Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 graphics provides your gaming PC wings

Lori Grunin/CNET

New graphics playing cards carry alternative. For higher gaming, quicker efficiency and costly {hardware} gross sales. However in addition they carry challenges, with driver points, design challenges and sometimes provide shortages. 

As delivered by GeForce RTX 3080-based graphics playing cards, the newest model of the corporate’s GPU structure achieves playable body charges in video games which use fancy RTX-specific options like ray-tracing and international illumination. Its AI-based upscaling characteristic, DLSS, allows you to lastly play in 4K at (regularly) better-than bare-minimum body charges with out seen degradation in high quality. The GPU additionally lifts efficiency over predecessors in video games that do not benefit from the whizzy options by about 20%-40% on common, which is de facto most video games. 

However the 30-series of GPUs Nvidia launched initially of September, powered by the brand new  Ampere structure, has already run into issues. There’ve been experiences of instability with some third-party 3080-based playing cards due to capacitor design, in addition to value gouging attributable to shortages. And Nvidia has already bumped the ship date of the RTX 3070 — more likely to be one of the vital in style playing cards with costs within the $499 vary — till the top of October, although that could be to keep away from the inventory issues of the 3080.

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Full breakdown of Nvidia’s new RTX 3000 collection (3070,…


However you present me a GPU launch that hasn’t had comparable issues, and I am going to present you a GPU that is only a ho-hum rote refresh. That is the worth of taking part in on the bleeding edge, and why I all the time advocate ready earlier than opening your pockets for brand spanking new tech. 

Nonetheless, I have never waited. In actual fact, I have been spending the previous few weeks with two RTX 3080 playing cards — the Nvidia RTX 3080 Founders Version and an EVGA RTX 3080 XC3, each operating within the Origin PC Chronos gaming desktop — and did not run into any points. Sure, there was one blue display of dying with no identifiable trigger. However the reported 3080 issues appear to be linked to the GPU clock exceeding 2GHz, and neither of mine ever rose above it, hitting only a hair under.

For those who’re planning to purchase a system with certainly one of these new GPUs ASAP, you will in all probability should go along with an air-cooled model till the redesigned liquid-cooling methods virtually all gaming PC makers provide have ramped up. As a result of the brand new playing cards are bodily longer than the 20-series, they do not slot in a number of the tighter areas, together with the Maingear Turbo into which I used to be initially hoping to put in the Founders Version. (Maingear is swapping out the cooling system of my eval unit and putting in the cardboard, so keep tuned for that evaluate.)

To improve your system, you will not solely want to ensure the cardboard suits, however that your energy provide (PSU) can deal with it. It actually wants a minimal of a 750w PSU, however most not-maxed-out methods have 650 watts or smaller. In that case, you will both should swap in one other PSU or go for the much less grasping RTX 3070.

RTX 3080 specs



Reminiscence bandwidth


Reminiscence clock (GHz)


GPU clock (GHz, base/enhance)


Reminiscence information fee/Interface

19Gbps/320 bit

Texture fill fee (gigatexels per second)


RT cores


CUDA Cores


Texture mapping items


Streaming multiprocessors


Tensor Cores


Course of




Max thermal (levels C)


GPU identify



PCIe 4.Zero x 16


2+ slots; 11.2 x 4.Four in (285 x 112 mm)


Round $699

There’s greater than only a greater energy draw. Along with switching to a 12-pin energy connection, Nvidia made a notable change for its 30 collection from its 20-series fashions:  It now neatly vents sizzling air out the again of the case as an alternative of into it, which was a giant 20-series grievance on the time. However your actual configuration issues, too. For instance, the followers within the EVGA card vent blow largely out the highest (in different phrases, towards the facet of a case in a tower), so that you would possibly wish to contemplate a case design that permits for airflow out the edges. 

Not like the earlier era of Founders Version playing cards, which blew the new air into the case, the 3080 vents out the again.

Lori Grunin/CNET
How briskly does it fly?

Although technically the RTX 3080 replaces the RTX 2080 Tremendous within the $699 value class, it feels extra like a observe as much as the 2080 Ti card due to its specs, that are in the identical ballpark. It vastly outperforms the 2080 Tremendous because it has a lot extra of every thing: reminiscence and reminiscence bandwidth and ray tracing, Tensor (AI) and CUDA (texture processing) cores. It additionally requires much more energy than the 2080 Tremendous and Ti — 320 watts vs. 250w — and much more than the flagship Titan RTX (280 watts).

Along with the velocity advantages conferred by the second-gen RT and third-gen Tensor cores, similar to new algorithms and instruction units that make them much more environment friendly and a change to an 8nm course of measurement from 12nm, the 3080 (and 3090) have one other efficiency perk you will not discover within the 3070 or every other lower-end playing cards Nvidia launches — GDDR6X reminiscence. Micron’s GDDR6X incorporates new signaling expertise that basically doubles the information fee over GDDR6, the reminiscence utilized by the RTX 3070 and 20-series playing cards. If that is extra spec element than you are used to, my information to the most effective PC GPUs can provide a bit of background. 

The EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 XC3.

So, how does the brand new 3080 carry out? In my hands-on testing, it is quick sufficient to common 1440p/70fps on Extremely high quality/Extremely ray tracing with out DLSS within the notoriously piggy Metro Exodus and 96fps in Far Cry 5 on Excessive. On professional graphics purposes it was extra combined — nonetheless quick, however not outstripping the 2080 Ti by a lot in some purposes (as much as about 10% on varied SpecViewPerf 13 exams and 15% or so on Unigine’s Superposition rendering benchmark). Utilizing twin shows in Lightroom Traditional can get laggy and glitchy, however the RTX 3080 labored as easily as I’ve ever seen.

Curiously, I noticed no important efficiency distinction between the EVGA and Nvidia playing cards. That is uncommon, as a result of usually Nvidia’s cause for the Founders Version is to offer a best-case-performance instance of a flagship card. The EVGA did are likely to run a bit of hotter when maxed out, although, about 88C vs. 85C.  

As quick because the RTX 3080 is and as a lot as I preferred each the Founders Version and the EVGA playing cards, I might nonetheless wait to see how the RTX 3070 stacks up earlier than plopping down $700 — and see what AMD has up its company sleeve later this month, when it launches its RX 6000 collection. Between the upcoming consoles and new graphics processor bulletins, these are fascinating occasions to be a velocity freak.

Geekbench 5 (Vulkan)

Origin PC Large O (PS4 Version)

Origin PC Cryo Core Millennium

Longer bars point out higher efficiency

Geekbench 5 (CUDA)

Longer bars point out higher efficiency

Shadow of the Tomb Raider gaming check

Origin PC Large O (PS4 Version)

Falcon North West Talon 20th AE

Origin PC Cryo Core Millennium

Longer bars point out higher efficiency (FPS)

3DMark Port Royal (RTX)

Origin PC Large O (PS4 Version)

Origin PC Cryo Core Millennium

Longer bars point out higher efficiency

System configurations

Corsair One Professional

Microsoft Home windows 10 Professional (1909); 3.3GHz Intel Core i9-10940X; 64GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,667MHz; 11GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti; 2TB SSD

Falcon Northwest Talon 20th Anniversary Version

Microsoft Home windows 10 Professional (1909); 3.8GHz AMD Ryzen 9 3900X; 32GB DDR4 SDRAM 3,200MHz; 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Tremendous; 2TB SSD RAID 0

Maingear Turbo

Microsoft Home windows 10 Residence (2004); 3.8GHz Ryzen 9 3900XT; 32GB DDR4 SDRAM 3,600; 11GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti; 1TB SSD + 4TB HDD

MSI Trident X

Microsoft Home windows 10 Residence (1909); (oc) 3.8GHz Intel Core i7-10700Okay; 32GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,932; 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Tremendous; 1TB SSD

Origin PC Large O (PS4 Version)

Microsoft Home windows 10 Residence (1909); 3.8GHz AMD Ryzen 9 3900X; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM; 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Tremendous; 1.5TB SSD (2TB SSD for console)

Origin PC Chronos

Microsoft Home windows 10 Residence (2004); Intel Core i9-10900Okay; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 3,200; 10GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 (EVGA); 1TB SSD + 500GB SSD

Origin PC Cryo Core Millennium

Microsoft Home windows 10 Residence (1909); 4.3GHz AMD Ryzen 9 3950X; 32GB DDR SDRAM 3,200MHz; 24GB Nvidia Titan RTX; 1TB SSD + 2TB HDD

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