3080 Ti vs 3090: Which Is Better In 2023?

At a Glance
  • In terms of performance, the 3080 Ti and 3090 are quite close. It's hard to say how much better the 3090 is over the 3080 Ti
  • The RTX 3090 might make more sense if you want more VRAM for professional workloads. However, the 3080 Ti might still keep up, depending on the application
  • For high-fidelity 4K gaming, you can't go wrong with either card. At the end of the day, it comes down to how much you are willing to pay for marginally better performance

While the launch of the RTX 4000 series is impressive on paper, not a lot of people are buying into the hype. It makes sense considering the absurd pricing situation for the 4080 and 4090. As such, a lot of people are looking at the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti and RTX 3090 for their next high-end upgrade. So, we’ll be trying to figure out what’s the better choice between RTX 3080 Ti vs 3090.

These cards might be more viable over the RTX 3060 Ti or even the RTX 3070, especially when it comes to 4K gaming. Of course, neither the 3080 Ti nor the 3090 come cheap, but you might find a good price for both considering the launch of the newer 4000 series.

Both cards are great and deliver excellent performance with features like Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) and ray tracing. You should look at these cards if you want 60fps at a native 4K resolution.

However, there is an obvious difference in pricing. This detailed analysis should help you figure out which card is the right choice for your needs.

Where To Buy RTX 3080 Ti and 3090

#PreviewProduct NameDetails
1Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti
Check Price
2Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090
Check Price
#1
Preview
Product NameNvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti
Details
Check Price
#2
Preview
Product NameNvidia GeForce RTX 3090
Details
Check Price

Last Update on 2023-01-28 at 13:41 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

RTX 3080 Ti vs 3090 – Specifications

Whether you’re upgrading your pre-existing gaming PC or building a new one, both the RTX 3080 Ti and 3090 are excellent graphics cards. These are two of the best GPUs for playing games at 4K with high settings. However, you need to consider the fact that these cards are close in performance, especially in games.

They share the same architecture, and while there are a few differences in specs here and there (VRAM, RT Cores, etc), the real-world performance in games is not that different. Sure, there’s a difference in hash rate as well, but we won’t be talking about mining in this comparison.

These cards also turn out to be viable choices when upgrading from something like an RTX 2060 (or 2060 Super), and if you happen to be upgrading from the GTX 1080 Ti, then you’ll notice a gigantic jump up in performance. Even coming from an RTX 3060 Ti will show you considerable performance gains.

Take a look at the specs below to get a general idea of whether you should get the RTX 3080 Ti or the 3090.

GPU NameGeForce RTX 3080 TIGeForce RTX 3090
Graphics ProcessorGA102GA102
CUDA Cores1024010496
TMUs320328
ROPs112112
Tensor Cores320328
RT Cores8082
RT CoresGDDR6XGDDR6X
VRAM Capacity12 GB24 GB
Bus Width384 bit384 bit
GPU Clock1360 MHz1395 MHz
Boost Clock1665 MHz1695 MHz
TDP350 W350 W

As you can see, there’s no major difference between the RTX 3080 Ti and 3090 when it comes to the specs. This translates to real-world performance as well. While the latter is a higher-end card, the former is by no means inferior in any aspect. The differences in specs are insignificant, apart from two aspects that may or may not be important to you.

More GPUs: Best 5600 XT Graphics Cards

One of these is the difference in the amount of VRAM. While the RTX 3080 Ti has an impressive 10 gigabytes of GDDR6X VRAM, the 3090 bumps that up to a whopping 24 gigabytes. However, a small handful of games will come close to even using 12 gigabytes of VRAM. So, gaming performance is not affected by this memory difference.

After the gaming benchmarks, we’ll take a look at how VRAM affects workloads in professional programs for video editing, 3D rendering, and animation.

RTX 3080 Ti vs RTX 3090 – Gaming Performance

So, after going over the specs for the two graphics cards, you can probably guess that the RTX 3080 Ti and 3090 are going to be quite close in terms of gaming performance. While the 3090 is the better overall video card, the 3080 Ti does not lag far behind. Both cards are excellent, and they will perform well beyond most gamers’ requirements.

Read More: Best GPU Support Braces

To see how these cards stack up against each other, we’ve aggregated benchmarks from Benchmark Lab. When we put the cards through the paces ourselves, the results were in-line with the benchmarks we have aggregated below.

PC Specifications

Both graphics cards were tested by putting them in a PC with the following specifications:

  • Processor: Intel Core i7 10700K
  • Motherboard: ASRock Z590 PG Velocita
  • CPU Cooler: Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280
  • RAM: G.Skill Trident Z Royal 32GB DDR4 3200MHz
  • Storage: Samsung EVO 970 500GB
  • Power Supply: Super Flower Leadex Platinum 1000W

The important thing of note here is that this PC uses the Intel Core i7 10700K. While this processor is somewhat, it is still more than capable for modern titles at high settings. This CPU features 8 cores, and 16 threads, and can turbo up to 5.1GHz when Intel’s Thermal Velocity Boost comes into play. It’s an excellent processor for gaming and pairs well with the 3080 Ti and 3090.

Related Read: Best RTX 2080 Graphics Cards

That CPU is cooled by the excellent Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280. When it comes to overall performance, this cooler is hard to beat considering the value it brings to the table. We recently ranked the 240mm version of this cooler as one of the best CPU coolers for the 13900K.

As for the motherboard, this PC uses the AsRock Z590 PG Velocita. It’s a great-looking board with support for Intel’s 10th and 11th Gen processors. This board features two PCIe 4.0 x16 slots, two dual M.2 slots, and plenty of RGB. It performs well and looks great doing so.

Related: 7 Best Motherboards For Ryzen 5 5600X 

In addition to that, we have 32 GB of DDR4 memory running at 3200MHz with a CAS latency of CL16. The kit in question is the G.Skill Trident Z Royal, a great-looking kit that also overclocks quite well. For storage, the PC is using a Samsung 970 Evo PCIe 3.0 SSD. It is reliable, fast, and surprisingly affordable these days.

To top it all off, the PC is using a high-end Super Flower Leadex Platinum 1000W power supply. The 3080 Ti and 3090 are power-hungry cards, and this PSU can handle them with ease. Now, let’s finally get to the benchmarks.

3080 Ti vs 3090 – Testing Methodology

As using both the 3080 Ti and 3090 for gaming at 1080p does not make sense, we decided to only go with 4K benchmarks for our comparison. Sure, a lot of people will also be using these GPUs for 1440p gaming, but considering they perform so well at 4K, there’s not much to worry about.

Testing the cards at 4K allows us to push the cards to their limit, especially when we turn on ray tracing and crank all the settings to Ultra. This gives us a better idea of what to expect when it comes to the maximum performance yield from both the 3080 Ti and 3090.

Note: We’re also throwing the RTX 3080 into the loop to see how it keeps up with the best of the best from Nvidia. The results might surprise you. We wanted to test the RTX 3070 as well, but that GPU is not within the performance bracket of the 3080 Ti or 3090.

We’ll be comparing frame rates, power consumption, memory usage, and other empirical metrics to determine which is the better of the two. 

Cyberpunk 2077

3080 Ti vs 3090 Cyberpunk Benchmark
Image Credit: Benchmark Lab

To start things off, let’s take a look at arguably one of the most infamous games of the decade. While the reception to the game was a major disappointment, you have to admit that this is a beautiful-looking game. Night City is at its best when you turn up the settings and turn on ray tracing. The vibrant nightlife in this game is truly a sight to behold.

However, this is a highly demanding game, which proves to be perfect for our testing. In this benchmark, the game is running at Ultra settings, with ray tracing turned on, and DLSS set to quality. You can still play the game natively at 4K but turning on ray tracing along with DLSS set to quality gives us the perfect blend of performance and image quality.

Budget GPU Options: Best GTX 1060 Graphics card

As you can see from the benchmarks, both the 3080 Ti and 3090 perform well, with the 3080 not lagging that far behind. The 3080 Ti gives an average of 58fps at 64°C. Meanwhile, the 3090 is giving us a 63fps average at 64°C. Both the 0.1% and 1% lows are also similar. The performance difference between the two is a mere 8.6% if we’re talking about the average framerate.

Surprisingly, the RTX 3080 is not that far behind at 55fps. In conclusion, all three cards perform surprisingly well, and the difference in performance is not huge. You could go with either the 3080 or the 3080 Ti and still be happy with the performance.

Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption 2 3080 Ti vs 3090 benchmark
Image Credit: Benchmark Lab

Next up in our comparison of the RTX 3080 Ti vs 3090, we’ll be testing one of the greatest games of the past decade. Red Dead Redemption 2 is a masterpiece in every sense of the word. It also happens to be one of the best-looking games out there. This game is graphically intensive, so testing it on these GPUs was a no-brainer for us.

Everything is cranked up to eleven for this test. The game is running natively at 4K with Ultra settings. RDR2 has graphically demanding textures, and while it does not feature ray tracing support, the lighting effects in this game are impressive. It’s a well-optimized game, but one that is hard to run at 4K with the settings in this test.

AMD GPUs: Best AMD RX 5700 XT Graphics Cards

Fortunately, both the RTX 3080 Ti and 3090 perform well here. The 3080 Ti gives us an average of 70fps, and the max temperature is 68°C. Not too bad at all. Unfortunately, it’s hard to justify the RTX 3090 here, as it only manages to match the performance of the RTX 3080 Ti. Again, we’re getting an average of 70fps at around the same temperature as the 3090.

Even the RTX 3080 manages to keep up in this test. We’re looking at an average frame rate of 61fps, but the temperature is a bit higher and averages at around 70-75°C in this test.

In conclusion, both the RTX 3080 and 3080 Ti are the obvious choices here. You’re getting a 14.75% increase in performance with the 3080 Ti compared to the regular 3080.

Battlefield V

Battlefield V 4K Benchmark
Image Credit: Benchmark Lab

Next up in our RTX 3080 Ti vs 3090 comparisons, we’ll be taking a look at Battlefield V. This is an online shooter, and you would not think that it is that graphically demanding. However, when you crank things up to the Ultra settings, this is a spectacular visual delight. For our testing, we turned on ray tracing and tested it at 4K.

With those settings turned on, the game becomes surprisingly demanding. Playing through the campaign in these settings is quite the experience. So, both the 3080 Ti and 3090 performed well in this test. However, as you can see for yourself, the performance difference is negligible.

The 3080 Ti gives an average frame rate of 73fps, while the 3090 is at 75fps. That’s barely an increase of 2.7% if you can even call that an improvement. On the other hand, the 3080 also fared well at 66fps.

So, the trend continues. These tests show that the 3080 Ti can comfortably keep up with the RTX 3090.

Horizon Zero Dawn

Horizon Zero Dawn 4K Benchmark
Image Credit: Benchmark Lab

Sony has been porting a lot of their games to PC recently. Considering most of Sony’s first-party exclusives are cinematic experiences, they turn out to be excellent tests for gaming at high settings. Horizon Zero Dawn is a great example, especially considering how demanding it was at launch. 

For this test, the game is running at 4K with all the settings at Ultra. The does not have any support for ray tracing but does feature support for DLSS. DLSS is turned off for this test, and the benchmarks are in native 4K.

Again, the RTX 3080 Ti comfortably keeps up with the RTX 3090. We’re looking at an average frame rate of 83fps and 88fps respectively. The 3080 Ti does run a bit hotter here, creeping up to around 70°C when under full load. The 3090 provides a performance uplift of 6%. Meanwhile, the RTX 3080 also performed well, averaging out at 75fps.

Keep in mind that the performance uplifts so far are all under 10% (some are under 5%). It’s not looking good for the 3090, especially considering it costs at least 25% more than the 3080 Ti (at MSRP).

Minecraft RTX

Minecraft RTX 3080 Ti vs 3090
Image Credit: Benchmark Lab

That’s right, you can now experience Minecraft in all its Ray tracing glory. It even features support for DLSS. If you haven’t already, check out Nvidia’s showcase for this game. The difference is like night and day, and it arguably might be the best ray tracing showcase so far. It’s also surprisingly graphically demanding.

For this test, the game is running at Ultra settings in native 4K. Of course, ray tracing is enabled by default for this one. The RTX 3080 Ti performs well here, giving us an average frame rate of 80fps. On the other hand, the RTX 3090 provides a performance uplift of 6%, averaging 85fps.

The RTX 3080 (non-Ti) is 13% slower than the 3090 in this test. Then again, the RTX 3090 costs twice as much, if not more, than the RTX 3080. 

In conclusion, this is another win for the RTX 3080 Ti considering the value it brings to the table.

Microsoft Flight Simulator

Microsoft Flight Simulator 4K Benchmark
Image Credit: Benchmark Lab

Next up, we’ll be taking a look at Microsoft Flight Simulator. This is the type of game that can bring your gaming PC to its knees. Running this game at 4K with Ultra settings is no easy task. That is exactly why it’s such a good fit for our comparison.

So, the game is running at native 4K here, with all of the settings turned to Ultra. Running this game was a bit of a struggle, as frame rate drops are not uncommon for this one. Let’s take a look at the results.

In this test, the RTX 3080 Ti manages to average 50fps at 4K. Unfortunately, the RTX 3090 does not provide a performance uplift here and only manages to match the 3080 Ti in this test. On the other hand, the RTX 3080 averages 40-43fps.

As you can see for yourself, the 0.1% and 1% lows are not looking good for any of the graphics cards here. This is simply because Microsoft Flight Simulator is one of the most demanding titles out there. That might also be why the monthly player count is a bit low for this Xbox exclusive.

So, the battle between the 3080 Ti vs 3090 remains at a standstill in this test. Still, considering the price, we can chalk this up as a win for the 3080 Ti.

Metro Exodus 

Metro Exodus Benchmark In 4K
Image Credit: Benchmark Lab

Last but not least, we are using Metro Exodus as a final example in our comparison of the RTX 3080 Ti vs 3090. This is not the “enhanced” version of the game, which features better ray tracing and is more graphically demanding. Still, the standard version of this game looks great with ray tracing enabled, even if the global illumination is not up to par when compared with the enhanced edition.

The game is running at 4K with all of the settings at Ultra. Ray tracing is enabled, and DLSS is also turned out for the best combination of performance and image quality. Here are the results:

So, the RTX 3080 Ti gives us an average of 78fps at a max temperature of 68°C. Unfortunately, the 3090 only manages to match the “cheaper” GPU in this test. Surprisingly, sometimes the 3080 Ti even managed to beat the 3090 in this test. Performance for the RTX 3080 is also in-line with our expectations, averaging 68fps.

To conclude, add this as another win for the RTX 3080 Ti.

3080 Ti vs 3090 – Performance Verdict

To sum it up, the results of these benchmarks speak for themselves. These tests show that the RTX 3080 Ti is a beefed-up RTX 3080, and you could also say that it is “almost” a 3090 at that point. If your only concern is gaming at 4K with Ultra settings and ray tracing enabled, then the RTX 3080 Ti is the wiser choice here. 

With that being said, there are some situations where the RTX 3090 makes sense. While you should not be buying this GPU just for gaming, the higher VRAM capacity does make it better for professional workloads. Apart from that, the 3080 Ti is by far the better graphics card in nearly every aspect, considering the price.

Also, pairing the 3080 Ti with a processor like the 12900K will give you excellent performance for both games and productivity. If you want to with that combination, check out the best motherboards for 12900K

The VRAM Situation

As you’re probably aware by now, the major difference between both of these cards is in the VRAM. If you are someone who works with a lot of professional applications, then that’s where you’ll benefit from the 24GB of available VRAM with the RTX 3090. 

So, if you’re building a PC for 3D rendering, modeling, or animation, the GPU needs to be up to snuff so that it keeps up with your requirements. If you are rendering frames in real-time, you need to have a good amount of VRAM. Of course, scene complexity, polygon count, texture resolution, and other effects also come into play here.

When you start using features such as more shader effects, SSAO, depth of field, and real-time reflections, that’s when you’ll start to notice the need for more VRAM. This is also true for video editing and motion design in some cases.

Programs like Premiere Pro don’t take advantage of higher VRAM. However, other editing tools such as DaVinci Resolve, or Fusion are the exact opposite. In serious professional workloads, you will reap the benefits of the 24 Gigabytes of VRAM with the RTX 3090.

RTX 3080 Ti vs RTX 3090 – Final Verdict

3080 Ti is better than the 3090
The 3080 Ti is the obvious choice when compared with the 3090

So, as the evidence shows, the conclusion that we’re drawing here is correct in every aspect. After rigorous testing, it is quite apparent that the RTX 3080 Ti is the better buy for most people. If you want to play games at 4K with the highest settings possible, then this is the one that you should buy when choosing between the two.

It keeps up with the RTX 3090 with ease, and there’s no real-world difference when it comes to gaming performance. Even for professional workloads, only the most demanding use cases will see the benefits of the presence of an RTX 3090.

While the RTX 3090 is an incredibly impressive GPU, it is hard to recommend to consumers. It is highly expensive, requires a robust power supply, and is only marginally better than the 3080 Ti when it comes to games.

There’s also a strong case to be made for the RTX 3080 (non-Ti). It still delivers excellent performance when gaming at 4K, even with ray tracing enabled. If you want to save some money, the 3080 is an even better value than the 3080 Ti. 

The RTX 3090 is for people who don’t need to worry about budget and want superb performance for professional workloads. However, the RTX 3080 Ti will give you the same level of performance, and it’s not like you’ll ever think it is “slow” for professional workloads either. It’s an easy win here.

Things You Should Know About The 3080 Ti and 3090

So, it’s clear from our performance testing and benchmarks that the 3080 Ti can comfortably keep up with the RTX 3090. However, there are a few common things people wonder about when it comes to graphics card reviews or comparisons. Let’s run through them quickly.

DLSS 2.0

DLSS 3.0 is Nvidia’s latest version of their upscaling technology. Deep Learning Super Sampling, or DLSS, uses AI-based upscaling. It renders images at a resolution lower than your monitor’s native resolution, then upscales it with AI to recreate sharp high-quality images.

The difference in visual quality is barely noticeable, yet the performance increases up to 2 times. This especially comes in handy when you turn on ray tracing, which can bottleneck your framerate a bit.

So, the latest version of this technology is DLSS 3.0. It delivers up to 4x better performance, sharper upscaling, and a lower effect on latency. Unfortunately, DLSS 3.0 is exclusive to the RTX 40 series. While DLSS 2.0 is still quite good and you will have no complaints in terms of performance, do not get it confused with DLSS 2.0.

Ray Tracing

We talked about ray tracing a lot during this comparison. If you’re not aware of this technology and haven’t had the chance to experience it yet, then you are missing out. It works by simulating (to an extent) actual light rays. The new lighting technology uses an algorithm to trace the path of light similar to how light rays work in the real world.

With this technology, game designers can make light bounce off objects, cast better-looking shadows, and almost lifelike craft reflections. When a game uses this technology right, the results are utterly incredible. Minecraft RTX and Cyberpunk are both great examples.

However, while gaming at 4K, this will affect performance quite a bit. Fortunately, both the 3080 Ti and 3090 can deliver high-end performance even with ray tracing enabled. So, if you want to play 4K games with ray tracing turned on, these are the cards to get.

Power Connectors

Many people might be concerned with the power consumption of both of these graphic cards. Rightfully so, as you need a great power supply for both the RTX 3080 and 3090. If you’ll take a look at the specs table above, you’ll find that both graphics cards can draw up to 350W from the wall. So, if you want to push these GPUs to the limit, you will need a great power supply.

There’s more to the story. If you get the founder’s edition of both of these cards, those will need a 1×12 pin PCIe 4 cable for power. Most power supplies have two or three eight-pin connectors. However, Nvidia does include a 12-pin to dual 8-pin adapter in the box. Variants of these cards made by ASUS, MSI, EVGA, and others usually only need three 8-pin cables, so there’s no need for an adapter.

RTX 3080 Ti vs 3090 - FAQs

Is it worth upgrading from a 3080 Ti to a 3090

Considering the negligible performance gains, it’s not worth it upgrading from a 3080 Ti to a 3090. The 3080 Ti is already a powerful high-end graphics card, and you won’t get any noticeable difference in games when upgrading to a 3090.

Is the 3090 Ti better than the 3090

On paper, the 3090 Ti is a better graphics card than the RTX 3090. It is about 10% faster when it comes to gaming performance. However, considering the price the 3090 Ti does not make sense in terms of value.

Is the 3090 worth it over the 3080?

While the RTX 3090 is faster than the 3080, it is not worth it if you are concerned about value. The difference in performance is about 10%-20%. Considering the 3090 costs more than twice the price of the 3080, the 3090 just isn’t worth it unless you care about the extra VRAM.

How much better is a 3090 Ti over a 3080 Ti

On average, the 3090 Ti is about 10% to 15% faster than the RTX 3080 Ti. Considering the massive price increase, it’s not worth choosing the 3090 Ti over the 3080 Ti.

Is the RTX 3080 Ti high-end?

The RTX 3080 Ti is one of the best high-end graphics cards on the market. You can easily expect 60fps performance for most games at 4K. You can even turn on ray tracing and experience your favorite games in the highest graphics settings imaginable.

We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links. Learn More

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Asad Khan


I've been an enthusiastic follower of both the tech and gaming industries for as long as I can remember. This passion for both fields and a curiosity that drives me to learn new things every day are the two things that allow me to provide readers with my insights. When you don't find me writing or researching about games, you'll find me building PCs, hunting for new components, or naturally, playing games.
Back to top button