Nvidia is officially announcing its RTX 40-series GPUs today. After months of gossips and recent teasing from Nvidia, the RTX 4090 and RTX 4080 are both officials.
The RTX 4090 comes on October 12th, priced at $1,599, with the RTX 4080 starting at $899 and available in November. Nvidia’s next-gen Ada Lovelace architecture powers both.
The RTX 4090 is the top-end card for the Ada Lovelace generation. It will dispatch with a massive 24GB of GDDR6X memory. Nvidia claims it’s 2–4x faster than the RTX 3090 Ti and will uses the same power as that last generation card. Nvidia needs a power supply of at least 850 watts based on a PC with a Ryzen 5900X processor.
All three RTX 40-series cards will include new Nvidia ShadowPlay aid to capture gameplay at up to 8K resolution at 60 FPS in HDR. Nvidia is also using its latest Encoders (NVENC) with the backing for AV1 encoding and enhanced efficiency for live streams using AV1.
Without Nvidia’s own Founders Edition graphics cards, it wouldn’t be a recent RTX launch. With its in-house design, Nvidia will market GeForce RTX 4090 and RTX 4080 (16GB) graphics cards. It’s a design that the company has elevated once again.
Nvidia keeps the PCIe Gen-5 16-pin connector with its own RTX 40-series cards instead of the custom solution it created for its own RTX 30-series Founders Edition GPUs. Like the earlier connector, it’s a single cable that will power a 40-series card, or you can employ an adapter included in the box to connect three 8-pin power connectors. Nvidia says you might want to enter the fourth one for “more overclocking headroom.”
ATX 3.0 power supplies that will natively support PCIe Gen-5 16-pin connectors are anchoring in October from Asus, Cooler Master, FSP, Gigabyte, iBuyPower, MSI, and Thermaltake. More models from other manufacturers are expected soon, too.
Nvidia introduced its third-generation Ada Lovelace RTX architecture with a Racer RTX demo today — a simulation of an off-road kart racing game. The Racer RTX demo was powered by a single Ada Lovelace GPU, which includes 76 billion transistors and is created on TSMC’s 4nm process.
Ada Lovelace also includes third-generation RT cores designed to improve ray tracing significantly. Part of the improvements comes down to a new DLSS 3 AI that processes the latest and prior frames to figure out how game scenes are changing. Nvidia demonstrated Microsoft Flight Simulator frame rates more than doubling using DLSS 3. This new frame generation should mean DLSS 3 can boost frame rates even when a CPU bottlenecks a game.
Nvidia says DLSS 3 is coming to more than 35 games and apps, starting with the first games in October. We’ll naturally need to put all of Nvidia’s claims to the test in the coming months as it launches the RTX 4090 and two models of the RTX 4080.
The launch of RTX 40-series cards is challenging for Nvidia and the GPU market. First, the crypto crash has dampened GPU demand, and more recently, the prevalence of GPU-based crypto mining has plummeted thanks to Ethereum’s switch to proof of stake. As a result, Nvidia’s gaming revenue dropped by a staggering $1 billion in its latest earnings.
Nvidia’s launch is focused on its first-party Founders Edition graphics cards. Still, these will be sold alongside additional GPUs from hardware partners such as Asus, Colorful, Gainward, Galaxy, Gigabyte, INNO3D, MSI, Palit, PNY, and Zotac.
These third-party GPU models use the same Nvidia processors but may be configured differently and have different coolers. But don’t expect to see RTX 40-series GPUs from EVGA, which recently announced it would no longer be making Nvidia graphics cards, citing poor behavior from the chip maker.