Which NVIDIA 30-Series Graphics card should I buy?
A GPU is the heart of a gaming PC, and every gamer harbors a dream of outfitting their PC with the best possible GPU they can get their hands on. But the recent release of Nvidia’s high-end gaming cards has put many gamers in a dilemma.
While the performance of their base card, RTX 3060, is higher than the threshold of the previous-gen (RTX 2080), the cost remains lower, and hence, gamers are conflicted about the choice of GPU for their PCs.
In order to find the right GPU for your needs and preference, you need to understand what these GPUs have to offer and what their primary implementations are. Going overboard, although quite remarkable, is not a financially advisable thing to do.
NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX 30 SERIES
The latest Nvidia graphic cards are powered by the “Ampere'' technology- Nvidia’s second-generation RTX architecture. This build is better than the previous “Turing” model, as it utilizes the energy efficiently and manages to pack even more memory and cores than the previous best (2080ti).
Due to the usage of second-generation RTX cores, the ultimate output of the GPU is around twice the previous model. It also packs in more tensor cores, and a new SM ensures you get the maximum possible processing capacity at minimal investment.
The RTX series is different from standard cards, and that difference is visible in its name. The RT stands for “Ray Tracing.” This means that light, inside the game world, will behave according to the same laws of physics as it does in the real world. This might seem absurd, but the difference is tremendous. The stages are better lit, and rainy scenes are more vibrant and lively, etc. And all of this has been made possible due to the ray-tracing cores of RTX cards.
The capacity of the cards has also been significantly upgraded over the previous generations. This means that you would need a cheaper variant for carrying out the same task compared to the last-gen.
With this generation, Nvidia also introduced the DLSS technology. DLSS stands for Deep Learning Super Sampling and is of great use to AI and data scientists. The DLSS technology makes use of the superior tensor cores in order to use the help of AI and render high-quality graphics without lags and stutters. In the words of Nvidia-” DLSS taps into the power of a deep learning neural network to boost frame rates and generate beautiful, sharp images for your games.”. And it stands up to its claims, even going further beyond in some cases.
NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX 30 Ti SERIES
The suffix “Ti” stands for titanium and is Nvidia’s way of advertising their higher grade GPUs. This doesn’t mean that the cards themselves contain any more titanium used in production than the non-Ti version. It is just used to refer to a card with similar performance to the base card but a higher number of CUDA (Shader) cores and designated VRAM.
These cards usually perform better than the non-Ti ones and are also sold at a comparatively higher price point. The price difference is not huge and usually corresponds with the higher VRAM and cores installed.
To understand it better, we can use an analogy- If a task requires 8 GB of VRAM and X number of CUDA cores, then it is better to buy a card that is a bit higher than the actual requirements. But if you don’t want to spend a lot on the higher versions, the improved base version comes as a great alternative.
On average, a Ti GPU is better by 31.075% than a non-Ti version of the same base GPU. This statistic may vary but is more or less consistent. These cards were benchmarked using Octane Bench and are compatible with all the results through other sources, like Cinebench.
With that said, the Ti versions of the RTX series promise to deliver higher output, albeit at a bit higher cost. The upgrade in performance is not extreme but is quite visible during actual usage and gaming.
NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX 3060 (AND THE Ti VARIANT)
Both the variants of this card are priced right below 400$. However, the Ti version comes with GA104 GPU, which is the same silicon used in the 3070 and the 3080. It has fewer CUDA cores and SMs but has a similar “bloodline,” essentially like those of the mightier versions.
|RTX 3060||RTX 3060Ti|
|MEMORY||12 GB DDR6||8 GB DDR6|
|MEMORY BANDWIDTH||360 GB/S||448 GBP/S|
|BASE CLOCK||1.32 GHz||1.41|
|BOOST CLOCK||1.78 GHz||1.67|
Higher bandwidth and clock speeds allow the GPU to load the images faster. Higher shader cores (CUDA) and SMs translate to higher data transfer rates. And the lower price makes them economical for people building PCs on a budget.
NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX 3070 (AND THE Ti VARIANT)
The RTX 3070 is the card that is aimed towards people trying to game at 1440p at really high refresh rates. The advanced GA104 silicon allows it to provide exceptional performance with excellent cooling. The Ti version builds upon this further and will enable you to game on ultra-wide monitors seamlessly.
|RTX 3070||RTX 3070Ti|
|MEMORY||8 GB DDR6X||8 GB DDR6X|
|MEMORY BANDWIDTH||512 GB/S||608.3 GBP/S|
|BASE CLOCK||1.5 GHz||1.57 GHz|
|BOOST CLOCK||1.73 GHz||1.77 GHz|
NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX 3080 (AND THE Ti VARIANT)
RTX 3080 is considered to be the epitome of gaming cards when it comes to 4K gaming at high refresh rates. The Ti version of this card just adds on top of the already beefy specs. These cards together can chew through any game and provide more than 60 FPS on almost all games at ultra settings (on a 4K display). This is not a small feat, seeing as how detailed and vibrant images these graphic cards have to produce.
|RTX 3080||RTX 3080Ti|
|MEMORY||10 GB DDR6X||12 GB DDR6X|
|MEMORY BANDWIDTH||760.3 GB/S||912 GBP/S|
|BASE CLOCK||1.44 GHz||1.57 GHz|
|BOOST CLOCK||1.71 GHz||1.66 GHz|
NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX 3090
RTX 3090 is considered the big ferocious GPU (BFGPU) from NVIDIA geared towards hardcore gamers and content designers. It outclasses all the previous GPUs by a considerable margin. The pricing, while equally extreme, is justified in this case. This card can chew through any game and any program. It is the ultimate card that every gamer dreams of, and hence, it is also one of the scarcest to find in the market. This card does not have a Ti version available yet, though chances of it popping up in the future seem pretty high.
|MEMORY||24 GB DDR6X|
|MEMORY BANDWIDTH||936.2 GB/S|
|BASE CLOCK||1.4 GHz|
|BOOST CLOCK||1.7 GHz|
There are many cards on the market. Their features, even more so. Finding the right card can be difficult, especially if you are on a budget. However, if you research correctly, then it might be possible for you to get the best possible card in your budget.
Blindly buying a card is not the answer. You need to look at the various things that you will be using the cards for. For example, a 3060 would be enough for a cheap gaming pc, while a 3070Ti would be more than enough for professional esports. Hence, buy the card after compartmentalizing its use, and only then invest in the brand. Otherwise, you will end with a card that, while powerful, wouldn’t be able to exert its full power due to a lack of resources.