Nvidia GeForce RTX 40 series: Prices, specifications, release dates, and more for the RTX 4080 and RTX 4090

Nvidia stuck with high-end merchandise for its GeForce RTX 40 series announcement, revealing the next generation of graphics cards with only the first release RTX 4090 and two flavors of the RTX 4080. All three will soon come with varying degrees of price bumps on the RTX 3090 and RTX 3080, although Nvidia Performance and features count to improve the Ada Lovelace 40 Series architecture, it will make it a worthwhile investment. Especially with the help of DLSS 3, a new, heavily upgraded version of Nvidia’s DLSS Upgrade Program that will only work with RTX 40 GPUs at launch.

In fact, while AMD’s next-generation RDNA 3 / Radeon RX 7000 series GPUs will seemingly focus on efficiency improvements, the RTX 4090 and RTX 4080 are all about boosting power and performance tricks with the help of AI. Personally, I’d still hope for less financially disruptive members of the RTX 40 family — GPUs like the RTX 3060 Ti and RTX 3070 are still some of the best graphics cards you can buy — but for now, here’s everything you need to know about proven cards. Until now.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 40 Series Prices

This may quickly get out of the way, as the pricing for the RTX 40 series (so far) is kind of worth it:

  • RTX 4080 12 GB: £949 / $899
  • RTX 4080 16 GB: £1269 / $1199
  • RTX 4090: £1679 / $1,599

…yes. For comparison, the RTX 3080 launched at £649 / $699, while the RTX 3090 costs $1,400 / $1,500, and since these are Nvidia’s starting prices, it’s likely that most of the board’s partner versions will set you back more. The RTX 4090 and the 16GB version of the RTX 4080 will have Founders Edition models built by Nvidia, which will sell for the above prices, but the cheaper 12GB RTX 4080 could easily break the £1,000/$1,000 line via partner cards like we would.

Speaking of, Asus, Colorful, Gainward, Galaxy, Gigabyte, Inno3D, MSI, Palit, PNY and Zotac produce their own RTX 40 series models. It’s not EVGA, the mind, who has left the graphics card business entirely, citing non-cooperative practices on the part of Nvidia.

A rendering of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 graphics card.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 40 Series Release Dates

The RTX 4090 will go on sale on October 12, 2022; Here’s hoping, for anyone wanting to drop cash right away, it’s less than a day of gnashing teeth compared to the RTX 3080 when it sold out in seconds in 2020.

There is no exact release date for the RTX 4080 at the time of writing, although Nvidia says that both the 12GB and 16GB versions will be released in November. If you have an RTX 4070 and/or RTX 4060 running, don’t expect them any longer.

Comparison image showing Microsoft Flight Simulator in original resolution vs Nvidia DLSS 3.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 40 Series Specifications

As it happens, calling two 12GB and 16GB RTX 4080s versions of the same GPU isn’t technically accurate: the 12GB model is based on a different Ada Lovelace core chip, the Nvidia AD104, to the 16GB RTX 4080 and its AD103 processor. You can see in this specs table how the two compare in full, along with the AD102-based RTX 4090.

RTX 4080 12GB RTX 4080 16GB RTX 4090 24 GB
GPU M 104 M 103 M 102
koda colors 7680 9728 16384
increase the clock 2.61 GHz 2.51 GHz 2.52 GHz
memory type GDDR6X GDDR6X GDDR6X
memory interface 192 bit 256 bit 384 bit
Memory bandwidth 557 GB/sec 742 GB/sec 1018 GB/sec
Energy consumption 285W 320 watts 450 watts
PSU . requirements 700 watts 750 watts 850 watts
PSU . Communications 2x 8 pins 3x 8 pins 3x 8 pins

There are clearly some significant differences between the 12GB and 16GB RTX 4080s that extend well beyond the amount of memory they got in the ol’ noggin. And it’s not just prices that creep in, as the RTX 4090 now has the same quoted power usage and PSU wattage requirements as the powerful RTX 3090 Ti – though, if you already have an RTX 3080 and buy the Recommended 750W PSU, you won’t need to upgrade the latter for any from the RTX 4080s.

In terms of upgrades, Ada Lovelace looks like a major architectural advance over the Ampere design for the RTX 30 series. The RT and Tensor cores (which enable ray tracing and machine learning/artificial intelligence tools like DLSS, respectively) have been redesigned to be faster and more efficient. You also get more than you get in Ampere, and the CUDA core counts — think of these as the backbone cores for running everyday games — are higher across the board.

The RTX 40 series won’t benefit from PCIe 5.0 slots on next-generation motherboards, and Nvidia says PCIe 4.0 can still provide cards with ample bandwidth. That’s fine – even with the imminent launch of AMD Ryzen 7000 CPUs and chipsets, support for PCIe 5.0 graphics on motherboards has been the norm for several years. The RTX 4090 and RTX 4080s will work in the PCIe 3.0 slots of older mobos as well.

A collage showing the initial games for Nvidia DLSS 3 support.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 40 Series Features

Faster, more cores are welcome, but if the RTX 40 series is worth the money, it will likely be thanks to the big feature upgrades.

The most interesting is DLSS 3. If you are not already familiar, DLSS in its current form (the latest version is 2.4) improves performance in games by displaying each frame at a lower resolution, thus using less horsepower. It then applies custom upscaling and smoothing — both created by Nvidia to teach an AI algorithm how to produce the best images — to make each frame look like your screen’s original resolution. It’s great, most of the time, and DLSS 3 takes it a long step further by inserting new frames entirely created by AI between each of the “real” rendered frames.

In theory, this should result in starkly better frames-per-second gains than could have been produced by previous DLSS versions. Every frame could be nicer overall, too: Ada Lovelace’s architecture includes a new “Optical Flow Accelerator” that aims to reduce noise on objects when the camera is in motion. This is a rare but ugly weakness of upgrades like DLSS and AMD FSR, and by combining this optical flow engine with motion vectors (data from surrounding frames detailing how the image changes between them), DLSS 3 promises to make your upgraded games look cleaner and cleaner. unit.

Disadvantages? One is that only a small portion of games that support (or will support) older DLSS versions will also support DLSS 3. Creating new frames also increases input lag, which can be partially offset by Nvidia Reflex but could compromise DLSS 3’s usefulness in competitive scenarios. Finally, DLSS 3 is so reliant on this new optical flow accelerator that older GeForce RTX GPUs, such as the RTX 30 series and RTX 20 series, won’t be able to use the new upgrade tool once it’s released along with the new cards. Nvidia isn’t ruling out making DLSS 3 eventually available for all RTX GPUs, as it has in previous versions, although it will take some engineering on its end. In short, it’s an RTX 40 series exclusive for now.

Ray tracing is also getting an upgrade, specifically in how Ada Lovelace GPUs are crunching the numbers on their ray tracing graphics rendering. I don’t think I can explain this without getting a little carried away, but bear with me.

Diagram showing how Nvidia's Shader implementation is rearranged on RTX 40 series GPUs.

It’s all about making the Tetris block more homogeneous.

Therefore, graphics processors perform best when they perform a lot of similar tasks in a row; It is faster, for example, to draw an object with many states of repeating texture than if it had fewer textures, but is more diverse and unique. Sort of like how SSDs are faster when reading data stored sequentially. A large part of the reason ray tracing slows down game performance so much is that it requires potential GPU performance. Millions of distinct tasks, which is enough that developers cannot manually arrange them in a processor-friendly way.

However, the RTX 40 series can use a technology called Shader Execution Reordering. This allows the GPU itself to arrange these tasks in a nice, neat row, allowing itself to process them more efficiently. Nvidia says this can improve overall performance with RT enabled by up to 25% over Ampere, which won’t completely eliminate the FPS tax in most games but will certainly make them run more smoothly.

RTX 40 GPUs will also have AV1 encoding capabilities as standard. This won’t make your games run faster, but it’s good news if you’re going to stream or create videos from game footage: the AV1 format beats the pants of current-generation formats for image quality and data usage. It’s bad news for Intel, though, as AV1 encryption seemed like the real USP of the much-anticipated Arc Alchemist graphics cards. So much for this feature.

Comparison image of the original Portal next to Portal with RTX, made in RTX Remix.

What is Remix RTX and what does it have to do with the RTX 40 series?

The launch of the RTX 4090 / RTX 4080 included a lot of Nvidia’s presentation of the new RTX Remix app. Perhaps not undeservedly — if it works as intended, the RTX Remix could be a pretty big deal for modifying old PC games.

The idea is that RTX Remix uses Ada Lovelace’s AI/machine learning features to simplify the process of making high-resolution mod packs for aging games. With it, designers can import a game into the app and “capture” assets (such as textures, geometry, and lighting) with just a few clicks. These assets are then automatically converted to the USD (Common Scene Description) file format, allowing the preparer to make changes using various RTX Remix tools.

This includes AI-powered texture tools that can improve textures by up to 4x, or detect what type of material an old texture is supposed to represent – wood, metal, etc. – and automatically give it an appropriate, more detailed roughness or shine. Ray tracing effects can also be applied, Nvidia Reflex and DLSS 3 support, and by syncing RTX Remix with other apps like Blender, Maya, Photoshop and Adobe Substance, it’s possible to create whole new models and see them take shape inside the mod in real time.

Once done, RTX Remix can export everything as a mod package, which you just need to install in the same folder as. exe of the game to start. A lot of games will probably work with this: The only requirements, says Nvidia, are that they are based on DirectX 8 or 9 and use a fixed-function graphics pipeline.

Comparison image showing Morrowind alongside its RTX Remix mod.

Here’s Morrowind before and after the remix treatment. Portal with RTX, shown above, was created using Remix, and is launching on Steam as a free Portal DLC.

Where exactly does the RTX 40 series come from? For starters, you’ll need one of your Ada Lovelace GPUs to run the RTX Remix; Not available for older Nvidia graphics cards. And although the resulting mod packages have no such hardware requirements, features like ray tracing and DLSS 3 clearly motivate the use of (or, let’s be honest, purchase) the RTX 4090 or RTX 4080 on the part of the gamer.

Will most depositors want to make conversions that only owners of this new and very expensive graphics card line can fully enjoy? I don’t know, though, that anything that simplifies a difficult process like modifying games is as likely to attract enthusiastic new users as it can veterans. Nvidia is also talking to Nexus Mods and Mod DB about hosting Remix creations, so promoting and finding these mods shouldn’t be any harder than handcrafted ones.

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