Nvidia GTX 1080 vs Nvidia RTX 3060 – Which is better?

Nvidia GTX or RTX?

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Generational jumps are sometimes amazing, and the leap from GTX to RTX marked a stepping stone in the graphics card world. We’ll compare the Nvidia GTX 1080 vs Nvidia RTX 3060 to showcase how big of a difference there is. This could look like an odd comparison in a different context. The high-end 1000-series against the entry-level 3060; and this is only possible thanks to the architectural change of raytracing. Let’s see which one is the best.

Interested in more Nvidia comparisons? We have the Nvidia RTX 3060 vs Nvidia RTX 2060 and the Nvidia RTX 3060 vs Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti. Be sure to check them out.

Nvidia GTX 1080 vs Nvidia RTX 3060 – Specs and components

The transition from Nvidia’s GTX series to the RTX lineup represented a monumental shift in the realm of graphics cards, particularly with the advent of ray tracing technology. In this comparative analysis, we delve into the Nvidia GTX 1080 and the RTX 3060, juxtaposing a venerable high-end GPU against what is considered an entry-level contender in the RTX series. This comparison, underpinned by significant architectural advancements, sheds light on the evolution and performance disparities between these two GPUs.

Nvidia GTX 1080 (FE Founders Edition)

Nvidia GTX 1080 Founders Edition GPU.

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SpecificationsNvidia GTX 1080Nvidia RTX 3060
Memory size8 GB GDDR5X12 GB GDDR6
Memory Bus256-bit192-bit
Bandwidth320.3 GB/s360.0 GB/s
Base Clock1607 MHz1320 MHz
Boost Clock1733 MHz1777 MHz
RT Cores28
TDP180 W170 W
Specs table for the Nvidia GTX 1080 and Nvidia RTX 3060

Launched in May 2016, the GeForce GTX 1080 emerged as a high-end gaming powerhouse and an impressive piece of new hardware, built on Nvidia’s Turing microarchitecture. It was renowned for its capability to handle gaming at high or ultra settings and 1440p resolutions, as well as its proficiency in performance video rendering. The GTX 1080 utilized the GP104-400-A1 or GP104-410-A1 graphics core, boasting 2560 CUDA Cores and supporting up to 11 GB of GDDR5X video memory. A leap from the 28 nm process node of its predecessors, the GTX 1080 was manufactured using TSMC’s 16 nm process node, featuring a base core clock of 1607 MHz that could boost up to 1733 MHz.

Conversely, the RTX 3060, hailing from the newer Ampere microarchitecture, marked further advancements. Opting for Samsung’s 8 nm process node, the RTX 3060 brought to the table the GA106-300, GA106-302, and GA104-150 graphics cores, along with a significant increase to 3584 CUDA cores. This GPU offered a base clock of 1320 MHz and a boost clock of 1777 MHz, signaling Nvidia’s continuous push for higher performance in its graphics solutions.

Nvidia GTX 1080 vs Nvidia RTX 3060 – Performance

In performance benchmark results/metrics, the RTX 3060 showcases its superiority, particularly in 1080p gaming scenarios. Public benchmarks reveal that the 3060 outperforms the GTX 1080 by an average of 30% in 1080p gaming and maintains a 28% advantage in 1440p HDMI gaming. However, it’s noteworthy that in demanding titles like Battlefield V, Far Cry 6, Cyberpunk 2077, and Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla at high settings, both cards struggle to surpass the 60 FPS threshold. This also is likely to affect other newer titles like Forza Horizon, Resident Evil, and Rainbow Siege.

This comparison not only highlights the generational leap facilitated by Nvidia’s architectural enhancements but also underscores the RTX 3060’s remarkable ability to deliver superior performance, making it a compelling choice for gamers seeking the best balance of price and performance in the current landscape.

Nvidia GTX 1080 vs Nvidia RTX 3060 – Price

At launch, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 was a powerhouse with a price tag to match, reflecting its then-unrivaled performance. Today, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 not only surpasses the 1080 in capabilities but also offers a more attractive price point at around $270, compared to the 1080’s $240 on the secondary market.

Considering the minimal price difference and the 3060’s superior performance, modern features like ray tracing, and DLSS support, the choice leans decisively towards the RTX 3060. It delivers unmatched value and performance, making it the recommended pick for gamers seeking the best bang for their buck. This trend is unsurprising given the launch year difference between both GPUs.

Is the Nvidia GTX 1080 good for gaming?

The Nvidia GTX 1080 can handle most modern games at high settings despite being a few years old. The GPU boasts stable frame rates at full HD 1080p and 1440p resolutions. However, for newer formats of gaming such as 4K, the GTX 1080 may struggle to maintain smooth gameplay, particularly for more demanding titles like Red Dead Redemption 2, Warzone, or God of War. Be sure to do full research before purchasing this model with the intention of gaming at high levels.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, the Nvidia RTX 3060 unequivocally earns our recommendation over the GTX 1080, thanks to its superior performance, ray tracing capabilities, and overall value. By embracing the advancements of the RTX 3060, gamers gain access to cutting-edge features and enhanced performance, ensuring a future-proof gaming experience.

Whether you’re diving into the latest titles or working through your backlog, the RTX 3060 delivers a premium experience at a compelling price point, making it the clear winner in this comparison.