Asus and Noctua are extending their partnership to Asustek's GeForce RTX 3080 Noctua Edition graphics card. This new offering combines the advantages of Asus' engineering, Nvidia's GA102 GPU coupled with 10GB of memory, and Noctua's expertise in cooling.
When Asus and Noctua teamed up for a graphics card last year, it provoked a lot of enthusiasm in the community, given Asustek's expertise in high-end graphics boards and Noctua's knowledge of quiet fans. Yet the first collaborative product by the two companies was a rather conservative GeForce RTX 3070 card. While still being among the best graphics cards you can find these days, that board had its boundaries, such as 8GB of GDDR6 memory onboard. The new product addresses those limitations with a more powerful GPU and 10GB of GDDR6X memory.
While the usage of a GA102 graphics processor with a different configuration (8704 CUDA cores vs. 5888 CUDA codes, 20.3 FP32 TFLOPS vs 29.8 FP32 TFLOPS) is a tangible upgrade by itself, power-hungry GDDR6X memory adds to total consumed and dissipated power (290W for RTX 3070 vs 340W for RTX 3080). This is why Noctua tailored its cooler for a new challenge.
The new GeForce RTX 3080 Noctua Edition (opens in new tab) model continues to use a quad-slot cooling system equipped with NF-A12x25 120-mm fans. The Noctua Edition runs 4.5 dB(A) quieter at typical auto-speed fan settings while achieving 3°C lower GPU temperatures and 14°C lower VRAM temperatures than Asus's TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 3080, according to the mutual press release issued by the companies.
Based on information from the PR, the fans of the GeForce RTX 3080 Noctua Edition at their maximum speed (something that happens in poorly ventilated cases) reduced noise levels by 8.6 dBA and the memory was still 12°C cooler than in case of the TUF card, according to official information. Given how meticulously Noctua develops its heatsinks and fans, the comparison should be even more impressive when the fans are not running at lower speeds. In addition, Noctua mentions a 2-5 dBA lower noise levels when compared to their TUF reference card, though we would like to test these things ourselves.
"We have been thrilled to continue our cooperation with Asus," says Roland Mossig, Noctua CEO. "The GeForce RTX 3080 with its heat emission of up to 340W is an entirely different beast to tame than the GeForce RTX 3070, but leveraging our fan technology and a customised heatsink, we have once again managed to create a card that combines serious GPU power with excellent quietness of operation."
One of the things that Asus and Noctua don't mention is the recommended price of the GeForce RTX 3080 Noctua Edition graphics card. One of the drawbacks of the GeForce RTX 3070 Noctua Edition was its price, but that was amid shortages of graphics boards in general, so it was not surprising. Now that prices of video cards are getting to their MSRP levels, perhaps even a Noctua Edition product will be priced at levels accessible to average buyers.