The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 is one of the most powerful graphics cards NVIDIA has ever released. This beast of a card absolutely crushes its competition, and offers up to 40% better performance than the GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER. Designed specifically for ultra 4K gaming, the GeForce RTX 3080 was built upon new Ampere architecture, and 8 nm Samsung manufacturing node, which means it can pack more power in a smaller package. The GeForce RTX 3080 features GA102 chip, with the die size of 628 mm², and 28.300 million transistors. Unlike the previous-generation GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, which offered compute power of 13.45 TFLOPS, the new NVIDIA’s flagship card comes with almost 30 TFLOPS of compute performance.
The GeForce 3080 comes with 8704 compute cores, and 272 next-gen Tensor cores, which offer improved performance in ray-tracing and image upscaling scenarios. The card also features 10 GB of high-speed GDDR6X memory, and 320-bit bus interface. Default GPU’s base clock is 1440 MHz, while the boost clock goes up to 1710 MHz. The card also supports various new computer technologies, such as DirectX 12 Ultimate and latest Vulkan APIs, OpenGL 4.6, OpenCL 2.0, NVIDIA G-Sync, NVIDIA Ray-Tracing, NVIDIA GeForce Experience, and NVIDIA Ansel. The card works over a PCIe 3.0 x16 or PCIe 4.0 x16 bus interface, and consumes 320 W of power over one 12-pin connector.
The new GeForce RTX 3080 has no real competitors in its class, except for the GeForce RTX 3090 which is made only for ultra high-end enthusiasts. The second-fastest graphics card is GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, which is about 25-30% slower than the GeForce RTX 3080, depending on the resolution and game you throw at it. Other powerful graphics cards, such as the GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER and GeForce RTX 2080 are about 40-50% slower than the new Ampere flagship, while the Pascal-based champion, the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, and AMD’s current-gen flagship, the Radeon RX 5700 XT, are about 60% slower than the new GeForce RTX 3080.
Since GeForce RTX 3080 is considered to be an enthusiast-class graphics card, it is no wonder that the performance of this card is absolutely amazing. The card is so fast at 1080P resolution that even the latest high-end processors, such as the Intel Core i7-10700K, cause performance bottleneck. At 1440P the card runs most games with ultra settings at 100-150 FPS, while at 4K it is able to deliver more than 80 FPS in most situations. Thanks to the improved DLSS 2.0 technology, the card can deliver amazing visuals at 4K resolution, without any image quality deterioration.
Since many authorized AIB partners and manufacturers produce different variants of GeForce RTX 3080, we have compiled a list of best custom-made models of this card available on the market. Some of them have uniquely designed coolers and PCB layouts, while some of them come with extra features such as RGB lightning, or software utilities. Take a look, and decide which one best suits your needs.
Best Overall: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition
Boost Clock: 1710 MHz | Memory: 10GB GDDR6X | Power Connectors: 2 x 8-pin | Outputs: 3 x DP, 1 x HDMI
- Mind-blowing performance at 4K resolution
- Very good temperature and noise levels
- Compact dual-slot design
- No built-in LHR limiter
- RGB lightning
- Very expensive due to high demand
- Complicated overclocking
- Awkward power connector placement
Unsurprisingly, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition is the best variant of the RTX 3080 you can buy right now. Not only this card is able to deliver extraordinary gaming performance at 1440p and 4K resolution, but it also doesn’t come with any built-in cryptocurrency mining limiters, meaning it’s perfect for mining coins such as Ethereum, or Ergo.
The RTX 3080 FE can exceed 60 FPS in almost all games at 4K on ultra settings, which is simply astonishing performance. Speaking of its technical specifications, the card features a TDP of 320 W, and requires two 8-pin power connectors to run. In terms of size, this is the most compact version of the RTX 3080, and is also one of the least noisy, since it features a new revolutionary cooling design made by NVIDIA themselves. The card also features subtle RGB lighting, which is a nice addition. Overall, this is an incredibly powerful graphics card which, unfortunately, is way overpriced these day.
Best Value: EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 XC3 Ultra Gaming
Boost Clock: 1755 MHz | Memory: 10GB GDDR6X |Power Connectors: 2 x 8-pin | Outputs: 3 x DP, 1 x HDMI
- 3% faster than the Founders Edition model
- Least expensive RTX 3080 model on the market
- Simple and low-key heatsink design
- Efficient cooling solution
- Inflated price
- Modest overclocking capabilities
Although there is no “budget” RTX 3080 card (that would be an oxymoron), there are fairly affordable custom designed RTX 3080 cards that provide better bang for the buck than the others. The EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 XC3 Ultra Gaming is one such card. It is probably the cheapest custom designed RTX 3080 currently available around, so if you are in the market for a new RTX 3080, be sure to check this card out.
The GeForce RTX 3080 XC3 Ultra features a simplistic, low-key heatsink, which is fully painted in black color. As such, the card looks quite intimidating and in this case we appreciate the fact that EVGA didn’t add any RGB lighting to it, as this would make the card less appealing. The RTX 3080 XC3 Ultra features EVGA’s custom designed iCX3 triple-fan cooling solution, which takes good care of keeping the card cool. The card also comes with a slightly increased GPU boost clock speed of 1,755 MHz, meaning it should deliver 3% additional performance than the Founders Edition model. The only drawback of this card is that it’s still way overpriced, despite being one of the least expensive AIB variants of the RTX 3080 on the market.
Best Premium: ASUS GeForce RTX 3080 ROG Strix White OC
Boost Clock: 1935 MHz | Memory: 10GB GDDR6X | Power Connectors: 3 x 8-pin | Outputs: 3 x DP, 2 x HDMI
- 13% faster than the Founders Edition model
- Generates 3 TFLOPS more computer power then the FE model
- Impressive cooling solution
- RGB lightning
- GPU Tweak II software suite
- Massive 2.9 slot design
- Requires 850 W power supply
- Extremely high price
ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3080 OC is the most powerful, and probably the thickest custom RTX 3080 graphics card currently available on the market. Featuring a boost clock speed of 1,935 MHz (which is 13% faster than the Founders Edition model), this card promises to deliver the best, if not the most ultimate gaming experience a single RTX 3080 GPU can deliver.
Being 2.9-slot thick, this card has been radically improved from top to bottom in order to accommodate the NVIDIA’s flagship GA102 graphics chip. Featuring fresh white-colored design, and more metal which surrounds Axial-tech fans, the ROG Strix RTX 3080 comes with a massive heatsink specifically engineered to sustain demanding thermal loads. Along with a stylishly design backplate, this card also comes with RGB lightning, and premium alloy chokes in order to provide maximum performance.
Besides having greatly improved core clocks, special thing about this card is its cooling system which features two primary fans with 13 blades, and one auxiliary fan with 11 blades. This fan configuration greatly improves airflow compared to the traditional cooling configurations, and provides boosted static pressure to blast air directly onto the GPU heat spreader.
Featuring dedicated GPU Tweak II software suite which enables you to easily adjust core and memory clocks, as well as customize RGB lightning scheme, the ASUS ROG Strix RTX 3080 OC is the ultimate Ampere 4K gaming graphics card. Generating 3 TFLOPS of compute power more than the Founders Edition model, this card is an absolute monster. Unfortunately, it is incredibly expensive, meaning it’s inaccessible for most gamers with low budget.
Best Design: ZOTAC Gaming GeForce RTX 3080 Trinity OC LHR
Boost Clock: 1725 MHz | Memory: 10GB GDDR6X | Power Connectors: 2 x 8-pin | Outputs: 3 x DP, 1 x HDMI
- Factory overclocked
- Nice-looking aesthetics
- Runs very quiet and cool
- RGB lightning
- Way too big
The ZOTAC GeForce RTX 3080 Trinity OC is one of the best-looking RTX 3080 cards currently available on the market. It features an uber-cool heatsink design, and it simply looks awesome in most PC cases. It also comes factory overclocked, albeit slightly, meaning it can deliver a few more frames on average than the Founders Edition model. The card also comes with ZOTAC’s custom designed triple-fan heatsink, which will “only” occupy 2.5 slots in your PC case.
The cooling system of this card consists of three 90 mm fans, each having 11 blades with all-new design specifically engineered to provide better airflow. Beneath the fans lies a heatsink comprised of three groups of aluminum fin-stack arrays and seven copper heatpipes which extract heat from GPU more efficiently. Along with the improved cooling system, this card also features a stylishly designed backplate, as well as SPECTRA 2.0 RGB lightning system which can be customized using ZOTAC GAMING FireStorm Software.
Packing lots of interesting features, along with an attractive design, the ZOTAC Gaming GeForce RTX 3080 Trinity OC is a surprisingly well-built custom RTX 3080 graphics card, which will cost you roughly the same as the Founders Edition model. Provided that you don’t care about overclocking, and just want to enjoy amazing 4K visuals straight-out-of-the-box, this card might be the one for you.
Best eGPU: Gigabyte AORUS RTX 3080 Gaming Box REV2.0
Boost Clock: 1710 MHz | Memory: 10GB GDDR6X | Power Connectors: 2 x 8-pin | Outputs: 3 x DP, 2 x HDMI, 1 x USB Type-C, 3 x USB 3.0
- Built-in water cooling system
- Performs better than air cooled eGPUs
- Features multiple display outputs
- Costs the same as the desktop version
- Expensive price
- Large dimensions
In case you want to experience the power of the RTX 3080 on your laptop, but don’t know how, there is a solution for you. Let us introduce you with the Gigabyte AORUS RTX 3080 Gaming Box, the world’s first water-cooled external graphics card. Housed in its own external case, the Gigabyte AORUS RTX 3080 Gaming Box is able to turn your ultrabook laptop PC into a mighty gaming platform or workstation PC, and deliver incredible performance while being on the go.
The AORUS RTX 3080 Gaming Box comes with its own built-in power supply, and has it own power connector. It also comes with three USB 3.0 ports, multiple Displayport connectors, and HDMI ports, as well as with one USB Type-C connector which allows you to connect your VR peripherals. Performance-wise, the card is on par with the desktop version of the RTX 3080, which is great. Speaking of its price, well, the Gigabyte AORUS RTX 3080 Gaming Box is quite expensive, but it costs roughly the same as the desktop version of the RTX 3080, meaning you won’t be paying any additional price premium because the card is installed in its own external enclosure.
GeForce RTX 3080 is the new king of enthusiast-tier graphics cards. Although it’s not the fastest GPU on the planet (it’s slower than the GeForce RTX 3090), it is most certainly the fastest consumer graphics card currently available on the market. Delivering more than 140 FPS on ultra settings at 1440p resolution in most games, and more than 80 FPS on average at 4K, this card quite literally obliterates all of its competition. Being more than 60% faster than AMD’s Radeon RX 5700 XT, and more than 25% faster than the RTX 2080 Ti, the price-to-performance ratio of this card is something we have never seen before in PC industry.
Although NVIDIA’s Founders Edition model introduced uniquely designed dual-fan heatsink, as well as compact 12-pin power supply connector, most mainstream users will opt to buy one of the many different custom designed RTX 3080 cards. Even though many of these graphics cards retail at prices higher than the MSRP, the features they offer are worth paying the extra money. From stylish heatsink and backplate designs, to improved cooling systems, RGB lightning, bundled software and factory increased core clocks, custom AIB models have a lot to offer. Depending on your budget and preferences, we are sure that one of the above listed custom RTX 3080 models will suit your needs. We hope our buying guide helped you in search of the information you were looking for. If you still feel confused, and need advice about buying, feel free to post comment below. We will try to help you.
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