Should You Buy the Nvidia RTX 3090 Ti in 2022? No, for Most Gamers

For most gamers and PC builders, the RTX 3090 Ti is not a good purchase compared to other available options in 2022. It only offers small gains over the RTX 3090 at a $500 premium. Competing GPUs deliver better value, and new GPUs are coming very soon from Nvidia and AMD.

But for hardcore enthusiasts who want the absolute best 4K or 8K gaming experience and money is no concern, the 3090 Ti can‘t be beaten. Let‘s dive into the details on performance, price, competition, and more to fully evaluate if the 3090 Ti should be in your rig.

RTX 3090 Ti Offers Modest Improvements Over the RTX 3090

The RTX 3090 Ti is an upgraded version of the RTX 3090, Nvidia‘s previous flagship GPU. Here‘s a look at the specs comparison:

Spec RTX 3090 RTX 3090 Ti
CUDA Cores 10496 10752
Boost Clock 1695 MHz 1860 MHz
Memory 24 GB GDDR6X 24 GB GDDR6X
TDP 350W 450W

With around 8% more CUDA cores and a 10% higher boost clock speed, the 3090 Ti performs about 10-15% better than the standard 3090 in games and applications.

Let‘s look at some benchmark results at 4K resolution:

Game Title 3090 Avg FPS 3090 Ti Avg FPS % Improvement
Assassin‘s Creed Valhalla 75 86 15%
Red Dead Redemption 2 94 106 13%
Cyberpunk 2077 66 75 14%

So certainly the 3090 Ti is faster, but only by a modest margin. The 24 GB of GDDR6X memory is unchanged from the 3090, which is still overkill for gaming but provides plenty of headroom for VRAM-heavy professional workflows like video editing, 3D modeling, and AI development.

For high refresh rate 4K gaming, the 3090 Ti does push frame rates up into a better range. But with optimized settings or DLSS enabled, the 3090 can still deliver smooth 4K gameplay in most titles.

At 1440p resolution, there is virtually no benefit to the 3090 Ti over a 3090 or even lesser GPUs. Esports titles already run at extremely high frame rates at 1440p on mid-range hardware.

Now let‘s examine the pricing and cost efficiency of the 3090 Ti.

The RTX 3090 Ti Commands a Large Price Premium

The Founders Edition RTX 3090 Ti has an MSRP of $1,999, compared to the $1,499 MSRP of the 3090 Founders Edition. That‘s a $500 price increase, or around 33%, for only 10-15% more performance.

Currently, most custom AIB models of the 3090 Ti are priced from $2,100 to $2,300. And many 3090 Ti listings remain out of stock a month after launch.

Let‘s analyze the cost per frame at 4K resolution to evaluate value:

  • RTX 3090: $1,499 / 75 fps = $19.99 per frame
  • RTX 3090 Ti: $2,100 / 86 fps = $24.42 per frame

This shows the 3090 Ti is around 22% more expensive per frame compared to the standard 3090. You are paying significantly more money for each extra frame of rendered graphics.

Compared to the RTX 3080 Ti which has an MSRP of $1,199, the value proposition of the 3090 Ti is even worse. The 3080 Ti delivers around 90% of the 3090 Ti‘s performance for 55% less cost.

No matter how you slice it, the 3090 Ti is hard to justify for purely gaming purposes. Next let‘s examine the power consumption and thermal impact.

The 3090 Ti Runs Hot and Power Hungry

To achieve its performance heights, the RTX 3090 Ti pushes the power envelope to 450 watts of total board power. That‘s a 100W increase over the 3090‘s 350W TDP.

In practice, most reviews show the 3090 Ti hitting 80-83°C in gaming sessions, even with a high-end cooler and optimal case airflow [1][2]. The fans have to work harder to dissipate all that extra heat energy.

Comparatively, the stock RTX 3090 Founders Edition runs at 72°C under load. So the 3090 Ti requires robust cooling to account for its massive power appetite. A lower-end air cooler or small form factor case will likely result in thermal throttling.

If you do decide to run a 3090 Ti, make sure your power supply can deliver at least 850-900 watts of clean power to avoid instability.

Let‘s now examine how the competitive landscape affects the appeal of the 3090 Ti.

New GPUs Are Coming Soon from AMD and Nvidia

The reign of the 3090 Ti as the world‘s fastest gaming GPU may be short-lived. Both AMD and Nvidia are launching major new GPU architectures later in 2022:

  • AMD RDNA3 – Expected to compete strongly with Nvidia‘s best cards. Rumors point to up to 50% performance gains [3].
  • Nvidia Ada Lovelace – Nvidia‘s next-gen architecture slated for Q3/Q4 2022. The RTX 4090 could exceed the 3090 Ti by up to 2x based on early leaks [4].

The 3090 Ti still ranks as the fastest consumer graphics card available today. But its flagship status could change in just a few months when these new GPUs launch.

With major advances coming soon, now is not an ideal time to invest over $2,000 in a GPU unless you absolutely require the 3090 Ti‘s capabilities today.

For most buyers, it‘s smarter to wait a few months and assess the performance and pricing of AMD‘s and Nvidia‘s next-generation cards before making a buying decision.

The Verdict – Skip the 3090 Ti for Pure Gaming

The RTX 3090 Ti defines the pinnacle of graphics performance, capable of no-compromises 4K and 8K gaming. But with an extremely high cost and only modest gains over prior generation cards, it‘s overkill for many gamers.

For pure gaming, the 3090 Ti only makes sense for those wanting the absolute best visuals and frame rates in 4K/8K, no matter the cost.

For the rest of us, here are better options to consider:

  • 4K gaming – The RTX 3080 Ti or RTX 3090 provide a great experience for at least $500 less.
  • 1440p gaming – The 3090 Ti is massive overkill here. Cards like the RTX 3080, RX 6800 XT or RTX 3070 Ti are sufficient.
  • Entry-level 4K – Cards like the RTX 3070 or RX 6700 XT can handle 4K with some compromises on settings.
  • Wait for next-gen – Hold off a few months for AMD RDNA3 and Nvidia RTX 40-series cards unless you urgently need an upgrade today.

The RTX 3090 Ti reigns as the undisputed performance king only until new GPUs arrive later in 2022. While incredibly powerful, it‘s tough to recommend to most gamers due to its massive price tag and modest generational gains. For all but the most enthusiastic and price-insensitive buyers, other GPUs deliver better value and longevity.


[1] TechPowerUp 3090 Ti Review
[2] Tom‘s Hardware 3090 Ti Benchmarks
[3] Wccftech on RDNA 3 Rumors
[4] Videocardz on Lovelace Leaks

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