The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti is the most powerful gaming graphics card out right now; the flagship Ti version on average is around 7-10% faster than the already insane GeForce RTX 3090. However, this small bump-up in performance comes at a huge cost for the Graphics card. Not only is the card priced at $2000, but it also consumes significantly more power. The new graphics card can consume anywhere from 450-to 600 watts of power, depending on the AIB variant. 

RTX 3090 TI Efficient
MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Ti Suprim X

A new test from Igor’s Lab shows what happens when the GPU runs at a limited power draw. Igor chose to limit the MSI Suprim X 3090 TI to just 300 watts to carry out the tests. He also limited the card’s VF curve according to the curves from the RTX A6000. The reason behind doing so is the fact that both cards share the same GA102 GPU Core. After these changes, the GeForce RTX 3090 TI was limited to a maximum boost clock of 2050MHz.

Igor also chose to use the same MSI variant for the other cards in the test. The test was conducted using a Ryzen 9 5950X with a MSI MEG X570 Godlike motherboard coupled with 2 x16GB Corsair DDR4 4000 Vengeance RGB PRO memory and a 1200 watt Be Quiet, Dark Power Pro 12 power supply.

RTX 3090 TI Efficient 300 Setup
Image from igorslab

For the benchmarks, Igor tested games like Borderlands 3, Control, Far Cry 6, and Horizon Zero Dawn, among others, for 10 games. The average performance for the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti across the tested games paints a very interesting picture for the card in terms of performance.

RTX 3090 TI Efficient 300
Average fps from igorslab

As the above benchmarks show, the power-limited GeForce RTX 3090 TI performs nearly identically to the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, managing around 96 fps at 4K resolution. The difference between the two is within the margin of error and virtually non-existent. The results also show that the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti at 300 watts managed to edge out the 6900XT by 4%, while it trails the more power-hungry stock GeForce RTX 3090 Ti by about 12%.

While the average results might not be the most impressive for the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti, things get interesting when considering the cards’ efficiency.

RTX 3090 TI Efficient 300
Image from igorslab

As the graph shows, the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti is the least power-hungry card out of the bunch. At only 314 watts, it can perform better than the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, which consumes almost 100 watts more power. Furthermore, the card is also able to beat out the 6800 XT in terms of power draw while also delivering better performance.

These results are undoubtedly impressive for Nvidia’s flagship GPU; with the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti, Nvidia pushed the GA102 GPU to its absolute limit to make the fastest gaming card in the world. While they could achieve their goal, critics also thought that the power consumption was outrageous for the boost in performance.

Moreover, the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti could also be seen as a sign of things to come with the next generation of Nvidia’s Ada Lovelace cards. Many have predicted that the top-tier GPU from Nvidia’s upcoming lineup will push power draw up to 600 watts on the reference models. However, Igor’s testing might give us some hope for the future. If the trend continues, users might just be able to sacrifice a small amount of performance for saner power requirements on their gaming PCs.

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