NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 vs. RTX 3090 Ti

NVIDIA launched the GeForce RTX 4080 alongside the RTC 4090 at the end of 2022. The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti is part of the previous generation of graphics cards but was released at the start of 2022. When shopping around for a powerful 4K GPU, which should you choose between the two? This guide will reveal all.


  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080

    Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Founders Edition

    The second-best RTX 40 series GPU from NVIDIA, slotting in just behind the RTX 4090 at launch. It may not offer great value, but this remains to be one amazing video card for playing all your favorite games.

  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti

    NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti

    The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti may come from an older generation of GPUs, but this monster is capable of supplying a healthy rate of frames to a 4K monitor with most visual settings cranked up high.

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 launched as the second-best GPU, replacing the RTX 3080 but comes with better performance than the RTX 3090 Ti. This is a similar story to the RTX 30 launch compared to older RTX 20 series cards. Unfortunately, for consumers, NVIDIA has also increased the MSRP of its graphics cards, and you can expect to pay a fair chunk of change for the RTX 4080.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti

Architecture

Ada Lovelace

Ampere

Process

4 nm

8 nm

Transistors

45.9 billion

28.3 billion

Compute Units

76

84

Ray Accelerators

76

84

Stream Processors

9,728

10,752

Base Clock Speed

2.205 MHz

1.560 MHz

Boost Clock Speed

2.505 MHz

1.860 MHz

Memory Capacity

16 GB GDDR6X

24 GB GDDR6X

Memory Bus

256-bit

384-bit

Memory Bandwidth

716.8 GB/s

1.008 GB/s

Power Draw

320 W

450 W

Price

$1,199

$1,999

Specifications are very different between the two GPUs. The RTX 3090 Ti wins outright for RAM capacity, memory bandwidth, and core counts. NVIDIA was able to cram inside the RTX 4080 the latest generation processing cores, as well as a much more efficient manufacturing process that also allowed the company to lower power draw.


Architecture

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 Ti GPU on a black background

The newer NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 is built using the 4nm Ada Lovelace architecture. The RTX 3090 Ti was built on an older 8nm process with Ampere. The move to Lovelace brings with it 3rd-gen ray tracing cores, 4th-gen tensor cores, and far better efficiency. This allows NVIDIA to extract more performance without simply adding more cores and calling it a day.

The RTX 3090 Ti has a TDP of 450W while the RTX 4080 has a TDP of 320W, but the RTX 4080 is capable of boosting at considerably faster clock speeds. This architecture shift allows the RTX 40 cards to punch above their weight and appear slightly underpowered on paper.

Price

One would assume that $1,199 for better performance than the $1,999 RTX 3090 Ti would be a good deal, but you have to look closer at what’s on offer. The RTX 3090 Ti had an inflated price at launch and $1,200 for a GPU that isn’t the flagship is asking a lot from PC gamers. Neither GPU is a particularly great value proposition.

If you want the very best performance, go with the RTX 4080, but we recommend shopping around and holding out for price drops.

Performance

Going by SKU numbering, you’d naturally assume the RTX 3090 Ti would still hold enough power to decimate the RTX 4080 in games, but you’d be wrong in doing so. Ada Lovelace graphics cards from NVIDIA are exceptionally powerful with a more efficient platform and plenty of new tech to utilize. It has few stream processors, as well as RT cores, but still manages to come out on top.

Where the RTX 3090 Ti may have an edge is with its RAM capacity. 16GB is a lot of system memory for the GPU to work with, but the RTX 3090 Ti has 24GB. VRAM can quickly get eaten up by high-resolution textures and other data. Both GPUs should have enough for 4K gaming, but you will be able to load more higher-resolution textures on the older GPU before running out of space.

Which GPU is better?

This depends on which you can find a better price. The RTX 3090 Ti was a fantastic card at release, but if the RTX 4080 is available at near MSRP, it would be the better deal — even if it’s not quite a good deal itself. The RTX 4080 is the better-performing GPU overall, but the RTX 3090 Ti can strike back in more demanding games at 4K with more high-res textures.

If we were to recommend just one, we’d go with the RTX 4080. It’s the one best GPU of the two. It has a newer architecture, lower power draw, is capable of running quieter, and comes with all the latest generation NVIDIA cores. Should you already own an RTX 3090 Ti, we’d recommend keeping it since it’s a fantastic 4K card and see what NVIDIA comes up with for the inevitable RTX 50 series.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Founders Edition

This is the better pick for getting more for your money out of the two. It’s the better-performing GPU compared to the older RTX 3090 Ti.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti

This may be an older GPU and lose out to the RTX 4080 unless you’re loading super high-res textures, it may be possible to pay less for this Ampere flagship.

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