Nvidia RTX 4080 review – killer 4K graphics card, grisly price

The Nvidia RTX 4080 has lastly rolled as much as the graphics card scene, and its next-gen talents are a GeForce to be reckoned with. Sadly, whereas it stands tall subsequent to its RTX 4090 sibling, it’s most likely not the 80-class successor you’ve been ready for, because it flies a bit too near the premium price level solar.

The greatest graphics card battlefield at present feels a bit topsy-turvy, as AMD’s high GPU, the Radeon RX 7900 XTX, is definitely an RTX 4080 rival that prices $899 USD. I can’t say for positive whether or not the RDNA 3 card will use the Lovelace card’s lofty price towards it, nevertheless it’s definitely value maintaining in thoughts whereas judging Nvidia’s contender.

The RTX 4080, nonetheless, is available in at $1,199 USD / £1,269 GBP – $500 greater than the RTX 3080 at launch. In a manner, I really feel unhealthy for the next-gen newcomer, as its debut is haunted by each the now canceled 12GB mannequin and its out-of-place price. Yet, when you’re prepared to disregard Nvidia’s questionable branding, the GPU remains to be a 4K heavy hitter that’ll increase fps additional than an RTX 3090, and its outstanding DLSS 3 capabilities considerably sweeten the deal.

Nvidia RTX 4080 graphics card sitting in GeForce packaging on white desk

Specs

Equipped with 16GB GDDR6X VRAM, the RTX 4080 is designed with 4K gaming in thoughts. It packs 9,728 CUDA cores, 1,024 lower than the RTX 3090, and options sooner 2,505MHz increase clock speeds.

Nvidia RTX 4080 FE Nvidia RTX 4090 FE Zotac Gaming RTX 3090 TI
GPU AD103 AD102 GA102
Cores 9,728 16,384  10,752
RT cores 76  128 84
Tensor cores 304  512  336
VRAM 16GB GDDR6X 24GB GDDR6X 24GB GDDR6X
Memory bus 256-bit  384-bit  384-bit
Memory bandwidth 716.8GB/s 1,018GB/s 936.2GB/s
Base clock 2,205 MHz 2,235MHz 1,395MHz
Boost clock 2,505MHz 2,520MHz 1,890MHz
TDP 320W 450W 450W
MSRP $1,199 USD (£1,269 GBP) $1,599 USD (£1,679 GBP) $999 USD (£1,090 GBP)

Unlike the RTX 4090, Nvidia’s AD103 GPU isn’t as ravenous for energy, because of its 320W TDP. That means you’ll be capable to use the identical 750W PSU that’s powering your RTX 3080, however you’ll nonetheless should take care of an adapter.

Nvidia RTX 4080 graphics card sitting horizontal on white desk

Design

In our RTX 4090 review, I referred to as the Asus TUF gaming mannequin an aesthetic nightmare, however Nvidia’s Founder’s Edition RTX 4080 design isn’t fairly as offensive. It even offers a splash of refined lighting, full with a customisable RGB strip and an illuminated GeForce brand. Will it stand out at a LAN occasion? Probably not, nevertheless it helps stop the cardboard from trying like a darkish obelisk lurking inside your case.

Don’t get me mistaken, the RTX 4080 Founder’s Edition remains to be ridiculously chonky, and the actual fact it’s the identical measurement as 4090 is perplexing. However, the reference GeForce shroud avoids committing too many visible sins whereas maintaining itself quiet and funky, with temperatures within the area of 60-65 levels Celsius beneath load.

Just like each different RTX 4000 mannequin, the cardboard’s PCIe 5 energy connector lives close to the middle of the cardboard. Personally, the 8-pin socket’s placement drives me across the bend, and it makes me need to hand over on attempting to handle cables utterly. Thankfully, the RTX 4080 makes use of a much less intrusive three 6+2-pin 12VHPWR adapter, so I didn’t should wrestle with a Medusa head of snakes this time round (or speak myself into shopping for the very best energy provide with PCIe 5 help).

Nvidia RTX 4080 installed in PC case next to RGB RAM

Performance

The RTX 4080 doesn’t placed on fairly as a lot of a efficiency present in comparison with the RTX 4090, nevertheless it’s nonetheless a killer 4K GPU that’ll pressure the RTX 3090 into retirement. Add DLSS 3’s body era into the combo, and also you’ve obtained a card that’ll probably blow most different high-end choices, together with the RTX 3090 Ti, out of the water.

Just for a second, let’s faux the 4080’s magical DLSS talents are non-existent and test over some unaided body fee stats. In Hitman 3, the cardboard pushes out 102fps with each setting cranked to extremely at 4K, matching the skills of the MSI RTX 3090 Suprim X. With ray tracing turned on, the Lovelace GPU truly beats the souped-up customized card, reaching a 39fps common.

Total War: Warhammer 3 checks produce an analogous outcome, with the RTX 4080 pushing out a good 74fps. It’s not fairly the staggering outcome flaunted by the RTX 4090 (round 103fps), nevertheless it’s nonetheless spectacular when you think about the technique sport’s strenuous battle map visuals.

On common, the RTX 4080 churns out 28% fewer frames than the 4090, and that determine will increase to round 40% with regards to ray tracing. Both playing cards battle to succeed in 60fps with fancy lighting enabled at 4K, however similar to earlier than, that’s the place DLSS 3 is available in to save lots of the day.

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DLSS 3

Frame Generation is a GPU game-changer that’ll assist the very best gaming PC builds carry out ridiculous body fee methods, and the RTX 4080 actually embraces Nvidia DLSS 3. In Cyberpunk 2077, the tech punts efficiency into triple-digit territory, producing 110fps with extremely 4K ray tracing settings enabled.

The identical leap applies to A Plague Tale: Requiem, with common body charges rising from 95 to 129. Of course, that former determine remains to be spectacular, as switching off each Super Resolution (DLSS 2’s AI upscaler) and Frame Generation leads to body charges beneath 60. If you’re choosy about potential visible DLSS artifacting, you would keep on with simply Frame Generation and nonetheless obtain a good 89fps.

DLSS 3 is unbelievable, and Nvidia’s tech is undeniably a promoting level for the 4080. Sure, it nonetheless partly depends on Super Resolution options which might be accessible to all RTX sequence playing cards, however Frame Generation can produce beautiful outcomes on its lonesome. I’d personally stick with utilizing each as a package deal, particularly if you wish to keep away from dialing down any settings for a superb few years.

Nvidia RTX 4080 graphics card sitting on white desk

Can the RTX 4080 deal with 8K?

Talking about 8K efficiency feels foolish, as even the very best gaming monitor choices accessible proper now are capped at 4K. Yet, right here I’m, about to delve into whether or not the RTX 4080 can truly deal with future resolutions. I can’t assist however blame AMD for this, because the current Radeon RX 7900 XT reveal teased a DisplayPort 2.1 connector with future-proof capabilities.

To simulate an 8K monitor setup, I took benefit of Nvidia’s Dynamic Super Resolution (DSR) setting inside Control Panel, which forces the GPU to run issues at 8K. Naturally, I can’t communicate for a way the decision truly seems to be, as present screens will nonetheless merely show 4K. Yet, the experiment reveals that the RTX 4080 can the truth is pull off respectable efficiency, offered you’re prepared to dial down settings and use DLSS.

Nvidia RTX 4080 with ports facing camera on white desk

Hitman 3 is a good instance of a playable 8K sport, because the 4080 can run it with ray tracing enabled and preserve simply over 60fps. Again, bumping each setting to low and harnessing DLSS is a should, however I wouldn’t name that an unreasonable tradeoff.

I additionally tried out Warhammer 3 at 8K, however the expertise wasn’t precisely stellar. I’m not saying it was a slideshow, because it truly ran at round 46fps, however decreasing the sim’s settings down offended my eyes a bit an excessive amount of.

Cyberpunk 2077 truly runs pretty properly at 8K, because of the facility of DLSS 3. Sacrificing all settings above low to the efficiency gods helps the dystopian RPG run at just below 60fps – a outstanding achievement for a sport that usually makes GPUs sweat.

Verdict

All issues thought of, the Nvidia RTX 4080 is a mighty graphics card with a menacing price tag. By rights, it must be a pixel-pushing hero that provides premium efficiency for lower than a 4090. While the latter is true, Nvidia’s newest 80-series card prices a piece greater than the RTX 3080 and 2080, and straying away from conventional pricing might immediate some fans to attend for the RTX 4070.

So, do you have to purchase an RTX 4080? Well, when you’re feeling impatient, it’ll present your machine with marvelous DLSS 3 superpowers. However, I really feel like that individual group of frame-rate fuss pots have most likely splashed out on an RTX 4090 already, and the remainder are ready to weigh up all the Lovelace lineup.

Still, the RTX 4080 is a superb next-gen possibility that throws a heavy 4K punch, so when you do give in to its questionable MSRP, you received’t really feel cheated with regards to uncooked efficiency, options, and AI-powered capabilities. That stated, customized variants will probably value much more, and your pockets will most likely find yourself screaming both manner.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080

The second Lovelace GPU is a 4K heavy hitter, however its price would possibly hinder its reputation with some gaming PC fans.

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