Remember the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 Ti? No, it’s not a long-forgotten memory—this GPU launched in 2022. It has a new challenger in the freshly released Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti. Well, Sort of.
The $1,999 MSRP of said RTX 3090 Ti dwarfs the $799 price tag of the RTX 4070 Ti, upon first glance. There’s much more than meets the eye here, however, involving myriad GPU-market “pricing woes.” Furthermore, while Nvidia reckons that the RTX 4070 Ti can meet or beat the RTX 3090 Ti performance wise, there are some big caveats.
You’ll want to check out Brad Chacos’s excellent review of the RTX 4070 Ti for an in depth look, too.
We’ll discuss the price, performance, and important things to know about these two GPUs. They were each launched to an entirely different market segment upon their initial release, but the new-generation tech on the RTX 4070 Ti brings them closer to parity. Let’s find out if the newcomer is actually better!
Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti vs. Nvidia RTX 3090 Ti: Price
The Nvidia RTX 3090 Ti will likely go down as one of the worst performance-to-value propositions in recent GPU history. $1,999 stings, even today—especially with the doubly more performant RTX 4090 being $1,599 mere months later. Ouch.
It also released in early 2022, at a time when the GPU demand was on decline, making it available when no one wanted to buy it. After a few price reductions, it ended up at around $1,099 MSRP. This was too little, too late.
Enter the Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti, priced at $799. Targeting a completely different market segment, it still shares some attributes with the RTX 3090 Ti. It has similar performance in certain areas—but it remains unpopular due to it being priced higher than what you’d expect from a “70 class” GPU. The 4070 Ti may get close to the 3090 Ti performance at much lower wattage, but the price is unfortunately a sticking point for both GPUs. It’s a draw here!
Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti vs. 3090 Ti: Performance
This is the meat and potatoes of this discussion—performance. At 1440p and using Nvidia’s DLSS 3, the RTX 4070 Ti puts up impressive numbers against the RTX 3090 Ti. But when we consider that it only has 12GB of VRAM with memory bus width limitations at 4K, it’s less enticing. It does have a significantly lower TDP power output than the RTX 3090 Ti, which helps its performance.
The following performance graphs were taken from Brad Chacos’ 4070 Ti review. The RTX 3090 Ti was not available for testing at that time, so we will reference the original RTX 3090. Know that the RTX 3090 Ti is on average about 8 to 10 percent faster, so keep that in mind when we’re discussing the comparison so you can better understand how the performance stacks up. The original RTX 3090 is an apt starting point since it was the “original” top GPU before the Ti version came out.
Starting with Cyberpunk 2077, the RTX 4070 Ti gets up to 102fps at 1440p, which beats the regular RTX 3090’s 90fps. The RTX 3090 Ti being 8 to 10 percent better than the RTX 3090 would land it right around the 100fps mark—so within the margin of error for the RTX 4070 Ti, an impressive showing. The 70-class GPU often does put up a good showing against the previous flagship. The much better priced Nvidia RTX 3070 at $499 put up a good fight against the $1,199 2080 Ti previous generation. While the 4070 Ti is more expensive, so is the RTX 3090 Ti—and both show how much the pricing has increased in such a short amount of time.
It’s a similar story with the new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. The 4070 Ti maintains equal or better footing with both the RTX 3090, and the 3090 Ti. It beats the original RTX 3090 across all three resolutions. The 3090 Ti, being 8 to 10 percent faster than the RTX 3090 almost precisely matches the RTX 4070 Ti performance here—and in some cases, the RTX 4070 Ti even comes out slightly ahead. The 12GB limitation does not yet show to be much of an issue, especially with ray tracing off and 1440p. If this resolution is your targeted goal, you’ll be able to achieve fairly high frame rates in most titles and with high or ultra settings on the RTX 4070 Ti. Of course, ray tracing varies by title, and it always manages to put the hurt on any GPU that dares attempt to showcase its beautiful lighting and shadows!
Looking at Cyberpunk 2077 again—this time with ray tracing and DLSS—the performance differences are fairly similar to the non-ray traced numbers, showing areas where the 4070 Ti certainly has the chops. 1440p is the sweet spot for this GPU—and it can outperform the last generation’s top end without an issue. DLSS further improves performance, and the gap would widen if this became DLSS 3.0 where RTX 40 GPUs have a big advantage.
You would have to start pushing 4K, ray tracing, and ticking all the boxes to really start to see the 4070 Ti struggle—especially with its more limited memory bus and 12GB of VRAM. The RTX 3090 Ti does not face these issues, but at 1440p, the RTX 4070 Ti puts up a valiant effort.
The important thing to keep an eye on is DLSS 3. As of right now, RTX 40-series GPUs such as the RTX 4070 Ti are the only ones that can take advantage of this technology. It combines DLSS with Nvidia’s Frame Generation AI tech to potentially double on-screen frame rates, plus Nvidia Reflex to lower latency. In single-player games such as Flight Simulator 2020, it’s a huge benefit—and one that will widen the performance gap as more titles are added and performance is improved.
Lastly, and this is semi-sarcastic: You can’t SLI/NVLink two RTX 4070 Ti GPUs. You can do that with the RTX 3090 Ti, for what it’s worth. (And not much: SLI/NVLink is basically defunct for gaming uses.)
For content creation, the RTX 3090 Ti likely can still have a big performance advantage due to its 24GB of fast VRAM. This will vary by use case and particular application, but the RTX 4070 Ti is also no slouch in many creative uses (just don’t tax its memory as much as with the RTX 3090 Ti—it won’t like it!).
Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti vs. 3090 Ti: Power and other things to know
Right off the bat, the RTX 4070 Ti crushes the RTX 3090 Ti when it comes to efficiency. You’ll have to cool down a 450W TDP with the RTX 3090 Ti, versus a reasonable 285W TDP for the RTX 4070 Ti.
This translates to huge efficiency gains, and a much cooler-running GPU with the RTX 4070 Ti. Of course, part of this is due to having half the VRAM and reduced memory specs compared to the RTX 3090 Ti. The chart below shows us the 350W TDP RTX 3090, which the RTX 4070 Ti beats in almost every gaming scenario. The RTX 3090 Ti is not on that graph, but it has a 450W TDP—100W more than this RTX 3090. The RTX 4070 Ti still manages to often match this higher-power GPU, too! Truly impressive numbers with its efficiency gains over last generation.
In terms of physical cooler size, the RTX 3090 Ti was one of the biggest we had seen up to that point—dwarfed only by the recent RTX 4090. The RTX 4070 Ti is also significantly large, since many models may share the same cooler design as their bigger siblings in the RTX 4000. This will result in GPUs that may be difficult to properly fit in smaller cases. As a bonus, the cooling performance will often be overkill on the RTX 4070 Ti.
Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti vs. RTX 3090 Ti: The verdict
While these GPUs look very different on the surface, they share some important similarities. They both come during the decline of the GPU market, making their respective MSRPs bad values.
The RTX 3090 Ti was the top dog at $1,999—at a time when the RTX 4090 was just months away, at $1,599. This short-lived position resulted in plentiful stock on store shelves. The $799 RTX 4070 Ti is targeted at a different market segment—but the results are similar: The GPUs have been abundantly in stock, and gamers feel that for a 1440p GPU with 12GB of VRAM, this price point is too high.
They’re both also very similar when it comes to many performance metrics—with a steady back and forth in many games at 1440p. 4K is where the reduced memory specs of the RTX 4070 Ti can rear its ugly head, but it maintains some sanity with the inclusion of DLSS 3.0. It’s much more efficient than the RTX 3090 Ti, too.
Unfortunately, neither of these GPUs can truly be crowned a winner in this matchup. While they perform reasonably well for their intended audience, their pricing has not been accepted by gamers. Due to this, any shortcomings they possess become glaring pitfalls—and they’re mostly staying on the shelves until prices come down.