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NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti FE Review: Ray-Tracing-Powered 4K Gaming Gets Real
Ray-tracing is probably the biggest thing that has ever happened to the gaming industry. Ray-tracing is a technique that follows the light reflection to create various effects that further enhance the graphics quality. It was introduced by NVIDIA with the RTX 2000 series of graphics cards.
- Excellent ray-tracing performance event at 4K resolution
- 12GB GDDR6x video memory
- Premium design
- Costs almost double as of the RTX 3080
Over the last few years, ray-tracing has gone mainstream, where even a gaming console supports ray-tracing. However, it is also one of the most taxing rendering methods, which requires top-tier computational capability. Hence, one might have to choose between high-resolution gaming and high-quality gaming (with ray-tracing).
What if you want to get the best of both worlds? Play latest AAA titles with real-time ray-tracing at 4K resolution. One of the most cost-effective graphics cards that can do this is the newly announced NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, which sits between the RTX 3080 and the RTX 3090.
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti FE comes with a starting retail price of Rs. 1,07,000. Due to scalpers and ongoing silicon shortage, you might have to spend a bit more than the aforementioned price to grab the latest high-performance GPU. Here is the full review of the NVIDIA RTX 3080 Ti FE, the latest top-tier gaming GPU.
We wanted to extract the best possible performance from the RTX 3080 Ti. Hence, we paired this graphics card with one of the most powerful mainstream CPUs -- the Intel Core i9-11900K, which offers a peak CPU clock speed of 5.3GHz with the best single-core performance.
The testbench is equipped with 16GB Kingston Fury Renegade RAM with Samsung SSD. Everything was powered by a 650W PSU. This combination of GPU, CPU, and RAM offers the best possible performance in every scenario.
- Operating System: Windows 10 64-bit
- CPU: Intel Core i9-11900K
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti
- RAM: Kingston Fury Renegade DDR4 RGB(8GBx2)
- Storage: Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2 SSD 250GB
- Motherboard: Asus ROG Maximus XIII Hero (Wi-Fi)
- Power Supply: Corsair VS650
- Thermal Solution: AntecKuhler H2O - K240 RGB
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti FE Specifications
- NVIDIA CUDA Core -- 10240
- Boost Clock (GHz) -- 1.67
- Base Clock (GHz) -- 1.32
- Standard Memory Config -- 12 GB GDDR6X
- Memory Interface Width -- 384-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) -- 350
- Required System Power (W)-- 750
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti FE Design: Solid-Looking Graphics Card
I have said this before and I am saying again, NVIDIA makes some of the best reference graphics cards under the Founders Edition and the RTX 3080 Ti FE is no different. Yes, it does not have RGB lighting unlike some of the OEM cards. However, the stealth design of the founders edition is something that I personally like.
Most part of the graphics card is crafted using metal, which makes the graphics card feel sturdy. However, that same metal makes it a bit heavy. The graphics card has three DisplayPort 1.4a and a single HDMI 2.1 port. There is no USB Type-C output, which has been the case with most modern GPUs.
The RTX 3080 Ti FE has a dual-fan design, which should offer plenty of cooling. Do note that, it is also important to make sure that your PC cabinet has enough airflow for getting the best thermal results. This is a two-slot card, hence it won't fit in a compact cabinet.
What's New On The RTX 3080 Ti?
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti is an RTX 3080 on steroids. It offers 10240 CUDA cores, albeit, at a slightly lower base, and a boost clock speed of 1.32GHz and 1.67GHz, respectively. It now has 12GB GDDR6x video memory with a 384-bit bus, hence it offers higher memory bandwidth when compared to the RTX 3080.
The RTX 3080 Ti also has a TDP of 350W, which is slightly higher than the RTX 3080, which has a TDP of 320W. Hence, it is recommended to use this GPU with a 750W PSU, especially if you are planning for overclocking.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti FE Performance
Just like the RTX 3080, the RTX 3080 Ti is also made for 4K gaming with ray-tracing. In fact, the performance of the RTX 3080 Ti is much closer to the RTX 3090. The benchmark and the gaming results do confirm the same. However, if you want the most powerful graphics card, then it is best to go with the RTX 3090.
The RTX 3080 Ti has a video memory of GRRD6x, which is one of the fastest available on the market, which is paired with a 384-bit bus, ensuring top-tier memory bandwidth. Additionally, it is based on PCIe Gen4 and supports resizable bar, where the PC can access the complete video memory at all the time.
We wanted to eliminate the CPU bottleneck, hence, we paired the RTX 3080 TI with the Intel Core i9-11900K CPU. This is probably one of the best GPU-CPU configurations that one can have in a high-end 4K gaming setup.
TimeSpy Extreme 3DMark 10
We said that the RTX 3080 is the highest scoring GPU that we have tested, which is now dethroned by the RTX 3080 Ti. The RTX 3080 Ti FE scores 17,025 points, which is almost 3,000 points more than the RTX 3080. The benchmark also confirmed that the GPU can handle games like the Battlefield V at 1440p resolution with over 170 frames per second.
Super Position is one of the few pre-built tools, which can test the 8K gaming capabilities of a GPU. At 8K (optimized) resolution, the graphics card offered an average FPS of 52.27 and scores 6988 points. Similarly, at 4K (optimized) resolution, the RTX 3080 Ti scores 15764 points with an average FPS of 117.91. This confirms that the RTX 3080 Ti can easily handle 4K gaming and offer over 90fps without any issue.
Bright Memory Infinite RTX
Bright Memory Infinite RTX is an interesting tool that purely tests the ray-tracing capabilities of a graphics card. At 4K resolution with RTX quality set to highest and DLSS (performance mode), the RTX 3080 Ti offered an average FPS of 65. Similarly, with the same settings, the RTX 3080 Ti offered an average FPS of 120 at 2K resolution.
The Shadow Of The Tomb Raider
The Shadow Of The Tomb Raider is one of the first games to adopt ray-tracing. We ran this game in four scenarios. 1080p, 1440p, and 2160p, with the highest graphics settings, the GPU posted 180fps, 178fps, and 126fps. At 4K resolution with the ray-tracing quality set to ultra, the GPU posts an average of 89fps.
Cyberpunk 2077 is one of the latest and demanding ray-tracing enabled AAA titles. At 4K resolution with ray-tracing graphics quality test to ultra, we got an average FPS of 65. Similarly, at 1440p and ultra ray-tracing settings, we got an average FPS of 87. These numbers indicate that the RTX 3080 Ti is more than capable of handling even the most demanding AAA titles at 4K resolution and ray-tracing without any issue.
Verdict: Made For Ultra-Smooth High-Resolution Gaming
Looking at the benchmark numbers, it is pretty evident that the RTX 3080 Ti is a high-end graphics card, made for 4K gaming. The GPU passed all our tests with flying colors, outperforming the RTX 3080 in every benchmark and test we tested.
While games like Cyberpunk 2077 utilized 98 percent of the video memory (out of 12GB). However, we believe 12GB of RAM should be more than enough for most upcoming games. According to our tests, we noticed a peak GPU temperature of 78degrees, which is well within the maximum GPU temperature of 93degrees.
Not just that, the 3D Mark Time Spy test also confirmed that the GPU can maintain the peak clock speed for an extended period of time and even the GPU memory speed stayed at the peak for the entire testing period. The RTX 3080 Ti is at least 20 percent more powerful than the RTX 3080, giving an advantage to the high-fps high-resolution gamers.
The RTX 3080 Ti is for those, who are willing to spend a fortune on a graphics card. However, the RTX 3080, which costs just half of the RTX 3080 Ti still offers great 4K gaming performance even with real-time ray-tracing.