NVIDIA’s RTX 3080 Ti looks like a great flagship GPU

Let’s imagine for a second that the GPU market isn’t a trash fire from scalpers, miners, and overpriced GT 1030. Even in this alternate reality where you can easily buy a GPU, NVIDIA currently has some pretty big gaps in its lineup. Some of these loopholes were closed today at Computex in Taipei with the RTX 3070 Ti and RTX 3080 Ti.

First, a quick refresher on where we are in this alt. Reality: For desktops, NVIDIA sells the RTX 3060 for $ 329, the 3060 Ti for $ 399, the RTX 3070 for $ 499, the RTX 3080 for $ 699, and the RTX 3090 for $ 1,499. Historically, the best-selling cards are those that go for around $ 250. The most noticeable hole remains gaping, however, but there are other key price points that are not occupied: the range of $ 500 to $ 698 and any price between $ 699 and $ 1,499.

The new RTX 3070 Ti costs $ 599 and fills the first hole as a fairly mild upgrade over the RTX 3070, while the RTX 3080 Ti is well between the 3080 and the super-priced 3090 at $ 1,199. Problem solved!

RTX 3080 Ti

In terms of games, the RTX 3080 Ti is much closer to the 3090 than the 3080. All three cards are based on the same GPU – the GA102 – only with different numbers of active cores, different clock speeds and very different memory configurations:


RTX 3080

RTX 3080 Ti

RTX 3090

SM count




CUDA colors




RT cores




Tensioner colors




Boost clock

1.710 MHz

1.665 MHz

1.695 MHz





Memory bandwidth

760 GB / s

912 GB / s

936 GB / s






$ 699

$ 1,199

$ 1,499

We need to check the 3080 Ti to see its actual performance, but we can do some basic calculations to get an idea of ​​where the Ti is. For rasterization – placing pixels on a screen – the RTX 3080 has 29.8 teraflops, the RTX 3080 Ti has 34.1 and the RTX 3090 has 35.6. (You derive these numbers, which are really only comparable to RTX 30-series GPUs, by multiplying the number of cores by their maximum clock speed, and then multiplying that by the number of operations each core can perform per clock.) So the 3080 Ti has about 96 percent of the power of the 3090, while the 3080 has about 84 percent.

As mentioned earlier, the cards differ significantly in memory: the 3090 has 24 GB 9,750 MHz * GDDR6X on a 384-bit bus, while the 3080 has 10 GB 9,750 MHz GDDR6X on a narrower 320-bit bus. The 3080 Ti sits somewhere in between, as you’d expect, combining 12 GB of 3080-like 9,500 MHz memory with a 3090-like 384-bit bus. That puts it very close to the 3090 in terms of memory bandwidth, although obviously it only has half the actual memory capacity, which it could rule out for professionals such as 3D animators and those working with complex video projects.

* This number is actually not the memory clock, but the effective memory speed, but who should we argue with with NVIDIA?

What does it all mean then? NVIDIA has made it clear that the target audience for the 3080 Ti are gamers. (The press materials in particular have lots of comparisons to the 2080 Ti.) This makes a lot of sense: In gaming, you’ll likely come very close to the performance of the 3090, which, given the price difference, makes the 3090 only really sense for professionals. That was already the case because the 3080 does so well, but there is a certain type of player who can’t help but buy the best – the 3080 Ti comes so close that even they might falter.


The value choices gamers face now are pretty much the same as when I decided to become the last generation Ti owner in 2080. Those looking for high-end performance at a slightly reasonable price can buy a 3080 for $ 699, the same price as last-gen 2080, while idiots like me willing to pay 40% more for a tiny increase in performance Pay, who can buy the 3080 Ti in the same price range as the 2080 Ti. Things differ on the rainbow-wrapped Aventador end of the equation, as the $ 1,499 3090 has the same use case as the 20-series RTX Titan, the for some reason it hit the market at $ 2,499. The 3090 is definitely a more useful “halo” card for flush gamers than ever before.

For those who own a 2080 Ti and want “the best” – as long as the best doesn’t cost $ 1,500 – the 3080 Ti is a comprehensive upgrade across the board. We don’t have any real numbers yet, but the 3080 already outperforms the 2080 Ti in almost every situation. Given that the 3080 Ti has more memory than the 2080 Ti, those extreme edge cases are over, and with the increased cores we should be looking at a large gap in performance across generations. For those with older flagship cards like the 1080 Ti or the Titan Xp, the difference will be even more pronounced, although the 3080 still makes a lot of sense as a cheaper upgrade there if you can find one.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti


Let’s get out of our “mining is not a thing” bubble very quickly to address hash rates: All of the NVIDIA game cards now manufactured, except the 3090, are “hash-limited,” which means that their mining potential is hindered to discourage people taking GPUs away from gamers. (Or, if we’re cynical about selling mining-specific cards at a premium and preventing thousands of used gaming GPUs from flooding the market when they’re no longer viable for mining.) This doesn’t apply to older cards As NVIDIA promised, Nerf mining will not be done retrospectively. However, if you buy an RTX card that shipped from the factory after May – or one of the new Ti cards – that restriction applies along with an “LHR” or “Lite Hash Rate” badge on the box.

NVIDIA had a hot time with its first attempt to prevent mining on the RTX 3060 and nothing is unhackable. However, if it continues this time, the hash limitation should help improve the current supply situation. Things don’t get fixed overnight: the shortage has lasted for so long, there is pent demand that will exceed supply for the foreseeable future, and scalpers will still get scalps. However, there is at least a tiny glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, “A 2080 Ti just cost $ 2,500 on eBay.”

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