NVIDIA RTX 3080 Ti Review: A luxurious upgrade

RDW 17/07/2021 389
11:21

The goal of NVIDIA RTX 3080 Ti is obvious. After launching the RTX 3080 at a price of US$699 last year and the powerful but expensive RTX 3090 at a price of US$1,499, the chip giant is filling this price gap with a card of US$1,199. It also caused trouble for loyal RTX 2080 Ti customers, who did not have a clear upgrade path for the latest generation of GPUs. But is it really worth $500 than the excellent RTX 3080? This depends on many factors, but mainly depends on the size of your wallet and your patience to compete with other buyers in the highly competitive GPU market.

As we pointed out when the RTX 3080 Ti was announced, it's undoubtedly the worst time to buy a new video card. Manufacturers can't make enough to keep up with demand, which means scalpers are making a killing by quickly snapping everything up and reselling at a premium. At least the RTX 3080 Ti, and its less powerful sibling the 3070 Ti, are hash limited, so they won't be of any use to cryptocurrency miners.

NVIDIA

GeForce RTX 3080 Ti

87SCOREEngadget87Critics - Not yet scoredN/AUsers - Not yet scoredN/ABuy Now

Pros

Genuinely faster than the RTX 3080 Excellent ray tracing performance

Cons

Far pricier than the 3080 Fans can be loud and run often It’s basically going to be a unicorn in storesDevindra Hardawar/Engadget

Given the state of the market, though, you can expect to spend a lot more than $1,199 if you do find a 3080 Ti. And things are even worse if you look to eBay and other secondary sellers, where the midrange, theoretically affordable $499 RTX 3070 is selling for upwards of $1,500. That's the price of an entire computer! But if you're willing to step into this world of madness, at least the 3080 Ti is a capable performer.

CardRTX 3080RTX 3080 TiRTX 3090SM count688082CUDA cores8,70410,24010,496RT cores688082Tensor cores272320328Boost clock1,710MHz1,665MHz1,695MHzMemory10GB GDDR6X12GB GDDR6X24GB GDDR6XMemory bandwidth760 GB/s912 GB/s936 GB/sTDP320W350W350WPrice$699$1,199$1,499

The benchmarks tell all: It hit 8,683 on the 3DMark TimeSpy Extreme test, 600 points more than the 3080. And it was almost 1,000 points faster than the Radeon 6800 XT, AMD's top-end $999 GPU. As for real-world 3080 Ti gameplay, I saw nearly 200fps in Destiny 2running at 1,440p with maxed out graphics settings. Typically, I'd have to lower graphical flourishes to get anywhere near that number, even with the RTX 3080.

None

3DMark TimeSpy Extreme

Destiny 2

Hitman 3

Port Royal (ray tracing)

NVIDIA RTX 3080 Ti

8,683

1440p: 175-195fps4K: 130-145fps

1440p: 170fps4K: 110fps

12,948/59.95fps

NVIDIA RTX 3080

8,009

1440p: 150-165fps4K: 100-115fps

1440p: 161fps4K: 98fps

11,623/53.81fps

NVIDIA RTX 3070

6,226

1440: 140-150fps 4K: 76-87fps

1440p: 151fps4K: 83fps

8,032/37fps

AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT

7,713

1440p: 100-120fps 4K: 85-105fps

1440p: 198fps 4K: 110fps

9104/42.15fps

AMD Radeon RX 6800

6,742

1440p: 80-100fps4K: 82-102fps

1440p: 185fps4K: 100fps

7669/35.51fps

All benchmarks run at the highest graphical settings on a PC powered by a Ryzen 7 5800X and 32GB of RAM.

So sure, it's fast. But what really makes the 3080 Ti stand out from the rest of NVIDIA's sub-$1,000 lineup is its ray tracing performance. In the Port Royal RT benchmark, it reached 12,948 points — but most importantly, it averaged a steady 60fps for that test. In comparison, the 3080 hit 11,623 points at a 54fps average, while the 6800 XT hit just 9,104 points at around 42fps. Benchmark scores are nice for comparing performance figures, but it's framerate bumps that you'll actually notice.

Similarly, 3080 Ti also solves Control's demanding ray tracing problem. It reached 85 to 90 fps at 1,440p, with the largest graphics and medium ray tracing settings. Although impressive, this is only 5 to 10 fps higher than what I saw on the 3080. The strange thing is that these two cards provide similar performance when playing at 4K using NVIDIA's DLSS technology, which upgrades the rendered graphics from 1,440p. I was able to turn up the ray tracing settings and still see a steady 65 to 70 fps on the 3080 and 3080 Ti. It may just be that the game has not been fully optimized for NVIDIA’s faster hardware.

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