NVIDIA's new RTX 3080 Ti graphics card provides RTX 3090-grade performance for $300 less. With that in mind, many have begun to ask whether there's any point in using the RTX 3090 now.
Depending on your use case, the RTX 3080 Ti may or may not be an ideal fit for your PC build. After all, not everyone buys a graphics card just for gaming these days. So, let's look at the three reasons why the RTX 3090 is still a better buy than the RTX 3080 Ti—even with a higher asking price.
1. The RTX 3090's 24GB VRAM Is Ideal for Higher Resolution Gaming
The RTX 3080 Ti has 12GB of VRAM, which isn't bad by any means, but it's just one gigabyte more than the RTX 2080 Ti from 2018 and the GTX 1080 Ti from 2017. NVIDIA advertises the RTX 3090 as an 8K gaming graphics card because of the massive 24GB VRAM it offers.
Even at 4K resolution in some graphically intensive games, like Horizon: Zero Dawn and Call of Duty: Black Ops—Cold War, you'd consume nearly 12GB of VRAM at ultra-quality settings. Therefore, if you like to keep playing at higher resolutions, you're better off with the more expensive RTX 3090 since it's more future-proof.
Also: If you're into 3D rendering, or your profession requires it, the RTX 3090 is easily the better gaming processing unit (GPU) for your workstation build. It has twice the video memory for any task you throw at it.
2. RTX 3090 Is Better at Mining Ethereum Than the RTX 3080 Ti
NVIDIA currently sells Lite Hash Rate variants of its Ampere-based GPUs to combat miners and improve availability. As the name suggests, these variants have half the hash rate as the original models that first came out. The newer RTX 3080 Ti GPU also has a capped hash rate, meaning it's nowhere near as good at mining Ethereum as the original RTX 3080.
Fortunately, the only model that remains unaffected in the hash rate department is the RTX 3090. NVIDIA doesn't sell a Lite Hash Rate variant for this particular model. Therefore, if you're looking to get a brand new GPU for mining with an uncapped hash rate, it'd be worth spending $300 more on the RTX 3090, provided you're lucky enough to find one in stock.
3.The RTX 3080 Ti Has a Lower-Tier Die
Most of you will be surprised to find that NVIDIA's RTX 3080, RTX 3080 Ti, and RTX 3090 GPUs all use the same GA102 die. So, what's with this huge difference in prices, you ask?
Well, it all comes down to a process called silicon binning or chip binning.
NVIDIA marks the lowest-tier die as the GA102-200, and it goes straight into the $699 RTX 3080. The most expensive RTX 3090 model uses the GA102-300 die, but the chips that aren't good enough to be on it make their way to the RTX 3080 Ti as the GA102-250 dies.
These binned chips tend to overclock better than lower-tier dies, meaning you're more likely to successfully push the RTX 3090 to its limits with overclocking software and squeeze some extra performance for no additional cost.
The RTX 3090 Is Still Better for Some Users
Spending $300 less on an RTX 3080 Ti that performs similar to the RTX 3090 in every single game sounds perfect if you're a gamer. However, you need to be aware of what you'll be missing out on if you take the more popular route.
If you're a miner or a 3D artist, stay away from the RTX 3080 Ti at all costs. Also, if you plan to hook up your gaming PC to your new 8K TV, keep your eyes on the RTX 3090's 24GB video memory for now.