Nvidia RTX 4070 vs RTX 3080: Should you upgrade?
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.
RTX 4070 vs RTX 3080: Specifications
|GPU||Nvidia RTX 4070||Nvidia RTX 3080|
|Base clock||1920 MHz||1440 MHz|
|Boost clock||2475 MHz||1710 MHz|
|Memory||12GB GDDR6X||10GB GDDR6X|
|Release date||April 13, 2023||September 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.
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.
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.
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|Benchmark||GeForce RTX 4070 Founders Edition||Geforce RTX 3080 Founders Edition|
|Time Spy Extreme||8608||8766|
|4K Forza||89 FPS||92 FPS|
|4K Cyberpunk 2077||17 FPS||13 FPS|
|4K Cyberpunk DLSS (3&2)||72 FPS||50 FPS|
|4K Overwatch 2||157 FPS||148 FPS|
|4K CS:GO||204 FPS||201 FPS|
|1440p Forza||132 FPS||120 FPS|
|1440p Cyberpunk||39 FPS||38 FPS|
|1440p Cyberpunk DLSS (3&2)||126 FPS||85 FPS|
|1440p Overwatch 2||356 FPS||334 FPS|
|1440p CS:GO||607 FPS||582 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.
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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