Nvidia announces RTX 4090, 4080 and DLSS 3 cards

Nvidia announced its latest generation GeForce RTX graphics cards at its GTC AI conference. The Nvidia RTX 4090 and RTX 4080 are the first Ada Lovelace GPUs, and they should be twice as fast as their last-generation counterparts in pixelated games – and four times faster in ray tracing games. .

The RTX 4090 24GB will be available on October 12 and cost $1,599/£1679, while the RTX 4080 16GB arrives in November and costs $1,199/£1,269. There’s also a 12GB RTX 4080 model that costs $899/£949. The 4090 and 4080 are said to be two to four times faster than the ampere equivalents, the 3090 Ti and 3080 Ti, respectively.

The RTX 4090 has already arrived at Digital Foundry HQ, and we’ve put it through its paces…
RTX 4090 24 GB RTX 4080 16GB RTX 4080 12GB
GPU M 102 M 103 M 103
transistors 75B ? ?
die size 611 mm² 380 mm² 380 mm²
koda colors 16384 9728 7680
increase the clock 2.52 GHz 2.51 GHz 2.61 GHz
memory interface 384 bit 256 bit 192 bit
Memory bandwidth 1018 GB/sec 742 GB/sec 557 GB/sec
Energy consumption 450 watts 320 watts 285W
PSU . requirements 850 watts 750 watts 700 watts
PSU cables 3x 8 pins 3x 8 pins 2x 8 pins
price $1,499 / £1,649 $1199 / £1269 $899 / £949
release day October 12 2022 November 2022 November 2022

Note that Nvidia RTX 30-series cards will still be on sale for now, filling the bottom market until lower-tier RTX 40-series GPUs arrive.

Nvidia’s RTX 4090 and 4080 graphics cards, shown in their Founders Edition appearances.

So how are these GPUs so fast? Well, 40-series GPUs use TSMC’ 4N process and boast up to 76 billion transistors and up to 18,000 CUDA cores, 70 percent more than they did in the last generation Ampere. The new process allows the generation to be more energy efficient as well, although we’d expect flagship cards to be as power-hungry as rumored – you’re getting a lot of extra performance to make up for that in terms of efficiency.

The new streaming processors use a new technology, Shading Execution Reorder (SER), which Nvidia claims provides “two to three times faster speed” for ray tracing and a 25 percent improvement for pixelated gaming. SER works by dynamically rescheduling shader workloads to make better use of GPU resources. Similar advances are in silicon dedicated to ray tracing, with doubling the throughput of radial triangle intersection, a new transparency microplot engine that doubles the speed of ‘alpha test geometry ray tracing’ and a micro-grid engine that increases engineering richness without the cost of building and storing a BVH. There is also a new Tensor kernel. and more powerful for artificial intelligence tasks.

Some other screenshots from Nvidia’s GTC stream.

It’s also the first card to support Nvidia’s DLSS 3, a new technology that creates entirely new frames – essentially adding interpolated frames between “real” frames to dramatically increase frame rates. This has a detrimental effect on input latency, so it is combined with Reflex to reduce input latency as much as possible. This reduces the load on both the CPU and the GPU, so you actually see the frame rate benefits in both CPU and GPU limited games – although the input latency penalty means it will be less useful, for example, for gaming Competitive FPS.

Nvidia showed Cyberpunk 2077 running at 22 fps in 4K with RT enabled and DLSS disabled, then 100 fps with RT enabled and DLSS 3 enabled – massive acceleration even if this was a demo chosen. The company also played a video demo of Flight Sim 2020, with the game running at 60 fps with RT + DLSS disabled and 135 fps with RT + DLSS 3 enabled – good evidence that DLSS 3 technology eases CPU limitations.

Portal vs. Portal RTX.

In addition to upgrading existing games with RTX and DLSS 3, Nvidia has also announced a “new” title: Portal RTX. This editor, 15 years after the original release, looks impressive from the short trailer. It will be released free to portal owners in November. The mod was created in what Nvidia calls “RTX Remaster,” an app that lets you produce mods for a wide variety of games that add ray tracing and AI-enhanced textures — pretty neat.

Gateway with RTX.

Elsewhere, Nvidia has announced Racer RTX, a “simulated world” with incredible realism – I think their marble show has turned 11.

Nvidia Racer RTX.

It was a great show from Nvidia, and we look forward to testing the performance and features of the new generation. It would be great to see if DLSS 3 lives up to Team Green’s lofty promises… and whether these new cards will actually be available at their stated prices if the performance claims are proven. We will share more information when we get it!

Here is the full Nvidia RTX 40 series reveal in video form.