Nvidia released their RTX 3090 cards in September 2020, making them the latest and the most expensive desktop graphic card/ GPU to be launched by NVIDIA as of yet. With big shoes to fill and a lot of expectations to live up to, the company has tried to go all out with it. The price point it is being sold on being proof of that. This monster of a GPU, advertised as being able to run a heavy AAA game at 8k with 60 fps, just gets more and more insane the more you look into it. With third party card manufacturers in the picture, the GPU is bound to vary, specs and price vise, with different versions of it.
In this guide right here, we will dive further into the different variants of the RTX 3090, and the specifications, extra features, and price points they have to offer. We will also be doing a general comparison of each of the card’s pros and cons. After the list, we will go through a set of different factors that would help you choose one card among the ones in our list. And then we will have a little FAQ session at the end.
List of 7 Best RTX 3090 Cards
Here we have our first pick of the day, the MSI Gaming GeForce RTX 3090.
With its powerful RTX 3090 GPU and a set of different exclusive features that come with the graphics card associated with MSI, the card retails at a slightly higher price than its corresponding GPU. Slightly expensive, no doubt about that, but one would not go through this guide in the first place if they were not prepared for the investment.
The out-of-the-box performance of this card is impressive, being factory calibrated by MSI. The physical design is very striking, with its 12.7-inch body. The mere physical size is enough to make you consider re-doing your gaming rig, because it may not fit into an entry-level system. You would require a large case for enough ventilation. With its RGB mystic light, you get complete control of your lighting for your MSI products.
If we talk about the performance, NVIDIA has promised a lot with its RTX 3090 claiming it to able to run games at 8k. With proper tuning, there is going to be a drastic improvement in your gaming experience. It comes with, as advertised on their website, a staggering 24 GB of GDDR6X memory, with a memory speed of 19.5 Gbps. This graphic card is a beast. It also comes with a boost clock of 1785 MHz
It has a TRI FROZR 2 Thermal Design which goes hard on the cooling and quieting systems of this card. With 3 fans to cool it down when it is powered up. The core pipes are designed to spread the heat along their lengths for maximum cooling. And in addition to that, it comes with an Airflow Control that enhances the airflow through the body. In addition to everything, the power consumption with this card hard reached levels unprecedented.
The best part about this graphics card is, as we mentioned before, the factory-tuned settings. It is out-of-the-box at its maximum performance and does not require a lot, not even overclocking, to work better. What stands out for us in this card as compared to the other cards is its substantially quieter performance. So, if that is what you want in a graphics card that has an RTX 3090 GPU, this one is probably your way to go.
Another powerhouse of a graphics card for the RTX 3090, the PNY XLR8 GeForce RTX 3090 Triple Fan has rightfully taken second place in our list
This card is employed with a triple cooling fan system unlike the founder’s version, the rest of the specifications and performance are the same. Like all of the others on our, this card is also on the higher side regarding the price. It also retails higher than the corresponding GPU.
This card is very similar to the MSI Gaming GeForce RTX 3090 (and many others in this list), with its triple cooling system and its 24 GB GDDR6X memory. It also has 19.5 Gbps memory speed and can support an 8k resolution as well (as claimed with all GeForce RTX 3090 graphics cards). The physical design of the card itself is very gamer friendly. It is similar in size to the previous graphics card, with its 12.4-inch body.
The triple-fan cooling system included is not as visually appealing as the other variants of the same GPU, these fans, however, do their job of keeping the heat out. The difference in the card’s thermal performance is drastically felt if compared to the classic version.
The card has a boost clock of 1695 MHz, which can be further pushed with overclocking.
While we think there are other AIBs out there that are much more interesting and that offer more features than this one. The PNY XLR8 GeForce RTX 3090 Triple Fan is still standing strong amongst all the others, with its competitive price (as far as prices for GeForce RTX 3090 graphic cards are concerned).
The third graphics card on our list is the Zotac GeForce RTX 3090 Trinity, with similar specifications and its unique features given to it by Zotac.
The price of the graphics card, yet again, is slightly higher than its GPU, but not as high as the other AIB cards. It comes with a set of inherent Zotac features in addition to the monster specifications of the GeForce RTX 3090. The card is excellent for someone looking for the following characteristics in it.
This unique variant comes with a 24 GB GDDR6X memory, a memory clock of 19.5 Gbps, and the conventional IceStorm 2.0 cooling solution associated with other Zotac graphics cards. It also comes with, what Zotac advertises as, dynamic RGB lights, equipping the graphics card with LEDs. This creates a stark dynamic between its beautiful metal die-case black plated body, and the ARGB LED lighting.
The physical design and the cooling system employed in the card are similar to Zotac’s version of the previous GPU, The GeForce RTX 3080. The dynamic RGB and the black plated body is what they call HoloBlack. The card has RGB lighting from its front to back, which gives it a very gamer-oriented look. These lights can also be personalized. The card also uses a custom PCB and not the one in the founder’s version.
Performance-vise, the Zotac GeForce RTX 3090 Trinity has a boost from its founder’s version. Not drastically though. At a 4k, most AAA games will run at a whopping 90 fps.
The card also comes with, as mentioned before, a signature cooling system called the IceStorm 2.0. The fan has an 11-blade structure, which improves the airflow. The aluminum heatsinks and copper pipes help with the distribution of heat more efficiently. There is an automatic fan stopping technology which allows quieter performance. All of this in addition to personal control of the movement of fans for the user.
All of this comes with a cost of high-power consumption, but the card only offers you a 350 W power limit and does not allow any manual adjustments. Which further complicates overclocking for this card. But all in all, the card comes with so many inherent features that it just cannot be overlooked. We will be frank, it is absolutely beautiful to look at, on top of its powerhouse of a GPU.
The fourth graphics card on our list is the Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3090 Eagle OC. There are 5 other versions of the same GPU offered by Gigabyte, but we are going to focus on Eagle in this part of our guide.
The Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3090 Eagle OC comes with a price tag of the manufacturer’s suggested retail price. There is no drastic increase, which makes it somewhat less expensive than other GeForce RTX 3090 cards. this price point includes all the specifications from the GPU and some of its inherent features offered by Gigabyte.
The card comes with 24 GB GDDR6X memory, and the same 19.5 Gbps memory clock. The boost clock is 1725 MHz which is higher than the founder’s edition boost clock of 1695 MHz. It also comes with a unique board design, some supporting features to help it run your system to perfection, and a factory overclock.
The card employs the characteristic cooling system from Gigabyte called the Windforce 3X cooling system. It features two fan blades of 2x 90mm and 1X80mm size with alternate spinning, copper heat pipes, and direct contact with GPU. The struct of the cooling system altogether deals with heat magnificently, providing high heat dissipation and airflow. The quiet alternate spinning of the fans also provides a quieter performance, although generally louder than some other 3090 cards.
When it comes to its physical design, the card is fairly good looking. Although we believe if aesthetics is one of your main focuses, there are better options available. The card has a block, metal design that comes with a metal backplate for extra protection. It also enhances the shape of the card and gives it an aesthetic touch. It does come with its RGB lights in the shape of two slits near the logo of the card, with different customizable color options, but they are not very prominent as compared to the Zotac GeForce RTX 3090 Trinity.
The performance does not have that much difference if you set it side-by-side with the founder’s edition of the card. It works well, but does it work well enough? It works as well as the founder’s edition not less, not more. The card cannot be overclocked due to the same power limit as the card before, which affects the performance to a certain extent. All in all, the card works. Factor in the price point, and you may just have your next choice.
The founder’s edition of the RTX 3090 itself is a powerhouse of a graphics card, however, the EVGA GeForce RTX 3090 FTW3 Ultra Gaming adds more to that and pushes the card to, what you would initially consider, unreachable levels.
This makes the EVGA GeForce TX 3090 FTW3 Ultra Gaming graphics card moderately expensive than the price of the reference card. But if you are willing to spend your money on a card that has the RTX 3090 GPU and some incredible extra features, good on you. Just keep on reading below to know what the EVGA GeForce RTX 3090 FTW3 Ultra Gaming card offers for such a price point.
The card, just like every card in this list, offers a 24 GB GDDR6X memory, and the same 19.5 Gbps memory clock. And like every other RTX 3090 card, it is also advertised as being able to run games at 8k. The card is manufactured as being featured with an excellent cooling system, design, and overclocking. It comes with a boost clock of 1800 MHz (the reference card having a boost clock of 1695 MHz), a startling variation from the reference and other AIB cards on this list.
EVGA employs something called the ICX3 interactive cooling to their series 30 graphics card, this one included of course. This interactive cooling system comes with a set of micro-thin heat pipes that allow easy heat transfer. The PCB is cut out carefully in well-designed places to allow maximum airflow. The heat pipes are designed for optimal heat dissipation. The ICX3 heatsinks allow the air to run quietly and evenly thoroughly. The card is also famous for having HDB fans for quiet working, reducing the noise to maximum levels.
The body of the card is good looking, with ARGB LED on the top, that have different customizable modes. The card is also smaller than the rest of the cards that we mentioned before, having a size of 11.8 inches as compared to the average of 12.5 inches in the previous cards.
The power consumption that comes with this card is insane. It has exceeded most of the other 3090 cards in this range. The overclock value also being one of a kind. Not a lot of the other cards in this line offer the same features. This dramatically changes its performance, not only from the reference card but from other contesting cards as well. It could be considered the best among the ones we have just discussed, performance-vise. A powerhouse indeed.
Another alternative to go for, when shopping for your 3090 graphics cards is the Asus GeForce RTX 3090 TUF Gaming OC.
If we look at the card price-vise, the card is, yet again, moderately higher than the reference card price. Which makes this one rather expensive as well. It does come with the signature features from Asus associated with other products from TUF gaming.
Similar to the cards before, this one also has a 24 GB GDDR6X memory and a 19.5 Gbps. It comes with a boost clock of 1740 MHz and compared to the 1694 MHz reference card, even this can be changed by downloading the GPU Tweak II software. The rest of the specifications are the same as the reference card for this GPU.
The design of this graphics card is simple yet modern, with an all-aluminum cover that protects the card, and an industrial design for aesthetics. It also comes with a protective metal backplate that also includes a vent for the heat release. The back is designed conveniently to let all the hot air escape instead of getting recycled back into the card. The top of the card is, like other 3090 cards, equipped with an RGB element that can be customized according to the modes chosen. These modes can also be synced with other ASUS products to allow a uniform illumination.
The cooling system employs the axial teach upgrades. It uses three fans, all three are upgraded with an axial design. The movements of fans are alternative (the middle one being an exception), which allows quieter performance and less turbulence. And similar to the cards we have talked about before, the fan-stop mode is triggered when the temperature falls below a certain level, or when the card is idle. ASUS advertises their graphics card to have extra flatness which allows better contact with the thermal transfer. the card also comes with a heatsink for the VRAM to keep it cool, even in very intensive and demanding sessions
The graphics card also comes with a software called the GPU tweak II, which allows the user to push the card and tune it to higher levels than it already is. You can tune-up core clocks, memory frequency, and power consumption. There is an option to manually control fans as well.
Although, this card, like all the other 3090 cards, has high power consumption. It is not as high as the EVGA GeForce RTX 3090 FTW3 Ultra Gaming. Considering the overclocking that comes with this card, the power consumption to performance ratio is exceptionally reasonable.
How are we on the 7th card already and we still cannot see the end to this extremely long list? GeForce RTX 3090 has taken the world by storm. And this time, we are going to go for the ASUS GeForce RTX 3090 STRIX OC.
This card right here is also priced moderately higher than its corresponding reference card. But looking into it, you would believe that it is offering all the extra money back to you in terms of features, specifications, and extras.
The card has so much to offer, we do not know where to start. It is very similar to the one we detailed before, both being from ASUS of course, but some features are inherently the card’s signatures. It comes with 24GB GDDR6X memory, and a 19.5 Gbps memory speed. In addition to all the specifications associated with the 3090 GPU. So, what is different? It comes with a boost clock of 1860 MHz, which is insane.
You would not require any more performance than that, how could you? The boost clock is out of this world. It comes factory overclocked; it cannot get any better than that honestly. But even if you push it to its limits, there will not be that much of a tweak in the performance, as it already is in its best form.
The design is similar to the Asus GeForce RTX 3090 TUF Gaming OC, in addition to its metal accents. The metal accents mirror the look of the ROG and ROG Strix motherboards. The surface comes with Chassis LEDs. Which gives the card an overlook sleeker, subtle, aesthetic look. The rest of the structure is similar to the Asus GeForce RTX 3090 TUF Gaming OC, with its wide backplate vent to allow the hot air to flow out instead of getting recycled. And all that good stuff
The company has paid extra attention to the aesthetic side of things with this graphics card. The RGB element can be customized according to its mode. There is an option of red light to indicate if and when you get a problem with the power supply.
The cooling system is very similar to the Asus GeForce RTX 3090 TUF Gaming OC with its axial tech fans, with optimal design. The general blade count has been increased on the three fans; the rotation of the fans is similar. Manufactured in a way that allows minimum turbulence and maximum performance.
The card also comes with a GPU Tweak II for setting up your graphics card. You might not need it much though.
So, in short. It is a great card, it has the looks and the personality, no kidding. You would need a beefy computer to go with for it to show its maximum potential. The power consumption levels are high, but the overclocking that comes with it is amazing.
Okay so, here is the deal, there is no going around it, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 is a monster of a graphics card. The whole idea behind it is insane. With its high-power consumption, and even high memory, and an even higher price point, one would naturally think the card is marketed towards professional stations and not gamers. But surprise surprise, people working at NVIDIA just cannot help themselves.
Despite all the staggering qualities, the graphics cards associated with the 3090 GPU have had questionable availability, most of them being sold the minute they get put up. This just goes to show how eager the gaming world is for the RTX 3090.
So how do you choose the best variant for your 3090 GPU? You usually have to rack your brain a lot and research massively when you are opting for a graphics card completely arbitrarily. But since you know you want a 3090 graphics card; it makes our job of helping you choose the best variant easy.
Know your specifications
Learn more about the GPU, ask yourself the right questions. Most of these AIB cards are going to have the same basic specs of 24 GB GDDR6X memory, with a memory speed of 19.5 Gbps. But the extra features associated with the third-party manufacturers are going to vary. The core and boost clock speeds are going to vary, and a lot of extra features are going to be different from the reference card. Some of these cards may be factory tweaked, some may require manual tuning. There are going to a lot of factors contributing to one variant. And you are going to have to go through all of them to know what you want.
Have a Strong CPU
Here is the deal, the RTX 3090 is a beast, it is so powerful that it requires a PC system just as powerful, maybe even more. Most entry-level to mid-level gaming/ computer systems will not work with a graphics card of this level. Forcing it to work with one would just mean a lot of bottleneck and limits. So, you have to not only invest in buying this insanely expensive graphics card, but you need to also put aside a lot of money for a new gaming rig.
Check the MSRP
Before buying a variant, you need to be aware of the manufacturer’s suggested retail price. Compare that with the extra features and tweaks your variant of choice is offering and weigh down the similarities and differences. If you think the price increase is worth the investment (which in this GPU’s case is going to happen a lot due to its already expensive FE’s price) then that card is the one for you. If you think otherwise, go through the process with another card in your list.
Weigh Down the Similarities and Differences
The similarities are going to be easy to compare. Most of them are going to be identical to the specifications offered by the reference card. The differences are where you should be your starting point when you are about to choose. See how your variant is different from the reference card, does it offer better performance? And if it does, how much of a difference do you think it is?
Does it offer better features and extra additions to the card? If it does, are these features good enough to counter the potential price increase?
Some variants do not go higher than the MSRP, if you do not care much about the extra features, you ought to go for one of them.
Set your Priorities Straight
Make a list of attributes you would need in your graphics card. Maybe you like to focus on the aesthetic part of the whole process, and you care about the physical design of the card. Maybe you want an excellent cooling system. You might want a quieter card.
Ask yourself the right questions and focus on what you want. Because trust us when we tell you that the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 is no joke. It needs a lot of money. Might as well get the most out of what you will be spending, right?
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I buy my graphics card?
Although the availability of GeForce RTX 3090 is subjective. You can generally buy it from an electronics store near you, or any official manufacturer franchise. You can also buy it online from any trustworthy online store.
Can I buy a GeForce RTX 3090 for a laptop?
No, you cannot.
Can I play my games at 8k?
Yes, that is what GeForce RTX 3090 advertises. You need to, however, make changes here and there to make sure the performance is maximum.
Is the GeForce RTX 3090 graphics card good enough for professional use?
Yes! Although the GeForce RTX 3090 graphics cards are marketed as gamer cards they can easily be used in professional spaces as well.
How do I know if my system Is compatible with the card?
The official website for the GeForce RTX 3090 has a system compatibility portion where you can check whether your system is enough. Just make sure to have enough power supply, the recommended is 750 W.
The insane idea behind the GeForce RTX 3090 has been a continuing theme of this guide of ours. We will go on and end this guide with the same idea, this card is not for everybody. But if you are a gaming enthusiast or a professional, and you have set your eyes on it, and are willing to pay the price. Good on you.