“The Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti is one other highly effective 4K graphics card, however it’s priced too excessive.”

Clean 4K gaming

Beautiful design

Improved ray tracing and DLSS efficiency

Glorious content material creation efficiency

Too costly

Cumbersome energy adapter

Nvidia faces two major challenges in 2021. First, due to the chip scarcity, nobody who needs to really play video games on a GPU should buy one. Second, with the Radeon RX 6900 XT, AMD got here inside putting distance of Nvidia’s crown jewel, the RTX 3090. That wasn’t imagined to occur.

The RTX 3080 Ti is Nvidia’s answer to each of those issues. However does it clear up them or merely kick the can additional down the highway? The $1,200 worth alone is sufficient to make you do a double-take. I spent a while testing out the brand new graphics card to search out out if it ranks among the many greatest graphics playing cards you should purchase.

Design

My evaluation unit was the Founders Version mannequin, which means it’s designed by Nvidia itself. It matches the design of the RTX 3080 that got here earlier than, sporting a premium look that has no equal. It’s a beautiful shroud.

The cooling is healthier than within the 20-series mannequin, too, utilizing the identical “push-pull” fan system as the remainder of the 30-series playing cards.

The system saved the cardboard lots cool in my testing, by no means breaching the 83 diploma Celsius max temperatures listed by Nvidia. It’s not a quiet GPU although. It’ll spin up shortly, and in when it’s pushed to it’s max, similar to in a video export, it’ll sound like a rocket taking off out of your desk.

A Nvidia consultant was fast to inform me that it ought to solely be marginally louder than the opposite RTX 30-series playing cards, which was already an excellent deal quieter than the 20-series.

After all, there shall be loads of third get together designs that take a extra brute pressure strategy to cooling. The Founders Version model of the RTX 3080 Ti, as at all times, will doubtless be probably the most lovely design, however not probably the most highly effective.

Its dimension makes the RTX 3080 Ti a extra manageable improve than the RTX 3090.

The RTX 3080 Ti is the very same dimension because the RTX 3080 at 11.2 by 1.four inches. It’s a regular two-slot card, however it’s fairly lengthy. It may be a good squeeze when you have additional storage cages in your case or try to plop it right into a smaller prebuilt desktop. It’ll match effectively sufficient into our 30-liter case, although, and it’s nearly a full inch shorter. That makes it a way more manageable improve than the RTX 3090.

A “far more manageable RTX 3090” is an effective description of the RTX 3080 Ti on the whole. It has all the facility of that top-end card with none of the pointless baggage.

Port choice on again is identical as each the RTX 3090 and the RTX 3080: Three DisplayPort 1.4a ports and one HDMI 2.1. That additionally imply it nonetheless makes use of the proprietary 12-pin energy connector, which requires a careless adapter. It’s supplied within the field, however that doesn’t make the connection any much less ugly or cumbersome in your PC.

Specs

It’s not simply the design of the RTX 3080 Ti and RTX 3090 that match. They’re additionally fairly comparable beneath the hood. A fast take a look at the spec sheet reveals simply how a lot these two playing cards have in widespread.

RTX 3080 Ti
RTX 3090
RTX 3080 
GPU
GA102-225
GA102-300
GA102-200
Interface
PCIe four.zero
PCIe four.zero
PCIe four.zero
CUDA cores
10,240
10,496
eight,704
Tensor cores
320
328
272
RT cores
80
82
68
Base clock
1,365MHz
1,395MHz
1,440MHz
Increase clock
1,665MHz
1,695MHz
1,710MHz
Reminiscence
12GB GDDR6X
24GB GDDR6X
10GB GDDR6X
Reminiscence velocity
19Gbps
19.5Gbps
19Gbps
Bandwidth
912GBps
936GBps
760GBps
Reminiscence bus
384-bit
384-bit
320-bit
TDP
320W
350W
320W

The first distinction is the reminiscence quantity. The RTX 3080 Ti has half as a lot, down from 24GB to 12GB. Video games received’t know what to do with 24GB of VRAM in any case, making the 12GB of the RTX 3080 Ti a extra real looking quantity. The RTX 3090 remains to be a greater half for the heaviest of workloads, similar to information science, 3D animation, and high-resolution video encoding.

You’ll additionally get eight fewer Tensor cores, two fewer RT cores, and 247 fewer CUDA cores. That’s not sufficient to make a PC gamer sweat — particularly with a $300 worth distinction between the 2.

The RTX 3080 Ti remains to be $200 greater than the AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT.

Is it value the additional $500 over the RTX 3080 although? At retail costs, the reply might be no. That proposition will get sophisticated with inflated second-market costs clearly, however extra on that later. When it comes to specs and efficiency, the RTX 3080 Ti seems a lot nearer to the 3090 than the 3080. The issue? When it comes to uncooked sport efficiency, the RTX 3090 was by no means an incredible worth for players in any case. The 24GB of reminiscence was an enormous promoting level in use instances past gaming. With out it, the RTX 3080 Ti is a a lot more durable promote.

And don’t neglect — the RTX 3080 Ti remains to be $200 costlier than the AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT, which was already solely marginally slower than the RTX 3090.

No matter which of those three playing cards you get, Nvidia recommends a minimum of a 750-watt energy provide.

After all, the factor that makes the RTX 3080 Ti an antidote for the GPU provide downside is its Lite Hash Fee. I’m no Ethereum miner — so I wasn’t capable of take a look at this myself — however the concept is that the hash fee limiter ought to make the playing cards much less engaging for cryptocurrency mining.

Efficiency

I examined the Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti in a system paired with the Intel Core i9-10900Ok and 32GB of RAM. All video games have been examined at 4K max settings however not with ray tracing results turned on. I additionally examined the RTX 3080 on this identical system. The RX 6900 XT outcomes proven within the chart under, nonetheless, have been examined in a special system with the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X. That’s not ultimate, however sadly it’s not a graphics card I had readily available to retest in the identical system.

Hold that in thoughts — particularly for extra CPU-bound video games like Murderer’s Creed Valhalla and Civilization VI.

Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti
Nvidia RTX 3080
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT
3DMark Time Spy
17634
16108
17340
3DMark Fireplace Strike
30951
28460
38911
Murderer’s Creed Valhalla
56
52
69
Battlefield V
104
100
106
Fortnite
95
93
99
Civilization VI
177
158
184

The RTX 3080 Ti is clearly extra highly effective than the RTX 3080 — however it’s not by lots. The 9% distinction in Time Spy scores carries by way of fairly evenly throughout video games too, with the RTX 3080 Ti beating the RTX 3080 by a number of frames per second. You may anticipate wherever between 5-10% higher body charges in comparison with the RTX 3080. You’re unlikely to note the variance visually, which is one thing take into account when contemplating the $1,200 worth level of the RTX 3080 Ti.

The comparability to the Radeon RX 6900 XT is fascinating, nonetheless. The AMD card is $200 cheaper however wins in most head-to-head gaming matchups. Even with the processor distinction in my testing, you may anticipate the RX 6900 XT to be up by a number of fps in most video games. It was already neck and neck with the RTX 3090, giving it a slender however full edge over the RTX 3080 Ti on this matchup. It’s a extra power-hungry card, although, at 300 watts.

After all, ray tracing is the first weak spot of the Radeon RX 6900 XT. The corporate is simply now starting to make some headway on its reply to DLSS, often known as the FidelityFX Tremendous Decision. Nvidia has a number of years of growth over AMD in each ray tracing and A.I., making the RTX 3080 Ti the apparent selection over the RX 6900 XT for those who’ve been eager to dip your toe into ray tracing.

I don’t have comparative information for it, however I additionally examined out Cyberpunk 2077. No different sport depends on ray tracing so closely to provide its unbelievable visuals. At Extremely settings and with ray tracing cranked up, the body fee slowed down significantly. As has been demonstrated many instances, even the RTX 3090 can’t at all times steadily deal with this sport at 60-plus fps — a minimum of not with out decreasing picture high quality with the upper settings of DLSS.

In comparison with AMD graphics playing cards, although, the RTX 3080 Ti is a ray tracing machine. It’s additionally a simpler half for content material creation and 3D modeling. The RTX 3080 was already a greater possibility than AMD’s greatest, and the RTX 3080 Ti solely extends that lead. It was sooner in two of the three Blender benchmarks I ran, generally by as a lot as 49%.

It was additionally a way more succesful video enhancing card, offering a 29% higher GPU rating within the PugetBench Adobe Premiere benchmark. Meaning smoother playback and sooner exports.

Must you purchase one?

A $1,200 price ticket for a graphics card is ungodly. It’s means an excessive amount of cash to spend on a single part in your system. And but individuals proceed to do it — and for playing cards way more meager than the RTX 3080 Ti. With that in thoughts, the proposition of shopping for a card as highly effective because the RTX 3080 Ti doesn’t appear fairly so loopy.

That doesn’t make Nvidia’s pricing any much less doubtful. It’s $500 greater than the RTX 3080, however doesn’t present wherever close to that a lot efficiency distinction. At retail worth, that makes the RTX 3080 the higher possibility for many players.

However everyone knows that in sensible phrases, the retail worth doesn’t at the moment matter all that a lot. Most players shall be content material to purchase no matter is on the market — and judging overpriced graphics playing cards towards one another on ebay isn’t a simple activity.

After all, sometime, the GPU provide concern will lapse, and costs could normalize. However primarily based on the timelines these corporations have supplied, we could have moved on to the subsequent era of graphics playing cards by then.

Till then, it’s the Wild West on the market. The RTX 3080 Ti doesn’t change that grim scenario by a lot, however having one other fantastically highly effective graphics card in the marketplace can’t damage.

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