After weeks of teasing, it’s finally here. Nvidia has announced its much talked about (and leaked) Ampere GPU’s. The Nvidia RTX 3080 will be available from 17 September and promises big performance gains. The 3000 series is based on Nvidia’s Ampere architecture, and will build on the already impressive performance of the last-gen RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti cards. As the name suggests, the focus is on ray tracing. You can read more about that here in our GPU 2020 guide.
As per the company, the RTX3000 promises a twofold jump in performance as compared to the RTX2080. When it ships on 17 September, the RTX3080 will cost $699 and come with 10GB of GDDR6X memory. If you want to get really geeky, the RTX3080 comes with 8,704 CUDA cores combined with a 1.71Ghz boost clock.
That performance jump will be great for Artificial Intelligence (AI), which the company highlighted in its press release. The company also added: “GeForce RTX 30 Series graphics cards are also the first discrete GPUs with decode support for the AV1 codec, enabling playback of high-resolution video streams up to 8K HDR using significantly less bandwidth.”
The new Ampere architecture was first shown off by Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang at the all-digital GTC 2020 keynote. The 7nm Ampere-based GPUs first made their way to Nvidia’s data centre servers. Now, the RTX3080 brings that power and performance to the consumer market.
Apart from the architecture, Nvidia also upgraded the GPU’s design. The 3080 comes with a new thermal design, a result of a new pennant-shaped board and a new cooling shroud. The resulting dual-fan set up will improve airflow by up to 55%, the company says. It won’t just be cooler, but also quieter.
The company has also ditched the standard eight-pin connector in favour of a new 12 pin one. Founder Edition cards will come with an adapter for eight-pin cables, saving consumers some headache of having to upgrade any more parts.
RTX3070 and RTX 3090
Alongside the RTX 3080, Nvidia will also launch the RTX 3070. Costing $499, this GPU comes with 5,888 CUDA cores, combined with a 1.71Ghz boost clock and 8GB of GDDR6 memory. The company has announced an October launch window, but did not specify a date. As per The Verge: “The performance bump will also put the RTX 3070 comfortably above the 1080 Ti and 1080 cards for 1440p gaming.”
For those that need more power, the company also unveiled the RTX3090, an insanely powerful GPU designed for 8k gaming (at 60fps). Available from September 24, this monster will cost $1,499. The company has packed the RTX3090 with 10,496 CUDA cores, combined with a boost clock of 1.70GHz and 24GB of GDDR6X memory. It will also come with a silencer, giving it an edge over the existing Titan RTX GPU.
All that power does come at a cost though. According to The Verge: “The card measures 313mm in length, compared to 285mm for the RTX 3080. It also occupies three slots compared to the more common two, meaning PC builders will have to consider which type of case to slot this into.”
New Apps for Nvidia Studio
Alongside the GPUs, Nvidia also announced that two new apps would be coming to Nvidia Studio. The first is Nvidia Broadcast, an AI-powered app for live broadcasting. The company highlighted three features, powered by AI;
- Audio Noise removal (background noises picked up by microphones)
- Virtual backgrounds (ability to separate the subject from the background without the use of a typical green screen)
- Auto frames offer the ability to track the users head to kee the user in the centre of the frame (helpful if moving around)
These are a great collection of tools that could become the go-to set of apps for a lot of streamers and live broadcasters out there. “Nvidia Broadcast is a universal plugin that works with most chat and video conferencing apps. It’s supported on any NVIDIA GeForce RTX, TITAN RTX or Quadro RTX GPU,” the company said.
The company also launched Nvidia Omniverse Machinima. Using AI, storytellers will be able to create rich 3D environments of cinematic quality. “Through NVIDIA Omniverse, creators can import assets from supported games or most 3rd party asset libraries into the platform. Creators can then automatically animate characters using an AI-based pose estimator and footage from their webcam.” The app will be available in beta in October. There’s no word on public release just yet though.
Wrapping up the announcement, Huang said: “In this future, GeForce is your holodeck, your lightspeed starship, your time machine. In this future, we will look back and realize that it started here.” Huang boldly proclaimed that the RTX30 series was a “giant step into the future”, and going by the specs, that certainly seems to be true.
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