The battle of the two GPU manufacturing juggernauts, AMD and Nvidia, has ramped up thanks to the launch of their next-generation graphics cards – the Radeon RX 6000 series and RTX 30 series. But, as always, there are a number of confusing aspects when it comes to comparing which of these graphics cards to buy. This time round, we’re focusing on the two value for money kings – the RTX 3080 and Radeon RX 6800 XT in an effort to cut through the jargon and give you a definitive answer on which middle of the road GPU is the best.
So, first up in this GPU toss-up is the specs. Let’s do a deep dive into the RTX 3080 initially and showcase the power Nvidia has managed to pack into this thing. The specs speak for themselves really on how much has been improved over the last generation:
- CUDA Cores: 8,704
- Boost Clock: 1.71GHz
- VRAM: 10GB GDDR6X
- Memory Interface: 320-bit
- TDP: 320W
These come in far and above what you’d expect for a newly created GPU at the launch price point and put the point across how serious Nvidia is for giving consumers value for money. But, how do these specs translate into performance? To put it plainly, very well. It’s putting up big FPS in today’s AAA games, even at 4k resolutions.
In comparison, AMD’s 6800 XT tries to match that of the 3080 but unfortunately, it does fall a little short. The specs themselves don’t convey that though with a bigger boost clock and more VRAM all requiring less power:
- Compute Units: 72
- Stream Processors: 4608
- Boost Clock: 2.15 GHz
- VRAM: 16GB GDDR6
- Memory Interface: 256-bit
- TDP: 300W
But, when it comes to in-game performance, those higher-spec numbers simply don’t translate. You’re looking at lower FPS levels in the likes of Resident Evil 3 or Doom Eternal and only on par or slightly better in other titles.
Moreover, with everything that was shown at the October 28th event, the FPS levels that were showcased in games were with tools like Smart Access Memory and Rage Mode enabled thus skewing the figures a little. Therefore, if you’ve not got an AMD-based PC build already, you won’t be able to take advantage of these types of aspects which is a big player when it comes to overall capabilities.
The RTX 3080 was touted as the best value graphics card in recent memory due to its incredible performance and overclocking capabilities, making it a close rival of the much more expensive RTX 3090. Looking at the price itself, the RTX 3080 will cost you around $699, backing up those strong remarks of being an extremely great value GPU.
However, AMD has aimed to undercut Nvidia and the 3080 with the 6800 XT with definite success. The Radeon RX 6800 XT costs just $649, $50 less than the RTX 3080, and therefore, more attractive to budget-conscious individuals. Is this price difference justified when compared to performance? That’s for you to decide, but all we can say is that it’s certainly a marginal sum.
Of course, the main reason why people are either creating new PC builds or upgrading their old GPU to one of these options is for the gaming performance. But, they also offer other benefits for others in industries like video editing and 3D modelling which could influence which variant you go for.
This, in turn, means that if the RTX 3080 for example has better gaming performance but worse video editing potential then you’ll likely opt for the Radeon RX 6800 XT and vice versa. When we look at the specs and performance of both cards, if your purpose is strictly gaming and you have an AMD system in place already, maybe the Radeon RX 6800 XT is the better option but as a general rule, the RTX 3080 is the better option overall.
To sum up, both Nvidia’s RTX 3080 and AMD’s Radeon RX 6800 XT are incredible graphics cards, especially considering the cost. They both stack up pretty good against each other too with similar overall specs and performance. However, in our eyes, the RTX 3080 is just that little bit better offering users a better experience overall not requiring any other tech to enhance its capabilities.
On the flip side though, if you’re already using a Ryzen chip or are going to be building a new PC with a new Ryzen 5000 series processor, the Radeon RX 6800 XT could make sense for you considering the $50 price difference. It also consumes a little less power so if you’ve got an almost maxed out supply, this also could be a deciding factor.
Either way, stock of both cards is in short supply so if you want the best chance of securing one for yourself head over to our RTX 3080 and Radeon 6800 XT where to buy pages for all the direct links.