How does Nvidia RTX 4080 compare to RTX 3090 Ti? Benchmarks, specs, and more explained

The RTX 4080 Founder
The RTX 4080 Founder's Edition card (Image via Nvidia)

The Nvidia RTX 4080 hits the shelves this Wednesday. The GPU is the younger sibling of the 4090 that was launched last month. Despite its high price, it is among the best GPUs money can buy.

Some RTX 4080 models have already sold out at most retailers. This is expected to last for a week until the stock normalizes. There are 24 custom 4080 models to choose from, and some inventory is readily available.

However, several gamers are considering buying the last-gen flagship, the RTX 3090 Ti, instead of the RTX 4080. The Ampere behemoth was initially launched at a hefty $1,999 price tag. However, Nvidia has discounted the GPU to around $1,249.

By how much does the RTX 4080 pull ahead of the RTX 3090 Ti?

On paper, the RTX 4080 might look like a weak card. It consists of a 379 mm² AD103 processor with 9,728 CUDA cores, 304 texture mapping units (TMUs), 112 render output units (ROPs), and 16 GB of GDDR6X memory based on a narrow 256-bit bus.

In comparison, the RTX 3090 Ti is based on the flagship GA102 processor from last-gen. It packs 10,752 CUDA cores, 336 TMUs, 112 ROPs, and 24 GB of GDDR6X memory based on a wider 384-bit bus.

Nvidia RTX 3090 TiNvidia RTX 4080
CUDA core count10,7529,728
Tensor cores336304
RT cores8476
Base clock1,560 MHz2,205 MHz
Boost clock1,860 MHz2,505 MHz
VRAM bus width384 bit256 bit
Total board power (TBP)450 W320 W

Gamers might consider the 3090 Ti as the faster GPU. However, the 4080 benefits from the new technology that Team Green has implemented in the RTX 40 series. It pulls ahead of the last-gen flagship by a solid margin and comfortably sits as the second-fastest GPU ever made.

Additionally, the 4080 has a more power-efficient design. While the 3090 Ti has been rated for up to 450 W of power draw, the 4080's rated total board power (TBP) is 320 W. In testing, the card draws around 250 W of power. Thus, in the long term, gamers can expect to save some more bucks on electricity bills.

Thus, at $1,199, the 4080 is a better choice over the 3090 Ti. However, the graphics card is mostly out of stock at major retailers.

Scalpers might flip the card for a premium on eBay and Craigslist. Paying northwards of $2,000 for the 4080 does not make sense.

The 4080 ships with some of the fundamental problems of the flagship 4090. It shares the same 16-pin connector that melted on multiple RTX 4090s.

The card, however, does not draw as much power as its older sibling. Thus, 16-pin power connectors might fail once in a blue moon unless it is an engineering abomination. However, Nvidia has claimed that the connector is fine.

According to some early benchmark data of the upcoming Radeon RX 7900 XTX, the Team Red flagship beats the RTX 4080 by a considerable margin in most video games. The $999 MSRP makes it one of the cheapest high-end cards of this generation. Thus, gamers who do not want to cash in $1,000 or more behind a video card can wait until December 13, 2022.

However, it is too early to comment on the gaming performance of the RX 7900 series. Thus, gamers should hold off on upgrading to the latest GPUs until the reviews of Team Red drop sometime next month.

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Edited by Rachel Syiemlieh