Get ready for Ampere with Overclockers UK: Guide to supported PC cases

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To help you get ready for Ampere we’ve used our expert knowledge of hardware to put together all the information you’ll need to ensure your PC is ready for a new Nvidia graphics card. In this article, we cover compatible PC cases so you can ensure you have enough room to upgrade or buy the correct computer case for your RTX 3000 powered build.

Nvidia founder and CEO Jensen Huang invited us to his kitchen on the first of September to what the company has been cooking up in regards to next-gen graphics. Three new models were announced as part of the brand new 3000 series. The RTX 3070, RTX 3080 and RTX 3090. Each one is powered by Ampere which is Nvidia’s 2nd generation RTX graphics architecture. They come equipped with new and improved RT cores, Tensor cores and streaming multiprocessors for huge performance gains over last-gens Turing architecture.

Asus Dual RTX 3070

The RTX 3070 is available from only £469 and is said to be faster than the RTX 2080ti at less than half the price. The specifications include 8GB of GDDR6 memory and 5888 CUDA cores making it the sweet spot when it comes to price vs performance for gamers wanting to play on a high resolution or refresh rate monitor. Click the image to check out the full range.

msi graphics RTX 3080

The RTX 3080 starts at £649 and Nvidia showed it off as the ultimate gaming GPU with a level of performance that is said to be 2x faster than the current RTX 2080. Specifications include 10GB of high-speed GDDR6X memory running at 19Gbps and 8704 CUDA cores which make it perfect for consistent 60fps, 4K gaming. Click the image to check out the full range.

RTX 3090 Strix GPU

The RTX 3090 is the new flagship and is priced at £1399. This hugely powerful card comes with 24GB of GDDR6X memory which allows it to tackle AI algorithms and huge content creation workloads. The 10496 Cuda cores mean that it is up to 50 percent faster than the current Titan RTX. If you want to use it for Gaming its capable of handling 8K resolution or 4K at a high refresh rate for an incredibly realistic experience. Click the image to check out the full range.

The new cooler is huge:

Both the RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 have a higher TDP than Nvidia’s previous cards such as the RTX 2080 and GTX 1080 and therefore Nvidia has designed a brand new cooler. The founder’s edition uses a push-pull fan system with a hybrid vapour chamber cooler which will pull in cold air from the front of the case and exhaust hot air out of the rear and top. Reportedly this will keep the cards up to 20 degrees cooler on the RTX 3080 and up to 30C cooler on the RTX 3080 than previous equivalent founder designs if the cards were running at the same TDP. Nvidia has also said the cards are quieter than previous designs by up to 20dBA. The cooler for the RTX 2080 is two slots wide and the cooler on the RTX 3090 is a huge three slots wide. Many of the aftermarket RTX 3090 cards are 2.9 slots wide so will take up the same footprint as the giant Nvidia founders card.

RTX 3090 Thermals when compared with Titan RTX

What PC Cases are compatible with the RTX 3000 series?

To accommodate the new cooler design its worth carefully considering what case you will need in order to support the larger size. Below is a table that is populated with the Founders edition card dimensions. Dimensions will vary by manufacturer so it’s best to check the dimensions of the exact graphics card you are planning to buy. However, this is a great starting point when planning your build.

Founders edition card dimensions:

 LengthWidth
RTX 3070 (2-slot) 242 mm (9.5") 112 mm (4.4")
RTX 3080 (2-slot) 285 mm (11.2") 112 mm (4.4")
RTX 3090 (3-Slot) 313 mm (12.3") 138 mm (5.4")

In order to check if your case is suitable head to the list of specifications on the manufacturer’s website. Most case manufacturers will list the length of GPU that is supported by that case. If you are struggling to find the officially supported sizing it’s best to measure it yourself or look at reviews to see what’s largest GPU someone has managed to install in your case. If the dimensions are smaller it will not fit. However, some cases can be modified to fit larger graphics cards. If the sizes are similar it will be tight and you’ll have to carefully consider if there will be enough space for cables.

What cases can vertically mount the RTX 3090?

Many of the coolers on the aftermarket cards feature an attractive design with bright RGB lighting and would look great vertically mounted in a case. However vertically mounting such a large card can be challenging and there are only a limited number of cases that can support a vertically mounted triple slot GPU like the RTX 3090. To help you Overclockers UK have put together a list of the best PC cases that support vertical mounting in this way. We’ve also spoken to several case manufacturers like Lian Li, Phanteks, Corsair, Asus, CoolerMaster and NZXT to get more information on vertically mounting Nvidia’s latest graphics cards.

Currently the Rocket Heavy will support the 3090 in a vertically mounted orientation, although we would suggest adding the vented aluminium panels that will be available for purchase in Q4 to help with airflow. Kolink will add around half a dozen new models in the coming months which will all support the 3090 as standard. We will be working on a PCI-E 4.0 riser cable but have no firm plans for a release date as of yet.

-Kolink

Basically all of our cases models where vertical GPU support is mentioned will support 3-slot GPU’s. This is true whether it’s integrated or requires our vertical GPU bracket.

-Phanteks

If you choose to install vertically you will need a riser cable. Currently, all our riser cables are PCIe 3.0 which are still compatible with the RTX 3090. We hope to come to the market with PCIe 4.0 cables very soon.

-Phanteks

Most AIB (aftermarket) cards are 2 slots or 2.5 slots. None of our current cases support vertically mounting the FE 3090, however, water blocks will convert it to a 2-slot card.

-Corsair

Our existing mounts are all compatible with vertical 3 slot GPUs. However, the included riser cable only supports PCIe 3.0. The three slot GPUs are all PCIe 4.0 and we are still working on a PCIe 4.0 cable. At this time we don’t recommend customers use our vertical GPU mount for a PCIe 4.0 GPU.

-Lian Li

Currently, none of our cases have a 3 slot vertical mount. So they will be incompatible, but we are of course working on this.

-NZXT

The Case that will be compatible out the box to support vertically mounted triple-slot GPUs is the SL600M. The C700M should work also. You will need to rotate the PCI bracket but it’s all detailed on our website. We also sell the Universal Vertical GPU holder kit that will allow triple-slot GPUs to work with any ATX case that has 7 PCIe slots.

-CoolerMaster

The Helios will support a 3 slot card in the included vertical mount. However, it’s worth noting that you might restrict airflow doing it that way. The Helios also comes with a vertical cage meaning you can swap out the standard horizontal mount by the motherboard to be a vertically positioned mount and that way you’d have zero airflow issues.

-ASUS

There’s plenty of cases already on the market that support vertically mounted 3-slot cards and many of the case manufacturers we spoke to are already working on other designs to support the gigantic coolers on the RTX 3090. The founders’ edition card is also the only true 3-slot card we’ve seen so far and you will have no problems using aftermarket 2.9 slot cards with any of the 2 slot vertical mounts we have listed.

Cases that support 3-slot GPU

Phanteks has the most cases with support for triple slot Graphics including the Enthoo Elite, Enthoo 719, Enthoo Pro 2, Enthoo Evolv X and Eclipse P600, P500 series. There is also a huge range of other cases from the Eclipse P300, P350X, P360X and P400 line that are compatible when paired with the Phanteks GPU bracket. The very popular Lian Li O11 Dynamic, Air and O11 Dynamic XL can support vertically mounted cards when paired with a suitable Lian-Li bracket.

The Asus ROG Helios can support up to two vertically mounted GPU’s which gives it plenty of room for a 3-slot card. The unique design of the Thermaltake P5 and P3 PC cases allows room for a triple-slot card in a number of positions. The Fractal Define 7 XL full tower case is another suitable case and finally, the Kolink Rocket Heavy which is only £109.99 has triple-slot vertical mounting compatibility. 

Do RTX 3000 series cards need PCIe 4.0?

If you’re worried about compatibility issues with PCIe 3.0 Nvidia released a statement addressing concerns which states “The impact is typically less than a few per cent going from an x16 PCIe 4.0 to x16 PCIe 3.0. CPU selection often has a larger impact on performance. We look forward to new platforms that can fully take advantage of Gen4 capabilities for potential performance increases". Its seems if you want to vertically mount your RTX 3090 with a PCIe 3.0 connection you’ll be just fine. It’s also worth noting that none of Intel’s motherboards currently support PCIe 4.0 anyway.

To check out the full list of compatible cases and vertical mounting brackets to create the ultimate showcase with the latest RTX 3000 graphics click the link below.

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