NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition Review: Gaming, Thermals, Noise, & Power Benchmarks

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  • ℹ️ Description
This is our review of the NVIDIA RTX 3080 video card, looking at the new Ampere GPU and its Founders cooler vs. the GTX 1080 Ti, RTX 2080 Ti, RTX 2080, 2070, Super cards, RX, and more.

This review of the NVIDIA RTX 3080 takes into consideration the Founders Edition thermal design and cooling solution, including acoustics (noise), thermals, contact pressure, and coldplate flatness, and also preps the groundwork for reviews versus EVGA, ASUS, Gigabyte, and other partner model RTX 3080 cards, where we'll compare VRAM (GDDR6X) and VRM (MOSFET) thermals between partners. We started with a focus on auto settings for this review. PCIe 4 vs. PCIe 3 tests were also completed, and we chose the fastest platform for this comparison (but we do have Gen3 vs. Gen4 benchmarks coming shortly). The RTX game results, particularly for fully path-traced games, produced interesting data when looking at scaling vs. the 2080 Ti, but 'normal' games are also included.


00:00 - RTX 3080 Review Premise
01:51 - The Cooler Interests & Basic RTX 3080 Specs
02:58 - RTX 3080 VRAM Limitations & 10GB vs. 11-12GB
04:51 - Pressure Testing of RTX 3080 Founders Edition
06:50 - Coldplate Flatness of RTX 3080 FE Cooler
08:12 - RTX 3080 Frequency vs. Temperature
09:12 - Fan RPM Behavior vs. GPU Temperature
09:51 - Noise Levels Over Time for FE Card
10:58 - Fan Speed vs. Noise Level & Harmonics
11:49 - Games - Red Dead Redemption 2 GPU Benchmarks
14:15 - Vulkan vs. Dx12 API Performance on RTX 3080 GPU
15:01 - Rainbow Six Siege GPU Benchmarks (RTX 3080 vs. 2080 Ti, et al)
15:46 - Unstable Overclock Frametime Plot
17:02 - Tomb Raider RTX 3080 vs. 1080 Ti, 5700 XT, Etc
18:13 - Microsoft Flight Simulator GPU Benchmarks
18:46 - F1 2019 Crashed on 3080, But Fixed After Launch
18:59 - Horizon Zero Dawn GPU Benchmarks
19:38 - Three Kingdoms, The Division 2, GTA V Benchmarks
20:07 - RTX Game Benchmarks on Minecraft
21:34 - Control RTX Benchmarks & DLSS On vs. Off
22:19 - Insane Scaling in Quake II RTX
23:01 - Power Consumption of RTX 3080 vs. 2080, Ti, 1080 Ti, et al
25:20 - RTX 3080 Overclock Stepping Chart
26:11 - Conclusion: Cooling Solution, Gaming, & More


GPU - This is what we're testing!

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Editorial, Testing, Test Lead: Steve Burke
Testing: Patrick Lathan, Mike Gaglione
Video: Keegan Gallick, Andrew Coleman

Download — NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition Review: Gaming, Thermals, Noise, & Power Benchmarks

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💬 Comments on the video

Just wanted to let you know, that I really appreciate the blue bars wich tell me how long the chart still shows.
This is my third video about the 3080 and man I had to jump around so much the other videos, because they just throw the graphs on and off. The bars are really nice when I want to take a closer look and tell me if I have to pause the video or not.
Thank you! Little things that are very appreciated!

Author — WamBam


Gamers Nexus is always my #1 choice when there are dozens of reviews of something. Well written/organized, in-depth, they pay attention to detail

Author — Anon 1337


23:40 Re performance regression at +100/900 OC, GDDR6X has error-correction features built in, so unlike traditional VRAM, which will artefact or crash when the overclock is unstable, the GDDR6X will resubmit transfers if it detects errors. This may lead to performance being slower than at stock, because you are getting bottlenecked by the memory.
If you have a software tool to test GPU VRAM latency (eg perhaps a timing call in Cuda or OpenCL), you might be able to show this behaviour when the memory is pushed too far.

Author — V is for Void


I feel like I just attended a graduate seminar on a video card. 😀

Author — Poetic Voyage


Giving a like before watching. Steve never disappoint on reviews :)

Author — William Moreno


There's no way I'm *pre-ordering* your T-shirt; I'll wait for reviews.

Author — Antoni


Never buy because its new and shiny, buy when your current system doesnt serve your needs
*Stares at my nothing for not serving my needs

Author — FakkaMe NoFakkaYou


"Let's get into it. Before that..."

Author — T P


3:52 I remember being so confused when I saw the RX 580 in my dad’s system running the Resident Evil 2 Remake at max setting and getting well over 60fps. Despite the fact that it had 8GB and the engine was asking for something like 12GB. That hour of research was very enlightening.

Author — Samuel Emmett


And GN now over 1M subscribers. About time, well deserved, congrats on having most trusted, honest and skilled tech reviews on the tube.

Author — JP B


Who else watches Steve's reviews first so we can judge other reviews after?

Author — Shootin' Bruin


21st on trending for gaming. Hell yeah.

Author — Shohan


This is so thorough that it feels like a really cool academic presentation

Author — yessikg


"You should buy because you feel like your current system is no longer serving your needs"
Me having put a hand me down GTX 680 in an x570 board because I was waiting for the new cards to come out: Got it

Author — Mike Lundy


Can't wait for the 3070 to come out, I really want to see how that compares

Author — TheBulletKin


The inclusion of dBA testing and results is greatly appreciated. How much noise a GPU makes is something I factor into before buying.

Author — Eckogen


Steve seems mildly interested... This card must be amazing!

Author — Nextralife


All of the other reviewers, this card looks beautiful, we don't want to take it apart.
Gamers Nexus: *Raises ifixit tools with devious look

Author — Kenneth Munk


Forget “Can it run Crysis”, it is now “Can it run Control”.

Great review as always guys

Author — Hayden Roberts


Thank you for including 1080 Ti in the charts!

Many others just skipped the 10-series in testing, which is a bit strange since a lot (me included) are still on that and even Nvidia focused on that this is the upgrade for 10-series owners.

Author — DemZane