NVIDIA has just released the RTX 3000-series graphics cards and there are three graphics cards in this series so far; the GeForce RTX 3070, RTX 3080, and RTX 3090. For most people who want high performance for 4K gaming or high-refresh-rate gaming at 1440P resolution, RTX 3080 seems the most suitable option. It is one of the most capable graphics cards to ever be released for the mainstream market, as can be expected considering the excellent Ampere architecture that the GPU is based on.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 provides up to 75 percent improvement in performance comparing to RTX 2080 and that is why it is best suited for 4K gaming, etc. It is also quite suitable for 1440p high refresh rate gaming using High or Ultra settings most of the time, in modern AAA titles. Most manufacturers have come up with unique graphics card variants this time and we will be discussing some of the best RTX 3080 graphics card variants you can buy right now. Let’s begin!
The Best RTX 3080 Graphics Cards – Our Picks
|1||ASUS TUF GAMING GeForce RTX 3080 OC||Best Overall RTX 3080|| |
|2||EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 FTW3 ULTRA GAMING||Best Looking RTX 3080|| |
|3||MSI GeForce RTX 3080 GAMING X TRIO||Best Value RTX 3080|| |
|4||ZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 3080 Trinity||Best Budget RTX 3080|| |
|5||ASUS ROG STRIX GeForce RTX 3080 OC||Best Performing RTX 3080|| |
|Product Name||ASUS TUF GAMING GeForce RTX 3080 OC|
|Award||Best Overall RTX 3080|
|Product Name||EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 FTW3 ULTRA GAMING|
|Award||Best Looking RTX 3080|
|Product Name||MSI GeForce RTX 3080 GAMING X TRIO|
|Award||Best Value RTX 3080|
|Product Name||ZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 3080 Trinity|
|Award||Best Budget RTX 3080|
|Product Name||ASUS ROG STRIX GeForce RTX 3080 OC|
|Award||Best Performing RTX 3080|
Last Update on 2021-09-27 at 14:32 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The RTX 3080 is a very powerful card from Nvidia’s new RTX 3000 lineup often compared to the RTX 2080 Ti, RTX 2080 Super, and the GTX 1080 Ti to get an idea for generational improvements over the past few years. You don’t buy graphics cards every day so it’s a plus to have basic knowledge when purchasing graphics cards. The RTX 3080 is offered across multiple AIB’s making an average Joe’s decision quite daunting. Let’s get started with our recommendations for the 5 best RTX 3080 graphics cards on our roundup.
1. ASUS TUF GAMING GeForce RTX 3080 OC
Best Overall RTX 3080
- Excellent Value
- Great Build Quality
- Solid Thermal Perfromance
- Great Acoustics
- Decent Power Budget
- Plain Looks
- Minimal RGB Lighting
Boost Core Clock: 1785 MHz | GPU Cores: 8704 | Memory: 10 GB GDDR6 | Memory Speed: 1188 MHz | Memory Bandwidth: 760.3 GB/s | Length: 11.8 Inches | No. of Fans: 3 | RGB Lighting: Yes | Graphics Outputs: 2 x HDMI, 3 x DisplayPort | Power Connectors: 2 x 8-pin | Maximum Nominal Power Consumption: 320 W
ASUS is known as the best graphics card manufacturer and its flagship variants are highly liked by enthusiasts. ASUS TUF GAMING GeForce RTX 3080 is although not a flagship variant, is surely a high-end one and it tends to provide high performance while not compromising on the design and looks. The design of the graphics card is quite attractive and it feels a bit similar to the STRIX variant from the last series.
The fan shroud of the graphics card is made from aluminum, which is why it feels a lot sturdier than other variants which are made from plastic. The RGB lighting is barely present in the graphics card, at the top but still, it is better than nothing and this graphics card will not completely bore you. The overall feel of the graphics card is quite beastly and there are not a lot of graphics cards that can match this one in size.
This variant has a boost core clock of 1785 MHz, where the memory of the graphics card is of course fixed at 10 GB GDDR6. The memory speed is also fixed at 1188 MHz where the effective memory speed is 19 Gbps, leading to a memory bandwidth of 760.3 GB/s. The power delivery of the graphics card is although better most graphics card variants, lags behind the flagship variants like the ROG STRIX variant or AORUS XTREME variant, etc. and that is why the overclocking performance is not the best, although you will be able to juice some performance out of it. The cooling performance of the graphics card is still quite phenomenal and it handles the 320-watt TDP very well and you would see temperatures around 65 degrees, which is absolutely amazing.
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Overall, the graphics card feels top-notch despite having a lot lower price than the flagship variants and if you want high performance while not spending a lot on pricier variants, this variant is going to be perfect for you. Hence with its attributes, it deserves the title of the best overall RTX 3080 on our list.
2. EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 FTW3 ULTRA GAMING
Best Looking RTX 3080
- Supreme Cooling Performance
- Impressive Looks
- Great Overclocking Capability
- High Power Budget
- Decent Acoustics
- Quite Expensive
- Case Compatibility Issues
Boost Core Clock: 1800 MHz | GPU Cores: 8704 | Memory: 10 GB GDDR6 | Memory Speed: 1188 MHz | Memory Bandwidth: 760.3 GB/s | Length: 11.8 Inches | No. of Fans: 3 | RGB Lighting: Yes | Graphics Outputs: 1 x HDMI, 3 x DisplayPort | Power Connectors: 3 x 8-pin | Maximum Nominal Power Consumption: 320 W
EVGA is all about reliability and a lot of people buy its products due to much better customer support and policies. EVGA has improved a lot in the past generation of graphics cards and this year too, it has come up with all-new designs that intrigued a lot of people. One of the products with such designs is the EVGA RTX 3080 FTW3 ULTRA GAMING and this graphics card is all about performance and looks.
Hosting a tri-fan design like most of the other RTX 3080 variants, this graphics card feels massive as well. The wave-like design of the fan-shroud feels amazing and the aggressively curved fans feel so powerful. There is a lot of RGB lighting at the top, which is although unlike EVGA; still looks pretty awesome and you won’t find RGB lighting like this in other graphics cards. Apart from the length of the graphics card, the height of the graphics card is quite massive as well, which is why you should definitely check the GPU clearance of your PC case before buying this graphics card.
The performance of this graphics card is better in almost every aspect since it is a flagship graphics card. The boost core clock of the graphics card is 1800 MHz, which is although not a lot higher than the TUF GAMING OC variant, you would yield much better results during overclocking since its power delivery is a lot better.
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The cooling performance of this graphics card is although similar to the TUF GAMING graphics card variant, its fan curve is less aggressive, which is why it runs quieter but hotter as well. You would see temperatures around 70 degrees although you can increase the fan speeds and it will drop a bit.
All-in-all, this graphics card is best for those who want the top of line performance and the best looking RTX 3080 graphics card for their builds; otherwise, perhaps look at the last variant that we have listed in this article.
3. MSI GeForce RTX 3080 GAMING X TRIO
Best Value RTX 3080
- Great Thermal Performance
- Solid Acoustics
- Moderate Pricing
- Impressive Looks
- Low Power Budget
- Relatively Poor OC Capability
- Large Shroud
Boost Core Clock: 1815 MHz | GPU Cores: 8704 | Memory: 10 GB GDDR6 | Memory Speed: 1188 MHz | Memory Bandwidth: 760.3 GB/s | Length: 12.7 Inches | No. of Fans: 3 | RGB Lighting: Yes | Graphics Outputs: 1 x HDMI, 3 x DisplayPort | Power Connectors: 3 x 8-pin | Maximum Nominal Power Consumption: 340 W
MSI has surely designed some of the most beautiful graphics cards in the past two generations and apart from looking good, they packed a lot of performance as well. This time too, MSI GeForce RTX 3080 GAMING X TRIO strikes back and it is one of the biggest graphics card variants, having a length of 12.7 inches. The price of this graphics card is although higher than the likes of TUF GAMING but it is still priced lower than ROG STRIX or FTW3 ULTRA GAMING variants.
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The design of the graphics card is although a bit similar to the last generation GAMING X variants, the overall shape has gotten more complex. The fans are now having an equal size unlike the last generation variants, which makes it look more balanced. There is RGB lighting at the front as well as the top of the graphics card; especially the diffused RGB lighting at the top makes it look very premium. It can all be controlled using the Mystic Light software.
The graphics card has a boost clock rate of 1815 MHz, which is although higher than the FTW3 ULTRA GAMING variant, the real-time performance is quite similar due to NVIDIA GPU Boost technology. The cooling performance of the graphics card is quite good and it runs a few degrees hotter than the FTW3 ULTRA GAMING variant, at around 75 degrees. The overclocking support of this graphics card is similar to the likes of TUF GAMING graphics card variants where you will be able to push the graphics card up to 50 or 75 MHz higher but you should not expect more than this.
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Conclusively, if you are really into the designs of the MSI GAMING X TRIO variants and want a graphics card that is able to provide stable performance without worrying about the thermals, this graphics card is going to be a great choice for you. All in all, it’s the best value RTX 3080 option if you weren’t interested in the above-mentioned GPUs.
4. ZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 3080 Trinity
Best Budget RTX 3080
- Good Build Quality
- Relatively Affordable
- Decent Thermal Performance
- Impressive RGB
- Very Long Card
- Acoustics Could Be Better
- Tight Power Budget
Boost Core Clock: 1710 MHz | GPU Cores: 8704 | Memory: 10 GB GDDR6 | Memory Speed: 1188 MHz | Memory Bandwidth: 760.3 GB/s | Length: 12.5 Inches | No. of Fans: 3 | RGB Lighting: Yes | Graphics Outputs: 2 x HDMI, 3 x DisplayPort | Power Connectors: 2 x 8-pin | Maximum Nominal Power Consumption: 320 W
ZOTAC is a company that rejuvenated itself during the 900-series graphics cards and after that generation, we saw some of the most powerful graphics cards from this company. ZOTAC GAMING RTX 3080 Trinity is although not a flagship graphics card like the AMP EXTREME variant, it still performs quite similar while lacking a bit in the aesthetics department.
Helpful Roundup: Best RTX 3060 Ti Graphics Cards
The design of the graphics card is quite simple, with a black-colored fan shroud, and offers RGB lighting at the top as well as at the backplate. You can customize the RGB lighting of the graphics card through the ZOTAC application. The graphics card is less thick than the likes of ROG STRIX or FTW3 ULTRA GAMING but the length of the graphics card is still quite a lot, as it measures 12.5 inches long. The build quality of this graphics card is just amazing and it is quite similar to TUF GAMING since the front-plate and back-plate are made of metal.
The boost core clock of this graphics card variant is much less than other variants, at 1710 MHz, which is why this is the slowest graphics card on the list in stock condition. You can mitigate the difference in performance by overclocking this graphics card and it will definitely surpass the stock performance of graphics cards like ASUS TUF GAMING. The cooling performance of this graphics card is just like the FTW3 ULTRA GAMING variant, although the noise levels are slightly higher. It is still less noisy than the TUF GAMING variant, which although runs a lot cooler than both of these graphics cards. The noise can be adjusted by customizing the fan curve, of course.
Overall, this graphics card is best for those who want stable performance without any crashes since its boost clock rate is somewhat lower. Some light stable overclocking is possible without taking too much time in fine-tuning. Moreover, with its lower price points, the Zotac Trinity is the best budget RTX 3080 on our recommendations.
5. ASUS ROG STRIX GeForce RTX 3080 OC
Best Performing RTX 3080
- Excellent Thermal Performance
- Really Solid Acoustics
- High Factory OC
- Extremely Expensive
- Case Compatibility Issues
- Poor Value Proposition
- Price May Match Base RTX 3080 Ti Variants
Boost Core Clock: 1905 MHz | GPU Cores: 8704 | Memory: 10 GB GDDR6 | Memory Speed: 1188 MHz | Memory Bandwidth: 760.3 GB/s | Length: 12.6 Inches | No. of Fans: 3 | RGB Lighting: Yes | Graphics Outputs: 2 x HDMI, 3 x DisplayPort | Power Connectors: 3 x 8-pin | Maximum Nominal Power Consumption: 320 W
The last variant on our list is ASUS ROG STRIX GeForce RTX 3080 OC and the reason for putting it in the last is that it is much pricier than other variants, which makes it not everyone’s cup of tea. This graphics card has top-notch performance while having one of the best designs as well. You will learn why we nominated the ROG Strix as the best performing RTX 3080 on our roundup shortly. A ROG Strix variant was also named the best RTX 2070 variant in our roundup for that graphics card.
The design of the ROG STRIX variant makes it one of the most premium variants, although its build is not aluminum like the TUF GAMING variant. That is most probably to compensate for the weight since the provided GPU cooler of this graphics card is quite large. The fans of the graphics card are quite large and the central one spins in opposite direction to the other two, so as to reduce the turbulence in the graphics card. Unlike the last generation, the ROG STRIX variant does not have RGB lighting at the front, although there is a lot of RGB lighting at the top and the backside.
The boost core clock of the graphics card is 1905 MHz, which makes it the fastest graphics card on the list and the overclocking support of this graphics card is much higher than other graphics cards as well. The graphics card uses three 8-pin power connectors and the user has great control over the power of the graphics card where it might go above 400 watts under heavy overclocking. The cooling performance of this graphics card is slightly better than the TUF GAMING variant and you would see temperatures around 65 degrees where the noise levels are slightly better due to large axial fans.
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Conclusively, if you want the best of the best, ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 3080 holds a great value for you and you won’t get a more reliable graphics card variant than this one, although its price makes it out of the budget of many gamers. IF you’re super into overclocking, perhaps you want to look for RTX 3080 water blocks for your GPU.
Things To Know About RTX 3080
As with any purchase, there are some things you ought to keep in mind while browsing the different RTX 3080 options that are available on the market. The most important thing is undoubtedly the thermal and acoustic performance of the graphics card variant in question. Being a fairly power-hungry card, the RTX 3080 operates with over 320 watts of power. It is necessary for GPUs with such high power consumption to be capable of pulling heat out of major components to maintain performance and lifespan throughout their usage.
Many companies strive to use the best cooling solutions to pull heat from critical components such as VRMs, memory modules, and the chip itself. One simple way of judging thermal performance is by checking the heatsink design and fans. Theoretically heavy heatsinks with high count ventilation fins and cooling fans have acceptable cooling. Proper use of Thermal Interface Materials (TIM), good quality thermal pads, and pastes maintain contact with the surface area which results in efficient heat transfer.
In contrast to this, manufacturers are also designing special 0db fans to target minimal acoustics that remains off during idling. GPUs with good cooling headroom can overclock for high performance without breaking a sweat. Especially since the advent of technologies such as GPU Boost, a self-boosting algorithm, the temperature now has a direct impact on performance. Undoubtedly, we have a handful of bad apples on the market that have a reputation for notoriously bad thermal performance. It’s simple to avoid products like these if you check the individual reviews of these variants. We recommend the EVGA FTW3 and the ASUS Strix for the top RTX 3080 options when it comes to acoustics and thermals.
And with that concludes our roundup for the best RTX 3080 variants on the market. It is fairly straightforward to buy the most fitting RTX 3080 variant for your particular build if you keep in mind the aforementioned factors. Let us know in the comments which RTX 3080 variant you prefer the most out of our picks.
While it is true that Ray Tracing is still in its early days when it comes to its implementation in gaming, there are many great Ray Tracing games out there in 2021 and the list is getting bigger with each passing month. The industry as a whole is moving quickly to adopt this new trend. All in all, you can consider Ray Tracing to be worth it since most of the big-budget games moving forward are going to try to have some form of Ray Tracing implementation to keep up with the industry trend.
The RTX 3080 is one of the most powerful graphics cards out there so it makes sense that it is overkill for some particular scenarios. In general, it is agreed upon that the RTX 3080 is quite overkill for 1080p gaming, even in modern AAA titles. The RTX 3080 is best suited to high-refresh-rate 1440p gaming or 4K gaming. With the pace of the gaming industry, it is hard to label anything as overkill because the games are becoming too intensive very quickly.
The RTX 3080 is definitely one of the most capable gaming graphics cards in the world right now as of the time of writing in 2021, so it can be future-proof for quite some time. While it is quite difficult to predict how the gaming industry will move going forward, especially with the advent of technologies such as Ray Tracing and DLSS, but you can still make an educated guess about the RTX 3080’s lifespan. It should be able to provide an excellent AAA gaming experience for at least 2-3 years, provided you are willing to be flexible with the resolution and graphical settings a bit.
Yes, the RTX 3080 can definitely run AAA games at 4K. It is one of the few graphics cards in 2021 that can comfortably play modern big-budget games at 4K at good framerates. You can expect the RTX 3080 to hold at least 60 FPS at 4K in many modern games using a mixture of High and Ultra settings. You might want to lower the settings to Medium in some intensive games like Cyberpunk 2077 or make use of the DLSS technology.