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Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition Review: A Huge Generational Leap in Performance

The GeForce RTX 3080 delivers big gains over Turing and the RTX 2080 Ti, but at a lower price.

GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

As you'd expect, dropping the resolution to 1440p tends to narrow the gap between the RTX 3080 and the other GPUs. Given the level of performance we're talking about, 1440p gaming on the RTX 3080 is going to be similar in many ways to 1080p gaming on an RTX 2080 Ti. You can do it, of course, but you'll almost certainly start to hit CPU bottlenecks in a lot of games.

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GeForce RTX 3080: 1440p Gaming Benchmarks

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GeForce RTX 3080: 1440p Gaming Benchmarks

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GeForce RTX 3080: 1440p Gaming Benchmarks

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GeForce RTX 3080: 1440p Gaming Benchmarks

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Our high level overall average charts show most of what you'll want to see. At 1440p ultra, the RTX 3080 ended up 24% faster than the 2080 Ti, 43% faster than the 2080 Super, and 54% faster than the 2080 FE. Or if you're still hanging on to a GTX 1080 from 2017, it's more than twice as fast — a reasonable upgrade option. It's also twice as fast as the RX Vega 64, 74% faster than the RX 5700 XT, and 67% faster than Radeon VII.

CPU bottlenecks become even more of a factor when you drop to 1440p and medium settings. You can knock ~10-15% off the 3080's lead over the 'slower' GPUs like GTX 1080, ~10% off the lead over the cards in the middle of our charts, and only ~5% less against the top previous-gen cards, like the 2080 Ti. Again, all of that is thanks to the 3080 becoming increasingly CPU-limited.

We're going to dispense with discussions of 1440p performance on the individual games since there's really not much to add. The RTX 3080 still easily reigns as the fastest 1440p gaming GPU. It did come in slightly behind the Titan RTX at 1440p medium in Forza Horizon 4, but both cards were clearly smacking into an fps ceiling of some form. 

Borderlands 3

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GeForce RTX 3080: 1440p Gaming Benchmarks

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GeForce RTX 3080: 1440p Gaming Benchmarks

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GeForce RTX 3080: 1440p Gaming Benchmarks

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GeForce RTX 3080: 1440p Gaming Benchmarks

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The Division 2

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GeForce RTX 3080: 1440p Gaming Benchmarks

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GeForce RTX 3080: 1440p Gaming Benchmarks

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GeForce RTX 3080: 1440p Gaming Benchmarks

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GeForce RTX 3080: 1440p Gaming Benchmarks

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Far Cry 5

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GeForce RTX 3080: 1440p Gaming Benchmarks

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GeForce RTX 3080: 1440p Gaming Benchmarks

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Final Fantasy XIV

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GeForce RTX 3080: 1440p Gaming Benchmarks

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GeForce RTX 3080: 1440p Gaming Benchmarks

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GeForce RTX 3080: 1440p Gaming Benchmarks

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GeForce RTX 3080: 1440p Gaming Benchmarks

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Forza Horizon 4

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GeForce RTX 3080: 1440p Gaming Benchmarks

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GeForce RTX 3080: 1440p Gaming Benchmarks

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GeForce RTX 3080: 1440p Gaming Benchmarks

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GeForce RTX 3080: 1440p Gaming Benchmarks

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Metro Exodus

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GeForce RTX 3080: 1440p Gaming Benchmarks

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GeForce RTX 3080: 1440p Gaming Benchmarks

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Red Dead Redemption 2

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GeForce RTX 3080: 1440p Gaming Benchmarks

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GeForce RTX 3080: 1440p Gaming Benchmarks

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GeForce RTX 3080: 1440p Gaming Benchmarks

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Shadow of the Tomb Raider

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GeForce RTX 3080: 1440p Gaming Benchmarks

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Strange Brigade

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  • chalabam
    This article lacks a tensorflow benchmark
    Reply
  • Zeecoder
    This article is outdated.
    Reply
  • chickenballs
    I thought the 3080 was released in September.
    Maybe it's considered a "paper-launch"

    chalabam said:
    This article lacks a tensorflow benchmark
    Nvidia won't like that :D
    Reply
  • JarredWaltonGPU
    Zeecoder said:
    This article is outdated.
    FYI, it's the same review that we posted at the launch, just reformatted and paginated now. If I wasn't on break for the holidays, I'd maybe do a bunch of new charts, but I've got other things I'll be doing in that area soon enough.
    Reply
  • MagicPants
    I still think the shortage is the big news for the 3080.

    I might be paranoid, but I think there be something to the fact that the top ebay 3080 scalper "occomputerparts" has sold 97 RTX 3080s from EVGA specifically and shipped them from Brea, California.

    Anyone want to guess where EVGA is headquartered??? Brea, California.

    Now it could be that some scalper wrote a bot and has been buying them off Amazon, BestBuy, and Newegg. But then why only sell EVGA cards? They'd have to program their bot to ignore cards from other vendors, which wouldn't make any sense.
    Reply
  • TEAMSWITCHER
    MagicPants said:
    I still think the shortage is the big news for the 3080.

    I might be paranoid, but I think there be something to the fact that the top ebay 3080 scalper "occomputerparts" has sold 97 RTX 3080s from EVGA specifically and shipped them from Brea, California.

    Anyone want to guess where EVGA is headquartered??? Brea, California.

    Now it could be that some scalper wrote a bot and has been buying them off Amazon, BestBuy, and Newegg. But then why only sell EVGA cards? They'd have to program their bot to ignore cards from other vendors, which wouldn't make any sense.

    It's probably an inside job. Demand for RTX 3000 series is off the charts! I don't see any good reason to buy an AMD GPU other than for a pity-purchase. AMD is pricing their cards less, because they are less. In sheer performance it's just a bit less, but in next generation capabilities .. it's a lot less. I will hold out for an RTX 3080. AMD won't catch up, before Nvidia has filled the demand of the market. Patience will be rewarded.
    Reply
  • LeszekSol
    What is a point discussing items (namely - Nvidia RTX3080 Founders Edition) which dos not exist in free market? Cards are anavailable since first day of "hiting market" and even Nvidia has no idea (or perhaps plans) when it will become available again. There are other cards based on similar architecture - but actually a little different - so.... WHAT FOR guys you are loosing time to discuss this? Lets forget about NVidia, or let's put it on the shelf with MobyDick books.....
    Reply
  • PureMist
    Hello,

    I have a question about the settings used in the testing for FFXIV. The chart says Medium or Ultra but the game itself only has Maximum and two PC and Laptop settings. So how do these correlate to the actual in game settings? Or are “Medium” and “Ultra” two custom presets you made for testing purposes?

    Thank you for your time.
    Reply
  • JarredWaltonGPU
    PureMist said:
    Hello,

    I have a question about the settings used in the testing for FFXIV. The chart says Medium or Ultra but the game itself only has Maximum and two PC and Laptop settings. So how do these correlate to the actual in game settings? Or are “Medium” and “Ultra” two custom presets you made for testing purposes?

    Thank you for your time.
    Sorry, my chart generation script defaults to "medium" and "ultra" and I didn't think about this particular game. You're right, the actual settings are different in FFXIV Benchmark. I use the "high" and "maximum" settings instead of medium/ultra for that test. I'll see about updating the script to put in the correct names, though I intend to drop the FFXIV benchmark at some point regardless.
    Reply
  • acsmith1972
    The cheapest I see this card for right now is $1800. I really wish these manufacturers wouldn't be pricing these cards based on bitcoin mining. It's once again going to price the rest of us out of getting any decent video cards till BTC drops again.
    Reply