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NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 FE Review: One GPU To Rule Them All
The much-anticipated NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070, RTX 3080, and the RTX 3090 are currently on sale across the globe. The RTX 3070 is the most affordable graphics card of this season from NVIDIA, whereas the RTX 3090 is the most powerful GPU that almost has no competition. So what about the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080, which sits between the RTX 3070 and the RTX 3090?
- Excellent 4K gaming performance
- Stays cool even with continues gaming
- Premium design
- No USB Type-C output for VR
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 FE is a special GPU that delivers unparalleled gaming performance at a relatively cheaper price, especially when compared to the price of the RTX 3090. The RTX 3090 FE comes with a brand new thermal design, and the GPU also looks much and functions much cooler when compared to the previous generation flagship-grade graphics card from NVIDIA.
We have been testing the RTX 3080 FE for the last few weeks, which retails in India for Rs. 62,000 (less than half of what RTX 3090 costs). Is this is the best mainstream GPU? Especially for 4K video gaming enthusiasts? Here is the full review of the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 FE.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 FE Specifications
- NVIDIA CUDA Core -- 8704
- Boost Clock (GHz) -- 1.71
- Base Clock (GHz) -- 1.44
- Standard Memory Config -- 10 GB GDDR6X
- Memory Interface Width -- 320-bit
- Ray Tracing Cores -- 2nd Generation
- Tensor Cores -- 3rd Generation
- NVIDIA Architecture -- Ampere
- HDMI 2.1 -- Yes
- DisplayPort 1.4a -- Yes
- Maximum Digital Resolution -- 7680x4320
- Standard Display Connectors -- HDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.4a
- Multi-Monitor -- 4
- Slot -- 2-Slot
- Maximum GPU Temperature (in C) -- 93
- Graphics Card Power (W) -- 320
- Required System Power (W) (2) -- 750
- Operating System: Windows 10 64-bit
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5950X 16-Cores @4.9GHz
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 / GeForce RTX 2060 Super
- RAM: HyperX Predator DDR4 RGB(8GBx2)
- Storage: Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2 SSD 250GB
- Motherboard: Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Hero (Wi-Fi)
- Power Supply: Corsair VS650
- Thermal Solution: AntecKuhler H2O - K240 RGB
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 FE Design: Engineering Marvel
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 FE comes with a two-radiator fan design, one placed at the top and one at the bottom. The graphics card is based on the Ampere architecture and uses 8nm fabrication, making it power efficient when compared to the RTX 2080 Ti or the RTX 2080 Super.
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 FE has 8704 CUDA cores. The GPU has a base clock speed of 1.4GHz and a boost clock speed of 1.71GHz, offering extreme graphics performance. Do note that the RTX 3080 FE is a big card (two slots) and it definitely needs a big PC cabinet with good ventilation to get the best possible performance.
It comes with the new dual axial flow through thermal design, where one cooler is used to suck in the cool air, and another is used to throw out the hot air, to maintain the equilibrium temperature. The external case of the RTX 3080 FE is made using metal, which gives this GPU a solid feel.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 FE Changes
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 FE has a TDP of 320W and the unit comes with a supplementary power connector, which has to be used to connect the graphics card with the PSU. Even though most partner RTX 3080 GPUs have a 3x 8-pin power connector, the Founders Edition can be powered using 2x 8-pin connector. However, the PSU has to offer 320W of power for the best possible performance.
As per the I/O, the GPU has a single HDMI 2.1 output, allowing users to connect this GPU with a 4K/8K television using HDMI port and play higher refresh rate games (8K60fps or 4K120fps). Besides, there are three DisplayPort 1.4a, which also allows connecting the GPU to high refresh rate monitors.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 FE Performance
The GeForce RTX 3080 FE is made for 4K gaming even with ray-tracing enabled, and it delivers the same in almost every title. In fact, the RTX 3080 is the only mainstream graphics card that can handle games like Cyberpunk 2077 at 4K with ultra ray-tracing.
On top of that, the graphics card also offers 10GB video memory, that too the GDDR6X, which has higher bandwidth when compared to the GPU like AMD Radeon RX 6800 or the RX 6800XT. For this review purpose, we used the AMD Ryzen 5950X CPU with the RTX 3080 FE GPU, and here are a few graphs to understand the performance of the GPU.
TimeSpy Extreme 3DMark 10
On 3DMark TimeSpy module, the RTX 3080 is the highest performing GPU that we have tested so far. This benchmark indicates that the RTX 3080 FE is capable of handling most modern AAA titles without any issue.
Super Position is a graphics-intensive benchmark tool, and the results show that the RTX 3080 can offer an average FPS of 108 with 4K optimised graphics settings, and at 1080p (even for the most demanding titles) the graphics card can offer a refresh rate of at least 80 without any issue.
Bright Memory Infinite RTX
Bright Memory Infinite RTX is a ray-tracing graphics benchmark, and the RTX 3080 posted an average fps of 128 at 1080p. Indicating, the RTX 3080 is capable of handling ray-tracing along with offering higher fresh rate even with the highest graphics settings.
The Shadow Of The Tomb Raider
The benchmark numbers again speak for themselves even on the Shadow Of The Tomb Raider. On this game with ray-tracing shadow quality set to ultra, we noticed an average FPS of 159 at 1080p resolution, which is again the highest that we have seen.
On GTA: V, the RTX 3080 posted an average FPS of 136 at 1080p resolution, which is not the highest. In fact, the RTX 2080 Ti outperforms the RTX 3080 at 1080 resolution. However, even at 1440p, the RTX 3080 offers similar average FPS, which is good for high-resolution gaming.
Rocket League is one of the non-demanding games of 2020, and we were able to hit that 250fps mark using the RTX 3080 GPU without any issue at 1080p resolution. So, if you are into Rocket League, then consider buying the RTX 3080 for the best possible performance even at higher resolutions.
These benchmarks and gaming performance of the RTX 3080 FE indicate that the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 FE is a graphics card, capable of handling every AAA title that will be launched in the next few years. Besides, it is also the graphics card to get if you intend to play games that support ray-tracing.
On top of that, you are getting almost 80 percent of the performance on the RTX 3080 when compared to the RTX 3090 at less than half the price, which makes the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 GPU, a good bargain.
The GPU also comes with features like DLSS, which smartly upscales the gaming from lower resolution to higher resolution without losing graphics quality. There are also a lot of software features that make this card exceptional.
At Rs. 61,000, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 FE is definitely not for everyone. In fact, one can easily get a good gaming laptop or even build a capable 1080p gaming PC for around Rs. 60,000. The RTX 3080 is for the enthusiasts, who want nothing but the best. Not just that, it is also the one graphics card that can run any game at highest resolution/graphics settings without any issue.