Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 vs. RTX 3080

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 vs. RTX 3080

During Covid, the demand for graphics cards skyrocketed, leading to extreme scarcity. Nvidia's RTX series, including the RTX 3080 and the newly released RTX 4080, were heavily impacted by this shortage. However these graphics cards are now more readily available for purchase. In this article, we will give a detailed comparison of the RTX 3080 and the RTX 4080, assess their respective features, performance, and value to help you determine whether it is worth upgrading your graphics card.

RTX 3080 vs RTX 4080: Price & Spec

The Nvidia RTX 3080 10GB graphics card generated tremendous excitement upon its release in September 2020. Priced at $699, it was considered a powerhouse in terms of performance and capabilities. With its advanced architecture and cutting-edge features, the RTX 3080 offered exceptional gaming and rendering performance. Equipped with 10GB of video memory, it provided ample room for high-resolution textures and complex graphics. The RTX 3080 was highly sought after by gamers, content creators, and professionals due to its ability to handle demanding tasks with ease. It represented a significant leap forward in graphics card technology and set a new standard for high-end gaming and graphics-intensive applications.

The Nvidia RTX 4080 graphics card arrived in 2022 with a price tag of $1,199. The successor to the popular RTX 3080 aimed to deliver even greater performance and capabilities. With the era of extreme GPU shortages hopefully behind us, the RTX 4080 has the difficult challenge of proving its worth in a more stable market. Its pricing, which is considered excessive by some, was a reflection of its improved features and excellent performance. 

Compared to its predecessor, the RTX 4080 boasts improvements in various aspects. It offers enhanced graphics rendering capabilities, allowing for a more immersive gaming experience and more efficient content creation. The increased power and memory capacity of the RTX 4080 enables seamless handling of resource-intensive tasks, such as ray tracing, AI rendering, and complex simulations.

Graphics Card GeForce RTX 4080 GeForce RTX 3080 Ti RTX 3080 10GB
Fabrication Process TSMC 4N NVIDIA Custom Process Samsung 8nm 8N NVIDIA Custom Process Samsung 8nm 8N NVIDIA Custom Process
Transistor Count 45.9 billion 28.3 billion 28.3 billion
Architecture Ada Lovelace Ampere Ampere
GPU AD103 GA102 GA102
Graphics Processing Clusters 7 7 6
Texture Processing Clusters 38 40 34
Streaming Multiprocessors 76 80 68
CUDA Cores 9728 10240 8704
Tensor Cores 304 (4th Gen) 320 (3rd Gen) 272 3rd gen
RT Cores 76 (3rd Gen) 80 (2nd Gen) 68 2nd gen
Texture Units 304 320 272
ROPs 112 112 96
Boost Clock 2505 MHz 1665 MHz 1.71 GHz
Memory Clock 11200 MHz 9500 MHz 1.44 GHz
Memory Data Rate 22.4 Gbps 19 Gbps 19 Gbps
L2 Cache Size 65536 KB 6144 KB 5120 KB
Total Video Memory 16 GB GDDR6X 12 GB GDDR6X 10 GB GDDR6X
Memory Interface 256-bit 384-bit 320-bit
Total Memory Bandwidth 716.8 GB/s 912 GB/s 760.3 GB/s
Texture Rate 761.5 Gigatexels/sec 532.8 Gigatexels/sec 465.1 GTexel/s
Connectors 3 x DisplayPort 1 x HDMI 3 x DisplayPort 1 x HDMI 3 x DisplayPort 1 x HDMI
Minimum Power Supply 750 Watts 750 Watts 750W
Total Graphics Power (TGP) 320 Watts 350 Watts 320 W
PCI Express Interface Gen 4 Gen 4 Gen 4
Release Date Nov-22 Jun-21 Sep-20
Launch Price $1,199  $1,199  $699

RTX 3080 vs RTX 4080: Availability

Nvidia RTX 3080: During the Covid pandemic, the RTX 3080 faced severe availability issues and was challenging to obtain. However, the situation has improved, and the RTX 3080 graphics card is now more readily available. You can purchase the Nvidia RTX 3080 from the Nvidia website and find your local retailer. 

Nvidia RTX 4080: As the RTX 4080 is a newly released graphics card, its availability may be slightly more limited than that of the 3080, however availability should continue to improve. Similarly, you can find the Nvidia RTX 4080 on the Nvidia website and get an idea of where it is in stock.

RTX 3080 vs RTX 4080: Architecture

Nvidia RTX 3080: The RTX 3080 is based on Nvidia's 8nm Ampere architecture, offering significant improvements in performance and power efficiency compared to its predecessors.

Nvidia RTX 4080: The RTX 4080 uses the advanced, 4nm Ada Lovelace architecture. This is a considerable reduction in size from the previous 8nm Ampere architecture of the RTX 3080. The 4nm process gives the RTX 4080 an improved power efficiency and higher clock speeds. There are also improvements to the ray-tracing cores, 4th generation Tensor cores and a new NVENC encoder. 

© Nvidia

RTX 3080 vs RTX 4080: Performance

Nvidia RTX 3080:

  • The RTX 3080 delivers exceptional performance, capable of handling demanding gaming, content creation, and AI workloads with ease. It offers ray tracing capabilities and DLSS support for improved visuals and performance.
  • The RTX 3080 features 10GB of GDDR6X memory, a boost clock speed of 1.71 GHz, and 8704 CUDA cores.
  • The RTX 3080t has 12GB of GDDR6X memory. 

Nvidia RTX 4080

  • As a successor to the RTX 3080, the RTX 4080 is expected to provide even better performance, leveraging enhanced hardware and architecture to deliver superior graphics processing power.
  • The RTX 4080 boasts improved specifications, such as 12GB of GDDR6X memory, a higher boost clock speed, and an increased number of CUDA cores for enhanced performance.

RTX 3080 vs RTX 4080: Benchmarks

From UserBenchmark we can see a comparison between the RTX 4080 and the RTX 3080. The benchmarks show that the RTX 4080 has a higher effective speed of 55% more compared to the RTX 3080. There is a considerable increase in speed, at around double that of the 3080. 

© UserBenchmark

For an example of gaming benchmarks, have a look at this graph that compares the major graphics cards and their respective performances on Cyberpunk 2077 in 4K, comparing their frames per second, where higher = better. 

© Thiago Trevisan

Is it worth upgrading?

Whether or not you upgrade from the RTX 3080, or the RTX 3080t to the RTX 4080 will depend on your individual needs and preferences. If you need or want cutting-edge performance, the latest features and have a budget that can accommodate the higher price of the 4080, then it could definitely be a worthwhile upgrade. However, if the current graphics card that you are using meets your requirements, and the price difference is too great to be justified, then sticking with the RTX 3080 is a more than adequate option. It may also difficult to swallow the price increase that Nvidia made from the RTX 3080 to the RTX 3080t. If you were stick with the RTX 3080 and then wait for the inevitable RTX 5080, then the improvements will ultimately be even greater. 

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