Despite rumors of a delay, NVIDIA 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 upgrade for Portal.
At the crux 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 like FP8 and DLSS 3.0.
The new DLSS 3.0 system will raise eyebrows, 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 while delivering between two and four times the speed. It packs an eye-popping 24GB of GDDR6X memory. And its 2.23GHz base clock can boost up to 2.52GHz.
The cheaper RTX 4080 ($899) is a bit more modest, with 12GB of GDDR6X memory and a 2.31GHz base clock speed. Still, it promises more than twice the speed of its predecessor, and an upgraded 16GB RTX 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 upgrades this year, including a new cooling system and a 23-phase power supply. More notably, these Founder’s Edition GPUs use the PCIe Gen-5 16-pin connector—you may need to connect these GPUs with three 8-pin power connectors using an included adapter. (If you plan to overclock but need to use the adapter, NVIDIA suggests utilizing four 8-pin power connectors.)
One of the more exciting parts of the 40-series GPU reveal is NVIDIA’s new RTX Remix tool. It’s an interesting platform that lets you mod existing games for RTX (or simply scan and export game assets). You can isolate environments within RTX Remix, giving you a real-time platform for remastering or modifying your favorite game. (NVIDIA says that RTX mods will work with a game’s existing mods, by the way.)
To show the power of RTX Remix, NVIDIA created Portal with RTX. It’s a mod that will be available to all Portal owners (on Steam) by the end of November. The video demonstrating this mod looks very impressive—it certainly seems like a great way to “remaster” older games.
Founder’s Editions of the RTX 40-series GPUs go on sale October 12th. 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.