RTX 3090 Ti Founders Edition leak shows Nvidia’s future GPU plans aren’t pretty

Update: Our Nvidia RTX 3090Ti review is live now, and we can confirm that the price is a hefty $1,999 (around £1,600 / AU$2,700). The RTX 3090 Ti also indeed requires 450W, as many leaks suggest. This means that our fears that this GPU would be both very expensive and power-hungry were well founded.

If you want to buy the RTX 3090 Ti, check out our RTX 3090 Ti Command Live Blog for stock market information.

The original story follows…

Several new leaks have emerged that give us a better idea of ​​the upcoming Nvidia RTX 3090 Ti, which will likely be the most powerful – and most expensive – gaming GPU in the world.

Although the mighty Nvidia RTX 3090 Ti is likely a niche product, it could still be a very important release as it can give us an idea of ​​what future Nvidia GPUs will look like. If so, these new leaks have us a little worried.

The most recent leak shows the Founders Edition of the Nvidia RTX 3090 Ti, a benchmark card made by Nvidia itself.

While we were shown the Founders Edition at CES 2022 when the RTX 3090 Ti was first announced, things had gotten a little quiet on that front, and recent leaks have focused on showcasing designs. Aftermarket RTX 3090 Ti (and performance benchmarks) from third parties.

This led some people to think that there might not be a Founders Edition of the RTX 3090 Ti after all, or at least not one for consumers to actually buy.

However, VideoCardz released (opens in a new tab) a series of photographs of the RTX 3090 Ti Founders Edition, giving us a deeper look at the GPU, including a box shot that essentially confirms that this model will also go on sale.

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Nvidia RTX 3090 Ti graphics card leaked images

(Image credit: VideoCardz.com)
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Nvidia RTX 3090 Ti graphics card leaked images

(Image credit: VideoCardz.com)
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Nvidia RTX 3090 Ti graphics card leaked images

(Image credit: VideoCardz.com)
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Nvidia RTX 3090 Ti graphics card leaked images

(Image credit: VideoCardz.com)
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Nvidia RTX 3090 Ti graphics card leaked images

(Image credit: VideoCardz.com)
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Nvidia RTX 3090 Ti graphics card leaked images

(Image credit: VideoCardz.com)

As many of us suspected, the Founders Edition RTX 3090 Ti looks almost identical to the RTX 3090 Founders Edition, and it will again feature a big three-slot GPU.

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So if you weren’t a fan of sheer size of the RTX 3090, or if you have a smaller PC case where space is limited, you might be disappointed.

There is a noticeable difference though, as the RTX 3090 Ti Founders Edition comes with a 16-pin PCIe Gen5 power connector, rather than the 12-pin connector that the RTX 3090 Founders Edition sported.

This means you will need an adapter for your PSU (power supply), and one will likely be included in the box.

The new 16-pin connector already appears to be more widely used than the 12-pin connector, as third-party RTX 3090 Ti’s have been photographed using it, while the 12-pin connection was only found on the RTX 3090’s own from Nvidia and a few GPUs based on Nvidia’s reference design.

It’s highly likely that high-end models of Nvidia’s next-gen “Lovelace” graphics cards like the rumored (and, let’s face it, practically inevitable) RTX 4080 could use the 16-pin connector.

This might worry some people, because not only does this mean using an adapter, but it also means that next-gen Nvidia GPUs could be very power hungry – the RTX 3090 Ti could have a whopping 450W TDP, compared to the 350 W already high from the RTX 3090.

For PC gamers with PSU-powered rigs that offer less than 1000W of juice, that means a new PSU will more than likely be needed.

It’s not only an expensive upgrade, but it can also be a complete pain, as the PSU connects to a variety of components, including the GPU, SSDs, and motherboard, so swapping them out can be time consuming and tedious.

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With a rapid increase in power, this move could also have longer-term cost impacts for gamers, especially if the trend of ever more power-hungry GPUs continues.

However, another leaked RTX 3090 Ti surfaced over the weekend which, if true, has us a bit more worried.

Big prizes, small wins

These rumors, again reported by VideoCardz (opens in a new tab)suggest that the RTX 3090 Ti will deliver a 5%-10% performance boost over the RTX 3090 at 4K.

While that makes the 3090 Ti, which appears to offer 43 teraflops of power, an incredibly impressive GPU, people hoping for a bigger jump over the older card will likely be disappointed.

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This will certainly be the case if the RTX 3090 Ti launches at a much higher price than the RTX 3090, as some rumors suggest.

However, another source claims that the RTX 3090 Ti will launch at the same MSRP as the 3090: $1,499 (about £1,150 / AU$2,000).

That would be a (good) surprise, which the source says is due to the minimal performance increase over the RTX 3090.

It would also suggest that the RTX 3090 could benefit from a price drop. This would be another interesting development, although GPU prices are dropping globally, it is still very hard to find graphics cards sold at MSRP.

We also hope that this incremental upgrade isn’t a sign of things to come. Nvidia’s RTX 4000 GPUs, expected to launch later this year, will need to offer a substantial performance boost over the current generation of RTX 3000 graphics cards to justify launching at a time when getting GPUs remains difficult.

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