Nvidia faces two major challenges in 2021. First, nobody who needs to truly play video games on a GPU should purchase 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 remedy them or merely kick the can additional down the highway? I spent a while testing out the new graphics card to search out out if it ranks amongst the greatest graphics playing cards you should buy.
My overview unit was a 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 stunning shroud.
The cooling is best than in the 20-series mannequin, too, utilizing the similar “push-pull” fan system as the remainder of the 30-series playing cards.
The system stored the card a lot 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 rapidly, and in when it’s pushed to it’s max, reminiscent of 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 different RTX 30-series playing cards, which was already a superb deal quieter than the 20-series.
After all, there might be loads of third social gathering designs that take a extra brute pressure strategy to cooling. As all the time, the Founders Version model of the RTX 3080 Ti will possible be the most lovely design, however not the strongest.
The RTX 3080 Ti is the very same dimension as the RTX 3080 at 11.2 by 1.4 inches. It’s a normal two-slot card, nevertheless it’s fairly lengthy. It may be a decent squeeze when you’ve got additional storage cages in your case or try to plop it right into a smaller prebuilt desktop. It’ll match nicely sufficient into our 30-liter case, although, and it’s virtually a full inch shorter. That makes it a way more manageable improve than the RTX 3090.
A “way more manageable RTX 3090” is an efficient description of the RTX 3080 Ti on the whole. It has all the energy of that top-end card with none of the pointless baggage.
Port choice on again is the similar as each the RTX 3090 and the RTX 3080: Three DisplayPort 1.4a ports and one HDMI 2.1.
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 have 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|
|Interface||PCIe 4.0||PCIe 4.0||PCIe 4.0|
|Reminiscence||12GB GDDR6X||24GB GDDR6X||10GB GDDR6X|
The first distinction is the reminiscence quantity. The RTX 3080 Ti has half as a lot, down from 24GB to 12GB. Video games gained’t know what to do with 24GB of VRAM anyhow, making the 12GB of the RTX 3080 Ti a extra reasonable quantity. The RTX 3090 continues to be a greater half for the heaviest of workloads, reminiscent of 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 two.
Is it value the additional $500 over the RTX 3080 although? It’s a troublesome name — however when it comes to specs and efficiency, the RTX 3080 Ti is far nearer to the 3090 than the 3080.
Importantly, the RTX 3080 Ti continues to be $200 dearer than the AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT, which was solely marginally slower than the RTX 3090.
No matter which of those three playing cards you get, Nvidia recommends not less than 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 Price. I’m no Ethereum miner — so I wasn’t capable of take a look at this myself — however the thought is that the hash fee limiter ought to make the playing cards much less enticing for cryptocurrency mining.
I examined the Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti in a system paired with the Intel Core i9-10900K 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 similar system. The RX 6900 XT outcomes proven in the chart under, nevertheless, have been examined in a distinct system with the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X. That’s not superb, however sadly it’s not a graphics card I had readily available to retest in the similar 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 Hearth Strike||30951||28460||38911|
|Murderer’s Creed Valhalla||56||52||69|
The RTX 3080 Ti is clearly extra highly effective than the RTX 3080 — nevertheless it’s not by quite a bit. The 9% distinction in Time Spy scores carries by fairly evenly throughout video games too, with the RTX 3080 Ti beating the RTX 3080 by a couple of frames per second. You may count on 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 bear in mind when contemplating the $1,200 worth level of the RTX 3080 Ti.
The comparability to the Radeon RX 6900 XT is fascinating, nevertheless. 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 count on the RX 6900 XT to be up by a couple 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 major weak spot of the Radeon RX 6900 XT. The corporate is simply now starting to make some headway on its reply to DLSS, referred to as the FidelityFX Tremendous Decision. Nvidia has a couple of years of growth over AMD in each ray tracing and A.I., making the RTX 3080 Ti the apparent alternative over the RX 6900 XT should you’ve been desirous 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 all the time steadily deal with this sport at 60-plus fps — not less than not with out decreasing picture high quality with the increased settings of DLSS.
In comparison with AMD graphics playing cards, although, the RTX 3080 Ti is a ray tracing machine. It’s additionally a more practical half for content material creation and 3D modeling. The RTX 3080 was already a greater choice 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 in the PugetBench Adobe Premiere benchmark. Which means smoother playback and sooner exports.
Must you purchase one?
A $1,200 price ticket for a graphics card is ungodly. It’s method an excessive amount of cash to spend on a single element in your system. And but individuals proceed to do it — and for playing cards much more meager than the RTX 3080 Ti. With that in thoughts, the proposition of shopping for a card as highly effective as the RTX 3080 Ti doesn’t appear fairly so loopy.
Sometime, the GPU provide problem will lapse, and costs could normalize — however we could have moved on to the subsequent technology 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 state of affairs by a lot, however having one other fantastically highly effective graphics card on the market can’t harm.