Introduction

It has happened, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition video card has been launched.  In our launch review, we looked deeply at gaming performance.  We evaluated nine games, both with and without Ray Tracing and DLSS at both 1440p and 4K resolutions.  This provided us a very good look at performance at both resolutions.  It also gave us a comparison to see how Ray Tracing and DLSS affect performance in games.  We also tested without either feature to see how good ole Rasterization performs and if the GeForce RTX 3080 FE truly provides an upgrade in performance at the $699 price segment.  Please check out our full gaming review if you have not already.

Today’s review is going to focus on a completely different aspect of the Ampere based GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition, and NVIDIA GPUs.  We are going to compare the GPGPU, Compute, and Workstation aspects of performance from this video card.  GPUs can do much more than gaming, and are often used by content creators, professionals, and in workstations to accelerate common GPGPU or Compute oriented tasks. 

Anything from 3D rendering acceleration, video transcoding, Compute specific applications, and Workstation level applications.  It is therefore vital that we see how this new video card holds up in these areas and if it provides an upgrade from the GeForce RTX 2080 Founders Edition.  Also, these types of specific compute tests can reveal aspects about the architecture that may tell us what areas the GPU will be strong in when it comes to rendering game effects.

Let’s just jump right into the benchmarks and see how it all adds up.  Our test system setup is exactly the same from our launch review.  The video card comparisons are also exactly the same.

LuxMark

We are starting with LuxMark which is an OpenCL benchmark tool based on LuxCoreRender.  We are using the newest build of LuxMark v4.0.  Results are in Samples per Second.

We are starting with the “Food” scene rendering.  The new GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition video card is much faster in this benchmark, it dominates performance quite a bit here.  It ends up being 156% faster than the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 FE and 108% faster than the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti FE.  That is more than double the performance of the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti FE and more than 2.5x the performance of the GeForce RTX 2080 FE.  What can we say but this is an absolutely amazing performance.

A little bit about the food scene, it is a 100% Path Traced scene.  It’s a brute force path tracer with no cache used.  Knowing this, it makes sense why the RTX 3080 FE is so fast, at pure path tracing the double-down on Ray Tracing performance in the RT Cores plus double-FP32 pipelines have allowed the GPU to be a beast at this type of acceleration outside of gaming.

In this next graph, we are benchmarking the “Hall Bench” scene.  This scene is a path traced scene with global illumination cache.  This scene is a bit simpler than the pure path traced scene from above.  The GeForce RTX 3080 FE does extremely well once again, however.  Its performance is 116% faster than the GeForce RTX 2080 FE and 63% faster than the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti FE.  The GeForce RTX 3080 FE is a beast at accelerating path tracing in applications.

V-RAY

V-RAY continues the trend; in this benchmark the GeForce RTX 3080 FE is 104% faster than the GeForce RTX 2080 FE.  That’s double the performance, flat out, actually slightly higher even.  The RTX 3080 FE is 61% faster than the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti FE.  Once again, a beast at 3D rendering.

HandBrake

We used Handbrake to encode some video, using H.264 NVENC.  Unfortunately, we did not see much difference in encoding video times.  However, with the GPU and architecture being new, it is possible Handbrake needs some optimizations to utilize the architecture and encoding hardware better.  It’s also possible newer drivers will optimize NVENC with new versions in time.  We will just have to wait and see.  Video encoding is very application-specific and how well it optimizes the hardware, plus the driver.  There may be other applications that do better or will do better once new drivers and application updates come out.  Right now, though, it doesn’t seem like it will really save you time on video encoding.

Brent Justice

Brent Justice has been reviewing computer components for 20+ years, educated in the art and method of the computer hardware review he brings experience, knowledge, and hands-on testing with a gamer oriented...

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11 Comments

  1. I appreciate you putting in the 2080Ti for comparison purposes, even though the true matching comparison is to the 2080 Super.

    I’d love to really know why Handbrake didn’t show much distinction across all the cards listed… Mind you, I don’t use Handbrake, but I’d love to know why there is only a 4.2 second difference between all cards.

    1. Incorrect. This 3080 supersedes the 2080 base model, not the 2080 Super or Ti. Even still, it is minimum 20% faster than the Ti across the board in all benchmarks, and often times even faster than that. You’ll be seeing $200-$300 brand new 2080’s out there very soon.
  2. I appreciate you putting in the 2080Ti for comparison purposes, even though the true matching comparison is to the 2080 Super.

    I’d love to really know why Handbrake didn’t show much distinction across all the cards listed… Mind you, I don’t use Handbrake, but I’d love to know why there is only a 4.2 second difference between all cards.

    My theory is application optimization, the NVENC encoder is the same between all the GPUs. Other video encoding/transcoding apps could behave differently. It’s hard to find good free ones, most are pay, and as far as video editors go, the good ones that have hardware GPU acceleration are also pay and hard to constantly install and reinstall on different machines. I used Handbrake cause it is the most popular free one. So testing is a bit limited in this area. If anyone knows of any good free editing programs or transcoding programs that have hardware GPU encoding via NVENC and AMD VCE, let me know. But usually, you get what you pay for. I’ll take suggestions on testing video encoding better.

    My theory though is that we will need application patches for the Ampere architecture and new video encoder on board, which honestly may not be that different from Turing.

  3. Both 3080 reviews are really good reviews — With this workstation review, while I realize the 3080 is not intended to be a Titan RTX replacement, it would be pretty interesting seeing the Titan RTX on those charts with the 3080 — $2,499.00 vs $699.00.
  4. Both 3080 reviews are really good reviews — With this workstation review, while I realize the 3080 is not intended to be a Titan RTX replacement, it would be pretty interesting seeing the Titan RTX on those charts with the 3080 — $2,499.00 vs $699.00.

    I’m sure Brent would be happy to add it if you sent him one 🤣

  5. maybe I missed it, as I was interrupted several times when reading the review, but which benchmark lines up best with folding@home and gpu grid performance?
  6. Nice review. Good info.

    I wouldn’t mind, one of these days, getting a 3080 for my TR box. Looks like it’d boost Blender and a few other things a bit without sacrificing children to unknown gods as payment.

  7. Thanks @Brent_Justice for all your hard work on this and it also explains the data I came across on the weekend comparing leaked 3090 Blender scores. I compared them to 3080 FE, 2080 FE, and 2080 Ti with version 2.90 and was blown away the gains.

    On a side note. Over the years I’ve had a number of paid licenses for video encoders. I usually use them for ripping various things to my kodi box. NVENC can be all over the map with it comes to driver support. I’ll have it work great only to have an MS update come through and kick something out that NV was using and essentially break, or an NV update do the same. I also have upgraded cards in the same rigs only to lose my hardware accelleration that I had on the previous, inferior card. When it works it can be phenonmenal but even paid licenses won’t help you if it takes the developer months, if at all, to update for it. It’s always a kind of buyer beware when it comes to paid encoders even when they say they support NVENC.

  8. My theory is application optimization, the NVENC encoder is the same between all the GPUs. Other video encoding/transcoding apps could behave differently. It’s hard to find good free ones, most are pay, and as far as video editors go, the good ones that have hardware GPU acceleration are also pay and hard to constantly install and reinstall on different machines. I used Handbrake cause it is the most popular free one. So testing is a bit limited in this area. If anyone knows of any good free editing programs or transcoding programs that have hardware GPU encoding via NVENC and AMD VCE, let me know. But usually, you get what you pay for. I’ll take suggestions on testing video encoding better.

    My theory though is that we will need application patches for the Ampere architecture and new video encoder on board, which honestly may not be that different from Turing.

    StaxRip is a GUI fronted which can do encoding and I believe it does hardware encoding for nVidia and AMD cards. I’ve seen it recommended before for CPU video encoding because it handles threads much better than Handbrake, especially with x265.

    That said, it can be confusing to figure out and use and I have no real experience with it. It is free, though. I know most of you don’t have much spare time but it might be worth checking out at some point.

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