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Nvidia’s Ampere-based RTX 3000-series GPUs are nearly here

16 Sep 2020

Further to their recent announcement regarding the new Ampere RTX 3000-series graphics cards, earlier this week NVIDIA released more details to select A/NZ media.

If you are after one of Nvidia’s flagship Founders Edition GPUs, the only authorised place that you can order one in Australia and New Zealand is via Mwave.com.au. Anticipating a huge demand for the limited FE stock that will be available locally, the Australian retailer will be allocating supply via a raffle.

Nvidia fans will need to enter the raffle for the RTX 3080, RTX 3090 and RTX 3070. Winners will be offered the opportunity to purchase one of the sought-after Founders Edition cards.

Here are the details:

Mwave Founders Edition Raffle Raffle closes Raffle drawn
GEFORCE RTX 3080: $1,139 AUD inc GST 2PM AEST September 18, 2020 3PM AEST September 18, 2020
GEFORCE RTX 3090: $2,429 AUD inc GST 2PM AEST September 25, 2020 3PM AEST September 25, 2020
GEFORCE RTX 3070 TBC TBC

With the first wave of partner cards from the likes of PNY, Asus and Gigabyte due for release on the same day as the Nvidia Founders Edition graphics cards, there’s likely to be enough to go around. I wouldn’t put it past the usual opportunist eBay scalpers getting in there buying them all up, though.

The Founders Edition cards are the only ones with a definite price attached to them and are likely to be some of the cheapest of the new RTX offerings. But should you jump now?

The Nvidia RTX 3000-series FE cards look the business. They are sharp, apparently well cooled and quiet. But they are also likely to not be the fastest versions of the GPUs. If you are OK with the usual RGB stylings of 3rd party graphics cards, the second wave of partner cards is pretty-much guaranteed to offer some interesting overclocks and performance boosts over the Nvidia FE cards.

Whichever route you go, there’s no doubt in my mind that these 2nd generation Nvidia’s RTX GPUs are a worthwhile investment for any gamer. The RTX 2000-series was released a bit too soon and at far too high a price. It's not much fun investing in a two grand GPU and then having to wait a year before there’s anything at actually makes use of it. New RTX 3000-series owners will not only be paying less for the price of admission, but they will also be jumping into a large pool of games that readily make use of the Ampere’s RTX ray-tracing and AI functionality.

Nvidia’s flagship gaming GPU, the Geforce RTX 3080, is said to have twice the performance of the RTX 2080 (not the RTX 2080 Ti) at just over half the cost of the RTX 2080 Ti. The more budget-conscious RTX 3070 is supposed to be a bit faster than the RTX 2080 Ti at under half the cost.

I’ve not actually benchmarked (or even touched) one of these cards yet. But, reading between the lines. I’d say an RTX 3070 being about equal to an RTX 2080 Ti is probably about right (ignoring driver efficiencies and DLSS advancements etc.). New RTX 3080 owners should expect at least a 25% performance increase over an RTX 2080 Ti. The new cards are supposed to have a better performance to wattage, so they’ll likely run cooler. We may also see some interesting overclocks.

This new generation of RTX cards is more of a revolution from the RTX 2000-series than the (still impressive) evolution from the GTX 1000-series to the RTX 2000-series in terms of raw performance and the cost of that performance.

Nvidia is also supporting their RTX customers via some interesting software apps. The upcoming AI-based Broadcast suite of plugins for live video cleans up audio enhances your camera and sorts out your mic. Reflex allows for pro-level mouse calibration. Machinima makes movie-making using game assets easy. Add in the advantages for streamer of playing and encoding using the same PC and the potential support of 8K/60 fps gaming and the next few years with Nvidia should be very interesting.

Watch out for a full review of the 2nd generation of RTX GPUs soon.