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Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 16GB Founders Version Assessment

Following final month’s launch of the $1,599 Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090, a graphics card meant largely for skilled use, right this moment the brand new era of GPUs has lastly arrived for the marginally much less rich crowd of PC avid gamers within the type of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 16GB Founders Version, which launches tomorrow for $1,199. Which means the entry level for the RTX 40-series’ lofty efficiency claims and frame-generating DLSS 3 has come down at the least a bit. We’re nonetheless in the beginning of this new GPU era, however to this point the RTX 4080 is a robust displaying.

What’s in a Identify

Earlier than we get to the spec sheet and efficiency numbers, we must always cowl the RTX 4080 naming kerfuffle and discuss a bit about how Nvidia’s GPUs are usually positioned – and why this era is a bit completely different than earlier years. Courting again greater than a decade, Nvidia GPUs bearing the “-80” moniker are thought of the flagship mainstream playing cards, and have been priced within the $500 to $700 vary. Trying extra particularly at latest traits, the GTX 1080 launched at $599, and each the RTX 2080 and 3080 launched at $699.

You is likely to be questioning, then, why the RTX 4080 begins at almost double that vary. The reply is in that beforehand talked about naming fiasco. Initially, Nvidia deliberate two variants of the RTX 4080 – a 16GB for $1,199 (the model we’re reviewing right here) and a 12GB, priced at $899. This would not have been the primary time Nvidia has launched VRAM-variant playing cards, however usually the quantity of VRAM was the one distinction, whereas on this case the 2 playing cards additionally carried completely different core counts and clockspeeds – variations that beforehand would have warranted a bump down to a different tier (on this case, the RTX 4070).

Individuals rightfully complained in regards to the confusion this was already beginning to trigger, and to Nvidia’s credit score it responded, opting to “unlaunch” the RTX 4080 12GB; It is now rumored that these playing cards can be re-announced with the “RTX 4070 Ti” identify, although as of but there’s nothing official.

That is all properly and good, but it surely nonetheless leaves us with a “mainstream” card bearing the enthusiast-tier pricing that may beforehand have been reserved for a card bearing the “Ti” label – representing a mid-generation step up. In different phrases, typical generational comparisons are a bit skewed this time round, so we’ll principally be evaluating the RTX 4080 towards the RTX 3080 Ti, which additionally launched at $1,199 in June 2021, versus the RTX 3080.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 – Design and Options

For those who learn my assessment of the RTX 4090, you will keep in mind that it is a completely large card, in each measurement and efficiency phrases. The RTX 4080, in the meantime, is…not any smaller. It bears the identical triple-slot designation, measuring 11.9 inches (304mm) lengthy, 5.4 inches (137mm) extensive, and a pair of.4 inches (61mm) thick – the very same dimensions because the RTX 4090. It is a large card. For comparability, the RTX 3080 measured 11.2 inches (285mm) lengthy, 4.4 inches (112mm) extensive, and 1.5 inches (40mm) thick, whereas the RTX 2080 and GTX 1080 had been even smaller.

Most of that heft comes from the big, dual-axial flowthrough cooling answer required to maintain temperatures in verify. The cooler design is usually much like that of the RTX 3090, however with bigger followers and taller fins so as to obtain what Nvidia says is 15% extra airflow on the similar acoustic degree. In apply, the RTX 4080 remained whisper-quiet whereas preserving temperatures hovering round 53-55C, with a peak of 57C, throughout a protracted stretch of benchmarking.

In comparison with the RTX 3080 Ti, the RTX 4080 has 9,728 CUDA cores (down from 10,240), 304 fourth-gen Tensor cores (vs 320 third-gen), and 76 third-gen RT cores (vs 80 second-gen). In different phrases: it has newer cores, however barely fewer of them total. The lower in depend should not be alarming although, because the 4080 features a enhance clock pace of two,505MHz in comparison with the RTX 3080 Ti’s 1,665MHz clock, to not point out the 16GB of GDDR6X VRAM, in comparison with 12GB on its 30-series “ predecessor.”

Just like the RTX 4090, the 4080 makes use of the considerably contentious 16-pin 12VHPWR energy connector that has lately been within the information attributable to reviews of it overheating and melting. We have not had any points with it in any of our testing, however we’ll positively be monitoring the state of affairs as this era of graphics playing cards matures.

Talking of energy, the RTX 4080 has a TDP of 320W, down from 350W on the RTX 3080 Ti. Nvidia recommends utilizing a 750W energy provide at minimal. There’s additionally a 3x 8-pin adapter within the field for individuals whose energy provides haven’t got the brand new connector.

For ports, the RTX 4080 has 3x DisplayPort 1.4a and 1x HDMI 2.1a. That is the standard structure for current-gen graphics playing cards, although AMD’s recently-announced RX 7900 XT and XTX use the newer DisplayPort 2.1, which has greater than triple the bandwidth and allows 4K decision at as much as 480Hz, or 8K as much as 165Hz, versus 240Hz at 4K and 60Hz at 8K for DisplayPort 1.4. Most video games and displays will not be capable of make the most of that bandwidth, so it is kind of a moot level, however AMD does technically have the benefit.

Nvidia Geforce RTX 4080 – Efficiency

Beginning off with our artificial benchmarks, the RTX 4080 comes out swinging in 3D Mark Hearth Strike Extremely with a 17% enchancment over the RTX 3090 Ti and 28% over AMD’s RX 3950 XT – the 2 finest GPUs of the earlier era – and a 35 % enhance over its generational price-equivalent predecessor, the RTX 3080 Ti. As you’d anticipate it falls significantly in need of the RTX 4090, nevertheless, with a rating of 16,255 in comparison with the RTX 4090’s 21,872, which makes whole sense on condition that card prices $400 extra.

Transferring on to Unigine Heaven, the RTX 4080 edges out the RTX 3090 Ti and RX 6950 XT at 1080p and 1440p, however truly falls in need of each playing cards at 4K. In opposition to the RTX 3080 Ti, although, it persistently wins out with a 13% lead at 1080p, 14% at 1440p, and a slight 4% at 4K.

The ray tracing synthetics are extra dramatic. The RTX 4080 affords a mean uplift of 28% in comparison with the RTX 3090 Ti throughout our three exams, and naturally completely demolishes the RX 6950 XT, which lacks the ray tracing chops of Nvidia’s {hardware}. Evaluating it to the 3080 Ti affords much more spectacular outcomes, with a mean enchancment of 45% in comparison with that card.

Transferring on to our gaming benchmarks, the RTX 4080 once more has a robust displaying throughout all three resolutions examined. At this level our benchmark exams are mainly CPU certain at 1080p, with the RTX 4080 pinging the meter alongside the extra highly effective RTX 4090. 1440p is comparatively comparable, with the cardboard displaying massive features during the last era in exams that are not CPU certain , and naturally matching the most effective in exams which can be.

Given the high-end nature of this {hardware}, nevertheless, the true story is at 4K. (For those who’re not taking part in at 4K or higher resolutions, you should not spend this a lot cash on a GPU.) Increasing our check suite barely, you possibly can see that the RTX 4080 affords appreciable features over the earlier era, with a mean enchancment of 27% over the RTX 3090 Ti and 45% versus the RTX 3080 Ti. Take into account that the latter of these playing cards launched on the similar $1,199 value, whereas the previous carried a $2,000 MSRP when it launched earlier this yr (although costs have now fallen to round what it’s best to anticipate to pay for an RTX 4080 contemporary off the shelf).

These are spectacular features, however probably not out of the strange when you think about it is a new era graphics. Trying again to our RTX 3080 assessment, that card supplied 50% to 70% enhancements over its generational predecessor, the RTX 2080 Tremendous. That is to not low cost the RTX 4080 – 4K framerates properly above 60fps in probably the most demanding video games will elevate eyebrows for a couple of years to come back – I simply really feel it is essential to keep in mind that we’re speaking about high-end, if not enthusiast-level pricing right here, so my expectations are sky excessive.

Lastly, I wish to contact on Nvidia’s new DLSS 3 body era expertise. Try my RTX 4090 assessment for a extra in-depth rationalization, however in brief the GPU appears at two sequential frames, calculates the distinction between them, after which makes use of AI to generate a body in between them. As with the RTX 4090, I examined DLSS 3 and body era in Cyberpunk 2077.

DLSS once more supplied a surprising uplift, bringing the RTX 4080’s framerate as much as 73 with out body era, and 108 with it. These are superior numbers for one of the vital technically demanding video games obtainable on PC right this moment – and keep in mind, this benchmark is run at 4K with max settings and ray tracing enabled. The 30-series RTX playing cards, in the meantime, each obtain much less of an uplift from DLSS, and haven’t got entry to border era all collectively.

After all, DLSS 3 continues to be a brand new expertise, and recreation assist is proscribed in the interim. That mentioned, it is steadily rolling out to extra video games, together with Microsoft Flight Simulator, A Plague Story: Requiem, and Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered. If assist continues to develop as anticipated and the efficiency uplift stays as formidable, DLSS 3 would be the killer function that actually makes upgrading to a 40-series card price it for high-resolution, high-framerate gaming.

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