Nvidia RTX 2080 vs Nvidia RTX 3060 – Which is better?

Who comes out on top?

You can trust PC GuideOur team of experts use a combination of independent consumer research, in-depth testing where appropriate – which will be flagged as such, and market analysis when recommending products, software and services. Find out how we test here.

Last Updated on

The battle of the Nvidia RTX 2080 vs Nvidia RTX 3060 might be more influenced by popularity than by performance. We say this because the RTX 2080 was built under a more powerful setup, thanks to the more powerful die variant. However, how do these GPUs compare when we look into specs, performance, and price? It is time to delve into the Nvidia RTX 2080 vs Nvidia RTX 3060.

Looking for more content? We have the best GPU for AMD Ryzen 5 3600 and 3600X and the best CPU for Nvidia RTX 4080 Super – Intel, AMD, and more. Be sure to check them out.

Nvidia RTX 2080 vs Nvidia RTX 3060 – Specs, hardware, and components

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080, armed with the TU104-400A-A1 GPU variant, emerges as the ultimate beacon of high-end performance, tailored for gamers and professionals who demand the best from their 1440p experiences. Its robust memory bandwidth and bus width stand as a testament to its readiness to tackle the most graphically intense tasks without breaking a sweat.

SpecsNvidia RTX 3060Nvidia RTX 2080
 Nvidia RTX 3060Nvidia RTX 2080
CUDA Cores35842944
TMUs (Tensor cores)112184
Memory size12 GB GDDR68 GB GDDR6
Memory Bus192 bit256 bit
Bandwidth360.0 GB/s448.0 GB/s
Base Clock1320 MHz1515 MHz
Boost Clock1777 MHz1710 MHz
RT Cores2846
MSRP$329$699
TDP170 W215 W
Specs table for the Nvidia RTX 3060 and Nvidia RTX 2080.

Transitioning to the RTX 3060, this card sports the GA106-300-A1 GPU variant, symbolizing Nvidia’s commitment to bringing high-quality performance to the mid-range market. Despite boasting a larger 12GB of GDDR6 memory compared to the 2080s 8GB, the 3060’s more modest 192-bit memory bus and 360.0 GB/s bandwidth reflect a strategic recalibration by Nvidia. This shift prioritizes bringing the latest gaming technologies, like ray tracing, to a wider audience at a more attainable price point.

When it comes to clock speeds, the RTX 2080 slightly edges out with a base clock of 1515 MHz and a boost of 1710 MHz, overshadowing the 3060’s 1320 MHz base and 1777 MHz boost. This marginal superiority underscores the 2080’s raw power potential. However, the RTX 3060 illustrates Nvidia’s advancements in delivering efficient, cutting-edge performance with a lower TDP of 170W against the 2080’s 215W, showcasing the evolution of GPU technology.

Nvidia RTX 2080 vs Nvidia RTX 3060 – Performance

It is evident from public GPU benchmarks that the Nvidia RTX 2080 leads the charge. In synthetic benchmarks alone, the 2080 boasts a 10% improvement over the 3060, setting a precedent for its overall performance capability. When shifting focus to gaming performance, the advantage of the 2080 becomes even more pronounced. At 1080p, it outpaces the 3060 by nearly 20%, a margin that widens to 30% at 1440p, and impressively hits 42% at 4K resolution. This disparity is not surprising, given the 3060’s design focus on 1080p gaming, in contrast to the 2080’s ability to handle 1440p and beyond with ease.

Despite the 3060’s advantage in supporting newer generation ray tracing and DLSS technologies, it lacks the raw power to surpass the 2080’s better performance and better graphics. Therefore, while the 3060 represents Nvidia’s strides in making advanced gaming technologies more accessible, the 2080’s superior performance cannot be understated.

However, this comparison transcends mere performance metrics, evolving into a discourse on popularity and value for money. The RTX 2080, though two generations old and initially priced at a premium, no longer holds the same allure in the face of the 3060’s value proposition. With a value-for-money ratio that’s approximately 60% better than the 2080s, the RTX 3060 emerges not just as a competent GPU for 1080p gaming but also as the more economical choice for gamers seeking the best balance between cost and performance in today’s market.

Nvidia RTX 2080 vs Nvidia RTX 3060 – Price

When it comes to pricing, the Nvidia RTX 3060 has the upper hand with its more appealing MSRP, making it an attractive option for gamers mindful of their budget. In the current market, finding a new RTX 2080 is becoming increasingly challenging, and when they do appear, they’re often priced higher than the more recent and readily available 3060.

In a recent search, the 2080s available were primarily renewed units, with prices not dipping below $340. This contrasts sharply with the RTX 3060, which can be found brand new for around $250. Not only does the 3060 offer significant savings, but it also promises excellent 1080p gaming performance, delivering on Nvidia’s promise of quality gaming experiences at a fraction of the cost. This pricing dynamic underscores the 3060’s position as the go-to choice for gamers looking to maximize both performance and value.

Is the Nvidia RTX 2080 good for gaming?

In short, yes. The RTX 2080 remains a formidable graphics card for gaming, boasting strong performance and advanced features like real-time ray tracing and DLSS. While it may not be the newest model in Nvidia’s arsenal, it still offers excellent frame rates and impressive visual flare, making it a reliable choice for gamers seeking high-quality experiences without breaking the bank.

Final thoughts

While wrapping up the comparison between the Nvidia RTX 2080 and RTX 3060, it’s clear that the RTX 2080 may boast superior performance, but the RTX 3060 shines as the more pragmatic choice for most gamers. The 3060 not only offers significantly better value for money but also stands out for its comprehensive capabilities and accessibility in today’s market.