NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Comparison

The FPS Review: Quick Compare

The medium-high vs. high end. GPU markets have been particularly volatile these past few years. When these two Ampere architecture GPUs hit the scene in September 2020, there just wasn’t a lot of time to parse them against each other before they flew off the shelves. But now there is time. How much faster is the RTX 3080 than the RTX 3070 for gaming? There’s a $200 price gap between the MSRP (good luck with that) of the 3070 and 3080, $499 and $699 respectively. Is the value there?

Let’s take a quick look at these two NVIDIA contenders and see exactly how much they differ. If you want to learn more about Ampere architecture or take a deeper dive into each GPU individually, check out our full RTX 3070 and RTX 3080 reviews. If you’re interested in overclocking, read about it on our RTX 3070 and RTX 3080 overclocking guides.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 (10GB) Specifications

SpecificationGeForce RTX 3070GeForce RTX 3080 (10GB)
ArchitectureAmpereAmpere
Process NodeSAMSUNG 8NSAMSUNG 8N
CUDAs58888704
Tensor Cores184272
Ray Tracing Cores4668
Boost Clock1725MHz1710MHz
Memory8GB GDDR610GB GDDR6X
Memory Clock14GHz19GHz
TDP/TBP220W320W
MSRP$499$699

NVIDIA’s RTX 3080 out specs the 3070 in nearly every metric. Starting at the CUDA cores we see a nearly 50% increase when moving up to the 3080. This is reflected in its 100 Watt higher TDP, as well as its slightly lower boost clock which is most likely intended to help keep the beast cool. Tensor and ray tracing cores see similar jumps in power as well.

Memory on the 3080 is also higher at 10GB vs the 3070’s 8GB. Here we also see an evolution to GDDR6X memory, which results in quite a bit faster speed. This is doubly true when combined with a 19GHz memory clock compared to the 3070’s 14GHz. Their differences are pretty wide when laid out like this.

Gaming Performance

Next, let’s take a peek at these two cards under gaming load. This data is pulled from our previous reviews which you can find below:

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080

Metro Exodus FPS test results
Control FPS test results
Red Dead Redemption 2 FPS test results
Far Cry 5 FPS test results
The Division 2 FPS test results


No surprise that the 3080 comes out on top, but the 3070 holds its own even in some 4K games. Being said, to get 60+ FPS in 4K you’ll definitely want to go with the 3080, especially if you’re going to be enabling ray tracing.

With the 3070 it seems best to choose between either 4K or ray tracing. Ray tracing on, going down to 1440p with DLSS is going to be your best bet with the 3070. The 3080s extra CUDAs, memory, and RT cores really start to shine with both options enabled despite the slightly lower boost clock.

Though both cards are extremely playable at the highest resolutions with ray tracing, it seems the 3080 is the card of choice if you want to be closer to 60 fps.

Conclusion

So what does that extra $200 MSRP go to when jumping from the 3070 to the 3080? Better performance across the board of course. This performance is best seen with ray tracing enabled and at higher resolutions, even into the 4k range. The value of this is subjective, if you’re only interested in ray tracing the 3070 can easily handle it at a lower resolution.

However, if 4K + ray tracing at 60 FPS is your goal, then the 3080 is going to be the option for you. In Control we see a nearly 40% increase in FPS once these settings are enabled and the 3080 is running! Far Cry 5, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Metro Exodus as well see large jumps once the highest-fidelity settings are in place.

I guess the question is, are you a glutton for the newest and best graphics? If so the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 will let you feast on the best current graphic technology has to offer. On that, there is no doubt. Still, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 is a great card if you have slightly more modest expectations on what you want out of your rig.

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