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Finally, the product release that many had been waiting for. NVIDIA recently announced its next-generation RTX 3000 Series GPUs, and the stated capabilities are amazing.
Early this year, I built a new maxed-out PC from the ground up. Every component was, in my opinion, the highest power and quality available, except for one. I decided to temporarily include one of my three-year-old GTX 1080Ti GPUs instead of the latest ones available at that time. I did so because a new generation of GPUs from NVIDIA was due within the next year. I expected it to be announced at CES 2021. Of course, there will be no in-person CES this year, so some companies are starting to announce new technology earlier, and this week, NVIDIA did just that.
On September 1, NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang announced the RTX 3000 series as NVIDIA's “new top-of-the-industry flagship" GPUs, confirming months of speculation and leaked information and pictures. He stated that the RTX 3080, which is the middle-of-the-road device in the new series, will double the performance of the presently available $1,200+ RTX 2080 GPU with a price starting at $699, or just slightly more than half the price of the present 2080.
Huang also announced the RTX 3070; its power will reportedly slightly exceed the present top of the line $1,200 RTX 2080 Ti with the price starting at only $499. He then proceeded to provide many spec details and demonstrations, showing the amazing capabilities of these devices based on their next-generation Ampere architecture.
Then, Huang detailed the new top-of-the-line monster: the three-slot RTX 3090 at a price of $1,499. Yes, it’s a high price for just a single PC component, but when you compare the power and capabilities of this upcoming beast with those of today’s high-end units, it is very tempting indeed. That card, according to NVIDIA, is 50% faster than the monstrous TITAN RTX card and will let players run games at 8K resolutions and 60 frames per second. High-end video creation and viewing, and multiple high-end monitors, will also take great advantage of this beast.
In all three GPUs that were announced, the performance to price ratio seems excellent. These announcements were followed by videos of gamers playing recent RTX-enabled 3D games at 8K resolution and "60 frames per second." For the last year or so, NVIDIA has pushed the value of ray tracing made possible by the last generation’s Pascal architecture. During this presentation, Huang made the following statement: "To all my Pascal gaming friends, it is safe to update now."
The three new graphics cards are the first consumer-level devices powered by NVIDIA's Ampere architecture. NVIDIA states that this means huge performance improvements over previous generations of devices. Graphics cards are essential for the rapidly growing PC gamer market, providing the backbone for all of the amazing photorealistic on-screen effects that make today's games look so realistic. With its first RTX line of cards, NVIDIA began implementing true-to-life lighting effects using ray-tracing technology, and the Ampere-powered RTX 3000 Series builds on that. In addition, they are bringing ray-tracing to the incredibly popular game Fortnite, giving gamers more of a reason to upgrade to the latest chips.
NVIDIA's graphics chips have been the company's main source of revenue for years, but with the realization that graphics processors can be used to handle large workloads like those needed for artificial intelligence, such chips have made their way into high-end servers run by some of the biggest tech names in the world. This has led to an increase in NVIDIA's data center revenue, which—for the first time—surpassed gaming revenue in Q2 2020.
Of course, the pandemic, which caused many to stay at home, has also contributed to the increases in gaming revenue for the industry. This involved not only gaming software but hardware as well. In that quarter, the data center segment brought in about $1.75 billion in revenue, while the gaming business saw $1.65 billion in revenue. In the prior quarter, the company saw $1.14 billion in data center revenue and $1.34 billion in gaming revenue.
This is one of the first of many technology device component announcements that I expect to see over the next few months. I will cover them, as well as the online 2021 CES event in January. I will also let you know how well this new GPU beast works as soon as I can get my hands on one.