The MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Suprim X is the company's new flagship air-cooled graphics card; it also introduces the new Suprim brand extension denoting the highest grade of MSI engineering and performance tuning. Last week, we brought you our review of the RTX 3080 Suprim X and today, we have with us its bigger sibling. Actually, both the RTX 3080 Suprim X and RTX 3090 Suprim X are based on a nearly identical board design, but the silicon underneath—the mighty RTX 3090—and support for NVLink SLI is what's new. The Suprim X series is positioned a notch above the company's Gaming X Trio and likely a replacement for the company's Gaming Z brand, which probably had too many similarities in board design to the Gaming X to warrant a price increase. MSI is also giving its product stack a new class of graphics cards to compete against the likes of the EVGA air-cooled FTW3 Ultra. It's also taking a crack at NVIDIA's Founders Edition in the aesthetics department.
With the RTX 30-series "Ampere," NVIDIA reshaped the upper end of its GeForce GPU family. The RTX 3080 is designed to offer premium 4K UHD gaming with raytracing and is already being referred to as the company's flagship gaming graphics card. NVIDIA has been extensively comparing the RTX 3080 to the RTX 2080 Ti, which it convincingly beats. The new RTX 3090, on the other hand, is what NVIDIA is positioning as its new "halo" product with comparisons to the $2,500 TITAN RTX, while being $1,000 cheaper, starting at $1,500. Both the RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 share a common piece of silicon, with the RTX 3090 almost maxing it out, while the RTX 3080 is quite cut down.
The GeForce Ampere graphics architecture represents the 2nd generation of the company's RTX technology, which combines conventional raster 3D graphics with certain real-time raytraced elements, such as lighting, shadows, reflections, ambient-occlusion, and global-illumination, to radically improve realism in games. Processing these in real time requires fixed-function hardware as they're extremely taxing on programmable shaders. The GeForce Ampere architecture hence combines the new Ampere CUDA core, which can handle concurrent FP32+INT32 math operations, significantly increasing performance over past generations; the new 2nd generation RT core, which in addition to double the ray intersection and BVH performance over Turing RT cores offers new hardware to accelerate raytraced motion blur; and the 3rd generation Tensor core, which leverages the sparsity phenomenon in AI deep-learning neural networks to increase AI inference performance by an order of magnitude over the previous generation.
NVIDIA is equipping the RTX 3090 with a mammoth 24 GB of video memory and targets it at creators as well, not just gamers. Creators can pair it with NVIDIA's feature-rich GeForce Studio drivers, while gamers can go with GeForce Game Ready drivers. That said, the RTX 3090 isn't strictly a creator's card, either. NVIDIA is taking a stab at the new 8K resolution for gaming, which is four times the pixels of 4K and sixteen times Full HD—not an easy task even for today's GPUs. The company hence innovated the new 8K DLSS feature, which leverages AI super-resolution to bring higher fidelity gaming than previously thought possible, for 8K.
As we mentioned earlier, the RTX 3090 is based on the 8 nm "GA102" silicon, nearly maxing it out. All but one of the 42 TPCs (84 streaming multiprocessors) are enabled, resulting in a CUDA core count of 10,496, along with 328 Tensor cores, 82 RT cores, 328 TMUs, and 112 ROPs. To achieve 24 GB, the RTX 3090 maxes out the 384-bit wide memory bus on the "GA102" and uses the fastest 19.5 Gbps GDDR6X memory, which gives the card an astounding 940 GB/s of memory bandwidth.
The MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Suprim X is designed to give NVIDIA's RTX 3090 Founders Edition a run for its money in a beauty contest, with lavish use of brushed aluminium in the construction of the cooler shroud, perfect symmetry throughout the card, and sharp edges beautifully finished off with RGB LED elements. The amount of illumination on this card is similar to the Gaming X Trio, but more tastefully designed. The RTX 3090 Suprim X also features MSI's highest factory overclock for the RTX 3090, with the core ticking at 1860 MHz (vs. 1695 MHz reference and 1785 MHz on the Gaming X Trio). MSI is pricing the RTX 3090 Suprim X at $1,750, a $250 premium over the NVIDIA baseline pricing and $160 pricier than the RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio. In this review, we find out if it's worth spending the extra money on this card over the Gaming X Trio, or even NVIDIA's Founders Edition.
|GTX 1080 Ti||$650||3584||88||1481 MHz||1582 MHz||1376 MHz||GP102||12000M||11 GB, GDDR5X, 352-bit|
|RX 5700 XT||$370||2560||64||1605 MHz||1755 MHz||1750 MHz||Navi 10||10300M||8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit|
|RTX 2070||$340||2304||64||1410 MHz||1620 MHz||1750 MHz||TU106||10800M||8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit|
|RTX 2070 Super||$450||2560||64||1605 MHz||1770 MHz||1750 MHz||TU104||13600M||8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit|
|Radeon VII||$680||3840||64||1802 MHz||N/A||1000 MHz||Vega 20||13230M||16 GB, HBM2, 4096-bit|
|RTX 2080||$600||2944||64||1515 MHz||1710 MHz||1750 MHz||TU104||13600M||8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit|
|RTX 2080 Super||$690||3072||64||1650 MHz||1815 MHz||1940 MHz||TU104||13600M||8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit|
|RTX 2080 Ti||$1000||4352||88||1350 MHz||1545 MHz||1750 MHz||TU102||18600M||11 GB, GDDR6, 352-bit|
|RTX 3070||$500||5888||96||1500 MHz||1725 MHz||1750 MHz||GA104||17400M||8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit|
|RX 6800||$580||3840||96||1815 MHz||2105 MHz||2000 MHz||Navi 21||23000M||16 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit|
|RX 6800 XT||$650||4608||128||2015 MHz||2250 MHz||2000 MHz||Navi 21||23000M||16 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit|
|RTX 3080||$700||8704||96||1440 MHz||1710 MHz||1188 MHz||GA102||28000M||10 GB, GDDR6X, 320-bit|
|RTX 3090||$1500||10496||112||1395 MHz||1695 MHz||1219 MHz||GA102||28000M||24 GB, GDDR6X, 384-bit|
|MSI RTX 3090|
|$1750||10496||112||1395 MHz||1860 MHz||1219 MHz||GA102||28000M||24 GB, GDDR6X, 384-bit|