Mehak Sohail | Last Updated On December 30th, 2021
Nvidia went all out with their new 2nd generation RTX cards. They introduced us to the RTX 30 series which was just better in every way than the previous-gen RTX cards. Nvidia introduced us best RTX 3090, where usually the top of the line used to belong to the 80s series card name (see also the best RTX 3080). Like the 2080, 1080, 980, and so forth. This time they changed the trend and showed their Ace card early as the RTX 3090 which is a pure Titan of a monster in performance. Previously, the 2080Ti was the GPU king and it featured 11 gigs of VRAM, whereas this monstrosity features a 24GB of DDR6X VRAM. Nvidia showcased it as a card that is capable of achieving 60 FPS in 8K in titles where it wasn’t possible before. It is based on the Ampere architecture and Nvidia has even made it SLI capable. Not that there is any need for it.
Other than gaming, the GPU has its uses as it can help you render at super-fast speeds and help you in encoding as well. It has one of the best supports with video editing apps. Nvidia has blurred the lines between content creation and gaming with the GPU as these specs were usually featured in the Titan series card or the Quadro series cards, as compared to the RTX 3090’s specs. It feels like Nvidia is targeting the high-end gaming and professional sector as well with the same product, where previously Nvidia gave different lineups. Nonetheless, AIB partners have stepped in and got the production rights from Nvidia for the RTX 3090 and there are a lot of variants floating around, which kind of makes it difficult to choose, as to which variant is the best. Before I dive into the list of the best RTX 3090 that suits your needs let’s consider some factors that you need to factor in before making your decision.
Not all cases are made equal. Make sure you have ample space in your casing so that the GPU fits in there without any hitch while having adequate space for cabling as well.
Pricing can impact your overall PC greatly, saving a couple of hundred dollars on a variant will help you dedicate more budget towards the rest of the PC so that you can get better performing components that would remove any sorts of bottlenecks (see also bottleneck calculator here) that might arise.
This is the area where GPU manufacturers shine as they tend to tinker with the clock speeds of the GPUs so that it performs better than the competition and stands out. However, with this monster of a GPU even at base clocks, you will have more than enough performance on the table. Also, many companies mention OC on the model that they’re releasing, but they are more of a market gimmick than an actual performance increase. So make sure you don’t fall for it as well and base your decision on other factors. If you want to check if CPU is overclocked, check this article.
Make sure that the card has the appropriate thermal design so that it can stay cool and perform well. Moreover, at higher temps, the GPU is programmed to throttle which means performance degradation. The cooler the card, the more OC headroom you have and the better it performs in general.
Now that you know what factors to keep in mind when looking for an RTX 3090 let’s dive straight into the list.
Whenever gaming PC components are involved you will see MSI’s name pop up. The GPU sector is no different as MSI has released the MSI GeForce RTX 3090 GAMING X TRIO 24G with an increased power limit and an OCed processing unit. The GPU is one of the most balanced ones according to the features and price so it has been dubbed as the best budget RTX 3090.
As compared to the founder’s edition, the performance is 5% more. But, the price is justified by the thermal solution that is the inclusion of Torx fans which allow better airflow so that the card temps stay down even when it’s OCed giving you the extra performance that you need. You can easily game in 4K with this card and even crank the resolution up to 8K, although you might need to tweak some settings in modern titles.
MSI has released the GPU with 3 8 pin power connectors as compared to the 12 pin connector that Nvidia released with the founder’s edition. At base clocks, the two power connectors are more than enough to power the card, but the extra power connector gives the card plenty of OC headroom and due to its intuitive thermal design the card only reaches temps of around 74C in normal mode which is quite low and gives you a lot of OC headroom giving you the performance that you need from the card so you can play at those visually vibrant and crisp detail providing high resolutions.
Next up on the list is the ASUS TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 3090 OC which belongs to the TUF product series. Since it belongs to the TUF series it is to be expected that this GPU is designed to be extra durable since it would include military-grade build quality.
The GPU is based on the Twin ball bearing architecture and the military-grade capacitors help make sure that the card has an extended life period. ASUS has included the GPU tweak 2 software which helps in tweaking the card performance along with thermal profiles and system monitoring.
While you don’t get much of a performance boost in terms of specs, but that is compensated by the build quality and durability. This GPU won’t give out on you for a decade at the very least. Asus has done comprehensive research on thermal solutions and it has tactically applied that to the fan and heat sink design so that the card remains cool even under intense workloads as well as silent. A silent mode has been included which ensures that the fans turn off under idle workloads and lower temps. This card can take some rough treatment and it will withstand quite a lot, if you want sturdy build quality and a cool hard performing RTX 3090 then this GPU is the right choice.
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Not much of a performance gain over the founder’s edition
Next up on the list is the RTX 3090 which is well-deserving of its title of Best flagship RTX 3090. When Nvidia released the RTX 3090 founder’s edition, the market was flooded with multiple variants of the GPU from the different AIB partners who got the production rights.
Gigabyte has gone overboard as most AIB partners only provide one variant of a specific GPU, but Gigabyte has provided two, the Gaming OC and Eagle OC. The Eagle OC variant is a lower-end GPU while the GAMING OC is the higher end and it has been OCed around 60 MHz over the founder’s edition. Due to the thermal design, the WINDFORCE cooling system the card has got further OC headroom so that tweakers can experiment and extract the performance the card has to offer while keeping it cool.
The card takes up to three slots so make sure you have ample space in the case. Graphene-lubricated bearings with double the MTBF have been included with the fans to help them dissipate heat faster and extend the lifetime of the card. Gigabyte is also giving a 4-year warranty with the card as compared to the usual 2 years given by most companies. Not that you would need it since the card has been designed to be super durable and will last you a while which it should as it’s not going obsolete anytime soon and the money you spent on it should last you a while so you don’t need to upgrade.
With RTX 3090, they went a step further and made a GPU that was single-handedly capable of handling 8K resolution in games at the highest preset, something which has only been talked about on forums and experimented on in YouTube videos. Zotac always looks out for gamers and with theZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 3090 Trinity they have tried to cater to the budget sector of the tech enthusiast market.
They have introduced a unique thermal solution on the card. Each fan on the heatsink runs at an independent speed, this way airflow gets managed easily and the heat gets taken out of the card, giving you a cool card that will perform at its peak. In the aesthetics department, LEDs have been included on the sides and rear and to sweeten the deal, you can control the colors on the LEDs. Since they introduced this unique fan design, there is some OC headroom present as well, which you can utilize to get those extra frames no matter what type of game you’re playing.
The performance is commendable and mind-blowing. During benchmarking, it was found to have just maxed out the 1080p and 2K, and it’s an overkill GPU for these resolutions. While at 4K it outshines all other GPUs as it gives 70+ FPS in GPU demanding titles. Right now, it is one of the most economical RTX 3090s in the market and will make a worthy addition to your setup.
EVGA has tweaked the power limit of the founder’s edition 3090 and given an enhanced cooling design to it. This results in a big performance gain for the EVGA card as the power tweaking is done by dividing it into power stages and the cooling allows for a lot of OC headroom that doesn’t exist on other cards. The card has got a factory default core clock of 1800MHz and the cooling allows for even higher clock speeds.
EVGA has made sure that the card doesn’t sag or break as it has become quite the issue in recent times for many GPUs. A metal backplate has been added of high-quality material to provide extra support. The card comes integrated with H.265 codec and is capable of running two 8K displays side by side, a feature that many cards don’t boast about. EVGA has also included SLI capability and the card can perform in sync with another card to give a performance boost in some pc applications.
EVGA has installed dual BIOS on the card that allows you to switch between the normal and OC mode. You would fare well with the normal profile in routine as it allows for fans to be turned off at lower temps. While the OC mode doesn’t do that, but it keeps the temps down when further tweaking is done. EVGA has also included the triple 8 pin power connectors so that the card can get the full 450W with no problems and perform at the maximum level giving you all the performance it can give. If you want to game in 8K then this card is the right choice for you.
Whenever there is discussion about high-end GPUs, ASUS will always go in gun blazing with its ROG series that has been designed to cater to gaming and tech enthusiasts. How can ASUS lag behind its competitors when it comes to developing an RTX 3090? It doesn’t.
ASUS has launched theASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3090 with a boosted OC mode and given the users the ability to manually OC the card, which all tweakers love to do.
ASUS has gone the extra mile and made sure that the RTX 3090 it was giving to its consumers has the highest performance per watt ratio and it has double the FP32 output as compared to the rest of the cards. This is due to Ampere’s architecture which brings performance to the table unlike any GPU architecture launched before. Normally, the GPU will be drawing out 350W, which is equal to the founder’s edition. But, ASUS has tinkered with the power limit and extended it to 480W which makes it an ideal variant for Overclocking.
According to benchmarks, the card has delivered 100+ FPS in games running at the ultra-preset in 4K resolution. At 480W of power draw, the card reached clock speeds of 2040MHz, which is insane. Even at these speeds the card only reached the 68C threshold. At lower fan speeds and silent profile, the card only reached a temperature of 73C which speaks volumes of the card thermal design and performance. ASUS made sure that it loaded this monster of a card so that all of us can just doodle on its capabilities. If you want this Minotaur GPU, you will need a PSU of 800W to power your system so you can take advantage of its performance capacity.
Nvidia has given us a monster in the form of RTX 3090 and I have included the best of the best variants of the GPU in this list. . While, the card has been advertised as an 8K card, but gaming at 8K native resolution is not a reality, yet.
If money isn’t an issue then go for the ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3090 variant as it is the best option in the market right now, if you want a price to performance then you can get the ZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 3090 Trinity. However, if you still have trouble making your decision make sure you read the factors to consider section and you will be good to go.
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