EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 FTW3 Ultra is the company's premium air-cooled graphics card based on the swanky new GeForce RTX 3080 "Ampere" GPU that everyone wants a piece of. The FTW3 Ultra in this review is a fully custom-design rendition of the RTX 3080 by EVGA, and is targeted at those who seek a well-rounded RTX 3080 card complete with all the overclocking features and RGB bling characteristic of premium-custom graphics cards. EVGA seems to have listened to what the high-end market wants in terms of aesthetics, and has given the FTW3 Ultra generous amounts of RGB lighting and product style. We see a unique "V3" arrangement of fans on this massive graphics card.
The GeForce RTX 3080 "Ampere" is being pushed by NVIDIA as its latest flagship graphics card, even knowing that the faster RTX 3090 exists, too. This is because the RTX 3080 10 GB is targeted squarely at gamers who want to play at 4K UHD with RTX raytracing turned on, unlike the RTX 3090, which has potential benefits for the creator crowd thanks to its massive 24 GB memory. The RTX 3080 offers AAA RTX gaming at 4K UHD at a price you got 1440p-class graphics cards for. The new Ampere graphics architecture by NVIDIA brings you the 2nd generation of the company's RTX real-time raytracing technology. NVIDIA perfected a means of combining traditional raster graphics with certain real-time raytraced elements, such as lighting, shadows, reflections, ambient occlusion, and global illumination, to make the hybrid raster+raytraced 3D scene as true to life as possible. With the 2nd gen RTX, NVIDIA is introducing raytraced motion-blur, an effect that's so difficult to pull off in real-time, that it takes fixed-function hardware.
The 2nd generation RTX is a combination of the new "Ampere" CUDA core that can process concurrent FP32+INT32 operations, 2nd generation RT cores that feature dedicated hardware with temporal components to accelerate raytraced motion-blur, besides a doubling in raytracing performance over "Turing" RT cores, and the new 3rd generation Tensor cores that leverage the sparsity phenomenon in deep-learning neural nets to accelerate AI inference performance by an order of magnitude over the previous generation. NVIDIA heavily leverages AI in its consumer graphics stack, including an AI-based denoiser for RTX, and for the DLSS performance enhancing feature.
NVIDIA has also more than doubled the SIMD horsepower of the RTX 3080 over its predecessor, the RTX 2080, with a staggering 8,704 CUDA cores, 68 RT cores, 272 tensor cores, 272 TMUs, and 96 ROPs. To ensure a steady stream of data to these, the company sought to significantly increase the memory bandwidth, by opting not just for 10 GB of memory across a 320-bit wide memory interface, but innovating a whole new memory standard—GDDR6X, which ticks at a blistering 19 Gbps, working out to 760 GB/s of memory bandwidth—70% higher than that of the RTX 2080. The new "GA102" silicon at the heart of the RTX 3080 is built on a new 8 nm silicon fabrication process Samsung designed specially for NVIDIA. The card also takes advantage of PCI-Express 4.0 x16, which means it is ready for new-generation desktop platforms.
The GeForce RTX 3080 FTW3 Ultra won't be what it is without the innovative new iCX3 cooling solution by EVGA. This triple-slot cooler leverages a large aluminium fin-stack heatsink with high fin surface area; and three hydro-dynamic bearing fans that are arranged such that the middle fan is pushed slightly off the alignment of the two other fans. EVGA also innovated cutouts in the PCB at various places, so air from the cooler can flow right through, similar to the dual axial flow-through cooling solution of the Founders Edition card. The FTW3 also features three 8-pin PCIe power inputs to support overclocking headroom for the RTX 3080, which pulls 320 W typical board power even in its reference speeds. It won't be an FTW3 card without a meaty factory-overclock, and EVGA has tuned the card to go up to 1800 MHz GPU Boost out of the box, compared to 1710 MHz reference. EVGA is pricing the RTX 3080 FTW3 Ultra at USD $810, a $110 premium over the Founders Edition card. EVGA also has the RTX 3080 FTW3 Gaming, at $790, which is the exact same card, just with lower clocks out of the box.