Gigabyte RTX 3090 Ti Gaming OC review: a historic GPU
“It’s hot and drains a lot of power, but the Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3090 Ti Gaming OC delivers the best performance of any GPU you can buy.”
The fastest GPU you can buy
Excellent 4K gaming performance and ray tracing
Solid cooling solution
Minimal fan noise
Dual BIOS switch
Pulls a lot of power
That was the collective question that ran through the PC enthusiast crowd when the RTX 3090 Ti was initially announced. Nvidia already had the best graphics card you can buy with the RTX 3090, and the spec sheet suggested it was just a marketing ploy.
But Gigabyte’s GeForce RTX 3090 Ti Gaming OC proves that assumption wrong. Don’t get me wrong – it’s monstrously big, absurdly expensive and unholy power hungry. But if you’re looking to unlock the best possible performance on a gaming PC, this is the graphics card you’ve always wanted.
Specifications and prices
The Gigabyte RTX 3090 Ti Gaming OC follows on from Gigabyte’s previous offerings in this lineup. You’re looking at a slight 2.4% increase in maximum boost clock speed over the reference design, which is a small but noticeable difference. Otherwise, the difference comes down to cooler and size.
|Gigabyte RTX 3090 Ti Gaming OC||Reference RTX 3090Ti||Reference RTX 3090|
|Memory||24 GB of GDDR6X memory||24 GB of GDDR6X memory||24 GB of GDDR6X memory|
|Memory bus||384 bit||384 bit||384 bit|
|Effective Bandwidth||1008 GB/s||1008 GB/s||936.2 GB/s|
|Interface||PCIe 4.0 x16||PCIe 4.0 x16||PCIe 4.0 x16|
|Size (LxWxH)||331mm x 150mm x 70mm||336mm x 140mm x 61mm||336mm x 140mm x 61mm|
|Recommended power supply||850W||850W||750W|
This is a comically large graphics card, clocking in at 10mm wider and 9mm thicker than even Nvidia’s massive reference design. Gigabyte uses space wisely with three 100mm fans and an extended heatsink, which allows air to pass directly through the cooling device past the PCB and backplate.
As capable as it is, the Gigabyte RTX 3090 Ti Gaming OC doesn’t look great. It’s a matte black, which is even worse considering it’s Gigabyte’s only RTX 3090 Ti design offering (even from its Aorus brand).
It’s not elegant; it’s boring. This card might look great in some builds, but I imagine most gamers will go for something like the EVGA FTW3 or MSI Suprim X editions simply because they’re flashier.
The main difference is the price. Gigabyte’s model sells for as low as $2,000, while models like the EVGA FTW3 Ultra come closer to $2,200. That’s the range for new stock cards, though. Now $200 is $200, but that’s not a huge difference considering the cost of the RTX 3090 Ti.
For the RTX 3090 Ti as a whole, it’s a power-hungry graphics card. It has a roughly 10% increase in clock speed over the base model, as well as a slight increase in core count and memory frequency. This comes with a staggering 100 Watts overhead, bringing the TDP up to 450W.
Nvidia only recommends an 850W power supply, which is a bit worrying. I wouldn’t use the RTX 3090 Ti with less than a 1000W PSU (read our roundup of the best PC power supplies if you need an upgrade).
The RTX 3090 Ti is incredibly good at gaming, and Gigabyte’s Gaming OC Edition takes it even further. Overall, the card was 9.8% faster in my benchmarks against the RTX 3090 reference design, and 13.2% faster than the RTX 3080 Ti at 4K on Ultra settings. If you want the grainy details, you can see my full results in the table below.
I ran all my tests with a Core i9-10900K and 32GB of DDR4-3200 memory. I’ve only included results here at 4K because, let’s be honest, you’re not buying an RTX 3090 Ti for do not play in 4K. Still, I was surprised to see a difference in some games even at 1080p, including an 8.5% increase in Red Dead Redemption 2 and 7.2% increase Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.
The RTX 3090 Ti asserts itself as the most powerful GPU you can buy.
Clearly, the RTX 3090 Ti hits a level of gaming that the RTX 3090 didn’t. For over a year now I’ve been pushing gamers towards the RTX 3080 Ti over the RTX 3090 because it’s much cheaper and performs pretty much the same. The RTX 3090 Ti, especially the Gaming OC variant from Gigabyte, makes a compelling case for buying a gaming flagship.
|3DMark Time Spy||19,848||18,341|
|Red Dead Redemption 2||84 fps||77 fps|
|fortnite||86 fps||69 fps|
|Assassin’s Creed Valhalla||72 fps||63 fps|
|Forza Horizon 4||147 fps||158 fps|
|Cyberpunk 2077||49 fps||46 fps|
|Cyberpunk 2077 with RT||24 fps||21 fps|
Getting to the specifics, the RTX 3090 Ti offered a huge performance boost over the RTX 3090 in all my tests except Forza Horizon 4. Across all resolutions, the RTX 3090 consistently outperformed its more expensive Ti variant here.
Even so, the RTX 3090 Ti is remarkable. It is the first card to break 70 frames per second (fps) in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and it even reached close to 60 fps in Cyberpunk 2077 with everything to the max.
This performance has been scaled with ray tracing enabled, delivering a massive 14% increase in Cyberpunk 2077 on the base model. You’d want to enable Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS), but this demanding test shows how the RTX 3090 Ti can still deliver real benefits in games.
That was my main concern – the RTX 3090 is already a card designed for professionals, not gamers, so I figured the Ti model wouldn’t offer much of a boost. It does. That 10% increase in clock speed translates to around a 10% increase in gaming, far outpacing the competition and cementing the RTX 3090 Ti as the most powerful GPU money can buy.
I focused less on content creation benchmarks as the RTX 3090 is already the champ here. Frankly, 24GB of RAM and Nvidia’s proprietary rendering technologies rule the industry, so I focused primarily on a stressful GPU workload through Blender to see how the Ti model would perform.
|PugetBench for Premiere Pro – GPU score||92.7||93.1|
Of all three renders in Blender’s Open Data 3.0 benchmark, the RTX 3090 Ti was around 5% faster. That’s a solid increase if you’re just focusing on GPU-bound workloads, but my PugetBench results for Premiere Pro show that the Ti model may not offer a boost between applications.
For professionals counting the seconds to complete renders, the RTX 3090 Ti is the right choice. Even a 5% increase could represent thousands of dollars. For hobbyist creators who still want an extremely powerful GPU, the RTX 3090 is a great option. It can sometimes be supplanted by the RTX 3090 Ti, but your CPU and RAM will generally play a bigger role in performance than when gaming.
Gigabyte’s RTX 3090 Ti Gaming OC is a thermal performer. I played about an hour of Cyberpunk 2077 at 4K with all sliders up (including ray tracing). I had set DLSS to Auto just to keep the game playable, but even then the map was pinned to 100% usage whenever I wasn’t in a menu.
My clock speeds testify to Gigabyte’s cooling solution.
The map peaked at 69 degrees Celsius, which isn’t bad. That’s actually impressive considering the card sucked up 429W while I was gaming and the fan speed never exceeded 68%. The card was never loud enough to be distracting, and I’m happy to see so much headroom even when the card is approaching its power limit.
What was more interesting in this test was my clock speed. My card boosted up to 2025 MHz, which is 125 MHz above the maximum boost clock listed by Gigabyte. If nothing else, this further shows how pinned this map was during my run Cyberpunk 2077, and that’s a testament to Gigabyte’s cooling solution.
The Gaming OC model has a BIOS toggle that offers the default OC mode or a silent mode. I kept the board in OC mode for my testing, but silent mode is a good option if you don’t need the extra weight. This is especially useful in games like League of Legends or Valorant where you don’t strain the GPU as much and don’t want the extra noise.
The Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3090 Ti Gaming OC is a monster of a GPU, and it comes with all the specs for peak performance in 2022. It draws an absolutely insane amount of power, and it can get pretty hot. But it manages to make up for that with tangible performance gains even over the RTX 3090.
Are there alternatives?
Yes, the RTX 3090 is a solid alternative for content creators who don’t need the best of the best. If you’re a gamer and can’t rock the RTX 3090 Ti, I recommend going down to the RTX 3080 Ti for the best balance between price and performance.
How long will it last?
The RTX 3090 Ti is the most powerful GPU you can buy right now, so it should last you several years. If you’re looking for this type of flagship, you’ll likely be upgrading your GPU long before the RTX 3090 Ti becomes obsolete.
Should I buy it?
Yes, even if you don’t need it. The RTX 3090 Ti is the best performing GPU I’ve tested, but it’s important to remember that flagship options aren’t always necessary.