NVIDIA today refreshed the top-end of the GeForce RTX 30-series "Ampere" family of graphics cards with the new GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, which we're testing for you today. The RTX 3080 Ti is being considered the next flagship gaming product, picking up the mantle from the RTX 3080. While the RTX 3090 is positioned higher in the stack, NVIDIA has been treating it as a TITAN-like halo product for not just gaming, but also quasi-professional use cases. The RTX 3080 Ti has the same mandate as the RTX 3080—to offer leadership gaming performance with real-time raytracing at 4K UHD resolution.
NVIDIA's announcement of the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti and RTX 3070 Ti was likely triggered by AMD's unexpected success in taking a stab at the high-end market after many years with its Radeon RX 6800 series and RX 6900 XT "Big Navi" GPUs, which are able to compete with the RTX 3080, RTX 3070, and even pose a good alternative to the RTX 3090. NVIDIA possibly found itself staring at a large gap between the RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 that needed to be filled. We hence have the RTX 3080 Ti.
The GeForce RTX 3080 Ti is based on the same 8 nm GA102 silicon as the RTX 3080, but with more CUDA cores, while maxing out the 384-bit wide GDDR6X memory bus. It only has slightly fewer CUDA cores than the RTX 3090, the memory size is 12 GB as opposed to 24 GB, and the memory clock is slightly lower. NVIDIA has given the RTX 3080 Ti a grand 10,240 CUDA cores spread across 80 streaming multiprocessors, 320 3rd Gen Tensor cores that accelerate AI and DLSS, and 80 2nd Gen RT cores. It also has all 112 ROPs enabled, besides 320 TMUs. The 12 GB of memory maxes out the 384-bit memory bus, but the memory clock runs at 19 Gbps (compared to 19.5 Gbps on the RTX 3090). Memory bandwidth hence is 912.4 GB/s.
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Founders Edition looks similar in design to the RTX 3080 Founders Edition. NVIDIA is pricing the card at $1,200, or about $200 higher than the Radeon RX 6900 XT. The AMD flagship is really the main target of this NVIDIA launch, as it has spelled trouble for the RTX 3080. As rumors of the RTX 3080 Ti picked up pace, AMD worked with its board partners to release an enthusiast-class RX 6900 XT refresh based on the new "XTXH" silicon that can sustains 10% higher clock-speeds. In this review, we compare the RTX 3080 Ti with all the SKUs in its vicinity to show you if it's worth stretching your penny to $1,200, or whether you could save some money by choosing this card over the RTX 3090.
|RTX 3060 Ti||$1300||4864||80||1410 MHz||1665 MHz||1750 MHz||GA104||17400M||8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit|
|RX 6700 XT||$1000||2560||64||2424 MHz||2581 MHz||2000 MHz||Navi 22||17200M||12 GB, GDDR6, 192-bit|
|RTX 2080 Ti||$1400||4352||88||1350 MHz||1545 MHz||1750 MHz||TU102||18600M||11 GB, GDDR6, 352-bit|
|RTX 3070||$1300||5888||96||1500 MHz||1725 MHz||1750 MHz||GA104||17400M||8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit|
|RX 6800||$1400||3840||96||1815 MHz||2105 MHz||2000 MHz||Navi 21||26800M||16 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit|
|RX 6800 XT||$1700||4608||128||2015 MHz||2250 MHz||2000 MHz||Navi 21||26800M||16 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit|
|RTX 3080||$1500||8704||96||1440 MHz||1710 MHz||1188 MHz||GA102||28000M||10 GB, GDDR6X, 320-bit|
|RTX 3080 Ti||$2000|
|10240||112||1365 MHz||1665 MHz||1188 MHz||GA102||28000M||12 GB, GDDR6X, 384-bit|
|RX 6900 XT||$2100||5120||128||2015 MHz||2250 MHz||2000 MHz||Navi 21||26800M||16 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit|
|RTX 3090||$2900||10496||112||1395 MHz||1695 MHz||1219 MHz||GA102||28000M||24 GB, GDDR6X, 384-bit|
The GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Founders Edition uses the same cooler as the RTX 3080. You have one fan on each side of the card, with the fan on the left sucking air in from the bottom of the case and routing and exhausting it through the slot-cover opening. The second fan sucks air in from below and pushes it out above the card—near the CPU cooler, where a case fan is usually installed to exhaust the warm air. Visually, the card looks amazing, with an almost iPhone-like clean design of matte and shiny metal surfaces.
Dimensions of the card are 29 x 11 cm, and it weighs 1364 g.
Installation requires two slots in your system.
Display connectivity options include three standard DisplayPort 1.4a and one HDMI 2.1. The DisplayPort 1.4a outputs support Display Stream Compression (DSC) 1.2a, which lets you connect 4K displays at 120 Hz and 8K displays at 60 Hz. Ampere can drive two 8K displays at 60 Hz with just one cable per display.
Ampere is the first GPU to support HDMI 2.1, which increases bandwidth to 48 Gbps to support higher resolutions, like 4K144 and 8K30, with a single cable. With DSC, this goes up to 4K240 and 8K120. NVIDIA's new NVENC/NVDEC video engine is optimized to handle video tasks with minimal CPU load. The highlight here is added support for AV1 decode. Just like on Turing, you may also decode MPEG-2, VC1, VP8, VP9, H.264, and H.265 natively, at up to 8K@12-bit.
The encoder is identical to Turing. It supports H.264, H.265, and lossless at up to 8K@10-bit.
Just like the RTX 3080, and other Ampere cards, the RTX 3080 Ti Founders Edition uses the NVIDIA 12-pin power connector. It's basically a much more compact solution to provide a lot of power for the card. The 12-pin carries up to 300 W of power, the equivalent of two 8-pin PCIe power cables. Total available power is 375 W (300 W from the 12-pin + 75 W from the PCIe slot). With every Founders Edition, NVIDIA includes a 2x 8-pin to 12-pin adapter cable, so you're good to go and don't need any special adapters.
Unfortunately, NVIDIA has placed it in the middle of the card, which makes the life of case modders more difficult because cleanly routing the cable won't be easy.
The GeForce RTX 3080 Ti does not support SLI.
TeardownI'll spare you all the disassembly details as they are exactly the same as for the RTX 3080. Find our detailed step-by-step guide here.
NVIDIA's Ampere Founders Edition cooler design is a technological marvel. It's extremely well engineered and very compact, yet still easy to maintain.
NVIDIA's cooler uses a large vapor chamber base paired with four heatpipes. A 85 mm fan is installed on each side.
The thermal pads on the back of the cooler are 1.3 mm thick, and the thermal pads for memory and VRM on the front are 1.5 mm thick.
High-resolution PCB PicturesThese pictures are for the convenience of volt modders and people who would like to see all the finer details on the PCB. Feel free to link back to us and use these in your articles, videos or forum posts.
High-res versions are also available (front, back).
Our Patreon Silver Supporters can read articles in single-page format.