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Should you upgrade to the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 from the RTX 2080?

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 is the best GPU you can buy right now if you’re looking at next-gen 4K gaming. It’s the perfect choice in the RTX-30 series, bringing in a noticeable performance gain from the RTX 2080, along with improved ray tracing and DLSS. However, like all new PC hardware right now, it is in very short supply.

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  • Much better ray tracing performance
  • Better frame rates at 1440p/4K
  • Cooler and quieter than the RTX 2080
  • HDMI 2.1


  • Much higher power draw than the RTX 2080
  • Availability issues

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 is the king of last generation GPUs. While it doesn’t quite have enough power to go up to 4K 60 FPS and do ray tracing, it’s still a solid GPU to have. It can deliver great performance at 1440p and will not make you feel like you need an upgrade unless 4K ray tracing is your goal.

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  • Lower power consumption
  • Powerful enough for 1440p gaming
  • Can handle some 4K gaming

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 is the direct successor to the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080. It has kept the same starting price of $700 but offers better performance at 4K, and with ray tracing. The upgrade from RTX 2080 to RTX 3080 is recommended, especially since it makes a clearer jump to the next generation of gaming.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 vs. RTX 2080 specs

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 review

Source: Harish Jonnalagadda / Windows Central

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 comes with a new Ampere GA102 chipset, made with Samsung’s 8nm fabrication process. On the other hand, the RTX 2080 has the Turing TU104 chipset, based on TSMC’s 12nm process. The shift to a considerably smaller fabrication process means that the transistor count has jumped from 13.6 billion to a whopping 28.3 billion — which amounts to a significant gain in power as well. Let’s take a look at the specifications of both cards.

Category NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080
Shader (CUDA) Cores 8704 2944
Core Clock 1440MHz 1515MHz
Boost Clock 1710MHz 1710MHz
Memory 10GB GDDR6X
320-bit bus width
256-bit bus width
Memory Clock 19Gbps 14Gbps
Memory Bandwidth 760GB/s 448GB/s
RT Cores 68 46
Tensor Cores 272 368
Transistors 28.3 billion 13.6 billion
Node Samsung 8nm TSMC 12nm
Architecture Ampere Turing
TDP 320W 215 W
Ports 1 x HDMI 2.1
3 x DisplayPort 1.4a
1 x HDMI 2.0b
3 x DisplayPort 1.4
1 x USB C
Power Connector 1 x 12-pin
2 x PCIe 8-pin converter included
1 x 6 pin + 1x 8 pin

The RTX 3080 has a significantly higher number of shader cores as well. The 8,704 CUDA cores versus the RTX 2080s 2944 CUDA cores means that the 3080 has a raw computing power figure of 29.77 TFLOPs — up from 10.7 TFLOPs that the RTX 2080 hits.

This is the on-paper comparison, but to understand how much better the RTX 3080 does, we have to look at the real-world performance.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 vs. RTX 2080 real-world performance

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 review

Source: Harish Jonnalagadda / Windows Central

In our NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 review, we tested out the GPU in a direct comparison with the RTX 2080, pitting the two against each other in the top AAA titles. The RTX 3080 provides huge performance gains over the RTX 2080 here, and it is clear that the 3080 is the go-to GPU for everybody looking for a consistent and smooth next-gen gaming experience. Here are some FPS comparisons from our review.

Game RTX 3080 (avg. FPS, 1440p) RTX 2080 (avg. FPS, 1440p) RTX 3080 (avg. FPS, 4K) RTX 2080 (avg. FPS, 4K)
Microsoft Flight Simulator 48 42 42 28
Control 98 61 52 28
Death Stranding 164 102 101 58
Gears 5 125 78 78 46
Metro Exodus 174 105 98 56
Red Dead Redemption 2 129 82 82 48
Shadow of the Tomb Raider 130 84 75 44

The RTX 2080 is a decent 1440p gaming card, but the RTX 3080 is clearly the card to go for if you want 1440p 144 FPS performance. The RTX 2080 is only sufficient and will require you to turn down a few settings to get to that magical 144 FPS figure at 1440p, but the RTX 3080 does it more comfortably, with fewer compromises. Let’s look at 4K gaming performance.

With 4K, RTX 2080 struggles to hit the 60 FPS baseline, but the RTX 3080 seems to do it with ease. The RTX 3080 will even let you hit 4K 144 FPS with a few settings turned down. The RTX 2080, on the other hand, would have to sacrifice a lot of the visual quality if it is to get to those figures.

Basically, an upgrade to the RTX 3080 will mean that you can play all the latest games at higher graphics settings. It will also mean your PC will consume a bit more power and might need upgrades to some of the other components to get the most of it.

So should you upgrade to the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 from RTX 2080?

The clear answer: yes. RTX 3080 is a beast of a GPU and will serve you well in next-gen gaming. Even though it’s just a single-generation upgrade, it’s still a solid one regardless. However, there is a catch. The RTX 3080 is currently very difficult to find, given the short supply and heavy demand.

This has also led to price gouging, with some sellers pricing RTX 3080 cards over two to three times the actual retail price. While the card is a stellar value at its original price, you absolutely must not pay the inflated asking prices. The RTX 2080 should be able to carry you until you can find a reasonably priced RTX 3080.

There are also a few things to consider while upgrading. First of all, you need to remember that an upgrade like this is only as good as the rest of the computer. An upgrade to the RTX 3080 does come with better performance in games, provided your PC can accommodate it. Your current components need to be compatible with the new card, especially the power supply unit (PSU) since the RTX 3080 consumes about 105W more power than the RTX 3080.

However, if you have a powerful enough rig and can get your hands on one without burning a hole in your wallet, by all means, buy the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080.

Enter the RTX 30

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080

Step up to the next gen

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 is a true next-gen gaming GPU. A clear step up from the RTX 2080, it will help you churn out better framerates at 1440p and 4K, with better raytracing performance as well. Stocks are limited, but if you can get your hands on one, it will make for a great upgrade.

Last-gen compromise

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080

Great but not the best

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 is a great last-gen GPU, but it can’t quite keep up with the RTX 3080 at 4K or deliver higher frame rates at 1440p. While it should suffice until you can get a reasonably priced RTX 3080, it still dwarfs in comparison, especially if your goal is smooth next-gen gaming.

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This post was written by Palash Volvoikar and was first posted to WindowsCentral

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