Intro

The RTX 3080 Ti Arrives at $1199 – Performance Revealed – 25 Games, SPEC, Workstation, and GPGPU Benchmarked 

BTR received the RTX 3080 Ti 12GB Founders Edition (FE) from NVIDIA and we have been testing its performance by benchmarking 25 games and also by overclocking it.  NVIDIA claims that at $1199 it is almost as fast as the Ampere Flagship, the RTX 3090, which launched at $1,499 so we compare their performance using BTR’s 25 latest games including Resident Evil 8, Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition, and Days Gone with an emphasis on ray tracing and DLSS.  In addition, although the RTX 3080 Ti is now NVIDIA’s flagship gaming GeForce card, we have added workstation, SPEC, and GPGPU benches.

The RTX 3090 is about 1.5x faster than the $1199 RTX 2080 Ti Turing flagship and much faster in ray traced games, so we are going to compare performance using five top cards – the 3080 Ti FE, the RTX 3090 FE, the RTX 3080 FE, as well as versus the reference RX 6800 XT and the Red Devil RTX 6900 XT.  However, because of supply/demand issues, all suggested pricing is meaningless as only a very lucky few gamers will get them at or close to MSRP/SEP.

NVIDIA indicates that the RTX 3080 Ti has been in full production and stockpiled for over a month, so they’re already in the hands of retailers and have been for weeks so they can build supply. Even so it will still sell out probably within seconds because the demand is just that high.

Negativity and Hope

There has been a lot of pent up negativity about video cards for over 6 months because of their general unavailability with ridiculously high prices.  Social media has blamed NVIDIA and AMD for these issues and few care to read reviews.  There has been a perfect storm of twin pandemics hitting in 2020 – COVID-19 and Cryptomining.  Both pandemics have increased demand as many people who were forced to stay home turned to gaming.  In addition, Etherium GPU mining is currently still profitable which means that miners compete with gamers for supply.  But we believe that this is about to change as what goes boom also will go bust.

We believe that the demand for video cards is going to take a steep drop soon. ETH GPU mining will die after (1) the difficulty spikes in July, (2) Summer’s cooling costs hit miners; (3) ASICS’ efficiency moves the big ETH miners away from GPU farms, and (4) gamers return to work en masse in the USA and Europe followed by the rest of the world as vaccinations bring an end to the COVID-19 pandemic. As governments again look to regulate and tax BitCoin profits, it is already showing signs of imploding.  More video cards are beginning to show up on eBay at slightly lower prices. The end of the COVID-19 and Crypto pandemics are in view and a new ‘Roaring 20s’ for gamers may soon appear on the horizon.

Specifications

We have already covered Ampere’s features in depth and we have reviewed the RTX 3080, the 3080 Ti’s $699 slower brother that comes equipped with 10GB of vRAM.  We have also reviewed NVIDIA’s flagship RTX 3090 which launched at $1499 and comes equipped with 24GB of vRAM. This review will consider whether the new RTX 3080 Ti FE at $1199 delivers a good value.  The GA102 RTX 3080 Ti has 10240 CUDA cores which is more than double the CUDA cores of the RTX 2080 Ti. It delivers 34 TFLOPS of shader performance plus 67 RT-TFLOPS and 273 Tensor-TFLOPS for ray tracing and AI.

Since the RTX 2080 Ti launched in 2018, there are now more than 130 games and applications supporting NVIDIA RTX tech including ray tracing and Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) and more AI features.  Since all of the vendors and console platforms now support ray tracing technology, it is becoming a checkbox feature for AAA and even for indie games, so we will focus on these newer games.  NVIDIA’s Reflex latency-reducing technology is also now supported in 12 of the top 15 competitive shooters and we will follow up this review with an upcoming latency review.  

Games showcased during COMPUTEX that will be adding both ray tracing and DLSS include The AscentDOOM EternalDYING: 1983Icarus, LEGO Builder’s Journey and The Persistence. New games using DLSS will include Red Dead Redemption 2 and Rainbow Six Siege.

We benchmark using Windows 10 64-bit Pro Edition at 1920×1080, 2560×1440, and at 3840×2160 using Intel’s Core i9-10900K at 5.1/5.0 GHz and 32GB of T-FORCE DARK Z 3600MHz DDR4 on a EVGA Z490 FTW motherboard.  All games and benchmarks use the latest versions, and we use recent GeForce Game Ready drivers for games.

Let’s first unbox the RTX 3080 Ti Founders Edition before we look at our test configuration

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