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RTX 4080 Vs RTX 3090: Should You Upgrade?

Our RTX 4080 Vs. RTX 3090 guide is here to help you find out whether it is worth upgrading to the 4000 series or not.

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Nvidia RTX 4080 features the advanced Ada Lovelace architecture, DLSS 3.0, 3rd-gen ray tracing, and 4th-gen Tensor cores. On the other hand, the RTX 3090 is the top RTX 3000 series GPU and boosts Nvidia Ampere architecture, DLSS 2.0, 2nd-gen ray tracing, and 3rd-gen Tensor cores. Today, we will comprehensively analyse the head-to-head battle of the RTX 4080 vs RTX 3090.

Key Takeaways

  • During my evaluation, the RTX 4080 provided a constant performance lead over the RTX 3090, with an average 33.3% performance gain at 4K resolution.
  • Considering my power consumption test results, the RTX 4080 has a 9.5% greater power efficiency than the RTX 3090.
  • According to my gaming benchmarks, the RTX 4080 has a remarkable 5.8% edge in temperature management over the RTX 3090, demonstrating its superior thermal efficiency.
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Comparison Table

FeatureNvidia GeForce RTX 4080Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090
Shading Units9728 Cuda Cores (8.94)10496 Cuda Cores (8.6)
Tensor Cores304328
Ray Tracing Cores7682
Base clock2205 MHz1395 MHz
Boost clock2505 MHz1695 MHz
Memory Capacity16GB GDDR6X24GB GDDR6X
Memory speed22.4 Gbps19.5 Gbps
Max Temperature90°C93°C
GPU TDP320W350W
Launch DateNov 16th, 2022Sep 24th, 2020
Launch MSRP$1199$1499
Best VariantsBEST RTX 4080 Graphics CardsBEST RTX 3090 Graphics Cards

Architectural Difference

  • Architecture: The RTX 3090 features the advanced Nvidia Ampere architecture, while the RTX 4080 elevates performance by integrating Nvidia’s cutting-edge Ada Lovelace architecture, enriched with the latest enhancements.
  • GPU Chip: The RTX 4080 features Nvidia’s cutting-edge AD103 chip, crafted on a 5nm node at TSMC. Conversely, the RTX 3090 integrates the GA102 chip, skillfully manufactured on an 8nm process at Samsung.
  • Clock Speed: Regarding GPU clock frequencies, the RTX 4080 boasts an approximately 58% higher base clock and a turbo clock surpassing that of the RTX 3090 by 47.8%.
  • VRAM: The RTX 3090 boasts an additional 8GB of VRAM and features a broader 384-bit data bus, surpassing the 256-bit memory of the RTX 4080. Furthermore, its impressive 936.2 GB/s memory bandwidth is a 30.6% advantage over the RTX 4080’s 716.8 GB/s.
  • Advanced Technologies: Nvidia introduced DLSS 2.0 alongside the RTX 3090, while the RTX 4080 features a more sophisticated iteration known as DLSS 3.0. Additionally, both GPUs support G-Sync technology, eliminating screen tearing and reducing stuttering.

Gaming Benchmarks

As the RTX 4080 features outstanding specifications, the question arises: how does it stack up against the formidable RTX 3090 when pushed to its limits at 4K maximum settings? I have assessed the performance of RTX 4080 vs RTX 3090 in taxing games I played at 4K resolution.

Test Bench

Cyberpunk 2077

Gameplay Stats
Cyberpunk 2077 Benchmarks at 4K – Image Credits (Tech4Gamers)
  • In my Cyberpunk gameplay, the next-gen RTX 4080 delivers an average of 51 FPS compared to the RTX 3090’s 36 FPS at ultra-high definition. A 41.7% performance lead.
  • Regarding the low-1% frame rates, the RTX 3090 managed to achieve 32 FPS, while the RTX 4080 achieved 39 FPS.

Watch Dogs Legion

Gameplay Stats
Watch Dogs Legion Benchmarks at 4K – Image Credits (Tech4Gamers)
  • When I played Watch Dogs Legion, the RTX 4080 maintained an average of FPS 96 FPS, surpassing the 3090’s average of 74 FPS by 29.7%.
  • I saw that the RXT 4080 scored 64 FPS at its low 1% performance, while the RTX 3090 produced 44 FPS.

Horizon Zero Dawn

Gameplay Stats
Horizon Zero Dawn Benchmarks at 4K – Image Credits (Tech4Gamers)
  • During my Horizon Zero Dawn session, the RTX 4080 came out on top again in the FPS battle, maintaining an average of 111 FPS compared to the 80 FPS average of the RTX 3090.
  • At its lowest performance setting in my Horizon Zero Dawn gameplay, the RXT 4080 achieved 82 FPS, whilst the RTX 3090 only managed 64 FPS.

Spiderman

Gameplay Stats
Spiderman Benchmarks at 4K – Image Credits (Tech4Gamers)
  • In my Horizon Zero Dawn gameplay, the RTX 4080 won the frame rate war again, averaging 94 FPS instead of the RTX 3090’s average of 73 FPS.
  • I observed that the RXT 4080 reached 68 FPS at its low 1%, whereas the RTX 3090 only managed 57 FPS.

Red Dead Redemption 2

Gameplay Stats
Red Dead Redemption 2 Benchmarks at 4K – Image Credits (Tech4Gamers)
  • While playing my last game, Red Dead Redemption 2, I experienced a 31.7% performance boost with the RTX 4080’s average of 108 FPS, while the RTX 3090 only achieved 82 FPS.
  • I noticed that the RXT 4080 achieved a frame rate of 61 FPS at its lowest 1% in this game, whereas the RTX 3090 struggled to reach 58 FPS.

Overall Gaming Performance

Overall Performance
Average FPS In 5 Games (4K) – Image Credits (Tech4Gamers)

After testing the RTX 4080 and 3090 on multiple resolutions and various demanding titles, it is clear that the RTX 4080 performs better due to its higher FPS yield. During my gaming session of challenging games at 4K resolution, the  RTX 4080 provided 92.0 FPS on average, while the RTX 3090 lagged much behind with its 69.0 FPS.

In my assessment, the RTX 4080 consistently outperformed the RTX 3090. Specifically, the RTX 4080 demonstrated an average performance superiority of around 33.3% at 4K resolution.

Coming to the low 1% performance metrics, the RTX 4080 outperformed the RTX 3090’s 51.0 FPS with an astounding average frame rate of 62.8 FPS. Thus, the RTX 4080 beats the RX 7800 XT in this worst-performance scenario by a margin of 23.1%.

Winner: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080

Gaming Power Consumption

Reminder: The RTX 4080 has a TDP of 320W, whereas the RTX 3090 has a higher thermal design power of 350W.

GameNvidia GeForce RTX 4080 (W)Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 (W)
Cyberpunk302331
Horizon Zero Dawn310347
Red Dead Redemption 2311342
Spiderman305328
Watch Dogs Legion318344
Average Power Draw309.2338.4

During my gaming session, the GeForce RTX 3090 consistently utilized an average power of 338.4 watts, while the GeForce RTX 4080 displayed a more efficient performance, requiring an average of 309.2 watts. This signifies a 9.5% enhancement in power efficiency for the RTX 4080 over the RTX 3090 when addressing the power requirements of 4K gaming.

Winner: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080

Gaming Temperatures

GameNvidia GeForce RTX 4080 (°C)Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 (°C)
Cyberpunk6569
Horizon Zero Dawn6671
Red Dead Redemption 26670
Spiderman6769
Watch Dogs Legion6468
Average Temperature65.669.4

Examining the heat dynamics of my gaming endeavour, the RTX 4080 demonstrated superior heat regulation, sustaining an average temperature of 65.6°C. Conversely, the RTX 3090 exhibited a relatively heightened temperature, peaking at 69.4°C.

Thus, the RTX 4080 surpasses the RTX 3090 in thermal efficiency, boasting an impressive 5.8% advantage in temperature management. If your GPU temperature jumps repeatedly, our in-depth guide on How To Lower GPU Temperature can be of great use to you.

Winner: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080

Pricing And Availability

Nvidia received a fair bit of criticism after it announced the RTX 4080’s price of 1,199 USD. The card’s overall performance is tremendous, thanks to the improved FPS, lower temperatures, and better power consumption. Adding 4th-generation tensor cores and DLSS 3 will surely provide an immersive gaming experience. 

However, a new RTX 3090 doesn’t come cheap either. As a matter of fact, it came with a hefty price tag of 1,499 USD when it was released. The RTX 3090 is now available at approximately 1,600 USD, with prices soaring even higher on various third-party platforms due to escalated market rates. 

Which One Do I Recommend?

Now, I will bring the RTX 4080 vs RTX 3090 comparison to a conclusion with the inclusion of my proposed recommendation.

If you love gaming on 4K and want the highest framerates and value for money, I highly recommend the RTX 4080. The RTX 4080 has fantastic specs and benchmarks on paper. At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference. If you have the budget and want a GPU with the latest architecture and best performance while maintaining minimal energy consumption, the 4080 will be the best choice, without a doubt.

Pros And Cons

GPUProsCons
Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080✅ Excellent 4K gaming Performance
✅ Great Ray Tracing Skills
❌ High Power Consumption
❌ No DisplayPort 2.1 connectivity
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090✅ Improved Ray Tracing Skills
✅ 384-Bit 24GB GDDR6X Memory
❌ High Power Consumption
❌ High Price

FAQs

How much improvement can I expect from RTX 4080 compared to RTX 3080?

The RTX 4080 is definitely a worthy option for gamers and content creators, but its price tag may be quite hefty for some.

Is 4K Gaming Possible With RTX 3090?

Yes, you can game on 4K ultra-high definition with your RTX 3090 GPU. While the FPS may be slightly lower than the newer 4080, the difference is almost negligible.

Which GPU Should I Choose To Future Proof My Gaming PC?

If you want to future-proof your rig, it would be best to get the latest GPU, making the RTX 4080 a worthwhile option, especially because of its ADA Lovelace architecture. 


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