In short: Energy efficiency isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to the RTX 3090 Ti, but it seems like the card’s lower voltage can actually make it less power-hungry than some of the best Nvidia and AMD graphics cards while still maintaining a performance advantage.
Igor’s laboratory ran a test on an RTX 3090 Ti that involved stepping down a 450W card to 300W. Igor achieves this by adjusting the power limit to 300W with MSI’s Afterburner overclocking tool and adjusting the VF curve. It duplicated the curve of the RTX A6000, which also has a maximum power draw of 300W and uses the same GA102 die, although it uses GDDR6 memory instead of GDDR6X memory.
Igor tested the MSI Suprim X RTX 3090 Ti against the RTX 3080 10GB/12GB, RTX 3080 Ti and RTX 3090 cards of the same brand. He used the AMD RX 6800 XT and RX 6900 XT versions from MSI Gaming X.
Looking at 4K benchmarks, we can see that the stock RTX 3090 Ti puts out 107.4fps, dropping just over ten fps to 96.3fps at 300W.
Image credit: Igor’s laboratory
The RTX 3090 Ti maxed out at 314W in our tests, while the 3080 Ti peaked at 409W, but Igor concluded that the two cards were about equal in terms of performance. The undervolted card manages to outperform the Radeon RX 6900 XT (359W), RTX 3080 12GB (393W), RTX 3080 10GB (351W), and Radeon 6800XT (319W).
Of course, this is just a demonstration of the capabilities of the RTX 3090 Ti. The card costs around $2,000 while the RTX 3080 Ti is roughly $1,200+ and it will take a very long time and a long time to make up the $800 difference in power savings. However, it is certainly an interesting experiment.
Be sure to check out our RTX 3090 Ti review, which we called quick and dumb.