Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti review: more 4K for more of your wallet

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti review: more 4K for more of your wallet
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Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti review: more 4K for more of your wallet

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti overview: more 4K for more of your wallet

Final yr’s Nvidia RTX 3080 was the primary GPU to make 4K gaming lastly possible. It was a card that delivered spectacular efficiency at 4K, particularly for its retail worth of $699 — far lower than the 2080 Ti value a era earlier. That was earlier than the truth of a worldwide chip scarcity drove the costs of trendy GPUs nicely above $1,000. Now that the road costs of RTX 3080s have stayed above $2,000 for months, Nvidia is launching its RTX 3080 Ti flagship priced at $1,199.

It’s a card that goals to ship close to similar ranges of efficiency to the $1,499 RTX 3090, however in a smaller package deal and with simply 12GB of VRAM — half what’s discovered on the RTX 3090. Nvidia is successfully competing with itself right here, and now providing three playing cards on the prime finish. That’s in the event you may even handle to purchase any of them within the first place.

I’ve spent the previous week testing the RTX 3080 Ti at each 4K and 1440p resolutions. 4K gaming may need arrived initially with the RTX 2080 Ti, however the RTX 3080 Ti refines it and affords more headroom within the newest video games. Sadly, it does so with a $1,199 price ticket that I feel can be past most individuals’s budgets even earlier than you issue within the inevitable avenue worth markup it’s going to see through the present GPU scarcity.


In the event you put the RTX 3080 Ti and the RTX 3080 facet by facet, it will be tough to inform the distinction between them. They appear similar, with the identical ports and fan setup. I’m really shocked this card isn’t a three-slot just like the RTX 3090, or simply larger usually. The RTX 3080 Ti has one fan on both facet of the cardboard, with a push-pull system in place. The underside fan pulls cool air into the cardboard, which then exhausts on the alternative facet that’s closest to your CPU cooler and rear case fan. A standard blower cooler additionally exhausts the new air out of the PCIe slot on the again.

This helped create a quieter card on the unique RTX 3080, and I’m blissful to report it’s the identical with the RTX 3080 Ti. The RTX 3080 Ti runs at or near its max fan RPM underneath heavy hundreds, however the hum of the followers isn’t too distracting. I personally personal an RTX 3090, and whereas the followers hardly ever kick in at full velocity, they’re definitely quite a bit more noticeable than the RTX 3080 Ti’s.

Nvidia has used the identical RTX 3080 design for the 3080 Ti Mannequin.

That quiet efficiency may need a draw back, although. Throughout my week of testing with the RTX 3080 Ti, I observed that the cardboard appears to run slightly sizzling. I recorded temperatures commonly round 80 levels Celsius, in comparison with the 70 levels Celsius temperatures on the bigger RTX 3090. The followers additionally maxed out quite a bit throughout demanding 4K video games on the RTX 3080 Ti with a purpose to hold the cardboard cool. I don’t have the mandatory gear to completely measure the warmth output right here, however after I went to swap the RTX 3080 Ti for one other card after hours of testing, it was too sizzling to the touch, and stayed hotter for longer than I’d observed with both the RTX 3080 or RTX 3090. I’m undecided if it will lead to issues in the long run, as we noticed with the preliminary batch of 2080 Ti models having reminiscence overheating points, however most individuals will put this in a case and by no means contact it once more. Nonetheless, I’m shocked at how lengthy it stayed sizzling sufficient for me to not wish to contact it.

As it is a Founders Version card, Nvidia is utilizing its newest 12-pin single energy connector. There’s an unpleasant and awkward adapter within the field that allows you to join two eight-pin PCIe energy connectors to it, however I’d extremely suggest getting a single new cable from your PSU provider to attach on to this card. It’s much less cabling, and a more elegant answer in case you have a case window otherwise you’re hooked on tidy cable administration (good day, that’s me).

The RTX 3080 Ti inside my case.

I really like the look of the RTX 3080 Ti and the pennant-shaped board that Nvidia makes use of right here. Similar to the RTX 3080, there are not any seen screws, and the regulatory notices are all on the output half of the cardboard so there are not any ugly stickers or FCC logos. It’s a extremely clear card, and I’m sorry to deliver this up, however Nvidia has even mounted the way in which the quantity 8 is displayed. It was a minor mistake on the RTX 3080, however I’m glad the 8 has the proper proportions on the RTX 3080 Ti.

On the again of the cardboard there’s a single HDMI 2.1 port and three DisplayPort 1.4a ports. Similar to the RTX 3080, there are additionally LEDs that glow across the prime half of the fan, and the GeForce RTX branding lights up, too. You’ll be able to even customise the colours of the glowing half across the fan in the event you’re actually into RGB lighting.

Similar to the RTX 3080, this new RTX 3080 Ti wants a 750W energy provide. The RTX 3080 Ti even attracts more energy, too, at as much as 350 watts underneath load in comparison with 320 watts on the RTX 3080. That’s the identical quantity of energy draw because the bigger RTX 3090, which is comprehensible given the efficiency enhancements, nevertheless it’s price being conscious of how this would possibly impression your vitality payments (and the associated fee of your PC construct to run it).

1440p testing

I’ve been testing the RTX 3080 Ti with Intel’s newest Core i9 processor. For 1440p checks, I’ve additionally paired the GPU with a 32-inch Samsung Odyssey G7 monitor. This monitor helps refresh charges as much as 240Hz, in addition to Nvidia’s G-Sync expertise.

I in contrast the RTX 3080 Ti in opposition to each the RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 to essentially perceive the place it suits into Nvidia’s new lineup. I examined a range of AAA titles, together with Fortnite, Management, Loss of life Stranding, Metro Exodus, Name of Responsibility: Warzone, Microsoft Flight Simulator, and plenty of more. You may also discover the identical video games examined at 4K decision beneath.

All video games have been examined at max or extremely settings on the RTX 3080 Ti, and most exceeded a mean of 100fps at 1440p. On paper, the RTX 3080 Ti could be very near an RTX 3090, and my testing confirmed that performs out in most video games at 1440p. Video games like Microsoft Flight Simulator, Murderer’s Creed: Valhalla, and Watch Canine: Legion all have near-identical efficiency throughout the RTX 3080 Ti and RTX 3090 at 1440p.

Even Name of Responsibility: Warzone is identical with out Nvidia’s Deep Studying Tremendous Sampling (DLSS) expertise enabled, and it’s solely actually video games like Management and Loss of life Stranding the place there’s a noteworthy, however small, hole in efficiency.

Nonetheless, the soar in efficiency from the RTX 3080 to the RTX 3080 Ti is noticeable throughout practically each sport, with the exception of Loss of life Stranding and Fortnite, which each carry out very well on the bottom RTX 3080.

RTX 3080 Ti (1440p)

Benchmark RTX 3080 Founders Version RTX 3080 Ti Founders Version RTX 3090 Founders Version
Benchmark RTX 3080 Founders Version RTX 3080 Ti Founders Version RTX 3090 Founders Version
Microsoft Flight Simulator 46fps 45fps 45fps
Shadow of the Tomb Raider 147fps 156fps 160fps
Shadow of the Tomb Raider (DLSS) 154fps 162fps 167fps
CoD: Warzone 124fps 140fps 140fps
CoD: Warzone (DLSS+RT) 133fps 144fps 155fps
Fortnite 160fps 167fps 188fps
Fortnite (DLSS) 181fps 173fps 205fps
Gears 5 87fps 98fps 103fps
Loss of life Stranding 163fps 164fps 172fps
Loss of life Stranding (DLSS high quality) 197fps 165fps 179fps
Management 124fps 134fps 142fps
Management (DLSS high quality + RT) 126fps 134fps 144fps
Metro Exodus 56fps 64fps 65fps
Metro Exodus (DLSS+RT) 67fps 75fps 77fps
Murderer’s Creed: Valhalla 73fps 84fps 85fps
Watch Canine: Legion 79fps 86fps 89fps
Watch Canine: Legion (DLSS+RT) 67fps 72fps 74fps
Watch Canine: Legion (RT) 49fps 55fps 56fps

Murderer’s Creed: Valhalla performs 15 p.c higher on the RTX 3080 Ti over the common RTX 3080, and Metro Exodus additionally exhibits a 14 p.c enchancment. The vary of efficiency will increase ranges from round 4 p.c all the way in which as much as 15 p.c, so the efficiency hole could be very sport dependent.

Even when utilizing video games with ray tracing, the RTX 3080 Ti nonetheless managed excessive body charges when paired with DLSS. DLSS makes use of neural networks and AI supercomputers to research video games and sharpen or clear up photographs at decrease resolutions. In easy phrases, it permits a sport to render at a decrease decision and use Nvidia’s picture reconstruction approach to upscale the picture and make it look pretty much as good as native 4K.

Each time I see the DLSS possibility in video games, I instantly flip it on now to get as a lot efficiency as doable. It’s nonetheless very a lot required for ray tracing video games, notably as titles like Watch Canine: Legion solely handle to hit 55fps with extremely ray tracing enabled. In the event you allow DLSS, this jumps to 72fps and it’s tough to note successful in picture high quality.

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The RTX 3080 Ti stays quiet throughout heavy hundreds.

4K testing

For my 4K testing, I paired the RTX 3080 Ti with Acer’s 27-inch Nitro XV273K, a 4K monitor that provides as much as 144Hz refresh charges and helps G-Sync. I wasn’t capable of get any of the video games I examined on each the RTX 3080 Ti and RTX 3090 to hit the body charges needed to essentially take benefit of this 144Hz panel, however some got here shut because of DLSS.

Metro Exodus manages a 14 p.c enchancment over the RTX 3080, and Microsoft Flight Simulator additionally sees a 13 p.c soar. Elsewhere, different video games see between a 4 and 9 p.c enchancment. These are strong features for the RTX 3080 Ti, offering more headroom for 4K gaming over the unique RTX 3080.

The RTX 3080 Ti comes near matching the RTX 3090 efficiency at 4K in video games like Watch Canine: Legion, Murderer’s Creed: Valhalla, Gears 5, and Loss of life Stranding. Neither the RTX 3080 Ti nor RTX 3090 is powerful sufficient to deal with Watch Canine: Legion with ray tracing, although. Each playing cards handle round 30fps on common, and even DLSS solely bumps this as much as beneath 50fps averages.

RTX 3080 Ti (4K)

Benchmark RTX 3080 Founders Version RTX 3080 Ti Founders Version RTX 3090 Founders Version
Benchmark RTX 3080 Founders Version RTX 3080 Ti Founders Version RTX 3090 Founders Version
Microsoft Flight Simulator 30fps 34fps 37fps
Shadow of the Tomb Raider 84fps 88fps 92fps
Shadow of the Tomb Raider (DLSS) 102fps 107fps 111fps
CoD: Warzone 89fps 95fps 102fps
CoD: Warzone (DLSS+RT) 119fps 119fps 129fps
Fortnite 84fps 92fps 94fps
Fortnite (DLSS) 124fps 134fps 141fps
Gears 5 64fps 72fps 73fps
Loss of life Stranding 98fps 106fps 109fps
Loss of life Stranding (DLSS high quality) 131fps 132fps 138fps
Management 65fps 70fps 72fps
Management (DLSS high quality + RT) 72fps 78fps 80fps
Metro Exodus 34fps 39fps 39fps
Metro Exodus (DLSS+RT) 50fps 53fps 55fps
Murderer’s Creed: Valhalla 64fps 70fps 70fps
Watch Canine: Legion 52fps 55fps 57fps
Watch Canine: Legion (DLSS+RT) 40fps 47fps 49fps
Watch Canine: Legion (RT) 21fps 29fps 32fps

Most video games handle to comfortably rise above 60fps in 4K at extremely settings, with Microsoft Flight Simulator and Metro Exodus as the one exceptions. Not even the RTX 3090 may reliably push past 144fps at 4K with out help from DLSS or a drop in visible settings. I feel we’re going to be ready on no matter Nvidia does subsequent to essentially push 4K at these varieties of body charges.

While you begin to add ray tracing and extremely 4K settings, it’s clear that each the RTX 3080 Ti and RTX 3090 must have DLSS enabled to play at cheap body charges throughout probably the most demanding ray-traced titles. With out DLSS, Watch Canine: Legion manages a mean of 29fps (at max settings), with dips beneath that making the sport unplayable.

DLSS actually is the important thing right here throughout each 1440p and 4K. It was merely a promise when the 2080 Ti debuted practically three years in the past, however Nvidia has now managed to get DLSS into more than 50 well-liked video games. Pink Useless Redemption 2 and Rainbow Six Siege are getting DLSS help quickly, too.

DLSS additionally units Nvidia aside from AMD’s playing cards. Whereas AMD’s RX 6800 XT is pretty aggressive at fundamental rasterization at 1440p, it falls behind the RTX 3080 in probably the most demanding video games at 4K — notably when ray tracing is enabled. Even the $1,000 Radeon RX 6900 XT doesn’t fare a lot better at 4K. AMD’s reply to DLSS is coming later this month, however till it arrives we nonetheless don’t know precisely the way it will compensate for ray tracing efficiency on AMD’s GPUs. AMD has additionally struggled to provide retailers with inventory of its playing cards.

That’s left Nvidia ready to launch the RTX 3080 Ti at a worth level that basically means it’s competing with itself, positioned between the RTX 3080 and RTX 3090. If the RTX 3090 wasn’t a factor, the RTX 3080 Ti would make quite a bit more sense.

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The RTX 3080 Ti comes near RTX 3090 efficiency.

Nvidia can also be competing with the truth of the market proper now, as demand has been outpacing provide for more than six months. Nvidia has launched a hash fee limiter for Ethereum cryptocurrency mining on new variations of the RTX 3080, RTX 3070, and now this RTX 3080 Ti. It may assist deter some scalpers, however we’ll want months of knowledge on avenue costs to essentially perceive if it’s pushed pricing all the way down to regular ranges.

Demand for 30-series playing cards has skyrocketed as many rush to switch their getting old GTX 1080 and GTX 1080 Ti playing cards. Coupled with Nvidia’s NVENC {and professional} tooling help, it’s additionally made the RTX 30-series an awesome possibility for creators trying to stream video games, edit movies, or construct video games.

In a traditional market, I might solely suggest the RTX 3080 Ti in the event you’re actually prepared to spend an additional $500 to get some additional features in 1440p and 4K efficiency. But it surely’s a giant worth premium when the RTX 3090 exists at this area of interest finish of the market and affords more efficiency and double the VRAM in the event you’re actually prepared to pay this a lot for a graphics card.

At $999 and even $1,099, the RTX 3080 Ti would tempt me quite a bit more, however $1,199 feels a bit of too expensive. For most individuals, an RTX 3080 makes quite a bit more sense if it have been really out there at its commonplace retail worth. Nvidia additionally has a $599 RTX 3070 Ti on the way in which subsequent week, which may supply some efficiency features to rival the RTX 3080.

Both approach, the very best GPU is the one you should purchase proper now, and let’s hope that Nvidia and AMD handle to make {that a} actuality quickly.

Images by Tom Warren / GadgetClock

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