, Nvidia suggests a power supply with at least 850 watts of capacity.
There are 16,384 CUDA Cores packed into the massive RTX 4090, with a base clock speed of 2.23GHz and a boost clock speed of 2.52GHz. It also has 1,321 Tensor-TFLOPs, 191 RT-TFLOPs, and 83 Shader-TFLOPs.
RTX 4090 specs. Image: Nvidia
RTX 4080 specs. Image: Nvidia
Nvidia is launching the RTX 4080 in two different configurations: one with 12GB of GDDR6X memory and another with 16GB of GDDR6X memory. According to Nvidia, the RTX 4080 is anywhere from two to four times as fast as the currently available RTX 3080 Ti. The starting price for the 12GB variant will be $899, and it will come equipped with 7,680 CUDA Cores, a base frequency of 2.31GHz that can be increased to 2.61GHz, 639 Tensor-TFLOPs, 92 RT-TFLOPs, and 40 Shader-TFLOPs.
However, the 16GB variant of the RTX 4080 offers more than just an increase in memory capacity. It has a starting price of $1,199 and comes equipped with 9,728 CUDA Cores, a base speed of 2.21GHz that can be increased to 2.51GHz, 780 Tensor-TFLOPs, 113 RT-TFLOPs, and 49 Shader-TFLOPs of power. The base clock can be increased to 2.51GHz. The 12GB RTX 4080 model’s power supply will need at least 700 watts, while the power supply for the 16GB model will need at least 750 watts. The month of November will see the release of both RTX 4080 variants.
All three RTX 40-series graphics cards will offer new support for Nvidia ShadowPlay, allowing gameplay to be captured at resolutions of up to 8K at 60 frames per second with a high dynamic range. Additionally, Nvidia is utilizing its most-recent Encoders (NVENC), which include support for AV1 encoding and enhanced efficiency for livestreams that use AV1.
The RTX 4090 Founders Edition. Image: Nvidia
The RTX 4080 Founders Edition. Image: Nvidia
Without Nvidia’s very own Founders Edition graphics cards, the debut of a new RTX wouldn’t even be considered complete. GeForce RTX 4090 and RTX 4080 (16GB) graphics cards, designed in-house by Nvidia, will be available for purchase. It’s a design that the company has improved upon even more this time.
“For our new GeForce RTX 40 Series Founders Edition graphics cards, we’ve further optimized the Dual Axial Flow Through the system,” explains Andrew Burnes, Nvidia’s technical marketer. “This includes increasing fan sizes and fin volume by 10 percent, as well as upgrading to a 23-phase power supply,” he adds. “This allows us to cool the card more effectively.” “Memory temperatures are lowered, and the brand-new, significantly more powerful Ada GPUs are kept cool in vented cases, which provides gamers with exceptional overclocking headroom.”
Nvidia has decided to support the PCIe Gen-5 16-pin connector with its own RTX 40-series cards rather than the bespoke approach it developed for its own RTX 30-series Founders Edition GPUs. This change was made to improve performance. A single cable supplies power to a card in the 40-series, much like the connector that came before it. Alternatively, you can use an adaptor packaged with the product to connect three power connectors with eight pins each. According to Nvidia, you may even wish to attach the fourth one to have “greater overclocking headroom.”
In October, ATX 3.0 power supplies from Asus, Cooler Master, FSP, Gigabyte, iBuyPower, MSI, and Thermaltake will be released with native compatibility for PCIe Gen-5 16-pin connectors. Shortly, more models produced by other manufacturers are also anticipated.
Nvidia’s Ada Lovelace architecture. Image: Nvidia
The Ada Lovelace architecture, the third generation of RTX and which drives both the RTX 4080 and the RTX 4090, was named after the English mathematician and author of the same name. Ray tracing is one of the areas that will benefit considerably from this update, as will support for Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) 3.
Today, Nvidia debuted the third version of its Ada Lovelace RTX architecture with a demonstration called Racer RTX, which was a simulation of an off-road kart racing game. The Racer RTX demo was run by a single Ada Lovelace GPU, manufactured on TSMC’s 4nm technology and has 76 billion transistors.
Ada Lovelace also incorporates RT cores of the third generation, which are intended to advance ray tracing capabilities significantly. A new DLSS 3 AI is responsible for some of the improvements. This AI examines the currently active frame and the frame before it to determine how game scenes are evolving. With the help of DLSS 3, Nvidia exhibited a more than doubling of frame rates in the Microsoft Flight Simulator. Because of this enhanced frame generation, DLSS 3 should be able to improve frame rates even in situations when a game’s CPU is the limiting factor.
According to Nvidia, DLSS 3 will arrive at more than 35 games and apps, with the first games receiving the update in October. In the following months, when Nvidia releases the RTX 4090 and two other models of the RTX 4080, it is only logical that we will need to put all of Nvidia’s claims to the test.
The introduction of Nvidia’s RTX 40-series graphics cards comes during a difficult period for both the company and the overall GPU market. The decline in crypto-currencies value has negatively impacted demand for graphics processing units (GPUs). More recently, the transition that Ethereum made from proof of work to proof of stake has further reduced the predominance of GPU-based cryptocurrency mining. The company’s most recent earnings report revealed a shocking one billion dollar decrease in revenue generated from gaming.
RTX 40-series GPUs from partners. Image: Nvidia
Nvidia’s launch is centered on its first-party Founders Edition graphics cards; however, additional GPUs from hardware partners including Asus, Colorful, Gainward, Galaxy, Gigabyte, INNO3D, MSI, Palit, PNY, and Zotac will also be available alongside these cards. These GPU models made by a third party use the same chips made by Nvidia, although they may have a different configuration and use a separate cooler. Be that as it may, EVGA will not be producing RTX 40-series GPUs. The company recently announced that it would no-longer be making Nvidia graphics cards, citing unacceptable behavior from the chip maker.
Even though its replacement has just been made public, older GPUs from the RTX 30-series will probably continue to be sold for some time. Nvidia revealed earlier this year that it had produced an excessive number of GPUs and had been forced to modify retail pricing due to surplus inventory. After years of price hikes by resellers, this led to the RTX 30-series cards finally showing at their MSRP, a sight that cash-strapped PC gamers were relieved to see.
It has been decided that Nvidia will launch its RTX 4090 graphics card on October 12th, followed by the two RTX 4080 variants sometime during November. In the United States, the price of an RTX 4090 graphics card will begin at $1,599, while in Europe, it will begin at €1,949, and in the United Kingdom, it will begin at £1,679. In the United States, the RTX 4080 12GB has a starting price of $899, whereas, in Europe and the United Kingdom, it has a starting price of €1,099 and £949. The 16GB version of the RTX 4080 may be purchased for a starting price of $1,199 in the United States, €1,469 in Europe, and £1,269 in the United Kingdom.
Update, 5:45 PM ET: Article updated with European and UK pricing for the RTX 40-series.