If you’re persistent, patient and willing to shell out $1,199 when the Nvidiagraphics card ships on June 3, you may be able to pick one up before the well runs dry and before the eBay prices skyrocket. The company’s latest gaming GPU for 4K speedsters comes in right behind the in the line, and looks like a sensible alternative if you don’t need the ton of extra memory or extra Tensor-core oomph for AI — or if you don’t have the space in your case for the extra wide, extra long RTX 3090.
Nvidia positions it as an upgrade for the RTX 2080 Ti, and for the most part it’s the best way to get a significant performance boost over that 2080 Ti. For some professional creative applications, though, anmay deliver enough of a step up and the AMD models are an alternative worth considering.
In addition to the speed benefits conferred by the second-gen RT and third-gen Tensor cores introduced with the RTX 3000 series, such as new algorithms and instruction sets that make them a lot more efficient and a switch to an 8nm process size from 12nm, the 3080 Ti (and also the 3070 Ti and 3090) have another performance perk you won’t find in the more mainstream RTX 3070 or any other lower-end cards Nvidia launches — GDDR6X memory.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti
|Memory bandwidth (GBps)||912.1|
|Memory clock (GHz)||9.5|
|GPU clock (GHz, base/boost)||1.37/1.67|
|Memory data rate/Interface||19 Gbps/384bit|
|Texture mapping units||320|
|Max thermal (degrees C)||199F/93C|
|Size||2 slots; 7.94×4.3 in (202×110 mm)|
|Launch date||June 3, 2021|
Micron’s GDDR6X incorporates new signaling technology that essentially doubles the data rate over GDDR6, the memory used by the RTX 3070 and 20-series cards. If that’s more spec detail than you’re used to, my guide to the best PC GPUs can offer a little background.
The card design is the same as the plain RTX 3080, with the same power requirements and physical dimensions, and the same bundled 12-pin adapter necessary for the Nvidia-branded card.
The RTX 3080 Ti goes beyond simply playable frame rates in 4K. Its AI-based upscaling feature, DLSS, can raise frame rates a ton: on the Shadow of the Tomb Raider benchmark, for example, 4K frame rates at High quality jumped from 85fps to 130fps without visible degradation in quality.
Enabling GPU scheduling in Windows 10 (in the display graphics settings) delivers a little extra lift of a few fps across the board, but that includes the minimum and maximum frame rates as well as the average.
Still, performance isn’t unambiguously better than the RTX 3080; a lot depends on your system. A PC with great bus bandwidth and cooling can push the performance of the RTX 3080 beyond a RTX 3080 Ti choked by a pokey bus and basic cooling. That’s not news to anyone who builds their own gaming PCs, but it needs to be said, because in the fantasy world where we can still get GPUs for their intended prices, that’s an extra $400 which might be better spent elsewhere.
Our performance test results are below.
|Maingear Turbo (RTX 2080 Ti)||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (2004); 3.8GHz Ryzen 9 3900XT; 32GB DDR4 SDRAM 3,600; 11GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti; 1TB SSD + 4TB HDD|
|MSI Aegis RS (RTX 3060 Ti)||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (2004); 3.8GHz Intel Core i7-10700K; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 3,000; 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti; 1TB SSD|
|MSI Aegis RS (RTX 3060)||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (20H2); 3.8GHz Intel Core i7-10700K; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 3,000; 12GB EVGA GeForce RTX 3060 XC Black Gaming; 1TB SSD|
|MSI Aegis RS (RTX 3070 FE)||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (1909); 3.8GHz Intel Core i7-10700K; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 3,000; 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition; 1TB SSD|
|MSI Aegis RS (RTX 3080 Ti)||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (21H1); 3.8GHz Intel Core i7-10700K; 32GB DDR4 SDRAM 3,200; 12GB AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT; 1TB SSD|
|MSI Aegis RS (RX 6700 XT)||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (21H1); 3.8GHz Intel Core i7-10700K; 32GB DDR4 SDRAM 3,200; 12GB GDDR6X Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti; 1TB SSD|
|MSI Aegis RS (RX 6800 XT)||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (1909); 3.8GHz Intel Core i7-10700K; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 3,000; 16GB AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT; 1TB SSD|
|MSI Aegis RS (RX 6800)||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (1909); 3.8GHz Intel Core i7-10700K; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 3,000; 16GB AMD Radeon RX 6800; 1TB SSD|
|MSI Trident X (RTX 2070 Super)||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (1909); (oc) 3.8GHz Intel Core i7-10700K; 32GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,932; 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super; 1TB SSD|
|Origin PC Chronos (RTX 3080)||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (2004); Intel Core i9-10900K; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 3,200; 10GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 (EVGA); 1TB SSD + 500GB SSD|