NVIDIA today is releasing the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti. Announced earlier for COMPUTEX, rumors have already popped up about the card’s release prior but that ends today as we have the official card in hand. The GeForce RTX 3060 launch was our most recent coverage for NVIDIA and that was a partner launch with no Founders Edition card. Given the numerous teases from AICs, I was under the impression that this launch would also be a partner-first one but that is false.
Today we have the NVIDA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Founders Edition: featuring this generation’s industrial-style blow-through cooler from NVIDIA, it features a lot of similarities with the GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition including a similarly-sized cooler. This comes at a surprise as this card is a slightly cutdown version of the RTX 3090, NVIDIA’s most powerful card this generation and that card features an extremely beefy cooler. This also leads us to how NVIDIA is billing the RTX 3080 Ti: the New Gaming Flagship. And let me spoil things for you already: its not. But its also not that simple. We’ll talk about that later on this article.
In this review, we’ll detail the gaming performance of NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti. Read on!
About the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Founders Edition
The GeForce RTX 3080 Ti is a big leap from the RTX 2080 Ti and given that its rooted mainly in the RTX 3090 which is a Titan-class GPU, its not surprising, the comparison isn’t even close. With the RTX 30 series already doubling much of the CUDA cores from their Turing counterparts, we’ve already seen just how large that results in performance can be just because of that. But the the most glaring criticism about the RTX 3080 Ti is its VRAM count and actual feasibility. This is something I’m looking to resolve in this review. Is the RTX 3080 Ti better than an RTX 3090 in gaming? we’ll find out.
But first, let’s get specs out of the way. As a note, NVIDIA’s RTX 30 Founders Edition cards are not reference cards. We’ve already discussed this in detail in our NVIDIA RTX 3080 Founders Edition Review way back in September of 2020. You can check out that review if you’re interested in finding out more about NVIDIA’s new RTX 30 series cooler. The RTX 3080 Ti features 10240 CUDA cores and has a boost clock of up to 1665Mhz. Its equipped with 12GB GDDR6X of video memory and they are wired to a 384-bit memory interface which gives the card a 912GB/s bandwidth. Lastly, the RTX 3080 Ti is rated at 350 watts which should have partners equipping with two PCIe power connector. NVIDIA’s Founders Edition card uses MicroFit to 2x-PCIe 8-pin power.
The cooler design is similar to the RTX 3080 FE which features a blowthrough cooler on one-end and another fan blowing over the PCB over the heatsink. No other major changes is done to the cooler.
Power Draw, Clock Speed and Temperature
We’ll switch things up and open with the power and temperature behavior of the graphics card first. We use Final Fantasy XV Benchmark to simulate a gaming workload but for those looking extreme loads, we do put our cards through Kombustor on first installation for stress testing to check for stability.
For our reviews though, we use Final Fantasy XV to simulate a true gaming scenario. Power draw is captured inline via PCAT or Powenetics so no other components affects readings. Readings are taken from the average 15 min idle readings for both load and idle.
In the charts above we can see that the Founders Edition of the RTX 3080 Ti clocks in around 1774Mhz during 4K gaming and pumps out 75*C while sipping 348 watts of power. This is within expectations but I personally imagined it doing much higher power draw. Temperatures are also a surprise with higher mid-70*C for what’s essentially an RTX 3090 with a slimmer cooler. For reference, we have a true reference card in the Palit RTX 3090 GamingPRO we reviewed recently, and here’s the clock speed chart:
The Palit RTX 3090 GamingPRO uses a different cooler, a triple fan one at that but at stock, we should take note of the close clock speeds we’re getting at 1750Mhz for the RTX 3090. Comparing that to the RTX 3080 Ti, its fairly close. Power draw is also just a tad bit different with the gaming load at 360W for the RTX 3090.
But many of you are asking how’s the temperature under extreme loads. Well, let’s see how it takes Kombustor in the next segment. The chart will also show some key readings related to the card including fan speed, voltages, etc. The room ambient is kept at 28*C as with all testing.
And here’s our comparative database compared to other GPUs:
Test Setup and Methodology
Processor: Intel Core i9 10900K
Memory: G.Skill TridentZ DDR4-3600 32GB
Storage: WD Blue SSD 1TB SATA
PSU: FSP Hydro G Pro 1000W
Cooling: Corsair H150i Pro 360mm AIO
Monitor: ROG PG27UQ 4K 144hz HDR1000
For a full-hardware workout, visit https://benchmarks.ul.com for our system warm-up and stress test of choice.
For benchmarking methodology please see our game benchmark method guide.
Test results are gathered and produced on CapFrameX. This makes it easier for use to get both line graph comparison and raw averages without extra tools. Simply the easiest tool for benchmarking and its available for everyone to use, free of charge. Check it out at capframex.com.
Since this is a GPU review, we benchmarked the area of the games that put heavy load on the GPU.
All our test runs are repeatable, click the links below for area and details. Read our benchmarking methodology.
- DOTA2 – Kiev Major Grand Finals Game 5: OG vs Virtus.Pro (54:05 – 55:05)
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive: FPS Benchmark Workshop Map
- Rainbow Six: Siege – Benchmark Mode
- The Witcher 3 – Woesong Bridge
- Grand Theft Auto V – Palomino Highlands
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider – Kuwaq Yaqu
- Call of Duty Warzone –
- Monster Hunter World: Iceborne – Wildspire Waste
- F1 2020 – Benchmark Mode
- PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds – Training Mode
- Apex Legends – Firing Range
- Valorant – Custom Game
- Destiny 2 – The Tower
- Cyberpunk 2077 – Little China, noontime
See our Youtube playlist for benchmark sequences.
You can click on any of the benchmark charts enlarge. You can also move forward and backwards to quickly navigate through our charts via gallery view. For this test, only the out-of-box normal mode will be tested.
Kindly let me know if you spot an errors in the charts. I do my best to keep them error free but while test results are reliable and accurate, bringing them over to Excel and relying on formulas to generate the reports sometimes can cause mix-ups.
- All data are gathered from exactly the same system, with exactly the configuration we list here. No data is reused from another system or from any variations of. We gather data from only one system as indicated here.
- Graphics cards are allowed to heat up prior to benchmarking. Cooler graphics cards may boost higher than normal.
- Following up on the above, we try to enjoy the game and play a bit before proceeding to the actual benchmark scenario. This allows us to detect any other problems like stuttering, frame skipping, or any other problems.
- Games that receive graphical updates that affect performance e.g. (DOTA2 moving from DX9 to DX11) will be retested completely.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO)
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, popularly known as CSGO, competes for Steam’s most popular game. It has found a resurgence in its popularity and has recently peaked in 2020 in the number of players that play the game. Based on Valve’s Source Engine, the game received major asset overhauls during the years since its inception nearly 10 years ago. Still, it’s a light game and can be played on fairly lighter systems but the competitive scene for CSGO has seen average players demand high FPS from their systems thus gaining favorable standing with GPU vendors just from the demand for higher FPS alone. CSGO is a game that can easily go past 500FPS on enthusiast systems on maximum settings. We’re including CSGO as requested by our community.
API: DirectX9 (default)
Maximum In-Game Settings
Texture Streaming Disabled
Note: JUNE 2020 – DOTA2 has recently implemented a transition from DirectX9 to DirectX11 and new install of the game will prompt users to switch from DX9 to DX11. With that said, we are testing DOTA2 in DX11 from now on.
In contention for the most popular game on Steam and the biggest competition in eSports: DOTA 2 is powered by the Source 2 engine. The game is fairly light on low to medium settings but maxed out, with heavy action on screen especially during clashes, can really stress most systems. This is a game where frame times matter as responsiveness is very important in high-stakes competition. We’re looking at consistently low frametimes in this game for the best experience
Our test uses actual game replay, using the segment from game 5 of the Kiev Major 2017 Grand Finals between OG and VP. The clash during the 54:05 to 55:05 of the game is a nice example of how much a system will get punished during intense team fights in DOTA2.
API: DirectX11 (default)
Best-Looking slider setting (Ultra)
Rainbow Six: Siege
Nearly 4 years later and Rainbow Six: Siege has become a phenomenon after a lukewarm beginning. The massive shift in focus of the game sees it stepping into eSports territory and the excellent mix of gameplay mechanics, good design and a dedicated dev team has put R6: Siege in a position it couldn’t even picture during launch. Rainbow Six: Siege focuses heavily on tactical and creative gameplay and its vertical levels and highly destructible maps encourage players to be quick on their feet so the action is always going. Powered by Ubisoft’s own AnvilNext 2.0 engine which powers some of Ubi’s recent visual masterpieces, R6:Siege also feature excellent graphics and can get very taxing at high detail settings. The game also features an Ultra HD texture pack download for those that want higher resolution textures but will of course demand more from the system.
API: DirectX 11
Anti Aliasing: TAA
Ultra HD Texture pack not installed
Ambient Occlusion: SSBC
The benchmarks for all RTX 3060, Palit RTX 3090 and the RTX 3080 Ti are all using 100% render resolution. All other tests are done with 50%. I discovered this this during the Year 6 S1 Crimson Heist patch during testing the RTX 3060 that it changed the render resolution. This will be updated soon a future version of this review. We’re leaving the results here for reference but please take note of the cards mentioned that were tested with 100% render resolution.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
CD Projekt Red’s latest installment in the Witcher saga features one of the most graphically intense offering the company has to date. As Geralt of Rivia, slay monsters, beasts and men as you unravel the mysteries of your past. Vast worlds and lush sceneries make this game a visual feast and promises to make any system crawl at its highest settings. This game has found great resurgence in its playerbase thanks to the release of Netflix’ Witcher series.
API: DirectX 11
Frame Rate: Unlimited
Nvidia HairWorks: Off
Motion Blur: Off
Ambient Occlusion: SSAO
Depth of Field: On
Chromatic Aberration: Off
Light Shafts: On
Grand Theft Auto V
The fifth and most successful installment to date in the highly controversial Grand Theft Auto series brings a graphical overhaul to the PC version of GTA V which many have lauded as a superior approach in porting a console game to PC. Featuring large areas and detailing, GTA V is a highly challenging application in terms of scene complexity.
Our benchmark uses a run from Palomina Highlands running through a lush area to a remote road all the way to a neighborhood in our car to simulate multiple scene changes.
API: DirectX 11
Very High settings
Anisotropic Filtering: 16x
Motion Blur disabled
Advanced Graphics enabled
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Shadow of the Tomb Raider is the latest installment in the reboot run of the classic Tomb Raider franchise. The game follows the story set forth by the previous game which Shadow of the Tomb Raider short follows after. Technology-wise, the game uses the Foundation engine updated to meet the demand of developer Eidos Montreal to push the engine to its limits. The game supports DirectX 12 and is one of the launch titles to support RTX technology namely DLSS which launched a couple of months post-launch.
API: DirectX 12
Graphics Settings Preset: Highest
Texture Quality: Ultra
Texture Filtering: 8x Anisotropic
Raytraced Shadow: OFF
Call of Duty Warzone
Previously known as Call of Duty Modern Warfare, Call of Duty Warzone is the free-to-play, battle royale component to the 2019 reboot of the original Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare game featuring a rebooted storyline, set in a different world where you, along with Captain Price have to stop the world from going to war. Call of Duty Warzone reignites the franchise by introducing full crossplay support where Xbox and PS4 players can play together with PC players. On PC, the game features a new engine pushing photorealism for COD far beyond what their older engine is capable of. The new engine also introduces raytracing and the AI is designed to perceive light as well. With a revitalized multiplayer arena, the game will require fast frame rates. Warzone has a slightly higher system load than COD:MW multiplayer and single player campaign mode.
API: DirectX 12
Render Resolution: 100%
Texture Resolution: High
Texture Filter Anisotropic: High
Particle Quality: High
Shadow Map Resolution: Extra
Particle Lighting: Ultra
DirectX Raytracing: OFF
Ambient Occlusion: Both
Anti-Aliasing: Filmic SMAA T2X
World Motion Blur: Off
Shaders Installed before benchmarks*
Monster Hunter World: Iceborne
Easily Capcom’s most successful game to date. Available in both consoles and PC, Monster Hunter World ranks in Steam’s top played games for the platform. The 2020 Iceborne update for PC brings the game to new PC frontier, introducing DirectX 12 support. The game features rich graphical detail settings and an Ultra HD texture pack for highend gamers. MHW’s features fast-paced action with traditional RPG farings and has captured a new market thanks to the transition from portable.
Our benchmark for this game uses an expedition track in the Wildspire Waste Southwest Camp (Area 1) and finishes in the Rathian nest at Area 12 in the caves. This run gives us runs from barren area, to watery area with lush vegetation to a cave which replicates the varied nature of exploration and monster combat in MHW.
API: DirectX 12
Graphical Settings: Manual (customized from High)
All variable settings set to High
Image Quality: High
Max LOD Level: No Limit
Volume Rendering Quality: High
Motion Blur: Off
DLSS and AMD FidelityFX: OFF
The latest iteration of the F1 series from CodeMasters features support for DirectX 12 as well as more photorealistic graphics than ever. Now heavily featured in the official F1 esports scene, much attention has been given in the development of this game particularly for added realism.
API: DirectX 12
Settings: Ultra High
PlayerUnknown’s Battleground (PUBG)
Developed by South Korean company Bluehole, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds was an ARMA3 mod which has gained a massive global playerbase after being released as a stand-alone game. The game is now available for almost all platforms from PC to mobile but PC has been the definitive edition of the game. The game has evolved much since its release, receiving multiple polish to arrive at its current state.
API: DirectX 11
The battle royale genre sees multiple titles emerge and Respawn Entertainment’s most successful title to date, Apex Legends differentiates itself from main rival PUBG as it presents itself in true, fast-paced FPS. Existing in the same universe as Titanfall, Apex Legends sees contenders in traditional battle royale elimination format but gameplay heavily gears towards more familiar FPS mechanics. As a Respawn Ent. game, its closer to COD versus PUBG’s more sluggish and heavier gameplay.
API: DirectX 11
Texture Streaming Budget: 6GB VRAM
FSP Cap Disabled
Destiny 2: New Light is an MMOFPS which sees a persistently sizable playerbase. The game features traditional MMO elements but played in an FPS approach which allows a more skill-dependent game versus traditional MMORPG formats. The game features a futuristic sci-fi universe with lush and detailed in-game locations that puts respectable workload on a gaming system.
API: DirectX 11
Developed by League of Legends developer, Riot Games, Valorant is a first-person shooter featuring multiple heroes or agents which have unique skills to assist them within the games traditional team-based FPS combat. The game is gaining incredible success and has taken a large chunk of the now-incredibly massive CSGO playerbase as well, presenting a more refreshed take on classic TDM FPS but spices it up with skills, etc. Like CSGO and League, this game is light as a feather for the largest adoption possible. With 360hz monitors and input lag/system latency a major focus for these games, we’re now including it as reference for players.
API: DirectX 11
Settings: Max in-game details
Anti-Aliasing: MSAA x4 (highest in-game)
NVIDIA Reflex: Off
A quick note, I’ve removed raytracing tests for this review because I’m changing the games used for the tests. This will be published in a separate article. Anyway, let’s get on with the review.
The most immediate question a lot of people will be asking is this card worth it and should I choose over the RTX 3090? And just to give you a quick answer: if you will be using this card for gaming, the RTX 3080 Ti is the better option. Going into this review, I was under the immediate assumption that this card would be an easy pass as projected costs will put it it closer in price to the RTX 3090 and we’ll talk about that a little bit later in this closing but just to close out that statement, the RTX 3080 Ti though is a compelling replacement over the RTX 3090… BUT… this is taking retail pricing into consideration.
The NVIDIA RTX 3080 Ti easily ties the RTX 3090 and NVIDIA seems to be working some driver magic as majority of the popular games in our charts are getting a boost on the RTX 3080 Ti, this warrants a closer look which we’ll detail further in another article once we get a partner card on hand. By itself, the Founders Edition of the RTX 3080 Ti gives some strong numbers, which easily pins it at the top of the game right now.
NVIDIA probably wasn’t planning to release this card until AMD released the RX 6900 XT but given they have an annual generational last-hurrah for the xx80 cards, it was sort of expected. But going back to the presence of the RX 6900 XT, this is mostly a price point competition and AMD’s $1200 spot was just between the RTX 3080 and the RTX 3090 and NVIDIA left a BIIIIIIIGGGGG gap between the two SKUs. A 3080 Ti was already in the card when that moment when they made that announcement. As said, the RTX 3080 Ti “TIES” the RTX 3090 in plenty of instances. Internally, NVIDIA says expect a 5% difference but we’re seeing hairline difference. So we’ll just call it a TIE.\
Before that last paragraph I mentioned pricing and this is ultimately the biggest deciding factor for this card. For US customers, >$2000 is my expected price range for this Founders Edition of the RTX 3080 Ti and with this version of the card not present in this region, I can’t make comparison so I only have partner cards to go with. That being said, I can only have price estimates from partners and I’m seeing $2400-$2500 retail for the RTX 3080 Ti in my region. At the price range, one is only $400 away from an RTX 3090 which, basing on the pricing market of these cards, are very premium. So here’s my take: if you want the top card for gaming, either the RTX 3080 Ti or the RTX 3090 would do. For professionals that need the VRAM of the RTX 3090, I’m leaning more towards that card but for gamers, this card would probably be the better choice especially if you’re building a new rig where in bundle discounts would range around $350 or Php15,000 or more. So again, this will ultimately be up to the price. Given that argument, this will be very subjective on your current market pricing.
NVIDIA is promising LHR for this card which should help in availability should it not be circumvented, hopefully. Still, supply is up for discussion so if given the chance to decide between the cards I mentioned, if the price difference is around $200 or Php10,000 then by all means just jump to the RTX 3090 but if its $600 or more, the RTX 3080 Ti should deliver very if not even performance with the 3090 and if you’re using this for 1440p gaming, you definitely are not missing out.