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RTX 4080 vs RTX 3090 Ti – specs, performance and price

Ampere's monarch goes up against Ada's heir - which comes out on top?
Last Updated on January 2, 2024
RTX 4080 vs RTX 3090Ti - hero
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The RTX 4080 vs RTX 3090 Ti: battle of two of the most popular graphics cards on the market. Despite a lukewarm reception to the 4080, mostly down to its retail price, there is no denying it is a wonderful card.

Both GPUs offer you outstanding performance, but which one is better? In this article, we’ll compare the two cards and see which one is the best choice for you.

The RTX 4080, on one side, is the second-best GPU from Nvidia’s next-gen graphics cards; built with the brand new Ada Lovelace architecture is part of Nvidia’s latest attempt to exploit the best out of the hybrid technology.

It slots in just behind the 4090 – which is a monster of a GPU and targets enthusiasts. The 4080 aims to appeal to the less hardcore gamer that demands both performance and graphical fidelity.

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On the other side, the RTX 3090 Ti is the best GPU from the last-gen. Built for high-end performance, it has outperformed the best units in the market to date. Don’t let the last generation name tag put you off… the 3090Ti is a beast of a card, and it could well be the best time to pick one up as prices have fallen since the 40 Series cards have emerged.

BUY NOW: RTX 4080 quick links

RTX 4080 vs RTX 3090 Ti specs comparison

To give the most accurate verdict we have to compare the specs of these GPUs. Below, you’ll see a table with the major differences and similarities in a direct comparison.

SpecsRTX 4080RTX 3090 Ti
ArchitectureAD103 graphics processorGA102 graphics processor
CUDA cores972810752
Memory Interface Width 256-bit memory bus width384-bit memory bus width
Process TechnologyTSMC 4nm processSamsung 8N
Base clock speed2205 MHz base clock1670 MHz base clock
Boost Clock speed2505 MHz boost clock1860 MHz boost clock
Graphics Card Power (TDP)320W TDP450W TDP
Memory bandwidth735.7 GB/s bandwidth1008 GB/s bandwidth

The RTX 3090 Ti is the older iteration of the brand but it was built to endure demanding tasks. This is a high-end GPU used worldwide for overclockers, professional creators, and gamers. And, even though, the RTX 4080 is built for high-end use, too, there are some clear differences in the specs.

As the table shows, the RTX 3090 Ti has more CUDA cores, which would give it more power and room to handle better tasks, alongside the 24GB VRAM…if it were a same-gen vs same-gen comparison.

However, and this is a key factor, the RTX 4080 uses a smaller silicon. The AD103 runs on a TSMC 4nm microarchitecture, while the 3090 Ti uses Samsung’s 8nm. This difference allows the newer GPU (4080) to achieve higher clock speeds, which can result in better performance.

In conclusion, while the 3090 Ti uses CUDA cores and VRAM to perform, the RTX 4080 uses the ability of a newer architecture to provide better results. And one proof of the difference is how much power they required.

The 4080 only has a 320W TDP, while the 3090 Ti has a 450W TDP. Besides, the gap between both generations is quite big. The new generation of Nvidia GPUs features more powerful CUDA, tensor, and ray tracing cores. So even though it has fewer cores, each individual core is more powerful.

Additionally, the RTX 4080 makes great use of the smaller and more efficient 4nm microarchitecture. And, as Nvidia has been stating since the launch of Ada GPUs, the result is a GPU that’s capable of even more than the top-tier last Gen, while using fewer resources.

This fact tilts the battle towards the newer RTX 4080, as it does vs the RTX 3080 too. Being a more power-efficient GPU, you’ll reduce the amount of power that draws from your PC, so you can be running your computer with a smaller PSU.

RTX 4080 vs RTX 3090 Ti price

Prices on the GPU market have been all over the place due to the semiconductor shortage. Thankfully, it all points to the fact that this dark age has ended and prices are normalizing.

The RTX 4080 MSRP will be $1,199.00 once the GPU drops on November 16. While the RTX 3090 Ti could recently be found at $1,099.00 at retailers such as Best Buy. This may well drop with the release of the 4080 though.

Back in March 2022 when the 3090 Ti was released it had an MSRP of $1,999.00. Obviously, prices have already dropped since then, but the MSRP for this card was, although high, understandable. After all, this was the best GPU of the generation.

After the release of the new Gen and the normalization of the market, the prices have dropped a lot though.

While it is possible that the 3090 Ti price keeps lowering a bit, it’s unlikely it will drop much further as the cards being sold still need to be somewhat profitable.

So you have an Ampere GPU at $1,099.00 as its best price, against an Ada graphic card at $1,199.00. Practically you’ll be paying $100 extra for the newer unit but you’ll end up having a more powerful GPU.

Not only thanks to the stronger CUDA cores and faster clock speeds but also due to the higher-end DLSS technology – something we think is revolutionizing the gaming world as it is.

RTX 4080 vs RTX 3090 Ti performance

According to Nvidia the RTX 4080 outperforms the previous 3080 Ti by two and even three times in games such as Microsoft Flight Simulator, Warhammer 40,000: Darktide, and Cyberpunk 2077.

In a report made by Nvidia, we can see the result of a benchmark made in the game A Plague Tale: Requiem. In this benchmark, Nvidia shows how the GPU achieves an average of 128.9 fps in the game, while the RTX 3090 Ti can only get up to 91.1 fps. This is not a huge difference for many gamers, but enthusiasts will certainly welcome the boost.

One key factor to consider in this advantage is the usage of DLSS. The game relies on deep learning to work, and the difference between DLSS generations in both cards is what boosts the RTX 4080’s performance.

It’s clear that the DLSS 3.0 technology of the newest Nvidia architecture boosts the frames a lot. In games that have space for this feature, it will be a great asset to have an RTX 4080 in your rig.

However, not all games are built for this technology, and although, with time, more and more video games should be built with this tech in mind, a vast majority of titles that are not compatible with DLSS just yet.

In the same report, we see Nvidia has shown results without DLSS activated: this gives us a clearer idea of how well the day-to-day performance will look. In the benchmarks for A Plague Tale, F1 22, and Microsoft Flight Simulator, we can still see how the RTX 4080 provides better FPS than the competitor the 3090 Ti.

Is the 4080 more powerful than 3090 Ti?

Yes, judging by the above facts on performance, you can say that the 4080 is more powerful than the 3090 Ti. It’s not completely clear judging by specs alone, because the 3080 Ti has higher bandwidth. It also has 8GB more GDDR6X, draws more power, and has more CUDA cores.

However, technology gets more efficient as time goes on and Nvidia’s Ada Lovelace cards do show such an improvement. The technological advances mean that the 4080 is clearly more powerful and advanced than the 3090 Ti. So should you be choosing your next card based purely on performance, the 4080 is the one you want.

Should I upgrade to 4080 from 3080?

According to Nvidia’s own information, the RTX 4080 is up to three times more powerful than the 3080. A faster base/boost clock speed from the former and a more power-efficient architecture is more than enough proof that if you’re looking for more power-per-dollar, you should upgrade your 3080 to the newest RTX 4080.

However, don’t write off the last generation. With falling prices and games that still don’t push even the base 3080 to its limit, the old guard still has plenty of life left in the tank.

If you’re looking for a significant upgrade from the 3080, the 4080 may not make sense – it could be the perfect time, though, to upgrade to a 3090 or a Ti, for those wanting a bit more headroom.

Will there be a 4080 Ti?

As we’ve seen in Nvidia reports, there’s a big gap between the RTX 4090 and the 4080.

The extra CUDA cores and clock speed room gives us a hint that the green team will be releasing an RTX 4080 Ti if the market demands it. And, although, the brand hasn’t confirmed that just yet, we’re keeping our minds open based on previous behaviors.

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