Key Points:
  • RTX 3080 is a bit overkill for Triple-A and competitive e-sports games. To play in 4K and really enjoy scenic games that benefit from that higher resolution, the RTX 3080 is the way to go.
  • If you want an absolute powerhouse to render PC, look towards the RTX 3080 or above like the RTX 3080-Ti.
  • The RTX 3080 and RTX 3070 are both comparable in the area of streaming. If you are just getting started in the streaming world, try the RTX 3070 to conserve your budget for the rest of your setup.

The RTX 3070 and the RTX 3080 are both parts of the new RTX 3000 lineup. The RTX 3070 and RTX 3080 beat out their previous generations, 2070 and 2080, easily. Both of these cards have gotten a Ti or Titan version since their release, but how do the originals stack up against each other? As always, until we come fully out of the GPU shortage and price hikes, remember that these cards barely saw their original MSRP when they hit shelves. 

In this comparison, we’ll dig into which generation is more worth your money, given that many of the special features set these cards apart. So take off your Red vs Green brand glasses, and let’s talk some good old GPU comparison stats. 

Nvidia-RTX-3070
The Nvidia RTX 3070 can support at least three monitors.

3070 vs 3080: Side-by-Side Comparison

RTX 3070RTX 3080 
Release Date:September 17, 2020September 17, 2020
Original MSRP:$499$699
Actual Price Today:  ≈ $615  ≈$850
Boost Clock/ Base Clock:1.725GHz/1.5GHz1.71GHz/1.44GHz
VRAM:8GB GDDR610 GB GDDR6X
Memory Interface:256 Bit256 Bit
TDP:220W320 Watt

3070 vs 3080: What’s the Difference?

Sale
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 8GB GDDR6 PCI Express 4.0 Graphics Card - Dark Platinum and Black
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition
  • The GeForce RTX 3070 is powered by Ampere—NVIDIA’s 2nd gen RTX architecture.
  • Built with enhanced RT Cores and Tensor Cores, new streaming multiprocessors, and high-speed G6 memory, it gives you the power you need to rip through the most demanding games.
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Powered by the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 graphics processing unit (GPU) with a 1695MHz boost clock speed to help meet the needs of demanding games. 8GB GDDR6 (256-bit) Video Memory.
  • Antialiasing and anisotropic filtering delivers striking graphics with incredible realism. HDMI and Display Port outputs enable flexible connectivity. PCI Express 4.0 and earlier PCI Express 3.0. Offers compatibility with a range of systems.
Sale
2021 Newst GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition / AllyFlex HDMI
  • Powered by the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 graphics processing unit (GPU) with a 1710MHz boost clock speed to help meet the needs of demanding games.
  • 10GB GDDR6X (320-bit) video memory.
  • PCI Express 4.0 and earlier PCI Express 3.0. Offers compatibility with a range of systems.
  • Antialiasing and anisotropic filtering delivers striking graphics with incredible realism.
  • HDMI and Display Port outputs enable flexible connectivity.

So you might look at those specs above, and unless you are a turbo-nerd, you are still asking which of these cards is the better one? Luckily, we will be looking at some real-world tests to see what these two GPUs can do for you. 

Gaming

We’re starting, as we should, with gaming results. For these tests, we will be looking at four modern triple-A games. We will be looking at performance in 4K as well as 1440p.

 

When it comes to 1440p, both of these cards perform excellently, besides Microsoft Flight Simulator, which it seems like every card struggles on. The real decision-maker for gaming comes down to what resolution you will be playing in. If you are looking for something in 1440p, the RTX 3080 is a bit overkill at this point for Triple-A and competitive e-sports games. But if you want to play in 4K and really enjoy those scenic games that benefit from that higher resolution, the RTX 3080 is the way to go.

Keep in mind that both of these cards support DLLS or Deep Learning Super Sampling, which allows you to boost performance by 30 to 50% without a loss in resolution. So, even if you are playing in 1440p or 4K, you can upgrade your performance to like you were playing in 1080p while still looking fabulous. 

3D Rendering 

Now that we have gotten the gaming out of the way, let’s talk about some creative uses for these GPUs. To test the performance of the RTX 3080 and RTX 3070, we are going to take a look at a Blender Render Benchmark. This test will render three separate scenes and give an overall score to rate the cards’ proficiency.

In addition to their great specs, the RTX lineup can use a rendering SDK called Optix. Optix allows the GPU to use Ray Tracing to accelerate the render time and make the whole GPU operate more efficiently.

As you can see, the RTX 3080 has a commanding lead over the RTX 3070 in this test. This doesn’t mean if you are looking for an excellent budget creative workstation, the RTX 3070 isn’t your card. But, if you want an absolute powerhouse to render PC, definitely look towards the RTX 3080 or above like the RTX 3080-Ti.

3DMark Benchmark

Time to take a look at the only synthetic benchmark of the comparison. 3DMark’s Time spy benchmark is a great tool to look at a GPU’s ability to handle a hefty load for a sustained amount of time. To gather these results, I took the top score from 3DMark’s leaderboard for each GPU in PCs that only had one graphics card inside. 

Something that helps GPUs have a sustained load for a more extended period is the VRAM. Seeing as the RTX 3080 has 2 more GBs of VRAM, it will be interesting to see how much that makes a difference.

Bar chart of the 3070 vs 3080 3DMark timespy score, shown in a bar chart.

The RTX 3080 has a significant lead over the RTX 3070 here. It looks like that extra 2GBs of VRAM has made a difference for that sustained load over the RTX 3070. These results are an excellent comparison, but remember that they are not necessarily real-world numbers that will affect your daily use. 

Streaming

Streaming has quickly become one of the most popular ways to do Let’s Plays or a source of income for gamers and everyone. GPUs play an undervalued role in streaming most of the time, but now with the RTX 3000 series, more and more people are turning to their GPUs to handle the encoding of their stream. NVIDIA has created an encoder called NVENC that allows the GPU to take over encoding streaming while letting the CPU take less load and work on something else. As a result, this encoder will ensure that you do not drop frames as much and keep the resolution of your stream high quality. 

The RTX 3080 and RTX 3070 are both comparable in this field. If you are just getting started in the streaming world, I recommend taking a look at the RTX 3070 and using some of your budget for the rest of your setup. But if you are looking to upgrade a setup you have been streaming with for a while, the RTX 3080 will be a massive help in that process. It is going to be less budget-friendly, naturally. 

Power and Thermals

With all the performance results we just looked at, they would mean nothing if your machine couldn’t power or cool properly. For example, NVIDIA’s RTX 3000 lineup is notorious for being power-hungry and likes to spike in power consumption when they are under a heavy load. The TDP for the RTX 3080 is 320W, and the TDP for the RTX 3070 is 220W. However, TDP is an excellent thing to keep in mind when you are building out a PC. The real thing that makes a difference is what Power Supply you get. The recommended PSU wattage for the RTX 3080 is 750W, and for the RTX 3070, 650W. 

While both of these cards run reasonably cool at idle and under load, I would not trust them in a small form factor case to run at peak performance. Like any PC component, the RTX 3080 and RTX 3070 will run better with sufficient fresh airflow coming through the entire case. If you are looking to make a small form factor build, I would recommend looking at the RTX 3060 or AMD RX 6500-XT. 

GeForce RTX
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 has an extra 2GBs of VRAM over the 3070.

3070 vs 3080: Four Must-Know Facts

  • Both the RTX 3070 and RTX 3080 support DLLS and Ray Tracing. 
  • At current pricing, the RTX 3080 is around $850, and the RTX 3070 is around $615, making the 3080 $200 more. 
  • 4K performance is significantly better with the RTX 3080 than with the RTX 3070. 
  • Both of these cards were released on the same day. 

Which One Should You Choose?

Sale
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 8GB GDDR6 PCI Express 4.0 Graphics Card - Dark Platinum and Black
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition
  • The GeForce RTX 3070 is powered by Ampere—NVIDIA’s 2nd gen RTX architecture.
  • Built with enhanced RT Cores and Tensor Cores, new streaming multiprocessors, and high-speed G6 memory, it gives you the power you need to rip through the most demanding games.
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Powered by the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 graphics processing unit (GPU) with a 1695MHz boost clock speed to help meet the needs of demanding games. 8GB GDDR6 (256-bit) Video Memory.
  • Antialiasing and anisotropic filtering delivers striking graphics with incredible realism. HDMI and Display Port outputs enable flexible connectivity. PCI Express 4.0 and earlier PCI Express 3.0. Offers compatibility with a range of systems.
Sale
2021 Newst GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition / AllyFlex HDMI
  • Powered by the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 graphics processing unit (GPU) with a 1710MHz boost clock speed to help meet the needs of demanding games.
  • 10GB GDDR6X (320-bit) video memory.
  • PCI Express 4.0 and earlier PCI Express 3.0. Offers compatibility with a range of systems.
  • Antialiasing and anisotropic filtering delivers striking graphics with incredible realism.
  • HDMI and Display Port outputs enable flexible connectivity.

These two GPUs are both workhorses in their own right, and what it comes down to is your overall budget. For gaming at 1440p and some light creative work, the RTX 3070 will be the perfect upgrade or new component in a new PC build. If you are looking for some stunning 4K visuals, do some heavy video editing, and 3D rendering, the RTX 3080 will be your best friend. 

Because they are both from the same family of cards, the unique features of both these cards are shared DLSS and RTX are impressive features for both. If you want to start pushing the performance to even more than what we saw today, DLLS will make that 1440p and 4K gaming even faster and nicer to look at. 

I would recommend going with RTX 3070 and enjoying all the features and performance it has to offer for my budget-friendly PC enthusiasts out there. For my PC people with a little bit more money to spend, set your eyes on the RTX 3080; it will give you visible performance upgrades for the extra $200 you are spending on it. And as always, keep your eye out if you are looking for a used GPU, don’t let anybody price gouge you. And don’t buy a second-hand mining card if you are looking to game on it for a couple of years to come. 

Up Next…

Last update on 2022-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

NVIDIA RTX 3070 vs 3080: Main Differences, Price, and Specs Compared FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What is a 3070 and 3080?

Both the RTX 3070 and RTX 3080 are graphics cards. These are computer parts that allow the PC to drive an image to your screen.

Is the 3070 better than the 3080?

The 3070 and the 3080 are both excellent cards. However, if you are looking for outright performance and budget doesn’t play a role, the RTX 3080 is a better card.

Is the 3080 worth it over the 3070?

For the extra $200 or so, if you are looking for a machine to play games in 4k and be a creative workstation powerhouse, the RTX 3080 is worth it. But if you are going to be playing games at 1440p and maybe using some creative programs, the RTX 3070 is the way to go.

When were the 3080 and 3070 released?

Both the RTX 3080 and RTX 3070 were released on September 17th, 2020.

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