It’s been a while coming but Nvidia finally took the covers off the GeForce RTX 3000-series range, with the GeForce RTX 3080 leading the charge as the top-end consumer graphics card for a reasonably sensible sum. This is Nvidia’s serious 4K, 60 frames per second graphics card, one that has so far been setting the standard for high-end gaming.
The GeForce RTX 3080 is the GPU you put into a high-end gaming PC where you want to game at some of the highest settings around with all the graphical bells and whistles cranked right up. For people who want something a little less showy, then the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 could be for them. And for people who want their GPU to be ‘extra’ then the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 is the card to go for, albeit at a huge cost.
You’ll probably struggle to find the RTX 3080 at the moment, as it pretty much sold out in mere moments after its release; such is the appeal of a true 4K graphics card that’s priced below $1,000. But while we wait for stocks to be replenished, here’s everything you need to know about the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080.
Nvidia RTX 3080 release date
At a starting price of $699 the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 is a bit of a bargain. Sure that amount of cash is a heck of a lot more expensive than the upcoming PS5 or Xbox Series X. But what you’re getting here is performance that trounces a GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, which was once Nvidia’s most powerful graphics card and started at a rather hefty $999.
At 4K resolutions the GeForce RTX 3080 is only 10 to 15 percent slower than the $1,499 GeForce RTX 3090. So it’s no surprise that it’s offering a lot of bang for the buck.
But there's a catch here: it’s very difficult to get one. Unsurprisingly, given its price and performance, the RTX 3080 sold out extremely quickly when it was released in September. And at the time of writing stocks are still very low; in fact, we haven't been able to find a retailer with the graphics card available. Ypu can now buy an RTX 3080, but expect stock to be low as well. Nvidia has even warned that such shortages will continue until 2021.
Nvidia RTX 3080 price
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 starts at $699. The higher-end RTX 3090 starts at $1,499, while the RTX 3070 will costs $499.
The graphics card has officially gone on sale at most major retailers, though it's selling out fast. Check below for the latest availability.
Nvidia RTX 3090, 3080 and 3070 specs
|Nvidia RTX 3090||Nvidia RTX 3080||Nvidia RTX 3070|
|Nvidia CUDA Cores||10,496||8,704||5,888|
|Boost Clock (GHz)||1.70||1.71||1.73|
|Standard Memory Config||24GB GDDR6X||10GB GDDR6X||8GB GDDR6|
|Memory Interface Width||384-bit||320-bit||256-bit|
|Ports||HDMI 2.1, DisplayPort 1.4a (3x)||HDMI 2.1, DisplayPort 1.4a (3x)||HDMI 2.1, DisplayPort 1.4a (3x)|
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 packs 30 shader-teraflops (TFLOPS), 58 ray-tracing TFLops and 239 Tensor-TFLOPS. You'll also get 10GB of G6X graphics RAM, which Nvidia says is the fastest you'll find in a GPU.
If that all sounds like a second language to you, know that the RTX 3080 promises to deliver twice the performance as the RTX 2080. And if you're upgrading from an older card such as the RTX 980 Ti, you can look forward to performance gains as high as five times as what your current card is outputting. The RTX 3080 looks to offer consistent 4K gaming at 60 frames per second, similar to the upcoming PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles.
The RTX 3080 features what Nvidia calls the "world's fastest graphics memory," with GDDR6X VRAM that can perform at a whopping 760 GB/s. There's also new dedicated ray-tracing hardware for even more immersive lighting and shadows in your favorite PC games.
The RTX 3080 also introduces a new thermal-optimized design that promises 55% more airflow, 30% more efficiency, and the ability to be up to three times quieter during heating gaming sessions.
While the RTX 3080 has some exciting specs, the RTX 3090 is where things really get interesting. This $1,499 beast of GPU promises to deliver 8K gaming complete with smooth ray tracing, making it something that true enthusiasts with cash to burn will likely opt for. It's also physically massive, and makes us wonder if it'll fit in most modern PC cases.
Nvidia RTX 3080 performance
Nvidia has claimed the GeForce RTX 3080 is up to twice as fast as the GeForce RTX 2080 it replaces and how it will stomp the RTX 2080 Ti. It's a bold claim indeed.
Nvidia pitted the RTX 3080 against the RTX 2080 TI when running Doom Eternal at 4K on Ultra settings. The RTX 3080 is some 50 percent faster than the last top-end Nvidia graphics card, delivering frame rates well above 100fps. And that's likely before a lot of optimization has been done.
Our sibling publication Tom's Hardware put the GeForce RTX 3080 to the test and declared that it delivered a "generational leap in performance." And true to its claims, the RTX 3080 offers significant gains in performance over the RTX 2080 Ti.
"The bottom line, if you don't mind spoilers, is that the RTX 3080 FE is 33% faster than the RTX 2080 Ti, on average. Or, if you prefer other points of comparison, it's 57% faster than the RTX 2080 Super, 69% faster than the RTX 2080 FE — heck, it's even 26% faster than the Titan RTX!" Jarred Walton said in his review.
"But there's a catch: We measured all of those 'percent faster' results across our test suite running at 4K ultra settings. The lead narrows if you drop down to 1440p, and it decreases even more at 1080p. It's still 42% faster than a 2080 FE at 1080p ultra, but this is very much a card made for higher resolutions."
Suffice to say, the GeForce RT 3080 is one impressive graphics card, though you'll need an equally impressive overall PC to get the most out of it.
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