For our power testing, we used AIDA64 to stress the ZOTAC RTX 3090 Trinity, then HWiNFO to monitor power use and temperatures.
After the stress test has ramped up the ZOTAC RTX 3090 Trinity, we see it tops out at 349 watts under full load and 23 watts at idle. The load matches the Founders Edition card while the idle is a bit higher.
A key reason that we started this series was to answer the cooling question. Blower-style coolers have different capabilities than some of the large dual and triple fan gaming cards. With newer warmer GPUs we see fewer blower-style coolers. This is certainly a change over this project’s lifetime.
Temperatures for the ZOTAC RTX 3090 Trinity hit 73C under full loads, which shows ZOTAC’s cooling solution performs well and makes very little noise, especially below 70-80% card utilization. Going above that and the fans need to ramp higher to keep the high-end GPU cool. Idle temps we saw were 29C, which is also excellent for a GPU of this size.
At the end of testing, the big question is: so what? There are certainly a few key takeaways that also require noting the context of this review. We are in a period where GPU demand is seemingly insatiable and there is little stock of this card in the channel. That goes for most of the other RTX 3000 series cards as well.
In many cases, this is going to be a choice our readers make without the benefit of alternatives. If you want or need RTX 3090 levels of compute and/ or the 24GB of memory capacity, then the choice to get the RTX 3090 almost comes down to “just get whatever is available.” This is effectively how we found this card for review.
If we had a larger stock and closer to MSRP pricing, the question would come down to whether the general trend of faster performance from an overclocked card merits a price premium. This may be an unpopular opinion, however, our general sense is that spending more than a single-digit percent more for an overclocked card over a non-overclocked card is not worthwhile unless there is a very specific need. A larger delta is likely better invested and waiting for the next generation of cards given the industry trendlines. That discussion is likely less important than the jump moving to the RTX 3090 from a lower-end platform. At some point, you have 24GB of memory, or you do not.
From a compute perspective, the Zotac GeForce RTX 3090 Trinity 24GB worked. It was not class-leading in terms of performance, but it was serviceable as a GeForce RTX 3090 24GB card. For many of our readers the bigger question is now availability.
Perhaps the best NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 is simply the one you can actually buy these days.