It’s not long now until we can officially get our hands on the next-gen RTX 30 series graphics cards from Nvidia, and many of us are pretty excited. There’s no doubt that now is the time to upgrade as next-gen consoles are launching later this year, which means upgrading now is the most optimal time to future proof our PCs.
But the new generation of cards are pretty beefy, not only do they provide one of the biggest performance improvements than any previous generation in a while, but the RTX 3090 actually requires 3 expansion slots in order to fit. That’s quite a lot of space to consider when upgrading, but absolutely worth it for the first ever 8K consumer graphics card.
Obviously that has made a lot of PC enthusiasts worried that their rigs aren't going to be compatible with the RTX 3090, because then you're not just paying $1499 for the card, but will also have to fork some more out for a new motherboard/PC case/power supply/CPU etc. So to make sure we're all prepared we've listed everything you need to know about the RTX 30 series and the best motherboard for Nvidia's next-gen GPUs, including the RTX 3090, RTX 3080 and RTX 3070.
Is your PC motherboard big enough to fit the new RTX 3090 30 Series?
Lets look at our mobo size charts and suggested motherboards below to help answer that question.
RTX 30 series GPUs size specifications:
(*GPUs and sizes listed are based off the Nvidia Founders Editions cards, so if you’re looking to get a custom AIB version its best to check the manufacturer's site for their own specifications)
|RTX 3090||12.3" (313 mm)||5.4" (138 mm)||3-Slot|
|RTX 3080||11.2" (285 mm)||4.4" (112 mm)||2-Slot|
|RTX 3070||9.5" (242 mm)||4.4" (112 mm)||2-Slot|
RTX 3090 motherboard space. How much of the motherboard will be taken up by an RTX 3090?:
Motherboard Form Factors
Of course, motherboards also come with the caveat of form factor, as new and better motherboards will have different sizes. This in turn will then make you conscious of whether or not your own PC case will be able to fit the new motherboard in. This is where a motherboard's form factor comes in.
Form factor is a generalized way of detailing the size and shape of a certain piece of PC hardware, more specifically to do with motherboards and PC cases. This is to ensure that you're buying the right motherboard size and structure for your PC, laptops and desktops will have wildly different shapes and sizes for example.
There are lots of different form factor types to consider when choosing a motherboard, but the most common is the ATX form factor, which most if not all Tower cases will be able to support. Unless you are going for a very bespoke design, chances are the most common form factors you'll see are ATX, Micro-ATX, and Mini-ITX.
|Motherboard Form Factors||Size specifications||Compatible PC case form factors|
|ATX||12" x 13"||Full Tower, Mid Tower|
|Micro-ATX||9.6" x 9.6"||Mid Tower, Mini Tower, Desktop, Small Form Factor|
|Mini-ITX||6.7" x 6.7"||Mini Tower, Desktop, Small Form Factor|
So what is the best motherboard for the RTX 30 series cards? What boards are compatible? Are there any that won’t be supported? We take a look at all the known and upcoming motherboards that the RTX 30 series will fit, and more specifically, the goliath RTX 3090 GPU.
So let’s start with the basics, what motherboards are supported? Well, according to Nvidia any motherboard with a PCIe x16 slot will be perfectly fine. Although the new cards support PCIe Gen 4.0, it isn’t exactly required. This means pretty much any board within the last 10 years will be able to support the RTX 30 series like the X470, B450, Z490 etc.
As for the best motherboards for the RTX 30 series GPUs, the recent B550 and X570 designs are the only ones to support PCIe 4.0 right now, and will be able to take full advantage that the new range of RTX cards offer. However, it’s important to note that there will be a very minuscule amount of difference in performance between PCIe 3.0 and PCIe 4.0 when it comes to the RTX 30 series. Instead, your CPU decision will have a larger impact on performance, so if you already own a PCIe 3.0 compatible motherboard then you’re good to go still.
List of popular RTX 30 series compatible motherboards:
(*Price ranges listed below are rough estimates for what you would expect to pay right now, and are mainly influenced by demand, supply, shipping, brand etc.)
- B550 ($115-$270) ASRock, Asus, Gigabyte, MSI
- X570 ($150-$360) ASRock, Asus, Gigabyte, MSI
- B450 ($75-$130) ASRock, Asus, Gigabyte, MSI
- X470 ($100-$200) ASRock, Asus, Gigabyte, MSI
- Z490 ($150-$300) ASRock, Asus, Gigabyte, MSI
It’s also important to note that the B550 and X570 motherboards will be able to support AMD’s upcoming Zen 3-based Ryzen 4000 processors, which will obviously pair very well with the RTX 30 series cards. Though it's worth mentioning that the B450 boards will also support the Ryzen 4000 CPUs with a Bios update.
And what about any unsupported motherboards? Will there be any that are blocked off from the new generation of cards? There has been no confirmation thus far about certain motherboards getting blocked off, so it's safe to assume that any board that has a PCIe x16 will be able to support the new GPUs, whilst anything that doesn’t have a PCIe x16 slot will not unfortunately.
What do you think? Are you excited for the RTX 30 series cards? Are you looking to upgrade your motherboard? If so, which ones are you looking at? Let us know!