From www.xda-developers.com

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 has been superceded by the RTX 4080, but is it enough of an upgrade to warrant the cost?

  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 FE

    Source: Nvidia

    Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080

    Editor’s Choice

    Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 4080 is powerful enough for stable, smooth 4K gaming with ray-tracing turned on to maximum. It’s also expensive, but if you need the highest frame rates, it will be worth it to you.

    Pros

    • Plenty of power
    • Efficient ray-tracing
    • DLSS 3 is amazing

    Cons

    • Expensive
    • Needs a large case
  • The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 is one of the best graphics cards on the market. It's powerful enough to run even the most demanding titles out there while streaming simultaneously. We hope you manage to find one in stock, though.
    Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 GPU
    NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080

    Still powerful

    The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 is still a force to be reckoned with as the 40 series takes over the market, with enough power for ray-tracing titles. The 10 GB and 12 GB variants were a controversial choice that still echoes today.

    Pros

    • Still capable at ray-tracing
    • Smooth 1440p and above gaming
    • Low power requirements

    Cons

    • Hard to find at MSRP
    • Controversial 10 GB and 12 GB variants

Nvidia launched the GeForce RTX 4080 at the end of 2022, starting the newest generation of graphics hardware built on the Ada Lovelace architecture. It quickly became one of the best graphics cards ever released, even with its eye-watering price tag. The graphics card it superseded in the lineup, the GeForce RTX 3080, was no less beastly in its day and still handles the latest titles with aplomb. We’re here to dive into the architectural changes and see if upgrading between generations is worth it.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 vs. RTX 3080: Price, specs & availability

Nvidia launched the GeForce RTX 4080 at the end of 2022, with it going on shelves on November 16th. Graphics card pricing has been ludicrous since the cryptocurrency mining rush drove up prices and generated a secondary market full of scalpers. Then came rising costs due to the pandemic, and Nvidia launched the RTX 4080 at $1,199. That’s a lot of money for a non-flagship GPU, even if you consider the new technologies inside. Partner-customized cards can be several hundred dollars more expensive. At least there is a steady supply of graphics cards to retailers, but the high price comes at a time of worsening economic stability.

Compare that to the GeForce RTX 3080, which launched in September 2020 for $699 for the 10 GB variant. That’s still expensive but was in line with the x80 graphics cards from the 20 series. Nvidia followed that with another RTX 3080 with 12 GB of VRAM in January 2022. Nvidia left board partners to launch this model, and early pricing started at $1,249. Availability was low during the crypto boom and the logistical hurdles from the pandemic, and it’s still hard to find an RTX 3080 that isn’t at inflated prices.

  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080
    Architecture Ada Lovelace Ampere
    Process 4 nm 8nm
    Transistors 45.9 billion 28.3 billion
    Shader Units 9,728 8,960 / 8,704
    Ray Accelerators/Cores 76 68
    Stream Processors 76 68
    Base Clock Speed 2,205 MHz 1,260 MHz / 1,440 MHz
    Boost Clock Speed 2,505 MHz 1,710 MHz
    Memory Capacity 16 GB GDDR6X 12 GB GDDR6X / 10 GB GDDR6X
    Memory Bus 256-bit 384-bit / 320-bit
    Memory Bandwidth 716.8 GB/s 912GB/s / 760GB/s
    Power Draw 320 W 350 W / 320 W

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 vs. RTX 3080: Architecture

nvidia geforce ada lovelace architecture

Source: Nvidia

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 uses the 4nm Ada Lovelace architecture. This is a major shrink from the 8nm Ampere arch that the RTX 3080 was built on, bringing power efficiency and higher clocks. Ada Lovelace also upgrades the ray-tracing cores to the 3rd-gen, adds 4th-gen Tensor cores and the eight-generation NVENC encoder, and brings new tricks like frame generation in the third version of DLSS.

The RTX 4080 and RTX 3080 10 GB have a 320W TDP, but the RTX 4080 is capable of much higher performance as the efficiency of the 4nm process can boost to significantly higher clock speeds. That means every core in the RTX 4080, from CUDA to Tensor and beyond, can do more work than the cores on the RTX 3080.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 vs. RTX 3080: Performance

RTX 4080

We haven’t had hands-on experience with the RTX 3080, and the only card from the 30 series that I have on hand is the lesser RTX 3070. We do have benchmarks from the RTX 4080 and can use other resources to show how it sits against the RTX 3080.

Userbenchmark has benchmarks of almost every graphics card in existence and shows the GeForce RTX 4080 at an effective speed of 55% more than the RTX 3080. From my own testing of the RTX 3070 and RTX 4070Ti, the Ada Lovelace architecture is superior as resolutions increase, with a larger lead over the 30 series at 1440p and 4K.

That’s in line with the results we got when benchmarking the RTX 4080 in demanding titles, with the jump from 1440p to 4K only reducing the FPS significantly when ray-tracing was enabled. Most of the improvements can be traced to the higher core clocks and the stronger RT and Tensor cores.

Game

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080

Cyberpunk 2077

  • 2K, Ultra: 121 FPS
  • 2K, Ultra, RT Ultra: 73 FPS
  • 4K, Ultra: 65 FPS
  • 4K, Ultra, RT Ultra: 31 FPS

DOOM Eternal

  • 2K, Ultra Nightmare: 265 FPS
  • 4K, Ultra Nightmare: 202 FPS
  • 4K, Ultra, RT: 159 FPS

Fay Cry 6

  • 2K, Ultra: 156 FPS
  • 4K, Ultra: 105 FPS
  • 4K, Ultra, RT: 95 FPS

Metro Exodus

  • 2K, Extreme: 179 FPS
  • 2K, Extreme, RT Ultra: 143 FPS
  • 4K, Extreme: 98 FPS
  • 4K, Extreme, RT Ultra: 80 FPS

Red Dead Redemption 2

  • 2K, Ultra: 142 FPS
  • 4K, Ultra: 96 FPS

Unless you play games that heavily feature ray tracing effects, or at 4K resolution and want more than 60FPS, the RTX 4080 doesn’t offer enough value to upgrade. That is, unless you’re still sitting on a 20 series or 10 series graphics card, waiting for prices to come down. Prices aren’t coming down anytime soon, and games are demanding more and more VRAM to use for textures. While the RTX 4080 isn’t the best value out of this generation, it is a better value than the inflated RTX 3080 prices.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 vs. RTX 3080: Is the upgrade worth it?

Even with the graphics card shortage easing, it’s still often easier to find the latest GPUs in a pre-built gaming PC. That way, you also get whole-system warranty support and the knowledge that everything else in the system will work together. The secondary market for PC hardware is still hot, so you could get a significant percentage of your costs back by selling your old system.

If you are deciding to do it yourself, the GeForce GTX 4080 is a lot of power for the money, even if it isn’t the best value graphics card this generation. It is objectively better than the RTX 3080 in every way, with newer technologies, more VRAM, and vastly better efficiency thanks to the process change from Samsung’s 8nm to TSMC’s 4nm. The cooling solution for many cards using this chip is overkill, with larger dimensions that might have difficulty fitting in most PC cases. If you do decide this is the upgrade for you, I recommend budgeting for a new case that is known to have enough space.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 FE

Source: Nvidia

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080

Editor’s Choice

Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 4080 is powerful enough for stable, smooth 4K gaming with ray-tracing turned on to maximum. It’s also expensive, but if you need the highest frame rates, it will be worth it to you.

The RTX 3080 was supposed to be the price and performance champ of the last generation. It never managed to fit that billing, mostly from a perfect storm of lockdowns, gamer and cryptominer demands, and rising component costs. Nvidia’s handling of releasing a 12 GB variant over a year later with an inflated price tag didn’t help things, as it looked like capitalizing on market pricing that was anything but normal. If you already own one of these cards, the damage has already been done to your wallet, and you can probably ride out this generation and upgrade later.

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 is one of the best graphics cards on the market. It's powerful enough to run even the most demanding titles out there while streaming simultaneously. We hope you manage to find one in stock, though.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 GPU
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080

Still powerful

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 is still a force to be reckoned with as the 40 series takes over the market, with enough power for ray-tracing titles. The 10 GB and 12 GB variants was a controversial choice that still echoes today.

The post Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 vs. RTX 3080: Is it worth upgrading? first appeared on www.xda-developers.com

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