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Is RTX 4080 overkill for gaming?

Last Updated on April 28, 2023
Is RTX 4080 overkill for gaming?
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We’ve already seen the new RTX 4090’s power potential in action, with the plethora of enthusiasts, pro gamers, and content creators showing us how Nvidia’s new cards would change the graphics world. As with the 4090, the RTX 4080 is closing in on its launch day and many are wondering if all that power at such a steep price is overkill for gaming. Via our own in-depth research, we intend to answer that question and then some. Spoiler alert: yes, RTX 4080 gaming is overkill.

The Nvidia RTX 4080 is among the top-tier GPUs built under Nvidia’s brand-new Ada Lovelace architecture. The prices, specs, and marketing behind these cards prove that they’re aimed at a more professional user base with a demand for ultra-high-performance, such as 3D rendering, ultra-high quality 4K, and ray-traced gaming experiences.

Based on the specs and price that Nvidia has announced for the RTX 4080, building a setup with those specifications will only grant applicable returns if you’re planning to play ultra-demanding 4K games. Otherwise, if you’re playing the vast majority of titles in 1440p, you’d be better off with an RTX 30-series card, like the 3080.

Should I get an RTX 4080?

That being said, buying graphics cards is not always a matter of functionality and price-performance balance. One must also look into future-proofing their computer while not throwing away any more money for the next few years.

If you find yourself in a position wherein your computer no longer runs games as you would indent and you’re bank account has certain limits, you can either wait for the RTX 4080 (or future Nvidia 40-series cards) or buy an RTX 30-series, such as the 3080.

Let’s compare both GPUs to see how much of a change you’ll see in day-to-day gaming experiences:

 RTX 4080RTX 3080
CUDA cores97288960
Boost Clock Speed2.5GHz1.7GHz
Base Clock Speed2.21GHz1.44GHz
Memory size16 GB GDDR6X12GB GDDR6X
Graphics Card Power320W320W
Required System Power750W750W
NVIDIA DLSS3rd Gen2nd Gen

With the new RTX 4080, there will be several gains in clock speeds and, thanks to the 3rd Gen DLSS technology, the card will be more efficient in upscaling resolutions, which means you’ll be able to play games that look as close to 4K with the performance requirements of 1440p than you would with an RTX 30-series card.

However, the price difference is a massive wall to climb. The RTX 4080 will be $300 more expensive than the 3080, and if the market keeps moving the way it is, we might even see lower prices for 30-series GPUs eventually.

If you fancy a top-tier GPU and are willing to invest several dollars for it, you won’t regret the investment. On the other hand, if you want the best bang for your buck, you should wait a bit before purchasing an RTX 40-series card and go with an RTX 3080 for now.

Camilo is a contributor for PC Guide. He's been into tech since he was a teen, surfing through the web and local stores trying to find the cheapest way to play the latest Half-Life on his old Windows