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NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 and RTX 4090 are massive – quadruple the raytracing performance

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RTX 4080 and RTX 4090

NVIDIA is pulling out all the stops. It does so with its new NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 and especially with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090, its new dedicated graphics cards featuring the Ada Lovelace architecture for the first time.

The first members of the RTX 4000 family make a remarkable leap in performance, with up to four times the previous generation in raytracing and double the performance in raster games. The improvements don’t stop there, and we have DLSS 3 to help make ray tracing no longer an obstacle to fantastic FPS gaming and 3D experiences.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 and 4090 Datasheet

RTX 4080RTX 4090
CUDA KERNELS7,680 / 9,72816,384
MAXIMUM CLOCK RATE2,610 / 2,510MHz2,520MHz
BASE CLOCK RATE2,310 / 2,210MHz2,230MHz
MEMORY12 / 16GB GDDR6X24GB GDDR6X
MEMORY INTERFACE WIDTH192 / 256 bit384 bit
CONNECTORS1 x HDMI 2.1a
3x DisplayPort 1.4a
1 x HDMI 2.1a
3x DisplayPort 1.4a
CONSUMPTION285 / 320W450W
DIMENSIONS / SLOTS304 x 137 mm
3 slots
304x137mm
3 slots
PRICEFrom $1,099 / €1,469From $1,599 / €1,959

Goodbye Ampere, hello Ada Lovelace

The new graphics cards presented by Jensen Huang make use of the new Ada Lovelace architecture. With it comes new streaming multiprocessors – up to twice the performance and power efficiency – new 4th generation Tensor cores – up to twice the performance in AI operations – and new 3rd generation RT (RayTracing) cores – up to twice the performance in ray tracing.

Ada Lovelace

The new TSMC 4N manufacturing process (which is 5-nanometer photolithography) has enabled the integration of 76 billion transistors and strengthened the three areas of ray tracing that NVIDIA is taking to a new level with this architecture and these graphics cards.

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The improvements affect several areas, but Jensen Huang made special mention of the Shader Execution Reordering technology. To date, ray tracing has been very difficult to parallelize, but GPUs are chips designed to work in parallel.

RTX 4090

This technology enables just that: it rearranges workloads into more efficient ones and achieves a threefold increase in the performance of raytracing operations. That’s the first help for RTX-enabled gaming frame rates to go up. It’s not the only one.

The other is undoubtedly DLSS 3, the new version of this artificial intelligence-based technology that, thanks to the new Tensor Core, can “predict” and “generate” not pixels, but entire frames.

DLSS

What is the impact of these improvements? According to Huang and NVIDIA’s data, the improvement is very noticeable. When the first RTX 2000s were released the performance with RT on and DLSS off was for example 22-23 frames in Cyberpunk 2077. With RT and DLSS 3, that figure goes up to 98-100 FPS (no graphics not stated, but we assume he was referring to the 4090 in this case), which suddenly makes the fluidity fantastic and the level of photorealism spectacular as well.

Promising performance

We’ll have to wait for definitive performance data once independent benchmarks are released, but NVIDIA wanted to make it clear that both the RTX 4090 and RTX 4080 achieve this (compared to the RTX 3090 Ti and RTX 3080 Ti respectively):

  • Up to 2x the performance in raster games
  • Up to 4x the performance in raytraced games
RTX 4090 comparison
RTX 4090 comparison

Of course, these promises will depend a lot on the game and also on other parameters such as CPU, memory, or board with which the computer is configured and, of course, the resolution at which we are displaying the game: these technologies make the difference especially when we play at 4K.

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This performance has a clear counterpart: the power consumption of these graphics cards rises to 450 W in the case of the RTX 4090. NVIDIA uses the 16-pin PCIe 5.0 connector, but we can also use an adapter with three 8-pin connectors, although there will be an option for a fourth connector to give overclockers room to maneuver.

The dimensions are also huge for these graphics cards: in the case of the Founders Edition that has been shown, both the 16GB RTX 4080 and RTX 4090 will be 304 mm long and will occupy three slots, which will have to be taken into account when using them for our PCs.

Pricing and Availability of the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 and RTX 4090

The new NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 will be available starting October 12. The RTX 4080 will be available from November, although no specific date has been given. Pricing is as follows:

  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 (12GB) starting at $899
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 (16GB) from $1,199
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 (24GB): from $1,599.

The prices are certainly low and the euro-dollar parity does not help (euro prices are respectively €1,099, €1,469, and €1,959), and it will also have to be seen what the impact of this launch is on sales of the previous RTX 3000 family that was long inaccessible due to cryptocurrency mining.

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