Nvidia RTX 4070 vs RTX 3080: Should you upgrade?

RTX 4070 and RTX 3080 FE on white backgroundDexerto

Nvidia’s RTX 4070 is finally here, but for those who already own an RTX 3080, performance against Nvidia’s new GPU is actually much closer than you might think.

Nvidia’s current-generation RTX 40-series graphics cards are here, with the RTX 4070 being one of the most accessible cards from Team Green yet. But, how does it stack up to the now-legendary RTX 3080 in terms of pricing, value, and performance? We dig deeper.

We’ve done the benchmarks to show you exactly which graphics card you should pick up, and if you should upgrade your RTX 3080 to an RTX 4070 if you’ve got the new GPU itch.

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RTX 4070 vs RTX 3080: Specifications

RTX 3080 FE and RTX 4070Dexerto
GPUNvidia RTX 4070Nvidia RTX 3080
CUDA cores58889728
Base clock1920 MHz1440 MHz
Boost clock2475 MHz1710 MHz
TGP200W 320W
Release dateApril 13, 2023September 17, 2020

When it comes to looking at pure specifications from both GPUs, we can see that the RTX 3080 has significantly more CUDA cores when compared to the newer-generation RTX 4070. However, the 4070 also comes with an increase in clock speeds when compared to the RTX 3080, which will help bridge the performance gap left by the CUDA cores.

We can also observe a slightly different memory configuration, with the RTX 4070 having slightly more VRAM when compared to the RTX 3080. The 4070 also houses a slightly increased cache, allowing the memory to go slightly further with a total bandwidth of 504 GB/s. However, the RTX 3080 has a larger overall bandwidth of 760 GB/s. The RTX 4070’s increased cache size however allows for an improvement in performance, power efficiency, and more reliance on data that can exist on-chip, rather than calling for more performance via bandwidth.

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RTX 4070 vs RTX 3080: Price

The RTX 4070 retails for just $599, while the RTX 3080 retails for $699. However, the humble aged RTX 3080 can now be had for as low as $500, if you catch it on sale.

The baseline MSRP of the RTX 4070 is $599, but many AIB partners have also released more expensive variants of the GPU with slightly different power configurations, too. However, at current MSRP prices, the RTX 4070 edges out the 3080 in value, which is a good thing, especially as the humble Ampere GPU is now almost three years old.

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RTX 4070 vs RTX 3080: Performance

The RTX 3080 is slightly faster than the RTX 4070 across all of our benchmarks by a factor of 0.89%. The GPUs were benchmarked using the exact same testbench which houses current GPU parts. However, despite this seemingly tiny difference in performance, there are a few highlights that you need to know about their performance with a baseline test bench ahead of the official launch of the RTX 4070. Here’s what we’ve found.

BenchmarkGeForce RTX 4070 Founders EditionGeforce RTX 3080 Founders Edition
Time Spy Extreme86088766
Port Royal1129311444
Speed Way45204582
4K Forza89 FPS92 FPS
4K Cyberpunk 207717 FPS13 FPS
4K Cyberpunk DLSS (3&2)72 FPS50 FPS
4K Overwatch 2157 FPS148 FPS
4K CS:GO204 FPS201 FPS
1440p Forza132 FPS120 FPS
1440p Cyberpunk39 FPS38 FPS
1440p Cyberpunk DLSS (3&2)126 FPS85 FPS
1440p Overwatch 2356 FPS334 FPS
1440p CS:GO607 FPS582 FPS

There are several points in which the RTX 4070 edges out the RTX 3080, and that’s in ray-traced performance, and when DLSS 3 comes into play. This is easily observable in the benchmarks of Cyberpunk 2077, where the newer RTX 4070 clearly has an advantage when it comes to DLSS 3-based workloads.

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RTX 4070 vs RTX 3080: Which one should you buy?

The adoption of DLSS 3 is only going to get wider, and we think you should hold on to your RTX 3080 if you already have one. You should choose the RTX 4070 over the RTX 3080 if purchasing a brand-new GPU because of the availability of features like DLSS 3, in addition to having a 120W lower TGP, making the graphics card much more efficient than the RTX 3080.

With that in mind, there’s no reason to pick up an RTX 3080, unless you can grab it at a bargain price when compared to the RTX 4070.

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