NVIDIA’s RTX 3080 Ti appears like an important flagship GPU


Let’s fake, for a second, that the GPU market is not a trash hearth of scalpers, miners and overpriced GT 1030s. Even in that different actuality the place you should purchase a GPU with out problem, NVIDIA has some fairly giant holes in its product lineup proper now. At present at Computex in Taipei, a few these gaps have been stuffed by the RTX 3070 Ti and RTX 3080 Ti. 

First, a fast refresher on the place we’re at on this alt. actuality: For desktop PCs, 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. Given, traditionally, the perfect promoting playing cards are those that go for round $250, essentially the most obvious gap stays gaping, however there are different essential value factors unfilled: The $500-$698 vary and each value level between $699 and $1,499.

The brand new RTX 3070 Ti will value $599, and fills the primary gap as a reasonably delicate improve over the RTX 3070, whereas the RTX 3080 Ti sits neatly between the 3080 and the super-pricey 3090 at $1,199. Issues solved!

RTX 3080 Ti

In gaming phrases, the RTX 3080 Ti is rather a lot nearer in spec to the 3090 than the 3080. All three playing cards are primarily based on the identical GPU — the GA102 — simply with totally different numbers of energetic cores, divergent clock speeds and wildly disparate reminiscence configurations:

Card

RTX 3080

RTX 3080 Ti

RTX 3090

SM rely

68

80

82

CUDA cores

8,704

10,240

10,496

RT cores

68

80

82

Tensor cores

272

320

328

Increase clock

1,710MHz

1,665MHz

1,695MHz

Reminiscence

10GB GDDR6X

12GB GDDR6X

24GB GDDR6X

Reminiscence bandwidth

760 GB/s

912 GB/s

936 GB/s

TDP

320W

350W

350W

Value

$699

$1,199

$1,499

We’ll should evaluate the 3080 Ti to discern its real-world efficiency, however we are able to do some primary math to get an thought of the place the Ti sits. For rasterization — placing pixels on a display screen — the RTX 3080 has 29.Eight teraflops of energy, the RTX 3080 Ti has 34.1 and the RTX 3090 has 35.6. (You derive these numbers, which aren’t actually comparable to something however RTX 30-series GPUs, by multiplying the variety of cores by their max clock pace, after which multiplying that by the variety of operations every core can deal with per clock.) So, the 3080 Ti has about 96 p.c of the facility of the 3090, whereas the 3080 has about 84 p.c.

As hinted at, reminiscence is the place the playing cards actually differ: The 3090 has 24GB of 9,750MHz* GDDR6X on a 384-bit bus, whereas the 3080 has 10GB of 9,500MHz GDDR6X on a narrower 320-bit bus. The 3080 Ti, as you’d anticipate, sits someplace between, pairing 12GB of 3080-like 9,500MHz reminiscence with a 3090-like 384-bit bus. This places it very near the 3090 by way of reminiscence bandwidth, though clearly it has solely half of the particular reminiscence capability, which might rule it out for professionals like 3D animators and people who work with complicated video initiatives.

*This determine isn’t really the reminiscence clock, it’s the efficient reminiscence pace, however who’re we to argue with NVIDIA?

What does this all imply, then? NVIDIA has made clear that the target market for the 3080 Ti is avid gamers. (Particularly, the press supplies have plenty of comparisons to the 2080 Ti.) That makes numerous sense: you’re probably, in video games, to get extraordinarily near the 3090’s efficiency, which, given the value differential, means the 3090 solely actually is sensible to professionals. That was already the case attributable to how nicely the 3080 performs, however there’s a sure sort of gamer who can’t assist however purchase the perfect — the 3080 Ti will get so shut that even they is likely to be swayed.

RTX 3080 Ti FPS comparison with the RTX 2080 Ti and GTX 1080 Ti.

NVIDIA

The worth choices dealing with avid gamers now are fairly just like after I was deciding to turn out to be a 2080 Ti proprietor final technology. These searching for high-end efficiency at a considerably cheap value can choose up a 3080 at $699, the identical value as final technology’s 2080, whereas idiots like me who’re keen to pay 40% extra for a tiny uptick in efficiency can seize the 3080 Ti in the identical value vary that the 2080 Ti launched in. Issues differ on the rainbow-wrapped Aventador finish of the equation, because the 3090 at $1,499 has the identical use-case because the 20-series RTX Titan, which for some motive launched at $2,499. The 3090 is certainly a extra viable “halo” card for flush avid gamers than that ever was.

For individuals who do personal a 2080 Ti and wish “the perfect” — as long as the perfect doesn’t value $1,500 — the 3080 Ti will probably be a significant improve throughout the board. We don’t have real-world figures but, however the 3080 already outperforms the 2080 Ti in nearly each state of affairs. Given the 3080 Ti has extra reminiscence than the 2080 Ti, these extraordinarily fringe circumstances are over, and with the elevated cores we must be a big hole in efficiency generationally. For these with older flagship playing cards just like the 1080 Ti or Titan Xp, the distinction will probably be much more pronounced, though the 3080 nonetheless makes numerous sense as a less expensive improve there if you will discover one.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti

NVIDIA

Let’s step out of our “mining isn’t a factor” bubble actual fast to handle hash charges: All NVIDIA gaming playing cards produced now, save the 3090, are “hash restricted,” which means they’ve their mining potential impeded as a method to dissuade people from taking away GPUs from avid gamers. (Or, if we’re being cynical, as a method to promote mining-specific playing cards at a markup and forestall hundreds of second-hand gaming GPUs flooding the market after they’re not viable for mining.) This doesn’t apply to older playing cards, as NVIDIA has promised it gained’t retroactively nerf mining, however in case you purchase any RTX card that shipped from the manufacturing facility after Might— or both of the brand new Ti playing cards — it’ll have that restrict utilized, together with an “LHR” or “Lite Hash Fee” badge on the field.

NVIDIA had a torrid time with its first try to stop mining on the RTX 3060, and nothing is unhackable, but when it sticks this time, the hash limiting ought to go a method to enhancing the present provide state of affairs. Issues aren’t going to get fastened in a single day: The scarcity has lasted so lengthy, there’s pent-up demand that’s going to outstrip provide for the foreseeable future, and scalpers are nonetheless gonna scalp. There’s not less than a tiny glimmer of sunshine on the finish of the “a 2080 Ti simply went for $2,500 on eBay” tunnel, although.

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