GeForce RTX 30-series blower cards are making a comeback, as Galax has just unveiled — or rather re-released — two blower-style RTX 3090 and 3080 graphics cards. That gives people another chance to use these cards as cheap Quadro replacements. But there's one big caveat: These cards won't be sold in the United States.
Back in March, Nvidia cut the cord on all RTX-30 series blower cards, as it found AIB partners stuffing these cards into servers and workstations, an area Nvidia prefers to reserve for its Quadro GPUs. Not surprisingly, blower-style RTX 3090 and RTX 3080 cards make really good workstation cards for some use cases, even if they lack other Quadro features like professional drivers — and the accompanying price tag.
Blowers are used heavily in the server and workstation environment thanks to their ability to exhaust air out of the rear of a case. This allows blower-style coolers to provide good cooling in compact case environments, like mini-ITX builds. More importantly, it allows for better multi-GPU setups. That last point is particularly useful for professional workstations.
It's easy to see why system integrators were adding blower-style RTX 3090 and RTX 3080 cards into their builds, as the price to performance was too great to pass up. That's also the reason why Nvidia cut the cord, since it didn't want Quadro sales to get eaten up by consumer grade RTX GPUs.
But apparently Nvidia has changed its mind, and is allowing blower-style coolers to be built by Galax... but only for the Chinese market. As far as we're aware, Galax's blower-style cards are only listed on its Chinese website, and nowhere else. Sorry.
The two blower cards are the RTX 3090 Classic and the RTX 3080 Classic. Both cards are re-releases of the original Classic cards from 2020 featuring an all-black plastic shroud and black metal backplate paired with a copper heatsink. It's a simple and stealthy design, but one that works very well in prosumer applications where functionality is desired over aesthetics.
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Aaron Klotz is a freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US, covering news topics related to computer hardware such as CPUs, and graphics cards.