NVIDIA just held its GeForce showcase event yesterday and it was a lot to take in. While there were many small announcements of technological as well as software improvements. The main highlight of the show was the Ampere Series cards and the performance and value they bring. The new cards crush the older generation and the event proved most of our previous leaks true.
NVIDIA uses an 8nm process custom-built with Samsung for this generation as compared to 12nm on the 20 series cards. The improved process brings a huge performance jump as compared to the one we got from Pascal to Turning jump.
Technically speaking this performance bump comes from the increase in “transistors per millimeter square”. For the past two to three generations NVIDIA cards have had a value of around 23 to 25 million transistors. However, with Ampere, this number jumps to about 56 million transistors.
Consequently, The RTX 2080 comes with about 28 billion transistors and sure enough performance will not be a problem here. Also, each of the three cards than NVIDIA launched has double the CUDA cores than the last generation 2080Ti.
This leaves us to think that surely these cards will cost a fortune. But NVIDIA has a surprise in that department as well. Putting aside the insanely overkill RTX 3090 our next best cars RTX 3080 will retail for $699 and 3070 for just $499.
This brings us to our main argument if these cards are priced that low how do they compare to consoles. The sole value proposition of consoles is that they provide the best gaming experience at the price. Until now both Sony and Microsoft have not given any pricing for their next-gen consoles.
This leads us to rely on existing leaks that estimate a 500$ mark for the PS5. Interestingly, NVIDIA compared their RTX 3080 to Xbox Series X and the results are surprising. The RTX manages 58 teraflops as compared to 13 on the newest Xbox.
What this means:
Teraflops is a unit to measure the speed of Ray Tracing Operations performed by the GPU. It stands for Floating-Point Operations Per Second. Now if we focus on the above comparison for a second that means both the RTX 3080 and 3070 will knock the teeth out of Xbox Series X and PS5. The debate on this topic started all over the internet as soon as the event ended. For us to give a meaningful conclusion we need to look closely at a few things first.
The number one thing to notice is that Terraflops is not a really efficient way to measure GPU performance. While the RTX 3080 does have greater capabilities like native 8k support for most modern games.
The is powerful enough to run most modern games at 8k above 30 and in some cases 60 FPS without using NVIDIA’s DLSS. However, The consoles do not Fall short behind the performance on newer consoles and are also close to this mark if not better.
Also, realistically speaking while 4k may have become comparatively common now 8k is still a new frontier to most gamers and it will be a while before we can truly enjoy the resolution (That is if you can’t afford the RTX3090). Secondly, even with the lower prices, these cards are still more expensive than top console models.
Gamers need to keep in mind that in order to avoid bottlenecking issues they need to pair this card with similarly powerful computer hardware. Add that to the mix and the consoles rise up once again with a greater value proposition. Consequently, the key takeaway from this is that while NVIDIA is trying to counter console releases with its launch in October. The RTX 30 series will not have that big of an impact on Console sales.