RTX 3080 GPU Review

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Version has landed, and with it comes a wave of anticipation the PC gaming international hasn’t skilled in years. Following months of leaks and rumors, Nvidia unveiled the RTX 30-series graphics playing cards firstly of this month, calling it “the best generational soar” within the corporate’s historical past, handing over “as much as 2x the efficiency” of its last-gen counterpart. Does it? We’ve put the cardboard thru its paces to determine simply how tough it in reality is and whether or not that is the improve you’ve been looking ahead to.

Design and Options

The RTX 3080 packs an excellent spec-sheet. In comparison to final technology’s RTX 2080 Tremendous, it options greater than double the CUDA core depend with a whopping 8704 cores and 10GB of 320-bit GDDR6X VRAM. GDDR6X is the most recent and quickest video RAM to be had nowadays with a most bandwidth of 19 Gbps, which is a considerable bump from Turing’s 14 Gbps. The cardboard is speedy with a spice up clock of one.71 GHz, although Nvidia is claiming it’s additionally power-efficient, providing 1.9x efficiency consistent with watt over the 20-series.

It might be simple to attract a line to the expanded CUDA core depend and Nvidia’s declare of “as much as 2x efficiency,” however issues aren’t slightly so easy. With Ampere, CUDA core depend doesn’t scale 1:1 with efficiency, as kind of part of the ones cores can shift between FP32 shader cores and INT32 integer cores relying on what’s wanted on the time. How recreation engines and packages make the most of those cores range, so whilst it’s secure to be expecting progressed efficiency, each and every recreation gained’t abruptly run two times as speedy.

The Founders Version additionally options Nvidia’s newest iteration of the RTX triple-processor device. The RTX engine consists of 3 portions: the programmable shader, which is chargeable for same old rasterization tasks (customary recreation rendering); the RT Core, which handles ray tracing; and the Tensor Core, which powers the AI aspect of RTX, enabling options like DLSS and RTX Voice.

Each and every of those methods has won large all the way through boosts with 2.7x development to the shader, 1.7x to the RT Core, and a pair of.7x to the tensor core. The sheer teraflop depend in comparison to the RTX 20-series is staggering:

  • Programmable Shader: 30 TFLOPs (prior to now 11 TFLOPs)
  • RT Core: 58 RT-TFLOPs (prior to now 34 RT-TFLOPs)
  • Tensor Core: 238 Tensor-TFLOPs (prior to now 89 Tensor-TFLOPs)

As a handy guide a rough level of comparability, the approaching Xbox Sequence X will function 12 TFLOPs of efficiency. In comparison to the 30 TFLOPs presented through the RTX 3080’s Programmable Shader, the space is huge. (That stated, the Sequence X is the usage of a unique graphics structure, so comparisons aren’t essentially one to 1.)

The RTX 3080 Founders Version additionally brings with it Nvidia’s new dual-axial cooler. In comparison to the final technology of Founders Version coolers, it feels like an enormous heatsink the place the final one felt kind of like a refined steel block. The PCB has been gotten smaller down whilst the whole dimension has remained identical, bearing in mind a better floor space for warmth to disperse. Embedded within the cooler are two lovers which paintings in tandem with the herbal airflow trail for many mid-tower circumstances. The fan closest to the entrance of the cardboard pulls air thru its uncovered fin-stack and ejects it out the again of the case like a blower-style cooler. The rear fan is situated at the different aspect of the graphics card, pulling air up and thru to be exhausted in the course of the trail of the CPU. Nvidia claims this design is as much as 20C cooler and 3x quieter than final technology, and whilst it’s cooler and quieter, I didn’t slightly see that caliber of consequence. Nonetheless, it is a distinctive design that works neatly.

Situated at an attitude at the aspect of the cooler is Nvidia’s new 12-pin chronic connector. Fortunately, you gained’t wish to purchase a brand new PSU simply to house the brand new connector: Nvidia comprises an adapter within the field to transform two Eight-pin headers into the only, smaller connection. That stated, I’d a lot slightly Nvidia had stayed with the traditional, twin Eight-pin connectors because the adapter simply doesn’t glance excellent dangling from the aspect of the cardboard, particularly in case you have customized cables.

When you’re operating even a mid-tier chronic provide, although, you should still need to improve. The RTX 3080 has a thirst for chronic with a rated TDP of 320 watts. That’s up from 250 watts at the 2080 Tremendous and 2080 Ti. Along side that bump comes the advice for a minimal 750 watt chronic provide and that every Eight-pin connector will have to be a separate twine coming from the PSU – no break up ends.

With regards to connectivity, the cardboard options 3 DisplayPort 1.four connections and an HDMI 2.1 port. Like final technology, the RTX 3080 FE is in a position to outputting in wide-gamut HDR content material and helps Show Move Compression for prime bandwidth throughput to supported screens. The ones outputs can push a most solution of 7680×4320 throughout 4 screens.

RTX IO, RTX Reflex, and RTX Broadcast

Along side the cardboard itself, the announcement of the RTX 30-series introduced with it a number of further bulletins. The key amongst those is RTX IO, which permits GPU-based decompression without delay from the SSD, which can dramatically make bigger its bandwidth. Just like the PlayStation five, this has the promise of near-instantaneous load instances in video games, however because it calls for developer integration, I wasn’t ready to check it for this evaluate.

Different core options introduced had been RTX Reflex and RTX Broadcast. RTX Reflex is concentrated squarely at esports players, promising very much lowered device latency when operating video games at 4K. Previously, operating video games at excessive solution, particularly at excessive graphics settings would lead to upper device latency, making the sport really feel much less responsive and probably impacting your goal. RTX Reflex screens and optimizes body rendering to scale back latency, specifically in GPU certain situations.

To check this program in a GPU certain state of affairs, I swapped out the RTX 3080 for the GTX 1660 Tremendous I used previous in trying out and loaded up Valorant. On my 4K observe, I used to be ready to scale back my device latency through just about 50% through enabling the Reflex+Spice up surroundings. I’m now not a aggressive esports participant, so I be expecting a lot of this development is most probably misplaced on me (we’re sub 15 ms right here), nevertheless it did really feel rather quicker even to me. When you’re the type of gamer who wishes each and every edge, there is not any explanation why to not benefit from RTX Reflex, particularly because it’s both recently to be had in or deliberate for primary first-person shooters like Name of Responsibility: Trendy Battle, Fortnite, and Apex Legends.

RTX Broadcast, alternatively, is concentrated at creatives and streamers as opposed to aggressive players. The usage of the AI capability constructed into every RTX card, you’ll be able to follow settings like background noise elimination and digital background results. In fact, we’ve already observed this capability in different instrument, however the AI enhancement provides every a far upper constancy than I’ve observed earlier than. Nvidia demonstrated the AI noise elimination filtering out the sound of a vacuum in the similar room as a streamer whilst having minimum have an effect on at the high quality of his voice. Likewise, the AI-powered background results appeared similarly high-fidelity, successfully reducing the streamer out from their atmosphere with handiest minor fringing. That is particularly thrilling in case your streaming house is just too constrained for an actual inexperienced display screen.

However sufficient with the background, let’s get into the benchmarks.


The era is spectacular, however what in reality issues maximum is the way it plays beneath drive. To check the cardboard, I ran it thru a chain of artificial and in-game benchmarks. All checks had been carried out at extremely settings to peer how neatly it handles probably the most irritating situations. Following those checks, I additionally ran various explicit checks to peer what sort of ray tracing enhancements the 3080 provides over its predecessor.

Take a look at device: Z390 Asus ROG Maximus XI Excessive Motherboard, Intel Core i9-9900Okay CPU (inventory), Corsair H115i PRO RGB 280mm AIO CPU Cooler, 32GB Corsair Vengeance RGB Professional DDR4-3200, 1TB Samsung EVO Plus NVMe SSD, Corsair HX1200 1200-watt chronic provide.

Do observe that we selected to incorporate the RTX 2080 Tremendous over the unique RTX 2080 since it’s the newest and related type. For the reason that the Tremendous already provides an FPS benefit over the unique, the lead over the OG type can be even higher.

Let’s get started with the factitious benchmarks, specializing in rasterization:

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Artificial Benchmarks

The RTX 3080 provides an important lead over every different card we examined towards, peaking with a 56% development over the 2080 Tremendous in 3DMark Fireplace Strike Extremely and 47% in Unigine Heaven. Those are giant jumps, however what’s much more putting is the lead over the 2080 Ti, which crowned out at 28% in Fireplace Strike and 18% in Heaven.

Directly to recreation efficiency:

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Gaming Benchmarks

Merely put: the RTX 3080 Founders Version is a rasterization powerhouse. It obviously led each and every different card I examined towards – which isn’t a marvel. What did marvel me used to be through how a lot. In comparison to the 2080 Tremendous, it delivered 29% to 51% upper FPS at 1080p, for a mean 44% FPS acquire. The enhancements are much more putting at 4K, which ranged from 53% to 67% development, for a mean of 57% upper FPS.

Even pitted towards final technology’s flagship, the RTX 2080 Ti, the RTX 3080 gained out, although the margins had been expectedly slimmer. FPS positive aspects ranged from 6% to 24% at 1080p and 17% to 34% at 4K – averaging to FPS boosts of 18% and 26%, respectively. Given the relative pricing of the 2 playing cards, $699 as opposed to $1199, the RTX 3080 looks like a fantastic price.

I additionally spent a while trying out different video games in particular compared to the 2080 Tremendous. Since it is such an immediate counterpart to the RTX 3080, it makes a super measure let’s say the efficiency positive aspects with this new technology. Those checks had been run at 4K on extremely settings with ray tracing and DLSS enabled:

Those are spectacular effects that illustrate the soar the RTX 3080 brings to the desk. It is a 4K card that completely delivers at the promise of 4K gaming, ray tracing integrated. It additionally marks a considerable development over the uplift we discovered within the soar from the 10- to 20-series. [Replace: After this evaluate used to be revealed, Wolfenstein: Youngblood used to be up to date to permit ASync Compute, which is a core function of the RTX 30-Sequence. We’ve got up to date the chart to mirror the enhanced efficiency, which larger from 1.62x to one.78x.]

It’s vital to notice right here that the positive aspects over last-gen will range relying at the recreation you’re enjoying, the settings used, and the way neatly optimized the sport engine is to leverage the RTX 3080’s progressed processing features. The sampling of titles and checks I carried out display a significant soar over the 20-series, particularly when you’re enjoying at 4K.

Ray Tracing Efficiency

Rasterization is just one piece of the equation with the RTX collection: the opposite part is, after all, ray tracing efficiency. With each next-gen consoles providing hardware-level ray tracing, I used to be curious what sort of enhancements the RTX 3080 would usher in anticipation of video games to come back. Like with the traditional rendering checks, I started with a couple of synthetics, in particular concentrated on ray tracing efficiency. Since I used to be searching for a transparent generational development, I targeted at the RTX 3080 and RTX 2080 Tremendous Founders Editions.

The checks I used had been Boundary, from Surgical Scalpels, and Shiny Reminiscence, from FYQD Studio – each extraordinarily difficult device crushers, even with DLSS enabled. Each and every take a look at ran at 4K solution. In Boundary, the RTX 3080 presented an 81% efficiency development over the RTX 2080 Tremendous. In Shiny Reminiscence, the uplift used to be 67%.

When it got here to trying out enhancements in exact video games, I used to be much less anxious about general FPS and extra interested by how RTX/DLSS impacted FPS. To perform this, I examined 4 video games at 4K with RTX and DLSS (High quality Preset) off and on and recorded the FPS over a couple of runs to make sure my effects. Wolfenstein: Youngblood, Metro Exodus, and Minecraft RTX every had integrated benchmarks (the latter created through Nvidia within the Portal Pioneers international). For Keep an eye on, I used a repeatable trail in the course of the Bureau with abundant ray traced reflections, taking care to make as an identical a run as conceivable with every cross, and recorded the effects with Nvidia FrameView.

Within the chart beneath, you’ll be able to see the efficiency of every recreation, first in FPS after which in percentages to obviously see the have an effect on of enabling RTX and DLSS.

As you’ll be able to inform from this chart, it’s transparent that the processing improvements at the RTX 3080 imply that 4K, ray-traced gaming at 60+ FPS is a truth. The mix of progressed rasterization and improvements to the RT and Tensor cores give it an important benefit over the RTX 2080 Tremendous in nearly each and every manner. However is ray tracing much less impactful? Listed below are the efficiency hits in share shape:

With RTX and DLSS enabled, every recreation skilled a efficiency drop, however the have an effect on is normally smaller with the RTX 3080. The exception this is Metro Exodus, which confirmed much less of a drop than the RTX 2080 Tremendous. This restricted sampling is hard to attract laborious conclusions from, nevertheless it does appear to be, normally, the enhanced RT and Tensor cores are boosting ray tracing efficiency particularly. Apparently, Keep an eye on plays higher with RTX and DLSS on than with each disabled throughout a couple of take a look at passes.

That stated, the ray tracing development on each Wolfenstein and Keep an eye on is smaller than I was hoping to search out and Metro went the other way with the 2080 Tremendous keeping up a slight edge. The RTX 3080 is totally in a position to operating every with RTX on at excessive body charges (Youngblood: 126 FPS Keep an eye on: 69 FPS, Metro: 64 FPS), nevertheless it’s going to take extra trying out with a much wider array of video games to attract any laborious conclusions at the general share development the RTX 3080 provides over the 2080 Tremendous.

Inside of this pattern, Minecraft is the outlier with 30.four% higher efficiency whilst Keep an eye on and Wolfenstein: Youngblood are handiest progressed through four.five% and three.1% respectively. Will extra video games carry out nearer to Minecraft or Metro? Time must inform.


Since its inception, DLSS, brief for Deep Finding out Tremendous Sampling, has developed considerably. The era leverages the facility of AI to intelligently upscale video games, permitting an RTX graphics card to render video games at a decrease solution after which use its tensor cores to upscale, theoretically, with no lower in readability. Gaming at 4K with DLSS may handiest require the processing chronic of 1440p, for instance, supplying you with 1440p-like body charges with a 4K symbol. When the era debuted, there have been notable issues of the softness of upscaled photographs and far of the thrill used to be quelled out of the gate. Since then, Nvidia has been quietly refining the era and it’s now ready to ship DLSS graphics which can be crisper than local 4K.


DLSS Off – 77 FPS

DLSS On – 116 FPS

This screenshot from the start of Wolfenstein: Youngblood demonstrates precisely that. Taking a look intently on the textual content and contours at the field, in addition to the textures at the facets of the ammo crates, DLSS supplies a rather sharper symbol whilst operating a complete 39 FPS quicker. That is “higher than 4K” constancy with 1440p processing. It’s extremely spectacular. Merely put, there is not any explanation why to not use DLSS.

Thermal and Acoustic Efficiency

Nvidia made giant claims about its new cooler design. In its advertising and marketing subject matter, the corporate famous that it used to be “as much as” thrice quieter and 20C cooler. For gaming and benchmarking, the cardboard used to be each cool and quiet, however didn’t slightly are living as much as the ones numbers. Within my Lian Li Lan Cool 2 case with a closed glass aspect, temperatures peaked at 75C on a sizzling day the place the ambient temperature used to be ~78F/26C and 69C on a cooler day with ambient temps of 70F/21C. That is slightly a distinction and highlights how dependent the RTX 3080’s thermal resolution is at the presence of cool air. The RTX 2080 Tremendous, through comparability, peaked at 79C and the RTX 2080 Ti at 82C at the similar heat day. It’s additionally price noting that our take a look at device featured the radiator fixed at the entrance of the case with lovers blowing in in the course of the radiator. The quantity of cool air getting into the case is lower than if the radiator had been height fixed (which, sadly, the Lan Cool 2 would now not permit). With a customized fan curve and top-mounted radiator, I’m assured those temps may well be diminished even additional.

The cardboard used to be additionally very quiet. And not using a decibel meter, I couldn’t take a look at the precise noise aid, however greater than as soon as, I opened the aspect panel to ensure the whole lot used to be operating appropriately. After years of noisey inventory coolers, the dual-axial design is a significant development for noise, even beneath load.

Buying Information

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Version is to be had direct from Nvidia with an MSRP of $699, beginning on September 17.

You’ll additionally acquire spouse playing cards from the next distributors starting on release day.

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