NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 10 GB “Ampere” Graphics Card Review
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080October, 2020
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series - GeForce RTX 3080, The New Flagship
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 is a force to be reckoned with. It is the ultimate gaming GPU that is surprisingly much faster than the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti which is its Turing based predecessor but is also much cheaper at just $699 US. The GeForce RTX 3080 carries more cores, more memory, higher performance efficiency, and also carries next-generation ray-tracing and tensor cores that make this a truly next-generation graphics card.
NVIDIA designed the GeForce RTX 3080 not just for any gamer but all gamers who want to have the best graphics performance at hand to power the next-generation of AAA gaming titles with superb visuals and insane fluidity. It's not just the FPS that matters these days, its visuals, and a smoother frame rate too and this is exactly what the GeForce RTX 30 series is made to excel at. There's a lot to talk about regarding NVIDIA's flagship Ampere gaming graphics cards so let's start off with the specifications.
Marvels of NVIDIA Ampere Architecture - 2nd Generation RTX
Enabling the blistering performance of the new RTX 30 Series GPUs and the NVIDIA Ampere architecture are cutting-edge technologies and over two decades of graphics R&D, including:
- New streaming multiprocessors: The building block for the world’s fastest, most efficient GPU, delivering 2x the FP32 throughput of the previous generation, and 30 Shader-TFLOPS of processing power.
- Second-gen RT Cores: New dedicated RT Cores deliver 2x the throughput of the previous generation, plus concurrent ray tracing and shading and compute, with 58 RT-TFLOPS of processing power.
- Third-gen Tensor Cores: New dedicated Tensor Cores, with up to 2x the throughput of the previous generation, making it faster and more efficient to run AI-powered technologies, like NVIDIA DLSS, and 238 Tensor-TFLOPS of processing power.
- NVIDIA RTX IO: Enables rapid GPU-based loading and game asset decompression, accelerating input/output performance by up to 100x compared with hard drives and traditional storage APIs. In conjunction with Microsoft’s new DirectStorage for Windows API, RTX IO offloads dozens of CPU cores’ worth of work to the RTX GPU, improving frame rates and enabling near-instantaneous game loading.
- World’s fastest graphics memory: NVIDIA has worked with Micron to create the world’s fastest discrete graphics memory for the RTX 30 Series, GDDR6X. It provides data speeds of close to 1TB/s system memory bandwidth for graphics card applications, maximizing game and app performance.
- Next-gen process technology: New 8N NVIDIA custom process from Samsung, which allows for higher transistor density and more efficiency.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Graphics Card Specifications - GA102 GPU & 10 GB GDDR6X Memory
At the heart of the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 graphics card lies the GA102 GPU. The GA102 is one of the many Ampere GPUs that we will be getting on the gaming segment. The GA102 GPU is the fastest gaming GPU that NVIDIA has produced. The GPU is based on Samsung's 8nm custom process node designed specifically for NVIDIA and features a total of 28 Billion transistors. It measures at 628mm2 which makes it the 2nd biggest gaming GPU ever produced right below the Turing TU102 GPU.
The new shader core on the NVIDIA Ampere architecture is 2.7x faster, the new RT cores are 1.7x faster while the new Tensor cores are up to 2.7x faster than the previous generation Turing GPUs. The 2nd Generation RT core delivers dedicated hardware-accelerated ray-tracing performance & features twice the ray/triangles intersection with concurrent RT graphics and compute operations.
For the GeForce RTX 3080, NVIDIA has enabled a total of 68 SM units on its flagship which results in a total of 8704 CUDA cores. In addition to the CUDA cores, NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 3080 also comes packed with next-generation RT (Ray-Tracing) cores, Tensor cores, and brand new SM or streaming multi-processor units. The GPU runs at a base clock speed of 1440 MHz and a boost clock speed of 1710 MHz. The card has a TDP of 320W.
In terms of memory, the GeForce RTX 3080 comes packed with 10 GB of memory and that too the next-generation GDDR6X design. With Micron's latest and greatest graphics memory dies, the RTX 3080 can deliver GDDR6X memory speeds of 19.0 Gbps. That along with a bus interface of 320-bit will deliver a cumulative bandwidth of 760 Gbps.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series 'Ampere' Graphics Card Specifications:
|Graphics Card Name||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090|
|GPU Name||Ampere GA106-300||Ampere GA104-200||Ampere GA104-300||Ampere GA102-200||Ampere GA102-300|
|Process Node||Samsung 8nm||Samsung 8nm||Samsung 8nm||Samsung 8nm||Samsung 8nm|
|Transistors||TBC||17.4 Billion||17.4 Billion||28 Billion||28 Billion|
|TMUs / ROPs||112 / 64||152 / 80||184 / 96||272 / 96||328 / 112|
|Tensor / RT Cores||112 / 28||152 / 38||184 / 46||272 / 68||328 / 82|
|Base Clock||1320 MHz||1410 MHz||1500 MHz||1440 MHz||1400 MHz|
|Boost Clock||1780 MHz||1665 MHz||1730 MHz||1710 MHz||1700 MHz|
|FP32 Compute||13 TFLOPs||16 TFLOPs||20 TFLOPs||30 TFLOPs||36 TFLOPs|
|RT TFLOPs||25 TFLOPs||32 TFLOPs||40 TFLOPs||58 TFLOPs||69 TFLOPs|
|Tensor-TOPs||101 TOPs||192 TOPs||163 TOPs||238 TOPs||285 TOPs|
|Memory Capacity||12 GB GDDR6||8 GB GDDR6||8 GB GDDR6||10 GB GDDR6X||24 GB GDDR6X|
|Memory Speed||17 Gbps||14 Gbps||14 Gbps||19 Gbps||19.5 Gbps|
|Bandwidth||408 Gbps||448 Gbps||448 Gbps||760 Gbps||936 Gbps|
|Price (MSRP / FE)||$329 US||$399 US||$499 US||$699 US||$1499 US|
|Launch (Availability)||Late February 2021||2nd December 2020||29th October 2020||17th September 2020||24th September 2020|
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Graphics Card Cooling & Design- Next-Gen NVTTM Founders Edition Design
NVIDIA has developed one of their best and most powerful Founders Edition cooling design to date for the GeForce RTX 30 series graphics cards. NVIDIA explained that higher performance requires a new form of cooling solution and as such, it has prepared a unique cooling solution for its next-gen cards which will keep GPUs running cool while staying quiet by utilizing several new & existing tech.
The Founders Edition cooling makes use of a full aluminum alloy heatsink which makes use of a hybrid vapor chamber with dual-sided axial-tech based fans. The cooler heatsink is coated with a nano-carbon coating and should do a really good job at keeping the temperatures in control.
The design is interesting in the sense that not only does it goes all out with a fin and heat pipe design. This is the first design of its kind since the original Founders Edition GeForce GTX 780 that makes use of a much larger heatsink area.
It also comes with a unique fan placement, one on the front and one at the bottom. This push & pull fan configuration which as it is referred to is said to push heat out of the exhaust vents much more effectively. There will be some air that will be blown out inside the case from the back of the card itself but that shouldn't be a major cause of concern as modern CPU Air or Liquid coolers do a really good job venting out air from within the case.
Acoustically, the new Founders Edition design is quieter than traditional dual axial coolers, while still delivering nearly 2x the cooling performance of previous-generation solutions. The aforementioned NVLink and power design changes help here, creating more space for airflow through the largest fin stack seen to date, and the larger bracket vents improve airflow in concert with individually shaped shroud fins. In fact, wherever you look, every aspect of the Founders Edition cards are designed to maximize airflow, minimize temperatures, and enable the highest levels of performance with the least possible noise.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Graphics Card PCB & 12-Pin Power Input
One of the biggest changes on the Founders Edition GeForce RTX 30 series graphics cards is the PCB design. The GeForce RTX 3090 & GeForce RTX 3080 comes with a unique & compact PCB package that is unlike anything we've seen in the consumer space before. But being compact doesn't mean that the cards don't pack a punch. There's some serious horsepower on these compact PCBs that NVIDIA has designed.
The PCB features over 18 power chokes which put it is a more premium design than the flagship non-reference RTX 20 series cards. The GeForce RTX 3080 is powered by an 18 phase design that is insane and designed to be overclocked with unprecedented GPU overclock headroom that most users can leverage from to gain even faster performance.
In addition to that, GeForce RTX 30 series Founders Edition cards will be featuring the 12-pin Micro-Fit 3.0 power connectors. These connectors don't require a power supply upgrade as the cards will ship with bundled 2x 8-pin to 1x 12-pin connectors so you can run your latest graphics card without any compatibility issues.
The placement of the 12-pin connector on the PCB is also noteworthy. It is placed in a vertical position and judging by the PCB design, we can tell why NVIDIA moved to a single 12-pin plug instead of the standard dual 8-pin design. There's limited room on the PCB to do stuff and as such, it was necessary to go for a more small and compact power input.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Graphics Card Price & Availability - Both Custom & Reference Designs at Launch
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 is being announced today and will be launching to consumers on the 17th of September, 2020. The first wave of graphics cards to hit the market would be the reference Founders Edition variant which will cost $699 US. The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 will feature a price of $699 (MSRP) however custom models will vary depending on their design and the extra horse-power that they have to offer.
There aren't any performance numbers that NVIDIA is sharing right now but from what has been showcased, the GeForce RTX 3070 is faster than an RTX 2080 Ti, the RTX 3080 is a good bit ahead of the RTX 2080 Ti and the RTX 3090 is about as much as 50% faster than the RTX 2080 Ti which is very impressive for the full lineup stack. The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 itself is twice as fast as the RTX 2080 and is considerably faster than the RTX 2080 Ti making it a perfect 60 FPS 4K gaming graphics card.