Tech enthusiasts expected Fall 2020 to be an amazing quarter, but the new NVidia Ampere series of GPUs has surprised even the most optimistic consumers. Ampere, also referred to as the 3000 series, will bring the most powerful GPUs – graphics processing units — ever seen to the consumer market. Moreover, it does so at relatively affordable prices. Researchers, digital artists, and gamers alike will benefit from the vastly improved technology brought by Ampere.
The entry-level card of the series is the RTX 3070, which still clocks in at $500. However, though the price may seem high, the price-performance ratio is better than many cards from previous generations. For example, this card is faster than the RTX 2080Ti which launched last year for $1200. The card includes 5,888 CUDA cores, which is a staggering amount that nearly quadruples the GTX 970 many computer enthusiasts have clung onto. It’s also 60% faster than the previous generation’s RTX 2070. In practice, this means that Photoshop users will see significantly faster effects, video editors will see faster rendering times, and gamers will see improved framerates.
Next, the RTX 3080 is one step up, featuring a similarly staggering jump in performance; it runs at almost twice the speed of the last gen RTX 2080, and will be sold for the same $700 price. Though this puts it out of budget for all but enthusiasts, it’s an incredible deal when considering the raw hardware given. This is likely the sweet spot for “prosumers,” average people who like to dip into professional style editing or digital art; most programs will execute blazing fast, and the card should be sufficient for many years.
Finally, the RTX 3090 is the flagship unit, delivering an incredible amount of sheer power at a similarly incredible price: a flabbergasting $1500. The unit itself is gargantuan, taking up three whole slots vertically – one and a half times a normal card. It’s also incredibly long and may not fit in all cases. However, those with the money and means will get to enjoy the first card designed for 8K gaming and editing. It boasts 20% more CUDA cores than even the RTX 3080 as well as more than twice the video memory.
For computer users who’ve been holding onto their GTX 900 and 1000 series cards, it seems as though it’s finally safe to upgrade. Despite the increased costs, the value given by the RTX 3000 series of cards more than makes up for it, especially when considering the extra technology offered. This would make an excellent gift this winter. The only caveat is the limited supply – with GPUs flying off the shelves, good luck getting one!
Author: Grey Ruessler, Tech Assistant