Nvidia 1080 Ti vs RTX 3080: How These Powerful GPUs Compare for Gaming and Beyond
If you‘re a PC gamer or hardware enthusiast, you‘ve likely coveted the 1080 Ti and 3080 over the last several years. Both graphics cards have represented the pinnacle of performance in their eras.
But exactly how do these venerable Nvidia GPUs stack up against each other in 2022? Let‘s dive into a detailed side-by-side comparison of everything from specs and benchmarks to features and value.
GTX 1080 Ti: A Legendary Flagship GPU from 2017
When Nvidia launched the GTX 1080 Ti in March 2017, it immediately became the new king of high-end graphics. According to AnandTech‘s comprehensive launch review, it delivered a massive 70% performance uplift over the GTX 980 Ti and prior-gen Titan X.
Reviewers and gamers alike were blown away by the 1080 Ti‘s dominance. It provided smooth 60+ fps 4K gaming, maxed out settings in 1440p, and crushed any task you threw at it. The 1080 Ti was a significant force in ushering in consumer 4K gaming.
Nvidia achieved this through a 12 billion transistor chip built on an optimized 16 nm FinFET process. The 1080 Ti wielded the full GP102 GPU with 3584 CUDA cores and a 352-bit bus to 11 GB of GDDR5X memory. It delivered a then-impressive 484 GB/s of memory bandwidth.
For well over a year, no other single GPU matched the 1080 Ti‘s prowess. It aged very gracefully and still competes surprisingly well in modern games despite lacking optimization. However, ray tracing and AI-enhanced graphics introduce workloads the 1080 Ti just wasn‘t designed for.
RTX 3080: Next-Gen Gaming Arrives in 2020
Fast forward three and a half years to September 2020, when Nvidia launched its GeForce RTX 30 series. The flagship 3090 captured headlines, but it was the $699 RTX 3080 that brought top-tier performance to the masses.
According to Tom‘s Hardware, the 3080 provided nearly twice the performance of the prior 2080 flagship. It represented a massive generational leap thanks to Ampere architecture and an optimized 8 nm process.
The 3080 met or exceeded the 2080 Ti across the board while costing $500 less. It delivered high framerates even with ray tracing and advanced graphics enabled. DLSS 2.0 further boosted performance using AI and tensor cores.
With 10GB of superfast GDDR6X memory on a 320-bit bus, the 3080 achieved 760 GB/s bandwidth. This fed its 8704 CUDA cores that delivered blistering speeds. While supply issues marred the 3080‘s launch, it remains an exceptional 4K gaming value.
1080 Ti vs 3080: How Do Their Specs Compare?
Now that we‘ve covered a brief background on each GPU, let‘s dive into a full spec comparison:
|GTX 1080 Ti||RTX 3080|
|Base Clock||1480 MHz||1440 MHz|
|Boost Clock||1582 MHz||1710 MHz|
|Memory||11 GB GDDR5X||10 GB GDDR6X|
|Memory Bandwidth||484 GB/s||760 GB/s|
|Manufacturing Process||16 nm||8 nm|
|Die Size||471 mm2||628 mm2|
|Transistors||12 billion||28 billion|
|Launch Date||March 2017||September 2020|
The 3080 represents a massive generational leap over the 1080 Ti. Its Ampere architecture, built on an advanced 8nm process with billions more transistors, leaves the 1080 Ti in the dust in terms of raw power.
We‘re seeing 2.4x more CUDA cores, significantly higher clocks, and nearly 60% more memory bandwidth. RT and tensor cores allow radical new performance capabilities. The 3080 is simply built different.
Ray Tracing and DLSS Showcase Modern GPU Power
One of the starkest differences between these GPU generations is dedicated ray tracing hardware and AI acceleration. The 1080 Ti lacks any RT or tensor cores to handle these advanced workloads. It can technically run ray tracing through shader-based software routines, but at significant performance cost.
According to Tom‘s Hardware Cyberpunk 2077 testing, the 1080 Ti sees just 14 fps at 1440p Ultra with ray tracing enabled. That‘s basically unplayable, while the RTX 3080 still pushes 61 fps.
DLSS is also a game changer that can double or even triple framerates in supported titles by rendering at a lower resolution then upscaling with AI. This gives you both higher FPS and improved image quality.
Gaming Benchmarks: 1080p, 1440p and 4K
Spec sheets only tell part of the story. Let‘s compare real-world gaming performance across resolutions to see how these GPUs stack up. We‘ll look at both average and minimum fps results on max settings.
|1080p Game||1080 Ti Avg FPS||1080 Ti Min FPS||3080 Avg FPS||3080 Min FPS|
|Red Dead Redemption 2||99||55||126||80|
|Assassin‘s Creed Valhalla||111||75||140||100|
At 1080p, both can easily handle high refresh rates for esports gaming. But the 3080 provides additional headroom for max settings.
|1440p Game||1080 Ti Avg FPS||1080 Ti Min FPS||3080 Avg FPS||3080 Min FPS|
|Horizon: Zero Dawn||77||54||121||85|
|Call of Duty: Warzone||105||72||155||120|
At 1440p, the 3080‘s advantages become more apparent. The 1080 Ti struggles to maintain 60 fps on ultra settings in demanding titles.
|4K Game||1080 Ti Avg FPS||1080 Ti Min FPS||3080 Avg FPS||3080 Min FPS|
|Red Dead Redemption 2||26||12||60||40|
|Assassin‘s Creed Valhalla||42||25||76||52|
At 4K resolution, the 3080‘s horsepower pulls well ahead. While the 1080 Ti put up impressive frame rates for its time, the 3080 operates on a new level.
Across resolutions, the 3080 consistently averages around 75% higher frame rates and avoids the severe dips below 60 fps seen on the 1080 Ti. It‘s better equipped for high refresh rate 1440p and 4K gaming with headroom for future titles.
Which GPU Is the Better Value Today?
Pricing is a key aspect of determining value. At launch in 2017, the 1080 Ti carried an MSRP of $699. Used 1080 Ti cards now trade from $400 to $500 on eBay.
The RTX 3080 also launched at $699, but ongoing supply challenges led to extreme markup. Pricing has normalized today, with 3080 cards available from $750 to $900 new.
Considering the 3080‘s approximately 75% performance gains on average, it delivers far better value. You‘d need to find a 1080 Ti under $300 to match the 3080‘s price/performance ratio. Given similar pricing, the 3080 is the obvious choice.
However, there are a few caveats where the 1080 Ti still makes sense:
- You only play older or esports titles
- You need lots of VRAM for workflows like video editing
- You‘re extremely budget limited
- You can find an ultra cheap used 1080 Ti
For the majority of gamers though, the 3080 is vastly superior tech for the money. It brings a new generation of gaming capabilities.
Both Legendary GPUs Left Their Mark
While the 1080 Ti vs 3080 comparison has a clear winner, both GPUs were highly influential upon release. These were the pinnacle graphics cards of their generations.
The 1080 Ti brought genuine, smooth 4K 60 fps gaming to consumers for the first time. It still impresses today with its staying power and large OC community.
On the other hand, the 3080 made high-end Ampere performance accessible to the masses. It doubles down on next-gen effects and represents an enormous generational leap over any predecessor.
For those seeking the ultimate gaming experience, the 3080 is certainly the GPU to beat. But we have great respect for the trail Nvidia blazed with the legendary 1080 Ti. It sparked a passion for 4K gaming that continues today. Both GPUs will go down in history among the all-time greats.