On September 17th, NVIDIA officially released its new flagship graphics card – the GeForce RTX 3080. Besides coming with a significantly lower price tag for a flagship product, the new RTX 3080 is a true bombshell. Powered by NVIDIA’s next-generation DLSS technology, and dedicated ray-tracing hardware, the RTX 3080 boasts to deliver twice the performance of the RTX 2080 Ti, and provide a true 4K gaming experience for tech enthusiasts, as well as for mainstream users. In this article we will be exploring the features of this new graphics card, as well as its real-life performance in various PC games titles.
NVIDIA RTX 3080 Specifications and Features
In our recent post, we have already talked about specifications and features of the new NVIDIA’s Ampere graphics cards. Although we are still not completely sure what specifications will feature other upcoming RTX 3000 series cards, such as the RTX 3070, or RTX 3090, the specs of RTX 3080 are 100% demystified. The new flagship is a true computational powerhouse, as it comes with FP32 compute performance of 29,77 teraFLOPS (the RTX 2080 Ti had compute power of 13.45 TFLOPS).
In terms of raw power, there are more things with which can RTX 3080 boast about. The new graphics card features double the amount of graphics processing cores that came with RTX 2080 Ti, 13 billion more transistors than the RTX 2080 SUPER, and almost two times more texture mapping units than the current AMD’s flagship Radeon RX 5700 XT graphics card. Interestingly enough, the new card has two time fewer ray-tracing cores than the RTX 2080 Ti, but also comes with a very high TDP of 320 watts.
Being so power-hungry, NVIDIA specifically designed a new power connector for RTX 3080 which features 12 pins, so that the card won’t draw power from the usual configuration of two 8-pin PCIe power connectors. Along with that, the RTX 3080 comes with a new cooling solution consisting of two fans which are placed on each side of the graphics card in order to ensure an optimized airflow and cooling performance.
The RTX 3080 also comes with new HDMI 2.1 port which enables you to connect a G-Sync or FreeSync compatible monitor, as well as with three DisplayPort 1.4a ports. On the outside the reference RTX 3080 has no visible screws, and has an LED light configuration which glow pure white. Given the fact that card has a TDP of 320 watts, NVIDIA recommends pairing this card with a power supply of at least 750 watts. Some tech enthusiast think that such power consumption is unjustified, however, when considering the cards real-life performance, it is no wonder that this computer chip requires so much energy.
|Graphics Card Name||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti||AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT|
|Microarchitecture||Ampere (GA102)||Turing (TU102)||Turing (TU104)||Pascal (GP102)||Navi (Navi 10)|
|Fab Process||8 nm||12 nm||12 nm||16 nm||7 nm|
|Transistor count (million)||28,300||18,600||13,600||11,800||10,300|
|Memory Size & Type||10 GB GDDR6X||11 GB GDDR6||8GB GDDR6||11 GB GDDR5X||8GB GDDR6|
|Base/Boost Clock (MHz)||1440/1710||1350/1545||1650/1815||1481/1582||1605/1905|
|Memory Bus/Interface||320 bits/PCIe 4.0 x16||352 bits/PCIe 3.0 x16||256 bits/PCIe 3.0 x16||352 bits/PCIe 3.0 x16||256 bits/PCIe 4.0 x16|
|Memory Bandwidth||760 GB/s||616 GB/s||496 GB/s||484 GB/s||448 GB/s|
|FP32 Compute||29.7 TFLOPS||13.5 TFLOPS||11.15 TFLOPS||11.34 TFLOPS||9.75 TFLOPS|
|TDP||320 W||250 W||250 W||250 W||225 W|
Given the fact that many tech enthusiasts and reviewers out there posted lots of GeForce RTX 3080 benchmarks recently, we have decided to systemize all those reviews and provide a comprehensive meta-analysis of the published data. In order to put into the perspective the performance of the new graphics card, we have decided to compare the collected benchmarks results with the results of previous flagship graphics card. This means that in this analysis, we will be comparing the performance of RTX 3080 with RTX 2080 Ti, RTX 2080 SUPER, GTX 1080 Ti and AMD’s RX 5700 XT.
Tested Graphics Cards
Based upon 16 different sources and more than 1,100 data entries, we have conducted a meta-analysis of various RTX 3080 benchmarks available online, and calculated total averages in order to compare the performance of this card with the aforementioned graphics cards. All benchmark data was based on PC systems with Intel Core i7-8700K or newer, and AMD Ryzen 9 3900X processors, which featured at least 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, and a Windows 10 operating system running on an SSD drive. Majority of benchmark data was published in September 2020, and was based on the latest AMD’s Adrenalin, and NVIDIA’s Game Ready GPU drivers. Out of 26 benchmarked games we will discuss here twelve titles in detail, while the data for other titles can be found in our summary performance charts at the end of this article.
Benchmarks: AC:O, Borderlands 3, COD:MW (2019), DOOM Eternal, Fortnite, Horizon Zero Dawn
The first title on our list of RTX 3080 gaming benchmarks is Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Even though this game is now two years old, it is still a very demanding title for contemporary computer hardware, and can push your system to its limits. With beautiful scenery of ancient Greece, and engaging action RPG gameplay, Odyssey is with reason one of the most popular contemporary PC titles.
Here, at the very beginning of our analysis, we can see the full glory of the RTX 3080. At 1080P this card runs Odyssey like a breeze, pushing average frame rate above 100 FPS with enabled ultra settings. Despite being 32% slower than the RTX 3080, the Radeon RX 5700 XT impresses with performance in this game, as it costs more than $700 less than the RTX 2080 Ti, which is only able to render a few frames more on average. At 1440P, the RTX 2080 Ti is much better than RX 5700 XT, but still falls short of RTX 3080. At 4K, the RTX 3080 is an obvious winner, as it is the only card able to run the game at more than 60 FPS with all graphics settings set to ultra.
Next we have Borderlands 3. At 1080P resolution, the RTX 3080 isn’t too much faster compared to the RTX 2080 Ti. However, once we increase resolution to 1440P, or even 4K, the difference becomes much more noticeable. The fact that at 1080P the performance of RTX 3080 isn’t too impressive is due to the fact that the CPU is probably bottlenecking the card. At higher resolutions, where graphics demands are much higher, the RTX 3080 show its true nature, as is it’s able to render up to 20 frames more on average, compared to the RTX 2080 Ti.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is a good example how RTX 3080 runs well with DirectX 12 API. The RTX 3080 is the only card here able to render more than 200 FPS on average at Full HD resolution, while at QHD provide enough frames achieving an ultimate 144 Hz gaming experience. At 4K, the card is 95% faster than the 2017’s flagship Pascal-based GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.
In DOOM Eternal, which utilizes Vulkan API, the performance of RTX 3080 is absolutely stupendous. At 1080P the card can render more than 270 FPS on average with ultra settings enabled, while at 4K the card beats a $1,200 worthy RTX 2080 Ti, by a margin of 45 percent. All cards are able to deliver more than 60 FPS on average at 4K in this game, however, it is surprising to see old GTX 1080 Ti beating RX 5700 XT, despite the fact that AMD’s cards have proven to be more optimized for titles running Vulkan API.
In Fortnite Battle Royale, the GeForce RTX 3080 absolutely crushes its competition. At Full HD resolution, the card outpaces the costly RTX 2080 Ti by producing 70 frames more on average, while at 4K this performance improvement equals to about 48% more frames. At 1440P and 4K, the GTX 1080 Ti still surprises with its power by performing almost the same as the RTX 2080 SUPER. This, without doubt, shows just how GTX 1080 Ti was a powerful card back in 2017.
Horizon Zero Dawn is next title on our list which was released in 2020. Despite being officially three years old title, the PC version of Horizon Zero Dawn features some improved graphics, as well as new technologies which we might see in the upcoming PC titles. Although by many considered to be a badly polished PlayStation 4 port, all enthusiast-tier graphics cards manage to run this game at 1080P with maximum settings with ease. Here, the RTX 3080 yet again obliterates its competition, but true surprise is RX 5700 XT which appears to be running as fast as RTX 2080 SUPER, except in 4K resolution.