RTX 3090 vs RTX 3070 Ti: In-Depth Technical and Performance Comparison

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 and RTX 3070 Ti represent two of the top high-end graphics card options in the current Ampere lineup for gamers, creators and computing professionals. But with a $700 price difference between them, you may be wondering exactly what that extra money gets you with the flagship 3090.

This extensive guide will dive into all the nitty-gritty details, specs and real-world performance differences between the RTX 3090 and RTX 3070 Ti to help you decide which advanced GPU best fits your budget and needs.

RTX 3090 vs 3070 Ti Specs Comparison

Let‘s first look at how the two cards stack up on paper:

**Nvidia RTX 3090****Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti**
CUDA Cores104968704
Tensor Cores328272
RT Cores8268
Texture Units328272
Base Clock1395 MHz1575 MHz
Boost Clock1695 MHz1770 MHz
Memory Bandwidth936 GB/s672 GB/s
Power Connectors3x 8-pin2x 8-pin
Launch Price$1499$599

Comparing the specs side-by-side shows where that premium for the RTX 3090 goes. The flagship card ships with a whopping 10496 CUDA cores compared to 8704 on the 3070 Ti – a 20% advantage.

CUDA cores do the heavy lifting for graphics, compute, AI and other workloads. More CUDA cores directly translate to higher performance.

The 3090 also has a 19% advantages in Tensor cores designed to accelerate deep learning and AI inferencing, as well as a 21% higher count of second generation RT cores that power cutting-edge real-time ray tracing graphics.

Texture units are 20% higher on the 3090, allowing it to process more texture detail in 3D environments.

Both cards deliver high GPU boost clocks of ~1700 MHz+ out the box, guaranteeing excellent gaming performance.

The most noticeable difference is in memory. The RTX 3090 doubles VRAM capacity with 24GB of ulta-fast G6X memory, compared to 12GB on the 3070 Ti. This gives it a massive 40% memory bandwidth advantage of 936 GB/s vs 672 GB/s.

Higher VRAM allows the 3090 to handle larger assets and data sets needed for cutting-edge games as well as professional creative and compute workflows. The 3070 Ti still offers solid capacity for high resolution gaming, but will hit limits sooner.

Unsurprisingly, the 3090 has a considerably higher 350W TDP versus 290W on the 3070 Ti to feed those extra resources. Real-world total board power can exceed 400W, so cooling and PSU requirements also go up.

Now that we‘ve compared specifications, does all that extra hardware actually provide proportionally higher performance? Let‘s investigate how these monster GPUs match up in games and other real-world workloads.

Gaming Frame Rates Benchmark Comparison

For pure gaming, both the RTX 3090 and 3070 Ti deliver extremely high frame rates at popular resolutions like 1440p and 4K. Here‘s how they compare running a selection of latest titles at max settings:

Gaming benchmark data via TechSpot

At 2560 x 1440, the 3090 holds an advantage between 13% (Shadow of the Tomb Raider) up to 24% (Cyberpunk). Still, even the 3070 Ti pushes well over 100 FPS in every title here.

Cranking up resolution to 4K predictably narrows the gap. The heavier load forces both GPUs to work harder, and the 3090‘s extra resources give it less breathing room over the well-equipped 3070 Ti.

Differences at 4K range from just a 5% (Horizon Zero Dawn) lead up to 16% (Control) in favor of the flagship. With complex ray tracing effects enabled, we see the 3090‘s RT core advantage shine through – it achieves 86 FPS in Control with RT Ultra enabled vs just 71 FPS on the 3070 Ti.

But again, both cards still deliver excellent 4K gaming experiences with the high demands of max settings and ray tracing. The 3090 simply has more headroom for future proofing and insane setups with multiple monitors or 8K resolution.

Professional Creative Workloads Benchmarks

For video editing, 3D rendering, AI development and other productivity applications, GPU compute performance is critical. And the same extra hardware resources that benefit the 3090 in games give it an advantage in creative and compute workflows as well.

OctaneBench Rendering

The Octane GPU benchmark simulates performance in Octane Render – an unbiased 3D renderer used widely for visual effects production in films, commercials and animated content.

Octane GPU render benchmark from TechPowerUp

The 3090 completes the intense benchmark scene 39% faster than the 3070 Ti, showing the impact of its extra CUDA cores and memory capacity for production 3D work.

DaVinci Resolve Studio

DaVinci Resolve Studio is an industry leading color correction and video editing program used widely in Hollywood films and streaming media. Even the free version is popular with YouTubers and independent creators.

The dedicated DaVinci Resolve Studio benchmark stresses GPUs by adding effects and color grades to 8K 10-bit video footage. Here is how our contenders compare:

DaVinci Resolve render benchmark via CGDirector

The extreme 8K grading workload really separates the cards‘ capabilities. The RTX 3090 completes the benchmark 48% faster thanks to its higher CUDA core count and memory bandwidth. That can add up to big time savings for video editors and creators working with high resolution footage.

Power Consumption and Thermals

We‘ve established that the RTX 3090 delivers between 13-48% higher gaming and creative application performance compared the the 3070 Ti depending on workload and resolution. But all that extra speed comes at the cost of higher power consumption and heat generation.

Here‘s a look at how board power draw compares between the cards when gaming, according to TechPowerUp tests:

GameRTX 3090 PowerRTX 3070 Ti PowerDifference
Shadow of the Tomb Raider (4K)340W275W19%
Horizon Zero Dawn (4K)313W238W24%

The 3090 system pulls over 100 watts more power from the wall when gaming. That‘s a lot of extra heat to dissipate!

Accordingly, the RTX 3090 runs quite a bit hotter. Though both cards use advanced vapor chamber cooling solutions, surface temperatures still average around 72-76°C on the 3090 during long gaming sessions versus just 62-65°C on the RTX 3070 Ti FE.

You‘ll need robust cooling and PSU headroom to fully support the flagship. Expect to invest in upgrades if building a new system around the 250W+ 3070 Ti as well.

RTX 3090 vs 3070 Ti Cost Breakdown

Of course, we need to address the elephant in the room – cost. At $1499 versus $599 launch prices, the RTX 3090 demands a 2.5x premium over the 3070 Ti.

Here‘s a breakdown of how much extra performance or capabilities you‘re paying per frame for, based on our benchmark analysis:

  • At 1440p max settings, approximately $75-$100 extra per FPS
  • At 4K max settings, approximately $125-$150 extra per FPS
  • ~$20 per additional GB of VRAM (24GB on 3090 versus 12GB on 3070 Ti)
  • $125-$150 extra per % performance in creative app benchmarks like OctaneRender and DaVinci Resolve.

There‘s no questioning the RTX 3090 delivers excellent performance. But you pay handsomely for the privilege of owning the top dog GPU. The 3070 Ti gets you 80% of the way there for 40% of the cost.

Whether that remaining 20% GPU potential is "worth it" depends completely on your budget and if advanced capabilities like 8K gaming/production, multi-GPU setups or memory intensive workloads are required.

RTX 3090 vs 3070 Ti: Which Should You Buy?

So in the battle of RTX 3090 vs RTX 370 Ti, does the flagship justify its massive price premium for gamers and creators? Here is my final verdict based on the extensive analysis above:

  • For pure gaming, the RTX 3070 Ti remains the better value proposition. It still drives 100+ FPS at 1440p or 60+ FPS at 4K max settings while costing hundreds less. Only consider the 3090 if you have an unlimited budget or game at 8K.
  • For professional 3D, video, AI and other GPU compute tasks, the 3090 does deliver substantially higher performance to match its price tag. Faster project exports can directly earn back the cost over time for some creators.
  • The 3090‘s 24GB VRAM is overkill for most, but a smart future investment if your workflows demand loading huge datasets or asset libraries for AAA development, complex scenes etc.
  • Serious overclocking enthusiasts will appreciate the 3090‘s beefier power delivery for pushing clocks farther. But trim your budget elsewhere to fund this luxurious GPU!

So in conclusion, I recommend the RTX 3070 Ti as the best high-end graphics card for most gamers and mainstream creators looking to balance performance with reasonable cost.

But professionals, hardcore enthusiasts or pioneers pushing new computing frontiers should choose the RTX 3090 as an investment in cutting-edge performance and future headroom. Architects visualizing large building CAD files in real-time, developers training huge AI neural nets or Hollywood animators rendering complex film scenes will appreciate the 3090’s mighty power!

I hope this complete technical and real-world analysis gives you the context needed to pick the right advanced Ampere card for your needs and budget! Feel free to ask me any additional questions in the comments section below.

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