NVIDIA's AIB partners are discontinuing blower fan designs for the GeForce RTX 3090
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NVIDIA's AIB partners have apparently started removing a number of GeForce RTX 3090 blower fan variants from their websites. A Videocardz report indicates that this is likely to make way for higher-end CMP (cryptocurrency mining) cards in the months to come.
Regardless of the reason, this is good news for gamers: blower fans are infamous for being both loud and inefficient when it comes to cooling graphics cards. AMD's reference RX 480 models, for instance, featured a design that had trouble keeping temps in check, even with a 150W GPU. With the GeForce RTX 3090, the situation is even more extreme. The RTX 3090 features the highest TDP of any single GPU to ever ship. This makes prodigious cooling more or less necessary to avoid running into thermal throttling.
Because the RTX 3090 uses GPU Boost technology, there is a noticeable amount of performance headroom so long as it isn't thermal throttling. Blower fan cards almost always hit higher temperatures than cards with other approaches to cooling. This means that SKUs like the ASUS GeForce RTX 3090 TURBO were likely running hotter and slower than other RTX 3090 models in these AIBs lineups.
While blower fan models of the RTX 3090 might no longer be available to gamers, this doesn't mean this cooling solution's being phased out entirely. As mentioned in the report, it's likely that AIBs are simply repurposing blower fans for crypto mining cards - these cards tend to run more efficiently and noise isn't a huge priority for their owners, making blower fans a decent fit.