Despite rumors of a delay, NVIDIA has just revealed the RTX 4090 and RTX 4080 desktop GPUs. Both run on the next-gen Ada Lovelace architecture and boast massive improvements over their predecessors. Additionally, NVIDIA revealed a new game modding tool and announced a free ray tracing update for Portal.
At the core of these 40-series GPUs is NVIDIA’s new Ada Lovelace architecture. Named after Ada Lovelace, the first person to write a computer algorithm (before computers even existed), this architecture enables advanced protocols such as FP8 and DLSS 3.0.
The new DLSS 3.0 system will turn heads as it can artificially increase a game’s frame rate by producing new frames on the fly. Previous versions of DLSS focused more on resolution by adding new pixels, so this is an impressive development.
According to NVIDIA, the flagship RTX 4090 ($1,599) uses the same amount of power as the 3080 Ti and offers two to four times the speed. It includes a staggering 24 GB of GDDR6X memory. And its 2.23 GHz base clock can be boosted up to 2.52 GHz.
The cheaper RTX 4080 ($899) is a bit more modest, with 12GB of GDDR6X memory and a base clock speed of 2.31GHz. Still, it promises more than twice the speed of its predecessor, and an RTX Upgraded 16GB 4080 ($1,199) gives customers the best of both worlds.
As is tradition, NVIDIA will offer Founder’s Edition versions of these cards. The Founder’s Edition design gets a few updates this year, including a new cooling system and a 23-phase power supply. Notably, these Founder’s Edition GPUs use the 16-pin PCIe Gen-5 connector; you may need to connect these GPUs with three 8-pin power connectors with an included adapter. (If you plan to overclock but need to use the adapter, NVIDIA suggests using four 8-pin power connectors.)
One of the most exciting parts of the 40-series GPU reveal is NVIDIA’s new RTX Remix tool. It’s an interesting platform that allows you to mod existing games for RTX (or just scan and export game assets). You can isolate environments within RTX Remix, giving you a real-time platform to remaster or mod your favorite game. (NVIDIA says that RTX mods will work with a game’s existing mods, by the way.)
To showcase the power of RTX Remix, NVIDIA created Portal with RTX. It is a mod that will be available to everyone. Portal owners (on Steam) at the end of November. The video showing this mod looks very impressive; certainly seems like a great way to “remaster” old games.
Founder’s Editions of the RTX 40-series GPUs go on sale on October 12. Other companies, including PNY, ASUS, Gigabyte, and MSI, are also expected to sell RTX 40-series GPUs next month, likely with different configurations than the Founder’s Edition models.