Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition Review

Unlike most issues on this planet of shopper {hardware} and software program, new graphics processing models aren’t launched in accordance with an annual improve cycle. Several years typically cross between main era refreshes, and so every new sequence tends to introduce important modifications and enhancements in efficiency. It’s now been nearly precisely two years since Nvidia launched its GeForce RTX 20 lineup, and we have solely simply seen the launch of its successors, the GeForce RTX 3090, the GeForce RTX 3080, and the GeForce RTX 3070. As anticipated, these fashions are primarily based on an entire new structure, codenamed ‘Ampere’, which Nvidia says represents its “greatest ever generational performance leap”.

Nvidia in fact has a lot to say about its new structure — the details are that RTX ray tracing is right here to remain, energy effectivity is improved, and costs aren’t a lot greater contemplating what you get. The first GPU within the GeForce RTX 30 sequence that we will get our palms on is the center of the three, the GeForce RTX 3080. It’s aimed toward high-end players who need to push the best high quality settings and all the results turned on at 4K, most likely whereas streaming every thing.

As normal, Nvidia will promote its personal Founders Edition graphics playing cards primarily based on these new GPUs, and that is the model of the GeForce RTX 3080 that we’re reviewing right this moment. The firm has provide you with a singular new hybrid cooling system and has additionally continued to refine its industrial design. Cards from associate manufacturers together with Asus, Zotac, Gigabyte, MSI, Palit, Galax may even quickly be obtainable, with their very own coolers and customized tweaks.

There’s so much concerning the GeForce RTX 3080 GPU and the Founders Edition graphics card to cowl right here, so let’s get began with a fast rundown of what is new.

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The GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition has a second fan on the rear with its personal airflow path


Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080: Ampere structure overview

Last 12 months’s GeForce RTX 20 sequence, codenamed Turing, launched {hardware} ray tracing and AI-accelerated DLSS (Deep Learning Supersampling). For some time following the launch, these options weren’t broadly adopted by video games and appeared to supply little in the best way of substantive enhancements however have each since change into extra generally supported over the previous two years. Nvidia says that Ampere can course of some operations resembling shader algorithms over twice as quick.

We now have second-generation RTX ray tracing cores and third-generation Tensor cores for AI processing, plus sooner cache reminiscence and GDDR6X RAM. Performance enhancements are stated to be between 1.7X and a couple of.7X, plus new options have been added to leverage AI, resembling dwell video and audio enhancements for streamers.

AI nonetheless primarily comes into play with DLSS, which is alleged to intelligently upscale frames in order that the GPU can goal a decrease rendering decision and work sooner, however high quality is not finally compromised. Nvidia even says that DLSS can now assist ship {smooth} and crisp gameplay at 8K, and even produce sharper visuals than rendering at a local decision.

As for energy effectivity, Nvidia says the identical workload consumes simply over half as a lot energy as it could on an equal Turing-based GPU. That means much less cooling is required and fewer noise is generated.

Nvidia is introducing just a few different new and up to date requirements. Ampere GPUs help PCIe 4.0 for extra bandwidth with suitable CPUs now and sooner or later. AMD’s Ryzen 3000 sequence helps PCIe 4.0 and Intel is anticipated to undertake it with its subsequent era. HDMI 2.1 permits for 8K 60Hz video by a single cable, and AVI {hardware} decoding permits for streams at that bandwidth in actual time.

RTX IO will leverage Microsoft’s upcoming DirectStorage API for Windows 10 to permit enormous recreation belongings to be transferred instantly from a quick PCIe SSD to a GPU’s VRAM with out going by the CPU or system reminiscence. This is probably a really large deal, altering how video games themselves are designed and permitting for enormous environments to be streamed from storage reasonably than loaded and buffered. It’s just like issues we have been listening to about how next-gen consoles will deal with storage, which makes it all of the extra attention-grabbing.

The GeForce RTX 3080 GPU particularly has been configured with 8,704 execution models known as CUDA cores, organised into 68 “streaming multiprocessor” clusters, in comparison with 3,072 and 48 respectively for its direct predecessor, the GeForce RTX 2080 Super. You get 272 third-gen Tensor cores and 68 second-gen RTX cores as nicely. Interestingly, this GPU may reignite curiosity in cryptocurrency, which was as soon as accountable for tying up the world’s whole inventory of graphics playing cards however has died down of late because of diminishing returns on previous-gen {hardware}.

On the software program facet, there are new capabilities as nicely. Nvidia Reflex which might work with suitable screens and mice to assist optimise body supply and cut back enter latency. AI capabilities are additionally harnessed by Nvidia Broadcast to swap digital backgrounds, robotically body streamers, and cancel out background noise in actual time. Finally, Omniverse Machinima targets content material creators, permitting recreation engines and belongings for use to simply create high-quality animations, if builders help it.

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You get a 12-pin to 2×8-pin PCIe energy adapter within the field to make use of with the tiny new connector


Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition design

For the previous few years, Nvidia has been competing with its companions and promoting its personal graphics playing cards, known as “Founders Editions”. These have sometimes been extraordinarily polished and trendy, however do not hassle with manufacturing facility overclocking or tricked-out RGB LED results. With this era, Nvidia has actually upped its recreation with regards to design. Previous efforts really have felt premium in a sea of plastic coolers and shrouds, however the RTX 30 sequence takes that to an entire new degree.

The GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition is completely lovely. It feels heavy and costly, like a bit of finely crafted equipment, with its uncovered heatsink fins and steel body. There’s no RGB lighting right here however you do get an illuminated GeForce RTX brand on the highest and white accents lining the center of the body. It all feels concurrently industrial but refined. The design actually stands out, and that is earlier than we even get to the fully novel fan placement.

This is a big, chunky card. It’s longer than normal however really is not taller or wider, occupying a comparatively modest two slots. The predominant body is a darkish steel strip that is rounded on the corners. It varieties a form of figure-8 with an elongated mid-section, with almost your complete floor space that it encloses coated in uncovered heatsink fins. This can be a really heavy card, and you may actually really feel the load of the cooling system once you choose it up.

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The port choice is pretty customary, leaving room on the backplate for a big vent


You is perhaps shocked to see just one fan on the entrance, and that is as a result of there really is a second one on the rear. Nvidia has provide you with a unique twin-chamber design, wherein the higher fan acts extra like a standard blower and exhausts air by the again of your case, whereas the decrease one has its personal airflow path that expels scorching air upwards, to be sucked out by a case fan or radiator.

Looking carefully, you may see that the precise circuit board of the RTX 3080 Founders Edition ends earlier than the second fan, and you may look proper by the fins and out the opposite facet of the steel enclosure. Nvidia says an enormous quantity of engineering went into lowering board measurement to permit for this sort of airflow, and it was all crucial to realize the form of efficiency in addition to acoustics that it focused. The solely draw back we see is potential mud accumulation within the enormous expanses of uncovered fins.

Everything has been packed in denser and redesigned to scale back digital interference. One of the modifications required is a new 12-pin energy connector which is mounted perpendicular to the board and angled forwards. Nvidia features a brief adapter with the RTX 3080 Founders Edition. You’ll want two 8-pin PCIe energy connectors, and sadly cable routing is perhaps a problem, which considerably takes away from the hanging look of the cardboard itself. It would not seem that a lot of Nvidia’s companions have adopted the identical connector, and so it is perhaps some time earlier than energy provides undertake it natively. Some PSU manufacturers have already got their very own adapters on the market, or will ship them to verified house owners at no cost.

The rear of Nvidia’s Founders Edition card has one HDMI 2.1 and three ShowPort 1.4a connectors. The VirtualLink Type-C port for VR headsets seen on previous-generation playing cards has been dropped, since the usual has didn’t catch on. For this and non-overclocked third-party choices, the reference GPU base clock is 1440MHz and the increase velocity is 1710MHz. All playing cards will characteristic 10GB of GDDR6X reminiscence operating at 9500MHz on a 320-bit bus, for a complete 760GBps reminiscence bandwidth. PCIe 4.0 is supported. Total board energy is rated at 320W which is sort of excessive – previous-gen playing cards have been rated for 225-250W.

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The placement of the 12-pin energy connector may make cable administration troublesome


Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition efficiency

The take a look at setup for our GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition is unchanged in comparison with what we have used to check earlier generations. We’ve bought an AMD Ryzen 2 2700X CPU, a Gigabyte Aorus X470 Gaming 7 Wifi motherboard, 2x8GB of G.Skill F4-3400C16D-16GSXW DDR4 RAM, a 1TB Samsung 860 Evo SSD, and a Corsair RM650 energy provide. The monitor is an Asus PB287Q, which has a 4K decision however sadly would not help HDR or variable refresh charges. We used Windows 10 with all the most recent updates and patches. Nvidia equipped a pre-release driver, model 456.16.

Starting with 3DMark as normal, we noticed the GeForce RTX 3080 handily defeat the Zotac GeForce RTX 2080 Amp by 45-60 %. The new DLSS Feature take a look at in 3DMark indicated efficiency at 50.33fps with it off and 69.41fps with it on. The Port Royal ray tracing take a look at put up a rating of 10,721. We additionally ran the standalone Unigine Superposition take a look at, which managed 13,708 factors utilizing the 4K Optimised preset.

AMD at present would not have any providing that may put up such numbers, however that may change quickly with the impending launch of the Radeon RX 6000 sequence, primarily based on its “big Navi” GPU. The Radeon 5700XT is in a a lot lower cost and efficiency class, so we have left it out of this comparability desk.

  Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition Zotac GeForce RTX 2080 Amp
3DMark Port Royal 10,721 NA
3DMark Time Spy 13,996 9,505
3DMark Time Spy Extreme 7,191 NA
3DMark Fire Strike 25,461 19,461
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme 17,787 12,215
3DMark Fire Strike Ultra 10,520 6,498
Unigine Superposition (4K Optimised) 13,708 NA

Moving on to gameplay and recreation engine benchmarks, we determined to deal with efficiency at 4K, primarily based on Nvidia’s claims and projections. Starting with Shadow of the Tomb Raider, we set it to run at 4K utilizing the Highest high quality preset and TAA enabled. For this primary run, RTX ray tracing and DLSS have been turned off. The in-game benchmark confirmed intermittent tearing with its pans by expansive surroundings, however movement was in any other case crisp, and we bought a median of 66fps. With RTX DLSS turned on, textures have been nonetheless nice, and no enormous variations have been instantly distinguishable. However, the common rose solely to 69fps.

Middle Earth: Shadow of War additionally has an in-game benchmark and could be pushed fairly far. With the decision at 4K, graphical high quality set to Ultra, TAA enabled, and all different settings at Ultra or High, we bought a cushty and really playable common of 86fps.

Far Cry 5 pushed out a median of 73fps at 4K utilizing its Ultra preset, and every thing seemed {smooth}. We took the decision right down to 2560×1440 to see the distinction that will make, and bought a pleasant bump as much as 95fps. Metro: Last Light Redux managed to push out 58.79fps at 4K at Very High high quality with SSAA on and 4X AF.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt pushed out a really constant 85fps common with little variance, as measured by FRAPS in a handbook runthrough. The decision was set to 4K, with graphics high quality at Ultra and post-processing set to High. Next up, we tried the zombie shooter World War Z at 4K utilizing its Ultra preset. The built-in benchmark ran at a super-smooth 110fps with out breaking a sweat.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is pretty latest and demanding. We measured 47fps at 4K with the graphics high quality set to Ultra High. Taking that down a notch to Very High pushed our rating as much as 53fps. A decrease decision will likely be essential to run this recreation at a {smooth} 60+ fps.

To put the GeForce RTX 3080’s ray tracing and DLSS 2.0 capabilities to the take a look at, we fired up Control. The decision was set to 4K and show high quality to High. Starting with each options disabled, we famous a median of 77fps in a selected motion sequence utilizing Nvidia’s personal overlay. Turning Ray Tracing on and selecting the High high quality setting instantly pulled our common right down to about 47fps. DLSS ought to compensate for this, and now you can select your rendering and goal resolutions independently. With the latter set to 2560×1440, we really famous a soar as much as 80fps. In phrases of high quality, issues are trying good for DLSS – every thing was sharp and we had no complaints about picture high quality. This is the expertise we had in only one recreation, and that too on a really high-end GPU, nevertheless it does present that there are extra methods to enhance high quality than simply brute pressure rendering.

Just for enjoyable we fired up Quake II with Nvidia’s RTX renderer. This historic title actually should not look so good, nevertheless it’s able to utilizing ray tracing for lighting results which makes it really feel considerably recent. We pushed the decision all the best way as much as 4K and managed a median of 42fps.

All the engineering that went into the GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition card appears to have paid off – it hardly makes any sound, even underneath very heavy load. The “dustbuster” designs of the previous are lengthy behind us – you will solely hear a uninteresting whoosh when operating heavy video games or checks. However this card does push out a variety of scorching air, and does so fairly forcefully. On our open take a look at bench, we have been in a position to really feel it even two toes away from the rear vents. The steel body additionally bought too scorching to the touch for quite a lot of seconds. This card will doubtless run hotter and louder inside a small, cramped desktop enclosure, and it is going to be attention-grabbing to see how extra conventional triple-fan blowers on associate playing cards fare.

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The GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition has minimal lighting for a really understated look



The Ampere structure appears to be one more feather in Nvidia’s cap, persevering with an extended string of successes and placing some extreme pressure on AMD. Of course we mustn’t overlook that Intel can be arising with an enthusiast-class discrete GPU early subsequent 12 months, so issues are about to get very, very attention-grabbing for PC players. The GeForce RTX 3080 delivers glorious efficiency in right this moment’s video games – it is greater than sufficient for 1440p and it is best to be capable to push {smooth} 4K visuals with out a lot hassle.

The GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition is an exceptional piece of {hardware} when it comes to design. This card and the GPU it is primarily based round are nonetheless not with out some flaws – warmth is more likely to be a problem, energy consumption is sort of excessive, and 10GB of VRAM is not as a lot as many individuals have been anticipating this era to have. Performance is great, and a lot better than what you may get for this value a 12 months or two in the past.

All of which means whereas Rs. 71,000 will not be a foul value in any respect for the efficiency that you simply get, it is nonetheless method out of attain for the overwhelming majority of players and fans in India. Excellent efficiency at 4K is tantalising, however that is nonetheless a really area of interest goal decision right here, and we all know that individuals would a lot reasonably see how Nvidia will use its know-how to serve the decrease finish of the market. The GeForce RTX 30 sequence fashions introduced thus far are additionally nonetheless too costly to take ray tracing and DLSS mainstream.

There’s no telling but what Nvidia has in retailer for lower-priced fashions — we do not know whether or not the GeForce GTX sequence will proceed to serve budget-conscious consumers or if there’ll now be a full unfold of RTX fashions masking all tiers. We’ll have to attend no less than just a few months for the inevitable GeForce RTX 3060 and no matter else follows.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition
Rs. 71,000


  • Excellent efficiency at 1440p and 4K
  • DLSS is helpful. insupported video games
  • Looks unbelievable


  • Runs fairly scorching
  • Relatively excessive energy requirement

Ratings (out of 5)

  • Performance: 4.5
  • Value for Money: 4
  • Overall: 4.5
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