Seems we are finally ready to embrace the future of gaming, treading on the lines of 4K experiences, better refresh rates, and exceptional aligned performances. Brace up for the 2nd generation of RTX graphics chipsets from NVIDIA with RTX 3080 leading the charge as the best of the lot.
In the subsequent sections, we shall talk about the RTX 3080 GPU at length, while touching upon the mobile variant and other models with variable but uniformly high efficiency.
NVIDIA RTX 3080: Features and Design
Despite this being a detailed explainer we shall refrain from using excessive technical jargon. To start with, RTX 3080 is a computing monster that craves more and delivers in excess.
Moreover, RTX 3080 readily improves upon the power-efficiency and performances of the immediate predecessor i.e. the RTX 2080. Therefore, you can safely assume that the NVIDIA Ampere-series of graphics cards trounce the similarly named Turing-series entities.
However, we can always go a bit technical with this discussion and talk about the 8,704 CUDA shaders associated with this graphics card. While the improvements in the number of tensor and RT cores were expected, owing to the 2nd and 3rd gen upgrades, we are more upbeat about the improved Rasterization engine associated with the same, which in turn will certainly improve the quality of renders.
Besides, we did talk about the massive flocking of CUDA cores, which comes forth as a vast improvement over Turing. While a 2x improvement always seemed out of bounds, RTX 3080 still achieves to double the CUDA cores associated with RTX 2080 with ease.
Not just that, the processing throughput also gets a massive boost at 29.7 TFOPS, which is nothing less than a generational leap. However, gamers and even creative professionals with a focus on 3D rendering and simulation are expected to benefit from the cache and texture-based improvements. Moreover, the 320-bit memory bus showcases the capabilities of the graphics card, when it comes to processing information.
Coming to the graphics memory, the 10GB GDDR6X allotment is worth investing in and guarantees better gaming performances. Therefore, if you have been using the RTX 2080Ti GPU, you can expect a 15 percent performance uptick with the RTX 3080 vanilla variant in play.
This graphics card also boasts AI-powered DLSS acceleration, thereby offering ample headroom for cranking up the resolution and settings in a bid to experience incredible visuals. As most modern-day games are planning to bring AI-driven aspects into the mix, this attribute readily paves the way for excellent, all-inclusive performances.
Ray tracing support continues to show up on the RTX 30-series GPU but the improvements are drastic and exceed expectations. Besides, this graphics card strives for lowering gaming and processing latencies whilst making way for the best possible gaming responsiveness.
Lastly, this graphics card aims at achieving a lot more than just gaming excellence. Most importantly, the flocking of CUDA cores clubbed with exceptional processor throughput ensures seamless rendering of even the most complex 3D scenes.
As far as the design cues are concerned, the RTX 3080 is a potential winner, courtesy of the new provisioning to accommodate ‘dual axial’ flow. Therefore, if you are planning to set up a bespoke gaming machine, this graphics card guarantees zero aesthetic compromises. Besides, the thermal layout readily improves the natural heat dissipation and makes way for a better gaming layout.
However, we would lie if the initial look at the design didn’t give us scares. At the onset, we thought that the CPU and even RAM temperatures would be affected as the design felt slightly intrusive. Then again, once we started using the same, we realized that we were mistaken and there were absolutely no temperature elevations owing to the GPU layout.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080: Key Takeaways
If you have come this far into the discussion and still unsure about the technical tidbits, here are the key takeaways that you can consider looking at.
1. Insanely Fast
Firstly, the RTX 3080 assumes staggering processing speeds, which is usual for a graphics card, this premium. With upcoming laptop and display-centric trends hinting at screens with better refresh rates, preferably for 4K and 2K panels, the RTX 3080 can adhere really well to the same by helping gamers achieve over 60fps at 4K.
Therefore, if you are a gamer with a penchant for 4K gaming, this graphics card is worth purchasing, unless you are awaiting the 8K-capable RTX 3090.
However, if you still insist on numbers, the RTX 3080 is at least 80% faster for certain 4K games as compared to RTX 2080. That said, only the GTA V experiences are a bit middling as it might seem that RTX 3080 is way too overpowered to handle the same at 4K.
If you are measuring performances for the new Horizon Zero Dawn, RTX 3080 allows you to reach 78fps at 4K as compared to 43fps with the RTX 2080 Founder’s Edition.
2. Still Overkill!!!
Most gamers still prefer 1080p panels, which makes RTX 3080 a ludicrous bet. Unless you have a 4K or even a 2K panel at your disposal, purchasing the RTX 3080 graphics card doesn’t make a lot of sense as there are minimal to zero tangible performance perks as compared to the RTX 2080.
Moreover, if the screen itself is restricted to 60Hz, a cheaper variant is a much better choice. We would only recommend high-end GPUs if there is a 240Hz monitor, or higher screen refresh rates to use.
3. Requires Massive Power
Provided you are planning to purchase the gaming behemoth, you should prepare yourself for the power-centric compromises. Based on the Ampere architecture, this GPU has the capability of stretching out your power supply and pushing it to the brink.
As tested by experts at Unslider, the standard edition requires at least 50W more as compared to the RTX 2080Ti. Therefore, if you are planning to replace older graphics cards with the 2nd gen RTX 30-series modules, even the power supply needs to be revamped and reconsidered.
4. Radical Design makes an impression
The design cues, as mentioned previously, exceed expectations. For starters, the Founder’s Edition makes way for a push-pull cooling layout where one fan complements the heat dissipating capabilities of the other.
5. Wide-range of Goodies
In addition to the gaming upgrades, the RTX 3080 graphics card is also mindful of other perks. Firstly, the port arrangement gets a significant upgrade with the HDMI slot upgraded to HDMI 2.1. Besides, there is also an upgraded DisplayPort in play. Not just that, you also get access to improved RTRT and DLSS support followed by a seamless noise-cancellation feature and the ability to track heads automatically.
Overall, the RTX 3080 is a premium graphics card that one should consider only for professional gaming and top-level creative tasks. While we did talk about the desktop variant of the RTX 3080, the mobile version also needs to be looked at, as 2021 will see this graphics card appear extensively in compatible laptops.
The mobile variant comes equipped with 6144 CUDA cores and rides on the 256-Bit bus. Besides, the memory capacity for the same moves between 8GB and 16GB, depending on the laptop configuration. Lastly, NVIDIA eliminates the Max-Q version for good and allows you to make the same optional for every OEM, provided you want to make use of the Whispermode and the Dynamic Boost technologies.
To sum it up, RTX 3080 comes with a lot of potential and we shall keep testing the gadgets and bring the best set of insights for you to rely on.