With the introduction of the ADA Lovelace GPUs, the graphics card landscape has some new kids on the block. One of the more notable of these GPUs is the Nvidia Geforce RTX 4070. In this comparison, we will compare the RTX 4070 vs RTX 3080 to see if the new mid-range can outperform one of the last generation’s top tier.
- The RTX 4070 had an average framerate of 87.6 FPS through these 7 games, whereas the RTX 3080 came in about a frame slower at 86.4 FPS.
- The performance per watt of the RTX 4070 is about 0.46 Frames/Watt, whereas the RTX 3080 comes in at about 0.29 Frames/Watt.
- The RTX 4070 had a peak temperature of about 61°C in our testing, whereas the RTX 3080 had an average of about 65°C.
|Technical Specs||NVIDIA RTX 3080 10GB||NVIDIA RTX 4070|
|Memory Speed||912.4 GB/s||504.2 GB/s|
|Best Variants||Best RTX 3080||Best RTX 4070|
- VRAM: The RTX 3080 comes with two VRAM configurations, one boasting 10GB of video memory while the other uses 12GB of GDDR6X memory. The RTX 4070, however, comes in only one configuration of 12GB of VRAM using the same technology. The older card has a 384-bit bus, while the newer card has a 192-bit bus.
- Process Nodes: The RTX 3080 uses a fairly modern 8nm processing node, but the RTX 4070 outdoes it, using TSMC’s 5nm lithography, increasing power efficiency and overall performance.
- Clock Speeds: The base clock of the RTX 3080 is around 1260MHz, while the newer card has a frequency of 1920MHz at its base. The boost frequencies of these cards are relatively far apart, too, with the 4070 going up to 2465MHz while the RTX 3080 goes up to 1710MHz.
- TDP: The RTX 4070 has a much lower TDP of 200 watts, while the RTX 3080 is relatively power-hungry with a TDP of around 350 watts.
- Supported Technologies: Both GPUS support equivalent Ray Tracing and DLSS chops, while the RTX 4070 has a trick up its sleeve in the form of its Frame Generation technology, allowing you to double your framerate in games that support it.
In this section of the RTX 4070 vs GeForce RTX 3080 comparison, we will pin these two GPUs against one another to see which performs best in real-world gaming.
These tests were performed at the highest settings in each game with quality DLSS at 1440p. These tests have been performed on a controlled test bench, the specs of which are listed below.
- CPU – Core i9-13900K
- Motherboard – ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming
- RAM – G.SKILL Trident Z5 RGB 32GB DDR5 6000MHz CL38
- CPU Cooler – be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4
- Graphic Cards – GeForce RTX 3080 10GB, GeForce RTX 4070 12GB
- SSD – 2xSAMSUNG 970 EVO M.2 2280 1TB
- Power Supply – CORSAIR RM850i 850W
Spiderman Miles Morales (DLSS Quality, RT ON)
- The RTX 3080 had an average of 74 FPS in our testing of Spiderman Miles Morales, while the RTX 4070 had an average of about 75 FPS. The difference in frame rates in this title is negligible.
- The 1% lows on the RTX 4070 were slightly better, with 72 FPS compared to the RTX 3080’s 68 FPS.
Cyberpunk 2077 (DLSS Quality, RT Very High)
- Our tests showed that the RTX 3080 averaged 61 FPS in Cyberpunk 2077 with DLSS set to Quality and Ray Tracing set to very high. The RTX 4070 was a few frames behind, with an average of 57 FPS.
- The 1% lows on the RTX 3080 were better, with 50 FPS, compared to the 4070’s 46 FPS.
A Plague Tale: Requiem (Resolution Optimizer On, RT Shadows)
- In our benchmark of A Plague Tale Requiem, both the cards had the same averages at 64 FPS.
- This title also had almost the same 1% lows, with the RTX 3080 beating out the RTX 4070 with about 42 FPS compared to 41 FPS.
Resident Evil 4 Remake (RT OFF)
- The RTX 3080 showed an average framerate of 88 FPS during our testing of Resident Evil 4. The RTX 4070 beat its older cousin out with an average framerate of 96 FPS in this game.
- The 1% lows on the RTX 4070 were slightly better again, with 66 FPS compared to the RTX 3080’s 61 FPS.
Red Dead Redemption 2 (DLSS OFF)
- The averages in our test of Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2 were again better on the 4070. The RTX 4070 had about 104 FPS compared to the 96 FPS of the RTX 3080.
- The 1% lows on the RTX 4070 were significantly better, with 82 FPS, and the RTX 3080 had 1% lows at 75 FPS.
Forza Horizon 5 (RT High)
- The RTX 3080 had an average of 99 FPS in our test of Forza Horizon 5, while the RTX 4070 had an average of framerate of around 104 FPS.
- The 89 FPS 1% lows of the RTX 4070 were slightly better than the 85 FPS minimums of the RTX 3080.
Microsoft Flight Simulator (RT ON)
- In our test of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, the RTX 3080 had an average framerate of 76 FPS, which was barely above the 74 FPS that the RTX 4070 spat out on average.
- The 1% lows on the RTX 4070 were slightly better, with 69 FPS compared to the RTX 3080’s 65 FPS.
Overall Gaming Analysis
This section will examine every aspect of our RTX 4070 vs RTX 3080 gaming tests in more detail.
Throughout our testing, the performance of the RTX 3080 and the RTX 4070 was more or less neck-and-neck. The RTX 4070 managed to pull a bit more FPS on average throughout our testing.
The RTX 4070 had an average framerate of 87.3 FPS through these 7 games, whereas the RTX 3080 came in about a frame slower at 85.3 FPS. This difference in framerate indicates that the performance of either graphics card can be higher or lower than the other, depending on the specific game at hand.
The RTX 3080 had 1% lows of 70.3 FPS as an average of the 7 games tested, while the RTX 4070 came in a small amount higher with 1% lows of 73.3 FPS.
The headlining feature of the RTX 4070 and the ADA Lovelace GPUs is the incredible performance per watt they get, and this was assured to us in our testing of these cards.
On average, throughout our 7 games, the RTX 4070 drew 191.1 Watts of power, whereas the RTX 3080 had a power draw of about 298.1 Watts. This gives the RTX 4070 a performance per watt of 0.46 Frames/Watt, whereas the RTX 3080 comes in at about 0.29 Frames/Watt.
The RTX 4070’s exceptional power efficiency is due to its smaller processing nodes compared to the RTX 30 series, which prioritized drawing more power to improve FPS.
The lower power draw on the RTX 4070 allows it to have exceptional temperatures while keeping a small form factor. On the other hand, the RTX 3080 once again uses all the space it could take up in a case to cool itself properly.
Despite this, the RTX 4070 had a peak temperature of about 61.6°C in our testing, whereas the RTX 3080 had an average of about 65.4°C. This lower temperature allows for better longevity of the RTX 4070, giving it more leverage in that field over the RTX 3080.
If you want to lower the temperatures of the RTX 3080 closer to the numbers you see from the RTX 4070, take a look at our guide on how to lower GPU temperature.
Price And Availability
The RTX 4070 has a launch MSRP of $600, whereas the RTX 3080 has a launch MSRP of about $700. If you are comfortable buying used parts, it would be very easy to get an RTX 3080 around the price of the 4070, if not a bit lower.
The RTX 3080 is a widely available card, and you should be able to find it at any computer store of your liking, though stores are clearing stock to make room for the 4080. The RTX 4070, while not as popular as the xx60 or xx80 series of GPUs, should still be available at any brick-and-mortar/online store you choose a little time after its release.
What We Recommend
Our testing of the RTX 4070 vs RTX 3080 has proved that the latter holds up strong even against the newer cards from Nvidia. If you want to buy a cheaper graphics card that performs as well as the newer GPUs, we would highly recommend that you look into buying a used RTX 3080.
The RTX 4070 brings some merits in the form of its power efficiency, extra features, and more recent release. Being a newer card, more people would be more comfortable spending their cash on this card instead of the older RTX 3080.
All in all, both cards are pretty close in terms of performance, so it might be better to scout out the better deal between the two and buy whatever is cheaper at the moment.
Pros And Cons
|RTX 3080||RTX 4070|
|It can be had for cheaper in the used market.||You might have to look for a used one to get a price-competitive card.||You can get it new for the same price as a used 3080.||Even though it is priced competitively in the Nvidia hierarchy, it fails to compete with AMD.|
|It was designed with ray-traced 4K gaming in mind.||Has much more power draw than the RTX 4070.||Has excellent power efficiency.||It was not designed with ray-traced 4K gaming in mind, so performance might be sub-par.|
The RTX 4070 has 12 GBs of GDDR6X RAM, whereas the RTX 3080 comes in 10 GB and 12 GB variants with the same memory type.
Yes and no. The RTX 3080 had two models, the 10 GB, and the 12 GB, so some models have less VRAM than the RTX 4070.
Yes, the RTX 3080 uses one of the shady marketing practices utilized by Nvidia. It comes in two SKUs, the 10 GB and 12 GB models. This comparison focuses on the 10 GB model.
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I’m a passionate computer hardware expert specializing in CPUs and GPUs. With a lifelong curiosity for hardware and extensive hands-on experience, I provide valuable insights, practical advice, and in-depth analysis on these components. Engaging with the hardware community, I exchange knowledge and stay at the forefront of technological advancements.
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