NVIDIA released the GeForce RTX 3090, also known as the BFGPU or “big ferocious GPU“, back in 2020. Until today, the RTX 3090 is the fastest graphics card available in the market. Amongst the entire RTX 30 series graphics card, the RTX 3090 has a complete set of features. From a huge 24GB GDDR6X of VRAM to NVLink connector, and a whopping 10496 of CUDA cores. It’s currently the best graphics card there is until the RTX 3090 Ti becomes available in the market. Well, if the RTX 3080 Ti isn’t enough for you, below are some of the best RTX 3090 graphics cards in the market.
UPDATE 2: NVIDIA’s latest and fastest RTX 4090 GPU based on the new Ada Lovelace architecture is now available. I simply can no longer recommend that you get an RTX 3090 at this time. Looking at the current pricing of the 3090s, retailers have not significantly discounted them. It is better to get the new RTX 4090 instead. It’s significantly faster than the RTX 3090 and has unique features as well. Check the top RTX 4090 GPUs here.
UPDATE: The RTX 3090 Ti is now available! I recommend that you get an RTX 3090 Ti instead of an RTX 3090. They perform better and they are currently selling below MSRP as of August 2022. Check out some of the best RTX 3090 Ti graphics cards here.
Best GeForce RTX 3090 Graphics Cards Available
As you may be aware by now, all GeForce RTX 3090 graphics cards are powered with the same 8nm GA102-300 GPU based on the Ampere architecture. All of its Graphics Processing Clusters are active, but one Texture Processing Cluster with two Streaming Multiprocessor is disabled. It has a total of 10496 CUDA cores, 328 TMUs, and 112 ROPs; just a few configs higher than the RTX 3080 Ti.
But the big difference lies with its memory size. The RTX 3090 has a large 24GB of GDDR6X memory, with a bandwidth of 936.2 GB/s running on a 384-bit memory interface. That’s more than enough for gaming purposes alone. The memory size is more useful in creative and professional use.
All the RTX 3090 graphics cards you see in the market, regardless of the manufacturer, have these features. The difference lies in the cooler design and PCB design. Some AIB advertises or highlights the boost clock speed of their graphics card. But at the end of the day, all of them will boost higher thanks to NVIDIA Boost technology. The graphics card only needs sufficient power and enough cooling to keep the GPU’s temperature at bay.
Below is a summary list of all the best RTX 3090 graphics cards mentioned in this list. It is in alphabetical order. After that, let’s segment them according to their unique features. This way, it would be much easier for you to choose which RTX 3090 is the best for your needs.
|Model||Boost Clock||Cooler Design||PCI Slots||Power Connectors||Availability|
|Asus ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3090 Gaming||1695 MHz||Tri-fan air cooling||2.9||3x 8-pin||Check here|
|Asus ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3090 OC Edition||1860 MHz||Tri-fan air cooling||2.9||3x 8-pin||Check here|
|Asus ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3090 White OC Edition||1860 MHz||Tri-fan air cooling||2.9||3x 8-pin||Check here|
|Asus TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 3090 OC Edition||1740 MHz||Tri-fan air cooling||2.7||2x 8-pin||Check here|
|EVGA GeForce RTX 3090 XC3 Ultra Gaming||1725 MHz||Tri-fan air cooling||2.2||2x 8-pin||Check here|
|EVGA GeForce RTX 3090 FTW3 Ultra Gaming||1800 MHz||Tri-fan air cooling||2.75||3x 8-pin||Check here|
|EVGA GeForce RTX 3090 K|NGP|N Hybrid Gaming||1920 MHz||Hybrid (Liquid + Air)||2||3x 8-pin||Check here|
|Gigabyte AORUS GeForce RTX 3090 Xtreme 24G||1860 MHz||Tri-fan air cooling||3.5||3x 8-pin||Check here|
|Gigabyte AORUS GeForce RTX 3090 Xtreme WaterForce 24G||1785 MHz||Hybrid (Liquid + Air)||2||2x 8-pin||Check here|
|Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3090 Vision OC 24G||1755 MHz||Tri-fan air cooling||2.7||2x 8-pin||Check here|
|MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Gaming X TRIO 24G||1785 MHz||Tri-fan air cooling||2.7||3x 8-pin||Check here|
|MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Ventus 3X 24G OC||1725 MHz||Tri-fan air cooling||2.7||2x 8-pin||Check here|
|MSI GeForce RTX 3090 SUPRIM X 24G||1860 MHz||Tri-fan air cooling||2.75||3x 8-pin||Check here|
|NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Founders Edition||1700 MHz||Dual Fan Flow-Through||3||2x 8-pin||Check here|
How Fast Is The GeForce RTX 3090?
The RTX 3090 is not for purely gaming purposes only, and it does not offer the best price to performance amongst the RTX 30 series GPUs. Speaking of performance, it is roughly around 10%-15% faster than the RTX 3080, and around 3% to 5% faster than the RTX 3080 Ti. But if you are coming from an RTX 2080 Ti, the RTX 3090 does offer a substantial performance increase of around 40%-45%. So you might want to avoid the RTX 3090 if you plan to use the GPU for gaming only.
However, for some applications where the 24GB memory is necessary and if you need NVLink support, the RTX 3090 is currently the only graphics card with such features.
GeForce RTX 3090 FAQs
What RTX 3090 has the best cooler and excellent cooling performance?
A liquid cooler, most of the time, trumps any air cooler. The EVGA RTX 3090 KINGPIN Hybrid Gaming and Aorus GeForce RTX 3090 Extreme WaterForce Edition features a hybrid cooling solution. The core component(s) is cooled by an AIO cooler, while other parts of the graphics card are cooled by an air cooler.
However, they are more expensive compared to air-cooled RTX 3090 cards. Unless you really want a liquid-cooled graphics card, most RTX 3090 with a tri-fan cooling system will offer anywhere from sufficient to excellent cooling performance.
What RTX 3090 is the fastest out of the box?
Out of the box, the EVGA RTX 3090 KINGPIN Hybrid Gaming is the fastest out of the box. It has a boost clock speed of 1920MHz, which is higher than most RTX 3090 cards. But this is a liquid-cooled GPU. For air-cooled RTX 3090, the fastest is the Asus ROG Strix RTX 3090 OC Edition, MSI RTX 3090 SUPRIM X, and Aorus RTX 3090 Xtreme graphics cards.
Again, as I mentioned earlier if the graphics card has enough power and the GPU is sufficiently cooled, it will eventually boost higher. My MSI RTX 3080 Ti SUPRIM X can achieve around ~2,000MHz, which is higher than its boost clock speed, without additional tweaking or manual overclocking.
Is it worth it to buy an expensive RTX 3090 graphics card?
I think it depends on the user. Some people are okay to spend more on the design, looks, and aesthetics. Meanwhile, others would value the cheaper variant as long as it works properly. Remember, even the liquid-cooled RTX 3090 will not perform significantly better compared to the air-cooled RTX 3090.
It may have an advantage since it has a better cooling solution. But is the little performance improvement worth it for you, considering that you’ll have to spend significantly more? In my opinion, even the NVIDIA RTX 3090 Founders Edition is enough already.
Who Should Buy The RTX 3090 Graphics Card?
I think for purely gaming purposes only, I would avoid the RTX 3090. I would rather get an RTX 3080 or RTX 3080 Ti depending on my screen resolution. But if you will be using the graphics card other than gaming only, for example, content creation, rendering, and other tasks or workload that would require a higher VRAM, I think it would be worth it.
Besides, I think you should already know by now if you really need an RTX 3090 (or not) for your work and entertainment purposes.
So, which GeForce RTX 3090 should I get?
The RTX 3090 graphics cards listed here are all excellent. I can’t think of any cons, except that are quite expensive. It’s really up to you which one would you prefer and based on your budget.
UPDATE: Now that the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti are available, I recommend that you check out the best GeForce RTX 3090 Ti instead. The RTX 3090 Ti is a bit faster than the RTX 3090, and most of the RTX 3090 Ti are currently selling at MSRP or sometimes even a bit cheaper. Their prices aren’t even that far from the RTX 3090. Some retailers are selling the RTX 3090 at the same price or even more expensive than the faster RTX 3090 Ti. Crazy right? Go ahead and check them out here.
Best GeForce RTX 3090 Graphics Cards in General
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Founders Edition – The “BFGPU”
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Founders Edition is one of the best RTX 3090 in the market. In fact, most if not all of the RTX 30 series Founders Edition cards are excellent. Not only that it comes with the “base price”, but it’s also professional-looking, sleek, and clean. The flow-through design is excellent at cooling the GPU and other components. Not to mention, it does have a chunky heatsink and requires 3 PCI slots. As expected from a Founders Edition, it does feel premium on hand.
(#ad) NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Founders Edition is available on Amazon.com here
EVGA GeForce RTX 3090 FTW3 Ultra Gaming
EVGA’s For The Win graphics cards are some of the best in the market. The GeForce RTX 3090 FTW3 Ultra Gaming is another beast of a graphics card, with its high factory overclock settings and iCX3 cooling technology. Its thick heatsink is cooled by three fans and there is ARGB lighting on the front-side portion. There is no denying that EVGA makes some of the best graphics cards in the market. Although, the FTW3 edition is usually on the expensive side since it is EVGA’s top-of-the-line model, aside from KINGPIN Edition.
(#ad) EVGA GeForce RTX 3090 FTW3 Ultra Gaming is available on Amazon.com here
Asus ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3090 (OC/White) Gaming
The ROG series is very popular amongst gamers and enthusiasts. Asus has the ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3090 Gaming graphics card. And it is available in non-OC, OC, and White editions. There is also a Gundam Edition but that one is a (very) limited edition card. Unless you have a color preference (Black or White), I think even the non-OC variant is an excellent card. There’s only a minimal difference in the boost clock speed. And as I mentioned earlier, it will eventually boost higher if the GPU is running cool.
(#ad) Check the latest pricing and availability here:
Asus ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3090 Gaming at Amazon.com here
ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3090 OC Edition at Amazon.com here
ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3090 White OC Edition at Amazon.com here
MSI GeForce RTX 3090 SUPRIM X 24G
MSI’s SUPRIM X series is the company’s flagship design. I think it’s similar to EVGA’s FTW3 in a sense. The MSI RTX 3090 SUPRIM X features a beefy cooling solution, with its thick heatsink and TRI FROZR 2S cooling solution. You can check out our review of the RTX 3080 Ti SUPRIM X here. Although a different GPU, the cooler design and aesthetics are exactly the same. The RTX 3090 SUPRIM X also features a dual-BIOS system, 17-phase VRAM for the GPU, 4-phase for the memory, nice RGB lighting, and generally premium look and feel.
(#ad) MSI GeForce RTX 3090 SUPRIM X 24G check on Amazon.com here
MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio 24G
If you are looking for a cheaper SUPRIM X alternative, MSI has the GeForce RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio. It’s not as premium-looking compared to the SUPRIM X variant but it still features an excellent cooling solution with its Tri Frozr 2 cooling system. The RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio is an all-black graphics card with some RGB lighting accents on the front side corner and RGB lighting strips on the front cooler shroud. Its boost clock speed is slightly lower compared to that SUPIRM X, at 1785MHz, but it can still boost higher if the GPU is cool enough.
(#ad) MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio is available on Amazon.com here
Gigabyte Aorus GeForce RTX 3090 Xtreme 24G
I have to admit, I was quite hesitant to add this one to the list of best RTX 3090 cards. But Gigabyte’s Aorus GeForce RTX 3090 Xtreme 24G graphics card is simply a “thicc-boy” graphics card. It’s even thicker than the RTX 3090 Founders Edition, at 70mm thick vs 61mm of the Founders Edition. On the bright side, this is the only graphics card here that has an “LCD Edge View”. It’s an LCD monitor that can display some GPU stats and other cool animation effects. We’ll if you are into flare and showing off, this could be a nice RTX 3090 graphics card for you.
(#ad) The Aorus GeForce RTX 3090 Xtreme 24G is available on Amazon.com here
Best GeForce RTX 3090 with Little to No (RGB) Lighting
Not a fan of RGB lighting? Don’t worry! There are RTX 3090 graphics cards that don’t have any RGB lighting or have very minimal logo lighting. Not only that these cards don’t have RGB lighting, or minimal lighting (logo only), they are also (usually) cheaper too compared to the cards listed above.
- ASUS TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 3090 OC Edition available on Amazon.com here
- EVGA GeForce RTX 3090 XC3 Ultra Gaming is available on Amazon.com here
- MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Ventus 3X 24G OC available on Amazon.com here
- Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3090 Vision OC 24G is available on Amazon.com here
Best Water-cooled GeForce RTX 3090 Graphics Cards
If you want a fast-running, silent operation, low operating temperature RTX 3090, and you mind spending more, these two liquid-cooled RTX 3090 would be your option. Except to get a little bit higher performance from these RTX 3090, especially the RTX 3090 KINGKIN Edition. But this is for people with deep pockets and money no object.
EVGA GeForce RTX 3090 K|NGP|N Hybrid Gaming
The KINGPIN Edition is EVGA’s flagship graphics card that features an insane PCB layout and circuitry. It’s basically not your ordinary graphics card. The RTX 3090 KINGPIN Hybrid Gaming is, if I am not mistaken, the fastest RTX 3090 in the market. This graphics card features a hybrid cooling solution, with the GPU and other core components being cooled with an Asetek 360 AIO cooler. It features 23-phase VRM, 12-layer PCB, 3 switchable onboard BIOS (normal/OC/LN2 modes), voltage headers, and it even comes with an OLED display.
(#ad) EVGA GeForce RTX 3090 K|NGP|N Hybrid Gaming is available on Amazon.com here
Gigabyte AORUS GeForce RTX 3090 Xtreme WaterForce 24G
If you don’t need the over-the-top features on the RTX 3090 KINGPIN Hybrid, and you simply want a water-cooled RTX 3090, Gigabyte has the Aorus GeForce RTX 3090 Xtreme WaterForce 24G. This graphics card is not clocked as fast as EVGA’s. Out of the box, its factory boost clock speed is only 1785MHz. But since it is water-cooled, the GPU will run cooler, and thus it will boost higher and longer thanks to its lower temps.
The Aorus RTX 3090 Xtreme Waterforce features RGB lighting, both on the card and on the radiator’s fans. Speaking of the radiator, its size is 240mm with two 120mm RGB fans. The entire graphics card is water-cooled, thanks to its large copper base plate. It also has 6 display outputs, three DisplayPort 1.4a, two HDMI 2.1, and one HDMI 2.0.
Surprisingly, the Aorus RTX 3090 Xtreme Waterforce graphics card is not as expensive compared to the other RTX 3090 cards listed here, even the air-cooled ones.
(#ad) AORUS GeForce RTX 3090 Xtreme WaterForce 24G check on Amazon.com here
And that’s about it. Which do you think is the best RTX 3090 graphics card for your use case? If you think the GeForce RTX 3090 is too expensive, well that’s because it is. Again, this isn’t a value-oriented product. If your purpose is primarily gaming, I recommend you check out the best RTX 3080 Ti or best RTX 3080 graphics cards instead.
On the AMD side, the current flagship is the Radeon RX 6900 XT. Its performance is comparable to an RTX 3080 to RTX 3080 Ti, depending on the game title. However, NVIDIA’s GPUs are still better when it comes to ray tracing and video encoding.