If you’re looking at this right now, you may treat this review as a resource both as an informational guide on the gaming performance the Palit RTX 3090 GamingPRO both for either interest of the GPU market or a buying decision.
That said, to preface this review, given that we are under tough times, buying a GPU is now a larger investment and thus buyers need to educate themselves as much as possible before making their purchase in a short period of time, lest they want to miss their window. Anyway, if you have further questions I am very much willing to offer information to the best of my knowledge so just leave a comment.
With that out of the way, we proceed with our review: The Palit RTX 3090 GamingPRO will be the first RTX 3090 we review that is reference. Both MSI Gaming Trio and ROG Strix RTX 3090 have proven darlings of the market and have had plenty of demand but one is literally hard to find and another is an alternative for those looking for the other. With that being said, there is still an area of the GPU market wherein they seek an RTX 3090 for high-end gaming as well as professional workloads.
We have a couple of active readers in Back2Gaming who are very explicit on their purchasing decision being fueled solely by the larger frame buffer for 3D and other usage. That said, outside of work these people still game so an RTX 3090 provides the more cost-effective option especially for those that need it but don’t want to strap themselves to a Quadro especially when working at home.
About the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090
The RTX 3090 is referred to as the BFGPU: big, ferocious GPU from Doom and gaming parlance and it is the most powerful gaming graphics card upon release on September 2020 and still is as of this writing. NVIDIA has made sure they covered all their bases from both a gaming standpoint and a semi-professional usecase as well with the RTX 3090.
Featuring 24GB GDDR6X of memory as its primary defining characteristic as well as 10496 CUDA cores, this monstrosity more than doubles the RTX 2080 Ti’s CUDA cores and still has plenty of other tricks including 2nd-generation RT cores and 3rd-gen Tensor cores. Later updates also sees this card utilize resizable BAR which will be incredibly beneficial to its gigantic VRAM and upcoming features will see RTX IO amongst others furthering the capabilities of this card.
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 reference design has a boost clock of 1.7Ghz and a base of 1.4Ghz. Memory is configured with a 384-bit bus with a total of 24GB of GDDR6X memory.
About the Palit RTX 3090 GamingPRO
The Palit RTX 3090 GamingPRO is part of Palit’s GamingPRO series of cards aimed as their secondary gaming model just a notch below their GameRock line. You heard that right, the GamingPRO is the secondary card line after the flagship GameRock line and the vintage JetStream sits below the GamingPRO. The mainstream models from Palit are then presented as the DUAL line of cards.
The Palit RTX 3090 GamingPRO is a reference RTX 3090 featuring two PCIe 8-pin power connector and is rated for 350W power. A minimum of 750W power supply is recommended.
Just like NVIDIA’s reference card, the exact clock speeds are 1395Mhz GPU clock and a boost clock of 1695Mhz.
Palit uses a new cooler design with the GamingPRO, one never used on any of its card before. The product page for RTX 3090 GamingPro itself talks more about the backplate in their product description and they use a Triple A die-casting plate and I will have to note that this backplate is legitimately significant in weight because of the actual retention plate that is on the other side providing structural support as well as cooling on vital components.
This is assisted by the traditional heat-pipe cooler which passes heatpipes along a fin stack. I would’ve wanted Palit to use a denser fin stack as this look particularly light for a 350W card.
Power Draw, Clock Speed and Temperature
We’ll switch things up and open with the power and temperature behavior of the graphics card first. We use Final Fantasy XV Benchmark to simulate a gaming workload but for those looking extreme loads, we do put our cards through Kombustor on first installation for stress testing to check for stability.
For our reviews though, we use Final Fantasy XV to simulate a true gaming scenario. Power draw is captured inline via PCAT or Powenetics so no other components affects readings. Readings are taken from the average 15 min idle readings for both load and idle.
Thermals look very tame in gaming but this is GPU-only reading. Take note of the GDDR6X temps as it will drive overall card temperature very high. The readings above only indicate how good the cooling is at getting rid of heat from the GPU chip itself but the rest of the card will be reliant on your ambient cooling. Power in itself looks tame and is expected from a reference card.
Let’s take a look at clock behavior versus temperature:
As a reference model, this is a good example of the baseline performance from NVIDIA for the RTX 3090. It took a while but I’m very happy to be testing one finally to see if there is a big difference in performance. Thermal performance by itself is decent at is within expectation. I have to note that as with all RTX 3090 cards, this one does get hot on the backside so it is highly recommended to put thought on decent airflow around it. While the GPU internal readings show decent temperature, ambient will increase exponentially due to the radiant heat of this card and GDDR6X’s inherent thermal nature. Users who plan to use this card for prolonged use on an enclosed space need to keep in mind that longevity will be severely affected by how decent the case cooling is.
Starting with this review, we’ll also integrate readings for Kombustor, a stress-testing tool for graphics card. As requested by some readers, they want to see the cards stressed a bit more to see how decent cooling is. The chart will also show some key readings related to the card including fan speed, voltages, etc. The room ambient is kept at 28*C as with all testing.
Test Setup and Methodology
Processor: Intel Core i9 10900K
Memory: G.Skill TridentZ DDR4-3600 32GB
Storage: WD Blue SSD 1TB SATA
PSU: FSP Hydro G Pro 1000W
Cooling: Corsair H150i Pro 360mm AIO
Monitor: ROG PG27UQ 4K 144hz HDR1000
For a full-hardware workout, visit https://benchmarks.ul.com for our system warm-up and stress test of choice.
For benchmarking methodology please see our game benchmark method guide.
Test results are gathered and produced on CapFrameX. This makes it easier for use to get both line graph comparison and raw averages without extra tools. Simply the easiest tool for benchmarking and its available for everyone to use, free of charge. Check it out at capframex.com.
Since this is a GPU review, we benchmarked the area of the games that put heavy load on the GPU.
All our test runs are repeatable, click the links below for area and details. Read our benchmarking methodology.
- DOTA2 – Kiev Major Grand Finals Game 5: OG vs Virtus.Pro (54:05 – 55:05)
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive: FPS Benchmark Workshop Map
- Rainbow Six: Siege – Benchmark Mode
- The Witcher 3 – Woesong Bridge
- Grand Theft Auto V – Palomino Highlands
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider – Kuwaq Yaqu
- Call of Duty Warzone –
- Monster Hunter World: Iceborne – Wildspire Waste
- F1 2020 – Benchmark Mode
- PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds – Training Mode
- Apex Legends – Firing Range
- Valorant – Custom Game
- Destiny 2 – The Tower
- Cyberpunk 2077 – Little China, noontime
See our Youtube playlist for benchmark sequences.
You can click on any of the benchmark charts enlarge. You can also move forward and backwards to quickly navigate through our charts via gallery view. For this test, only the out-of-box normal mode will be tested.
Kindly let me know if you spot an errors in the charts. I do my best to keep them error free but while test results are reliable and accurate, bringing them over to Excel and relying on formulas to generate the reports sometimes can cause mix-ups.
- All data are gathered from exactly the same system, with exactly the configuration we list here. No data is reused from another system or from any variations of. We gather data from only one system as indicated here.
- Graphics cards are allowed to heat up prior to benchmarking. Cooler graphics cards may boost higher than normal.
- Following up on the above, we try to enjoy the game and play a bit before proceeding to the actual benchmark scenario. This allows us to detect any other problems like stuttering, frame skipping, or any other problems.
- Games that receive graphical updates that affect performance e.g. (DOTA2 moving from DX9 to DX11) will be retested completely.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO)
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, popularly known as CSGO, competes for Steam’s most popular game. It has found a resurgence in its popularity and has recently peaked in 2020 in the number of players that play the game. Based on Valve’s Source Engine, the game received major asset overhauls during the years since its inception nearly 10 years ago. Still, it’s a light game and can be played on fairly lighter systems but the competitive scene for CSGO has seen average players demand high FPS from their systems thus gaining favorable standing with GPU vendors just from the demand for higher FPS alone. CSGO is a game that can easily go past 500FPS on enthusiast systems on maximum settings. We’re including CSGO as requested by our community.
API: DirectX9 (default)
Maximum In-Game Settings
Texture Streaming Disabled
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
CD Projekt Red’s latest installment in the Witcher saga features one of the most graphically intense offering the company has to date. As Geralt of Rivia, slay monsters, beasts and men as you unravel the mysteries of your past. Vast worlds and lush sceneries make this game a visual feast and promises to make any system crawl at its highest settings. This game has found great resurgence in its playerbase thanks to the release of Netflix’ Witcher series.
API: DirectX 11
Frame Rate: Unlimited
Nvidia HairWorks: Off
Motion Blur: Off
Ambient Occlusion: SSAO
Depth of Field: On
Chromatic Aberration: Off
Light Shafts: On
Grand Theft Auto V
The fifth and most successful installment to date in the highly controversial Grand Theft Auto series brings a graphical overhaul to the PC version of GTA V which many have lauded as a superior approach in porting a console game to PC. Featuring large areas and detailing, GTA V is a highly challenging application in terms of scene complexity.
Our benchmark uses a run from Palomina Highlands running through a lush area to a remote road all the way to a neighborhood in our car to simulate multiple scene changes.
API: DirectX 11
Very High settings
Anisotropic Filtering: 16x
Motion Blur disabled
Advanced Graphics enabled
Call of Duty Warzone
Previously known as Call of Duty Modern Warfare, Call of Duty Warzone is the free-to-play, battle royale component to the 2019 reboot of the original Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare game featuring a rebooted storyline, set in a different world where you, along with Captain Price have to stop the world from going to war. Call of Duty Warzone reignites the franchise by introducing full crossplay support where Xbox and PS4 players can play together with PC players. On PC, the game features a new engine pushing photorealism for COD far beyond what their older engine is capable of. The new engine also introduces raytracing and the AI is designed to perceive light as well. With a revitalized multiplayer arena, the game will require fast frame rates. Warzone has a slightly higher system load than COD:MW multiplayer and single player campaign mode.
API: DirectX 12
Render Resolution: 100%
Texture Resolution: High
Texture Filter Anisotropic: High
Particle Quality: High
Shadow Map Resolution: Extra
Particle Lighting: Ultra
DirectX Raytracing: OFF
Ambient Occlusion: Both
Anti-Aliasing: Filmic SMAA T2X
World Motion Blur: Off
Shaders Installed before benchmarks*
Monster Hunter World: Iceborne
Easily Capcom’s most successful game to date. Available in both consoles and PC, Monster Hunter World ranks in Steam’s top played games for the platform. The 2020 Iceborne update for PC brings the game to new PC frontier, introducing DirectX 12 support. The game features rich graphical detail settings and an Ultra HD texture pack for highend gamers. MHW’s features fast-paced action with traditional RPG farings and has captured a new market thanks to the transition from portable.
Our benchmark for this game uses an expedition track in the Wildspire Waste Southwest Camp (Area 1) and finishes in the Rathian nest at Area 12 in the caves. This run gives us runs from barren area, to watery area with lush vegetation to a cave which replicates the varied nature of exploration and monster combat in MHW.
API: DirectX 12
Graphical Settings: Manual (customized from High)
All variable settings set to High
Image Quality: High
Max LOD Level: No Limit
Volume Rendering Quality: High
Motion Blur: Off
DLSS and AMD FidelityFX: OFF
The latest iteration of the F1 series from CodeMasters features support for DirectX 12 as well as more photorealistic graphics than ever. Now heavily featured in the official F1 esports scene, much attention has been given in the development of this game particularly for added realism.
API: DirectX 12
Settings: Ultra High
PlayerUnknown’s Battleground (PUBG)
Developed by South Korean company Bluehole, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds was an ARMA3 mod which has gained a massive global playerbase after being released as a stand-alone game. The game is now available for almost all platforms from PC to mobile but PC has been the definitive edition of the game. The game has evolved much since its release, receiving multiple polish to arrive at its current state.
API: DirectX 11
The battle royale genre sees multiple titles emerge and Respawn Entertainment’s most successful title to date, Apex Legends differentiates itself from main rival PUBG as it presents itself in true, fast-paced FPS. Existing in the same universe as Titanfall, Apex Legends sees contenders in traditional battle royale elimination format but gameplay heavily gears towards more familiar FPS mechanics. As a Respawn Ent. game, its closer to COD versus PUBG’s more sluggish and heavier gameplay.
API: DirectX 11
Texture Streaming Budget: 6GB VRAM
FSP Cap Disabled
Developed by League of Legends developer, Riot Games, Valorant is a first-person shooter featuring multiple heroes or agents which have unique skills to assist them within the games traditional team-based FPS combat. The game is gaining incredible success and has taken a large chunk of the now-incredibly massive CSGO playerbase as well, presenting a more refreshed take on classic TDM FPS but spices it up with skills, etc. Like CSGO and League, this game is light as a feather for the largest adoption possible. With 360hz monitors and input lag/system latency a major focus for these games, we’re now including it as reference for players.
API: DirectX 11
Settings: Max in-game details
Anti-Aliasing: MSAA x4 (highest in-game)
NVIDIA Reflex: Off
Raytracing Performance: Palit RTX 3090 GamingPRO
In this segment, we’ll introduce our raytracing benchmark test. This is purely experimental at this time point so let me talk some detail about its current state. I mentioned a few reviews earlier that my concept of benchmarks revolves around simple factors like player adoption (popularity), and technological advancement as well as some other details and at this point, slowly but surely, the gaming world is slowly filling up with more raytraced games. Regardless of who’s backing the raytracing as a technology partner, with consoles leading the charge, PC will have to follow on the raytracing path.
As always, we set the maximum details possible for each game available. We also disable proprietary technologies specifically DLSS. We will introduce a DLSS benchmark in the future as looking into DLSS introduces more testing that I’m currently looking into how to manage data properly
For now, have the following Cyberpunk 2077, Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War and Control. Future inclusions that are still in research status are Fortnite, Metro Exodus and a few other upcoming titles.
As a reference RTX 3090, the Palit RTX 3090 GamingPRO offer top-of-the-line performance but there are some factor at play here that may be influencing how this card behaves in game. First up, in games that benefit more on higher clock speeds, this card sometimes will drop down to 1200-1300Mhz which can really see the performance see-saw on some cases especially the esports titles. Regardless, at this level of the market, you’re specifically looking for utmost performance and we plan to do this review again with a Ryzen 9 5950X to fully determine what a workstation featuring this card can do. For strictly gaming application, its definitely an overkill card and there’s literally no questioning the investment here. The Palit RTX 3090 GamingPRO despite being a reference card manages to push out astounding performance rivalling its higher tier counterparts from ROG and MSI. It does get held back by its stock settings on heavier AAA games and some clock-speed reliant games will show see this card tussling in 1080p although I feel this card is more fit for a 1440p or higher setup.
At this point in time, you’re probably looking at this card for professional endeavors and the market climate has given brands like ROG, AORUS and MSI a clear advantage given their brand power and whatever luster brand like Palit had over their competition is surely mired in the global chip crisis as we battle through unpredictable market pricing. Still, if you’re already looking at this review, you may just need that little push to convince to go to further. If you’re professionally looking at this card to extensive usage, I direct you to our thermal chart once again.
Temperatures are sustained around the 70*C mark on our ambient temperature in Kombustor running Furmark GL in 4K. At this type of workload, the card does tend to get quite audible as it has to deal with around 380W of heat. This is impressive especially from Palit who’s history of coolers has seen them opt for larger coolers but this Palit RTX 3090 GamingPRO is a nice change of pace while their gaming line-up continues the thicker cooling solution, the Palit RTX 3090 GamingPRO maintains a more tamed, professional look. It does have RGB lighting on the center so if you opt to orient it vertically. I would suggest a vertical orientation if you plan to run this up another daughtercard like a sound card or capture card as its radiant heat under load may cause other peripherals to rise in temperatures as well. It is advised that you keep airflow as optimal as possible with a fan blowing in from the front. Here’s a sample from Corsair:
That said, the Palit RTX 3090 GamingPRO non-overclocked card will vary in pricing in most areas but will usually hover in current market ranges of +$2000. This card never made local launch so I can’t say how much it would’ve cost but having personally bought an overclocked RTX 3090 at launch for less a $1800, an MSRP Palit RTX 3090 would’ve been less than that.
Still, if we’re talking about pure value, the Palit RTX 3090 GamingPRO present one card option that exists in the more affordable range. This does put a big question mark on your buying capabilities but again, for pure gaming, unless you’re a rockstar gamer rocking 4K 144hz which are indeed coming out soon, the Palit RTX 3090 GamingPRO presents a compelling option to set you off the right path without going overboard. For professional use, its the same thing. This Palit card gives good returns in investment based on pure performance.
Focusing on the card itself, its got good cooling. While its not the most silent, its not obnoxiously noisy. Palit’s choice to go with two PCI-e 8-pin is also a nice choice when other brands are going triple plug. Take note that you may need a newer power supply if your PSU is suffering an over-current protection wherein your PC would just restart once a game is loaded.
This is because an RTX 3090, regardless of who made it, can pull power up to 400W from the PSU, something some PSU are not ready to take on. Going back to the Palit RTX 3090, it is also a 2.5x slot height cooler with a standard width. This means the Palit RTX 3090 GamingPRO can readily fit in most cases that can house an 11-inch card.
As this is a reference card, the only criticism here that if you choose to overclock this card, performance would vary depending on your expectation. In most cases, my results have been less than stock clocks. That said, NVIDIA’s GPU boost already pushes this card plenty but if you do get lucky you can push the CPU a bit further but as mentioned, results may vary.
Memory overclocking is a bit tougher as this card gets warm due to the inherent nature of GDDR6X. That said, Palit could’ve went with a pass through fan design like other brands but to Palit’s credit, their venting holes on the heatsink overhang does allow a fan to flow air through causing a cooling effect on the backplate.
Speaking of backplate, this is the heaviest backplate I have seen on a Palit product which speaks a lot about the quality improvement that Palit has done over the years. The heatsink itself features larger heatpipes and the fans are quite powerful. I would argue about the choice to go brown on the backplate but this will be up to you.
Ultimately, a reference RTX 3090 would be a specific need right now to garner any interest and the Palit RTX 3090 GamingPRO, is a good demonstration of how strongly Palit can ramp up their quality to keep up with the extreme requirement of this card. Their GamingPRO line presents a good compromise for users wanting a streamline product that doesn’t shout “gamer” yet hold a non-blower style cooler for optimal cooling.
The Palit RTX 3090 GamingPRO is an easy pick-up if you just need a reference card and while convincing anyone to jump to an RTX 3090 is not purpose of this article, anyone who needs that last bit of convincing whether its quality or performance will rest well knowing Palit has done a good job in building this card.
The Palit RTX 3090 GamingPRO comes with a 3-year warranty.