Now that the stocks are being (somewhat) replenished and you’re looking to upgrade your graphics card with Nvidia’s RTX 30 series, you might be wondering whether to go for the RTX 3080 or the RTX 3080 Ti.
For the purposes of this comparison, we will only look at Nvidia’s Founders editions of the RTX 30 series, but be aware that on the market, you will encounter different variations of the GPU. These can range from factory overclocks to different assemblers, so the base or standard editions of the GPU will be the fairest and most accurate comparison as the VRAM and chip will be exactly the same in all the variations.
The performance of different variations of the GPU will perform differently from one another. If you do come across the RTX 30 series with a variation such as SUPRIM X or VENTUS 3X, you might want to check and compare their specs individually.
As previously mentioned, for the purposes of this guide, we will focus on the standard editions of RTX 3080 and the RTX 3080 Ti.
The technical specifications for the GPUs are as follows:
| ||RTX 3080 ||RTX 3080 Ti |
|Architecture ||Ampere ||Ampere |
|GPU Variant ||GA102-200-KD-A1 ||GA102-225-A1 |
|Base Clock ||1,440 MHz ||1,365 MHz |
|Boost Clock ||1,710 MHz ||1,665 MHz |
|Memory Clock ||1,188 MHz (19 Gbps effective) ||1,188 MHz (19 Gbps effective) |
|Memory Size ||10 GB ||12 GB |
|Memory Type ||GDDR6X ||GDDR6X |
|Memory Bandwidth ||760.3 GB/s ||912.4 GB/s |
|DirectX ||12 Ultimate (12.2) ||12 Ultimate (12.2) |
|OpenGL ||4.6 ||4.6 |
|OpenCL ||3.0 ||3.0 |
|Vulkan ||1.2 ||1.2 |
|CUDA ||8.6 ||8.6 |
|Shaders ||8,704 ||10,240 |
|TMUs ||272 ||320 |
|ROPs ||96 ||112 |
|SM Count ||68 ||80 |
|Tensor Cores ||272 ||320 |
|RT Cores ||68 ||80 |
|L1 Cache ||128 KB (per SM) ||128 KB (per SM) |
|L2 Cache ||5 MB ||6 MB |
|Price ||£1,099 ||£1,449 |
|Launch Date ||Sept 1st 2020 ||June 1st 2021 |
From the technical standpoint and comparison above, RTX 3080 Ti is superior, and objectively, it is supposed to be. There’s really no argument in that RTX 3080 Ti performs better than RTX 3080, but whether it is worth an extra £300 depends on how what you want out of your gaming as well as your budget.
From a gaming standpoint, the RTX 3080 is an extremely powerful GPU and one the best ones from Nvidia. If you’re looking for a high-end gaming PC, then the RTX 3080 is a high-end gaming GPU, but if you’re looking ultra-high end, enthusiast level of gaming and have the budget and the rest of the rig to match it, then the RTX 3080 Ti or RTX 3090 are the GPUs you’d want to consider.
RTX 3080 vs RTX 3080Ti Benchmark Performance
So, let’s see what extra £300 buys you in terms of performance of the RTX 3080 Ti as compared to the vanilla RTX 3080. The following benchmarks have been measured by users of both GPUs, courtesy of UserBenchmark.com. This is a curation of several users who have benchmarked the GPUs, so consider it a guide rather than an absolute.
|RTX 3080 Ti ||RTX 3080 |
|14% Faster effective speed || |
|15% Better reflection handling || |
|14% Faster multi-rendering || |
|13% Faster Nbody calculation || |
|14% Better peak lighting effects || |
|15% Better peak reflection handling || |
|13% Peak multi-rendering || |
|11% Faster peak Nbody calculation || |
|14% Higher market share || |
| ||67% More popular |
| ||27% Cheaper |
|Much more recent || |
| ||49% better value |
|17% Peak texture detail || |
|10% Faster peak complex splatting || |
|18% Better texture detail || |
|11% Faster complex splatting || |
Whether you believe an extra £300 is worth it for the performance the RTX 3080 Ti gives for what you need it for is up to you and your budget, though we believe that the performance is worth the price based solely on the benchmarks. If you’re building your whole rig and do not believe the slight performance increases would make a whole lot of difference to your gaming, then picking up aRTX 3080 and using the extra £300 for a solid gaming monitor might be a better value for money.
If you’re upgrading from, let’s say theRTX 3070 Ti, then it might make more sense to you to go for the RTX 3080 Ti.
What about the RTX 3090?
The spec differences between the RTX 3080 and the RTX 3090 are far starker than they are between the RTX 3080 and the RTX 3080 Ti, however if you’re looking to skip both and move straight to the RTX 3090, be prepared for a much higher price tag.
The RTX 3090 goes beyond the high-end gaming set up and into ultra-high-end enthusiast territory. If you’re looking for a GPU of this strength, make sure you have the CPU that can handle it in order to avoid bottlenecking, including a monitor that will let you adequately experience the unparalleled ray tracing and performance that these GPUs offer. This will also make sure that you get the most bang for your buck.
For many people, all three graphics cards are somewhat of a unicorn, so in addition to their steep price, their availability can also be an issue. This is also one of the main reasons for such a steep price, so if your budget allows it and you’re looking to make the ultimate rig, then skip both the RTX 3080 and RTX 3080 Ti and go straight for the RTX 3090.
Which one should I buy?
If you’re looking for a GPU that can handle video editing and 3D imaging, the type of performance increase would probably not do much for you, and you’d already be looking at the RTX 3090 or a workstation equivalent.
Judging solely between the RTX 3080 and RTX 3080 Ti to the exclusion of all variants as well as the ultra-high-end RTX 3090, the RTX 3080 Ti is worth the price tag if you are looking for that extra kick in gaming performance, and have a really good monitor that can reflect the performance and power of the RTX 3080 Ti.
The difference will be extremely noticeable between the RTX 3070 Ti and RTX 3080 Ti, and if you’re looking to upgrade in that case, then you should go for the RTX 3080 Ti. If you’re looking to upgrade from the RTX 3080 to a RTX 3080 Ti, then the difference in performance may not justify the price, as you’re not looking at a £300 difference anymore, but a whole new graphics card with a much higher price tag, which may not perform drastically differently to your vanilla RTX 3080.