We finally got our hands on a retail, custom, add-in-board partner-built video card based on NVIDIA’s new GeForce RTX 3080 GPU. These video cards have been scarce, to say the least, with availability issues not able to meet demand. In fact, the video card we have in hand today was purchased by one of our very own readers who let us kindly borrow his video card to allow us to do this review today.
A big thanks to northrop on our forums for allowing us to enjoy your video card first. Can you imagine spending all that money on a video card and then letting someone else use it first? We greatly appreciate that, and he even let us go nuts on the overclock, so we did with this beast.
NVIDIA launched the GeForce RTX 3080 on September 16th based on its new Ampere architecture on Samsung 8nm. The GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition has an MSRP of $699 replacing the GeForce RTX 2080 and GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER. Yet, it has a performance that exceeds the performance of GeForce RTX 2080 Ti which retails for $1,199.
The GeForce RTX 3080 has 68 SMs, 8704 CUDA Cores, 68 RT Cores, 272 Tensor Cores, 96 ROPs, and 272 Texture Units. It uses 2nd generation RT Cores and 3rd generation Tensor Cores. It has a GPU Boost set at 1710MHz. It has 10GB of GDDR6X memory at 19GHz on a 320-bit memory bus providing 760GB/s of memory bandwidth. The TGP is 320W. With the GeForce RTX 3080 you also get NVIDIA REFLEX support, GeForce Broadcast, and GeForce RTX IO, and of course Ray Tracing and DLSS.
The video card we are looking at today is a video card purchased online from EVGA. EVGA has several models of GeForce RTX 3080 based video cards, from reference spec, with multiple designs and different boost clocks. If you go to their product page here you can see the entire list. It is broken up into sections, including Watercooling, FTW, and XC brands.
EVGA offers no less than four different water cooling options. There are two closed-loop AIO cards with water cooling built-in and two custom water cooling cards for your own custom loops. All of those cards have higher than reference Boost clocks.
The FTW branded cards are what we are interested in today since the card we have is the FTW3 ULTRA GAMING version. This one has the model number 10G-P5-3897-KR. This is the one we have for review today. There is another one, one without the “Ultra” in the name, known as just the FTW3 GAMING with model 10G-P5-3895-KR. This one has a lower boost clock than the 3897 model. The one we are reviewing the “ULTRA GAMING” with model 3897 has a higher boost clock, but both have the same cooling design.
Finally, there are XC models. There are three of those, and they have a more traditional, less exotic, design with reference clocks and then one with a higher boost clock. They are still custom, just not as exotic and beefed up as the FTW3 models.