Nvidia RTX 4080 vs RTX 3080 Comparison: Which is Better for You? [Benchmark]

Comparing the RTX 3080 against the RTX 4080 graphics card

In today’s article, we’ll discuss the RTX 4080 and how it differs from the RTX 3080. We couldn’t help but compare these two models from different generations. After all, many consider the 3080 the best GPU from the RTX 30 series, even if it was plagued by high prices and stock shortages at the height of its popularity. 

We’ll share everything you need to know about these two GPUs’ specs, pricing, performance, and power consumption. We aim to help you decide if paying extra for an RTX 40 series is worth it or if a less expensive GPU with more modest specs is enough for your needs.

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Specification Comparison: RTX 4080 vs RTX 3080 

GPU SpecificationsRTX 4080RTX 3080 
CUDA Cores97288704
Tensor Cores304272
RT Cores7668
ArchitectureAda LovelaceAmpere
Processor Size4nm8nm
Base Clock Speed2205 MHz1440 MHz
Boost Clock Speed2505 MHz1710 MHz
VRAM/Memory Size16GB10GB
Maximum Resolution7680 x 43207680 x 4320
Recommended PSU Wattage850 Watts850 Watts
TGP/TDP320 Watts320-350 Watts

The two GPUs show a big difference in performance, as you can see in the comparison table above. As expected, the 4080 dominates over the 3080 in terms of specs, as it belongs to Nvidia’s latest line of GPUs. But is it really the best option for you?

Performance Difference: RTX 4080 vs RTX 3080

The RTX 4080, powered by the new Ada Lovelace architecture, is designed to provide exceptional ray tracing and AI-based neural graphics. Right off the bat, it’s clear how much more powerful the RTX 4080 is than the RTX 3080. Not only does it have more CUDA, RT, and tensor cores, but it also has higher clock speeds. With a base clock speed of 2205 MHz and a boost clock speed of 2505 MHz, older GPUs simply can’t keep up. And with a massive 16GB VRAM, you can expect many great things from this GPU. 

The 4080 also features DLSS 3.0, a technology most modern games use. This guarantees accelerated AI performance, making it possible to play games at higher resolutions. It is powered by fourth-gen tensor cores, which are exclusive to the RTX 40 series. So you won’t see the DLSS 3.0 in the previous GPU generations. Moreover, its New Streaming Multiprocessors deliver twice the performance and efficiency when playing or streaming games.

The RTX 3080, on the other hand, is based on the Ampere architecture. Although it pales in comparison with the RTX 4080 in terms of performance, its specs aren’t too shabby at all. Despite being released earlier as part of the previous RTX series, it remains one of the most popular GPUs up to this day. 

It has more CUDA cores and faster clock speeds than most other GPUs, making it a good choice for professionals and gamers who want the best value for money. It uses DLSS 2.0 to enhance AI performance. It may not be as advanced as DLSS 3.0, but it’s still a powerful technology. 

Unfortunately, it never really had the chance to shine as it was born during what was dubbed the “great GPU shortage.” Either it was always out of stock or super expensive if available. Now that its price has become more affordable, it’s being overshadowed by the latest generation of Nvidia GPUs. So most people never really saw its full potential.

Price Difference: RTX 4080 vs RTX 3080

Using Money to buy a GPU

The 4080 is one amazing GPU. It’s jam-packed with next-gen features that’ll surely future-proof your system for many years. But with a price tag of $1,199, it may not be so accessible after all. And this is just the MSRP we’re talking about.

The GPU is more likely to sell for more as different graphics card brands put their own spin on it. But no matter where you get it from, its price is a little questionable. Even the massive inflation we’re experiencing isn’t enough to justify such a ridiculously overblown price. It’s almost the price of a pre-built system featuring a 3080. 

The 3080 has a more modest MSRP of $699. But since it was released during the height of the GPU shortage, its price spiked uncontrollably up. It has somewhat gone back down but not entirely. It’s hard finding a brand-new 3080 for less than $800 these days. If you’re not too picky, you can buy a second-hand or refurbished video card to cut costs. Of course, the trade-off is a shorter GPU lifespan.

Power Consumption

The RTX 3080 consumes 320 to 350 Watts. On the other hand, the RTX 4080 has a TGP of 320 Watts, which is basically the same as the power consumption of the 3080 but with twice the performance metrics. This shows how impressive Nvidia’s technology has evolved over the years. Although it uses the same GDDR6X VRAM known for its overheating issues, the 4080 comes with a highly efficient cooling system for TDP to mitigate this problem.

When choosing a power supply unit, make sure it has enough wattage to support your whole build and not just the GPU. As a rule of thumb, it should be 20% more than what you need. You should also look into the PSU’s grade rating. Generic PSUs are very cheap, but they’re not very stable. 

We highly recommend getting a power supply unit with at least 850 Watts and a rating of 80 Plus Bronze. You can maybe get by with a 750-Watt PSU. But power can spike up, especially when gaming. If this happens, you risk damaging your system.

Other Hardware Features and Sizes

Both GPUs feature three DisplayPort 1.4a and a single HDMI 2.0 port. As for memory, the RTX 3080 has 10GB, and the 4080 has 16GB. This clearly gives the latter an advantage over graphics data storage. 

Additionally, the 4080 uses the Ada Lovelace architecture, the latest from Nvidia. It’s based on TSMC’s 4nm N4 technology, while the RTX 3080 uses Samsung’s 8nm process. Without this smaller process node, the 4080’s energy consumption would go through the roof, given its powerful features. 

Despite its smaller process node, the 4080 is actually bigger than the 3080 due to its bigger cooler. While this significantly reduces heat and noise, it makes the video card much bigger than most PC cases can accommodate. The RTX 4080 measures 12.3 x 5.35 x 2.12 inches, which is significantly larger than the RTX 3080. In fact, it’s almost the size of an Xbox Series S. That’s pretty large. So if clearance in your PC case is already an issue, you may want to get the 3080 instead, which is only 11.2 inches long.

Benchmark Tests

Let’s watch Testing Games test the two GPUs in 10 different games to compare their benchmarks.

Is the RTX 4080 Worth it?

As always, the choice depends on your needs and budget. If it’s just a question of power, the 4080 is the sure winner. But if you’re more interested in value for money, then that’s a whole different conversation. While the 4080 delivers ultra performance, it’s almost double the price of the 3080. That’s something to think about. 

You won’t get DLSS 3.0 and other next-gen features with the 3080, but DLSS 2.0 isn’t half bad. If you’re simply after a standard performance for a good price, the 3080 won’t disappoint. Plus, it’s physically smaller than the 4080, making it perfect for PC cases with limited space. Of course, value for money is subjective. If you absolutely have to have DLSS 3.0, then the upgrade to the 4080 will be more than justified.

Lucas Coulson

I first got into building my own computer when I was around 12 or 13. The first computer I had ever built didn't work. So I kept researching to figure what I did wrong. I really enjoyed researching, learning, and building computers, so I decided to turn it into an online business, and here I am.

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