Key Points:

  • Prices and scarcity for graphics cards have come back down to earth (somewhat).
  • Having a RTX 3080-Ti, it’s probably is not worth upgrading to the 3090 because the improvement in performance may not be worth the price.
  • Having the correct power requirements for these pieces of hardware are important, so make sure you check to see what your machine is capable of before purchasing.

With the past two years showing us just how expensive graphics cards can get, we are quite relieved to see prices on the decline. The cryptocurrency craze and chip shortages caused massive price gouging in the GPU market, but the good news is that high-end graphics cards are becoming affordable yet again.

We thought there would be no better time to talk about two GPU behemoths: the Nvidia RTX 3080-Ti vs 3090. Having been out of reach of most gamers since their original release, recent price drops point to now being the best time to buy. If you have been considering an upgrade, you may be wondering which GPU is better: the RTX 3080-Ti or 3090?

This is exactly the question we are going to address in today’s article, with full side-by-side comparisons, must-know facts, and head-to-head gaming benchmarks. We’re going to talk about all of the pros and cons and decide once and for all which is really the better graphics card: RTX 3080-Ti vs 3090.

Nvidia-GeForce-3080-Ti
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080-Ti is a powerful improvement on the RTX 3080.

Nvidia RTX 3080-Ti vs 3090: Side-By-Side Comparison

How do two massively powerful graphics cards compare when it comes to raw specs? Let’s have a look at a side-by-side comparison to figure it out.

SpecsRTX 3080-TiRTX 3090
Graphics Processor:GA102GA102
Shader Cores:1024010496
TMUs:320328
ROPs:112112
Tensor Cores:320328
Ray Tracing Cores:8082
VRAM Type:GDDR6XGDDR6X
VRAM Capacity:12 GB24GB
Bus Width:384 bit384 bit
GPU Clock:1360 MHz1395 MHz
Boost Clock:1665 MHz1695 MHz
Memory Clock:1188 MHz1219 MHz
Texture Fill Rate:532.8 GTexel/s556.0 GTexels
Pixel Rate:186.5 GPixel/s189.8 GPixels
Double Floating-point Performance:532.8 GFLOPS556.0 GFLOPS

As you can see from the table above, the RTX 3080-Ti and 3090 are neck and neck when it comes to hardware, but the RTX 3090 brings additional power in the form of more VRAM, higher graphics clock speeds, boost speeds, and higher theoretical performance. But is it worth springing for the upgrade, or is the 3080-Ti all you need?

RTX 3080-Ti vs 3090: What’s the Difference?

When Nvidia first launched the RTX 3090 on September 1st, 2020, it was second to none. The RTX 3090 dominated the GPU market and its only real competitor from rival chipmaker AMD, was the much less powerful Radeon 6900 XT. Nvidia outdid themselves when it came to the RTX 3090; there had never been anything like it quite as powerful. Even now, almost two years later, no other graphics card has managed to defeat the RTX 3090.

One thing that kept most casual gamers away from the RTX 3090 was the price tag. Coming in at an MSRP of $1,500, it was already an expensive graphics card. With the perfect storm of events in 2020 causing this price to skyrocket even higher, the RTX 3090 has been out of reach for most gamers until recently. 

Nvidia realized a problem at this point and created a scaled-down version of the RTX 3090: the RTX 3080-Ti. Released in May of 2021, the RTX 3080-Ti brought almost all of the capabilities of the RTX 3090, at a lower price point. If you were priced out of the RTX 3090, the RTX 3080-Ti would be your next best bet. Designed as a direct replacement to the legendary RTX 2080-Ti, another powerful GPU, the RTX 3080-Ti was a notable improvement over the previous generation.

RTX 3080-Ti Vs 3090: Five Must-Know Facts

  • Both the RTX 3080-Ti and RTX 3090 are compatible with PCI-E 4.0.
  • Both cards support DirectX-12 Ultimate for maximum gaming compatibility.
  • The RTX 3080-Ti and RTX 3090 both use the latest GDDR6X graphics memory.
  • Both GPUs give you full support for Ray Tracing and Nvidia DLSS.
  • The RTX 3080-Ti and RTX 3090 both run on the GA102 graphics processor.
Nvidia RTX 3090
The Nvidia RTX 3090 boasts 24GB of G6X memory.

RTX 3080-Ti vs 3090: Power, Size, and Ports

When choosing a graphics card, it is important to know the power requirements so you can make sure it will work with your computer. That all goes out the window with the RTX 3080-Ti vs 3090, as they both have the same massive power requirements. There are no energy savings to consider with either of these GPUs; they are extremely power-hungry.

Both the RTX 3080-Ti and 3090 use the same power configuration, being fed through two 6-pin PCI-e connectors, and using up to 350 watts. You’ll want to make sure you have at least a 750-watt power supply if you are thinking of running either one.

Size is no different when it comes to GPUs such as these. Both graphics cards are downright enormous, which is to be expected when you’re talking about the best of the best. The RTX 3080-Ti measures just over 11 inches. This is nothing compared to the standard configuration RTX 3090, which measures a whopping 13 inches in length. You will need a very spacious case to house these GPUs.

Both the RTX 3080-Ti and 3090 offer you the same connectivity options. With one HDMI 2.1 port and three Display-Port 1.4a ports, you’ll be able to connect a wide array of monitors. Whether you are using 4K monitors, OLED monitors, or even curved gaming monitors, they will work fine on these graphics cards.

EVGA and Nvidia
Nvidia GeForce graphic chip on motherboard.

Which One is Better for Gaming?

Both the RTX 3080-Ti and 3090 exceed the recommended requirements for every game under the sun, so it is fair to assume they are excellent at gaming. In fact, for most games out there, either one of the GPUs would be considered overkill.

We’re here to see which one of these massively powerful graphics cards is the winner when it comes to playing the most demanding games. If you want to play on the highest settings, in Ultra HD 4K resolution, then you should be considering either the RTX 3080-Ti or 3090. But which one is better? Have a look at the benchmarks below to find out.

GameRTX 3080-TIRTX 3090
Apex Legends176+ FPS186+ FPS
Far Cry New Dawn166+ FPS175+ FPS
Metro Exodus95+ FPS101+ FPS
Gears of War 5128+ FPS136+ FPS
Red Dead Redemption 286+ FPS91+ FPS
Battlefield V175+ FPS185+ FPS
Assassin’s Creed Origins134+ FPS143+ FPS
Overwatch231+ FPS245+ FPS
GTA V143+ FPS152+ FPS

The benchmarks don’t lie. Even on the highest settings, at 4K resolution, the RTX 3080-Ti and 3090 perform spectacularly. As expected, the RTX 3090 takes the lead by a small margin, but frame rates are great across both GPUs. Unless you are measuring the FPS while playing, it will be nearly impossible to tell the difference. Only the hardcore gaming enthusiast could spot any difference in performance between the RTX 3080-Ti and 3090.

Which One Should You Choose?

While your average gamer might not even consider one of these graphics cards due to several factors, the true gaming enthusiast may be tempted by either the RTX 3080-Ti or 3090. With a high price tag, high power consumption, and sheer gigantic size, they definitely have their drawbacks. However, if you want the best of the best when it comes to gaming performance, then these are small sacrifices to make.

If you are stuck trying to decide between the RTX 3080-Ti vs 3090, it comes down to a few key decisions. If you already have an RTX 3080-Ti, then it probably is not worth upgrading to the RTX 3090 at this point. Why not? Mainly because there is only a minor difference in performance, and it may not be worth the price.

On the other hand, if you currently have an older model, such as the RTX 2080 or 2080-Ti, then it is definitely worth considering upgrading to either the RTX 3080-Ti or 3090. The question then becomes, how much do you want to spend? If you want the best bang for your buck and want to save a little money, then the RTX 3080-Ti is a solid choice. You get almost everything that you get with the RTX 3090 but at a lower price point.

If you want to push the limits of what is possible to achieve with a graphics card, then consider the RTX 3090. There is simply no better GPU on the market right now for gaming in 4K, and the benchmarks show you that the RTX 3090 delivers some incredible performance. If you want the best and are willing to pay for it, then the RTX 3090 is the right GPU for you.

Up Next…

Plenty more to read up on graphics cards for you!

Last update on 2022-12-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Nvidia RTX 3080-Ti vs 3090: Full Comparison with Specs, Price, and More FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How much better is the RTX3090 than the RTX 3080?

With double the VRAM capacity, higher GPU, and Boost clock speeds, the RTX 3090 is better than the RTX 3080-Ti.

What's the difference between the RTX 3080-Ti and the 3090?

The main difference is the Vram capacity as well as boost clock speeds. The price is also a factor.

What are the best features of the RTX 3080-Ti and the 3090?

Both cards support DirectX 12 Ultimate, as well as Nvidia DLSS, Ray Tracing, and G-Sync.

Is there a significant difference in price between the RTX 3080-Ti and the 3090?

At launch, the RTX 3090 had an MSRP of $1499. The RTX 3080-Ti on the other hand launched with an MSRP of $1199. Due to the wild GPU market over the past couple of years, it has been impossible to find these cards anywhere close to this price.  Anything at or around MSRP is currently a great deal.

Is a 3090 Overkill?

When it comes to gaming, the 3090 is definitely overkill. It exceeds the requirements for every game out there. However, if you want to play on the highest settings in Ultra 4K, there is no better card for the job.

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