Nvidia RTX 2080 Super vs Nvidia RTX 3060 – does 30-series win?

Make an informed decision between these two Nvidia GPUs with our comparison guide

Comparison between Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080. Image shows the Nvidia RTX 2080 Super and the RTX 3060 on ablue background below the PC guide logo

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Who wins in the Nvidia RTX 2080 Super vs Nvidia RTX 3060 showdown? Nvidia’s graphics cards have long been the gold standard for gamers and professionals alike. With the release of the RTX 30-series GPUs, including the Nvidia Geforce RTX 3060, Nvidia promised a significant leap forward in performance and capabilities compared to its predecessors. But how does the RTX 3060 stack up against the older, yet still formidable, RTX 2080 Super? Let’s find out!

But first, if you fancy reading more of our Nvidia comparison guides, take a look at our Nvidia RTX 3060 vs RTX 3060 Ti or Nvidia GTX 1080 vs RTX 3060.

Nvidia RTX 2080 Super vs Nvidia RTX 3060 – specs at a glance

SpecificationsNvidia RTX 2080 SuperNvidia RTX 3060
Process size12 nm8 nm
Transistors13,600 million12,000 million
Base clock1650 MHz1320 MHz
Boost clock1815 MHz1777 MHz
Memory clock1937 MHz15.5 Gbps effective1875 MHz15 Gbps effective
Memory size8 GB12 GB
Memory bus256 bit192 bit
Bandwidth495.9 GB/s360.0 GB/s
Shading units30723584
SM count4828
Tensor cores384112
L1 cache64 KB (per SM)128 KB (per SM)
L2 cache4 MB3 MB
TDP250 W170

Specifications comparison

The architectural disparity between the two GPUs is evident in their specifications. The RTX 2080 Super, built on the Turing architecture, features a 12nm process size, while the RTX 3060 adopts the more advanced 8nm process size of Ampere architecture. This difference translates to improved power efficiency and improved game performance for the RTX 3060.

While the RTX 2080 Super boasts higher base and boost clock speeds compared to the RTX 3060, the latter compensates with a larger memory size of 12 GB, compared to the former’s 8 GB. However, the memory bus width and bandwidth favor the RTX 2080 Super, offering superior memory performance.

GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 2080 Super Windforce OC 8G

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In terms of core counts and shaders, the RTX 3060 surpasses the RTX 2080 Super with higher numbers. With 3584 shading units and 112 tensor cores, the RTX 3060 demonstrates Nvidia’s progression in hardware architecture design. However, the RTX 2080 Super’s higher SM count and cache sizes hint at its computational prowess and efficiency in handling complex graphics tasks.

Moreover, the thermal design power (TDP) of the RTX 2080 Super is notably higher at 250W compared to the RTX 3060’s 170W. This suggests that the RTX 3060 is more power-efficient, which could appeal to users seeking quieter and cooler gaming experiences.

Performance comparison

When we see only the raw specifications, the RTX 3060 seems to have the upper hand with more CUDA cores and VRAM compared to the RTX 2080 Super. However, benchmark tests and real world performance tell a more nuanced story.

The RTX 2080 Super exhibits a higher OpenCL score of 119,443 compared to the RTX 3060’s score of 89,215. This significant performance difference of over 30% underscores the computational prowess of the RTX 2080 Super, especially in tasks demanding substantial graphical processing power.

The RTX 2080 Super still holds its ground remarkably well regarding gaming performance. It can deliver high frame rates at 1440p resolution in many titles and even handle 4K gaming with respectable performance settings. The RTX 3060, while offering solid performance for 1080p and 1440p gaming, may struggle to maintain consistent frame rates at higher resolutions and ultra-quality settings in some demanding titles.

Both cards offer significant horsepower for content creation tasks such as video editing, 3D rendering, and graphics design. However, the RTX 2080 Super’s additional CUDA cores can provide a slight edge in certain compute-intensive workloads compared to the RTX 3060.

Price comparison

One of the pivotal factors in the comparison is figuring out which GPU has a better value proposal. At launch, the RTX 2080 Super commanded a price tag of $699; an accurate reflection of its premium positioning in the market. In contrast, the RTX 3060 entered the scene with a more accessible price point of $329, offering the best value for budget-conscious gamers and typical consumers who are not willing to pay the top prices.

Nvidia RTX 2080 Super vs Nvidia RTX 3060 – which is better?

The Nvidia RTX 2080 Super certainly outperforms the RTX 3060 across several games and resolutions. Despite having higher CUDA cores and VRAM, the RTX 3060 still lacks in transistors and clock speed. However, each GPU brings its own set of strengths and considerations to the table. While the RTX 2080 Super boasts higher computational power and memory bandwidth, the RTX 3060 shines with its advanced architecture, power efficiency, and competitive pricing.

Wrapping up

We hope this article has aided you in deciding on the best upgrade options for your rig. In this specific scenario, the 30-series does not present superior computer components, therefore, the RTX 2080 Super wins this comparison. However, if you’re looking for something on the cheaper end of the spectrum, and would happily sacrifice some of the benefits from the strongest components in Nvidia’s range, then the RTX 3060 could be the option for you. It all just depends on what you want for your system.

Eve is a writer and copy editor at PC Guide, who focuses on a broad range of topics but main interest lies in the development of AI technology.