Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 Ti could be in the works — here’s why

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090
(Image credit: Nvidia)

As if graphics cards weren’t already expensive enough, there may be a hyper-premium Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 Ti GPU on the way.

As reported by PC Gamer, the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti was mysteriously listed alongside the upcoming GeForce RTX 3080 Ti and GeForce RTX 3070 Ti in Zotac’s FireStorm overclocking software. If real, this card would likely supplant the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 as the most powerful gaming GPU on the planet, though FireStorm’s listing is also the first we’ve heard about it.

That’s in stark contrast to the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti and GeForce RTX 3070 Ti, neither of which have been officially announced yet but have leaked extensively and believably: for example, MSI listed the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti among its GPU products.

This could mean two things: either it was a simple mistake on Zotac’s part, or that the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti is just further away from completion and release than its lower-tier brethren. As PC Gamer points out, there’s still a little more juice that could be squeezed out of the GeForce RTX 3090’s GA102 processor: it only uses 10,496 of the GA102’s 10,7752 CUDA cores, as well as 82 of the GA102’s 84 SMX (streaming multiprocessor) clusters.

Then again, it’s hard to see how unlocking those last few cores and clusters would produce a meaningful performance advantage over Nvidia’s incumbent top-end card in current-gen games. As a GeForce RTX 3090 owner myself, I can attest it’s already overkill for much of my Steam library, and even a decent performance bump may not entice PC owners to spend any more than the GeForce RTX 3090’s monster $1,499 MSRP.

And it’s not like you can easily find new graphics cards at their normal pricing as it is. With huge ongoing stock shortages and increased demand from cryptocurrency miners, even non-scalper retailers have been raising their GPU prices. The cost of a card like the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 Ti, in this environment, doesn’t bear thinking about.

Our advice? If you’re still holding out hope for picking up a new, powerful graphics card, keep your attention on the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti and GeForce RTX 3070 Ti. Recent whispers suggest a May 31 announcement followed by a full launch early in June.

James Archer

James is currently Hardware Editor at Rock Paper Shotgun, but before that was Audio Editor at Tom’s Guide, where he covered headphones, speakers, soundbars and anything else that intentionally makes noise. A PC enthusiast, he also wrote computing and gaming news for TG, usually relating to how hard it is to find graphics card stock.