Nvidia GeForce Special Event recap: All the big RTX 3080, 3090 and 3070 news

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3000-series
(Image credit: Nvidia)
  • The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 is a $1,499 monster graphics card able to run games at a ridiculous 8K at 60 frames per second.
  • The GeForce RTX 3080 is the top-end Ampere graphics card for people on more realistic budgets, starting at $699 and offering up to two times the performance of the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. 
  • For $499, the new GeForce RTX 3070 will offer more performance than an RTX 2080 Ti, yet will be half the price potentially making it a bargain graphics card.

Today is a new chapter for Nvidia’s GeForce graphics, as the GeForce RTX 3000-series has been revealed. 

At 9 a.m. PT, 12 p.m. ET, and 5 p.m. BST, Nvidia hosted its GeForce Special Event, where it showed-off three new high-end GeForce graphics cards: the GeForce RTX 3090, GeForce RTX 3080 and GeForce RTX 3070. Built on the Ampere architecture, these new GPUs offer up to 2x the performance of the GeForce RTX 2000-series, but also bring in improved ray-tracing capabilities. With the  PS5 and Xbox Series X both coming with ray-tracing support, we can expect the slick light rendering technique to come in a lot more games as 2020 comes to a close. 

Take a look below for our beat-for-beat coverage of the Nvidia GeForce Special Event and how it's an exciting time to be a PC gamer.

Nvidia GeForce Special Event live blog

(Image credit: Nvidia)

All times ET - refresh for updates

12:40 pm: Jensen is summing up now. In short, Ampere-based GeForce RTX 3000-series graphics cards are going to deliver a "boost like never before." Huang paints a picture of us having "holodecks" in our homes but while we don't quite buy into that, the RTX 3000-series looks set to be a serious upgrade for PC gamers wanting the best in graphics this fall. 

12:37 pm: Jensen has just revealed the RTX 3090. And its vast. It has a huge 24GB of GDDR6X. This is basically the new RTX Titan, only it's 50 percent faster. And it can run games at 60fps at 8K; that's basically insane. As is the $1,499 price tag. 

12:34 pm: Here's the RTX 3070 starting at $499, it's more powerful than the RTX 2080 Ti, even though it uses 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM not GDDR6X.  It's also 60 percent faster than the original RTX 2070, and will apparently hit the sweet spot of gaming between 4K and 1440p resolutions. 

12:31 pm: And is twice the power of the GeForce RTX 2080, able to run games at 4K, 60 frames per second with RTX on. Pricing starts at $699 and it's available on September 17. 

12:29 pm: And here's the first next-gen GeForce graphics card, the GeForce RTX 3080 powered by Ampere GPU architecture. It has GDDR6X memory, 19Gbps memory buffer, and a whole lot more to make it a pretty powerful graphics card. It's looks pretty neat too with a load of heatsinks and big fans. 

(Image credit: Nvidia)

12:26 pm: Jensen is now talking about the new RTX IO - it's technical as heck, but it basically translated to how massive games can be loaded very quickly from PCIe 4.0 SSDs with ray-tracing enabled.

12:22 pm: We now have a "marbles at night" ray-tracing demo. It's look very shiny, with lighting that basically looks real. Don't expect this in games anytime soon, but expect super-realistic animated movies and special effects.

12:20 pm: Ampere GPU architecture will deliver a major hike in ray-tracing performance, thanks to more Tensor cores and a big performance jump over the Turing GPUs. It's also more efficient.

12:17 pm: And Nvidia deep learning supersampling (DLSS) 2.0 is coming to improve how AI tech can be used to deliver high-resolution gaming without taking a performance hit. RTX gets a 2x performance boost which is pretty impressive.

12:13 pm: Jensen is now discussing the technical side of ray-tracing and AI tech, courtesy of deep learning. This is all seriously complex stuff; come on GeForce GPUs!

12:12: pm: Nvidia Omniverse Machinima is an RTX-powered app to create video game movies, as well as scan in real-world movement using a webcam. RTX tech then renders the video to look a lot more cinematic. It's in beta in October.

12:09 pm: 360Hz G-Sync displays are coming this fall from the likes of Alienware, Acer and Asus. And the Nvidia Broadcast app is coming September to boost streaming abilities, including filtering out annoying background noise and blur the background of a streamer's feed.

12:05 pm: Hey Fortnite fans, we've got good news for you if you have an RTX graphics cards as the game is getting ray-tracing.

12:04 pm: Nvidia graphics have helped us understand our world, according to Huang, with Nvidia graphics tech being used to model the spread of COVID-19. And of course there's a mention of streaming and e-sport: And here's Jensen Huang, Nvidia founder and CEO from his kitchen.

12:01 pm: And we're off! Nvidia is giving us a snapshot of games gone by. OVerwatch, Skyrim, Call of DUty....

11:48 am: Nvidia's GeForce UK Twitter account has been tweeting a lot about its past 21 years in gaming graphics, highlighting stand-out games such as Red Dead Redemption 2 as graphical marvels. Expect the GeForce event to include a graphics history lesson.

11:11 am: Even though the GeForce RTX 3000-series is set to launch today, it hasn't stopped the specs for the RTX 3090 and RTX 3080 from leaking courtesy of graphics card maker Gainward.  

11:06 am: We're getting ready for the Nvidia GeForce Special Event livestream to kick off at midday Eastern Time. If you want to watch the stream as well, then head on over to our breakdown of how to watch the Nvidia GeForce Special Event live.  

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.