As if you forgot, right? Today, the real next generation in gaming begins, with the release of the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 as the first in the desktop Ampere architecture.
Need a reminder of just how ridiculous and powerful the RTX 3080 is? Here's some specs:
|GEFORCE RTX 3080|
|NVIDIA CUDA® Cores||8704|
|Boost Clock (GHz)||1.71|
|Standard Memory Config||10 GB GDDR6X|
|Memory Interface Width||320-bit|
|Ray Tracing Cores||2nd Generation|
|Tensor Cores||3rd Generation|
|Maximum GPU Temperature (in C)||93|
|Graphics Card Power (W)||320|
|Recommended System Power (W) (2)||750|
|Supplementary Power Connectors||2x PCIe 8-pin|
Additional details: they will support the latest Vulkan, OpenGL 4.6, HDMI 2.1, DisplayPort 1.4a, HDCP 2.3, PCI Express 4 and support for the AV1 codec.
Stock is expected to be quite limited, especially since they did no pre-ordering and stores will likely sell out quite quickly. Even so, here's a few places where you might be able to grab one. Some of the sites are under quite a heavy load too due to high traffic, so prepare to wait a bit. I've seen plenty of "website not available" issues today while waiting to get links.
Feel free to comment with more and we can add them in.
Along with the release, NVIDIA also put out a brand new Linux driver with 455.23.04. This is a Beta driver, so there may be some rough edges they still need to iron out. It brings in support for the RTX 3080, RTX 3090 and the MX450.
On top of new GPU support, it also has a bunch of fixes and improvements including support for device-local VkMemoryType, which NVIDIA said can boost performance with DiRT Rally 2.0, DOOM: Eternal and World of Warcraft with DXVK and Steam Play. Red Dead Redemption 2 with Steam Play should also see a bug fix that was causing excessive CPU use.
The VDPAU driver also expanded with support for decoding VP9 10- and 12-bit bitstreams, although it doesn't support 10- and 12-bit video surfaces yet. NVIDIA also updated Base Mosaic support on GeForce to allow a maximum of five simultaneous displays, rather than three. For PRIME users, there's also some great sounding fixes included too so you should see a smoother experience there.
Some bits were removed for SLI too like "SFR", "AFR", and "AA" modes but SLI Mosaic, Base Mosaic, GL_NV_gpu_multicast, and GLX_NV_multigpu_context are still supported. There's also plenty of other bug fixes.
Today is only the start, with the RTX 3090 going up on September 24 and the RTX 3070 later in October. There's also been a leak (as always) of a RTX 3060 Ti which is also due to arrive in October. Based on the leak the upcoming RTX 3060 Ti will have 4864 CUDA cores, 8GB GDDR6 (no X) memory clocked at 14Gbps with a memory bandwidth of 447Gbps which means even the 3060 is going to kick-butt.
Are you going for Ampere, sticking with what you have or waiting on the upcoming AMD RDNA 2 announcements? Do let us know in the comments.