The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 16GB isn’t set for release until November 16. And, for a long time, available information was quite limited. The outcomes of recent testing have been revealed, however, and preliminary performance results have already caused quite a stir.

There’s a post on the Chiphell forums appearing to show that the RTX 4080 can be overclocked to an outstanding speed of 3GHz. The screenshot was shared on October 7, and also reveals something very impressive.

Namely, the clock speed of 3GHz is reached while maintaining a TDP (thermal design power) of 320W, and very comfortable temperatures, around the 60C mark. These results are very promising regarding the performance of the RTX 4080.

Nvidia RTX 4080: Boosted Performance, Sharp Graphics

A lot of the RTX 4080 16GB’s performance power undoubtedly comes from its incorporation of DLSS 3, the latest GPU technology from Nvidia. Combining DLSS, DLSS 2 (or DLSS Super Resolution), Nvidia Reflex, and the all-new DLSS 3 (or DLSS Frame Generation), additional frames are created by AI to boost performance significantly.

As the name suggests, 16GB of VRAM is also included, which makes the GPU well-suited for gaming, as well as creating content. Reflex is made to simultaneously measure and optimize system latency and responsiveness, leading to faster reaction times, quicker target acquisition, and superior aim precision. This provides the all-important advantage needed to play many games competitively.

The Ray Tracing (RT) cores in these GPUs are third-generation and are designed specifically to handle ray-tracing workloads, which can be very intensive on the system. The systems used to optimize ray tracing are the Opacity Micromap (OMM) and Displaced Micro-Mesh (DMM) engines, which allow significantly faster ray tracing for textures.

These include foliage and fences and an improvement in performance. As part of the new Ada Lovelace architecture, these features allow the RTX 4080 to be more powerful than previous generations, while being more efficient at the same time.

Nvidia RTX 4080: Energy Efficiency in Action

MSI Gaming GeForce RTX 4090 24GB GDRR6X 384-Bit HDMI/DP Nvlink Tri-Frozr 3 Ada Lovelace Architecture Graphics Card (RTX 4090 Gaming Trio 24G)
  • Chipset: GeForce RTX 4090
  • Video Memory: 24GB GDDR6X
  • Memory Interface: 384-bit
  • Output: DisplayPort x 3 (v1.4a) / HDMI 2.1 x 1
  • Digital maximum resolution: 7680 x 4320

The fact the RTX 4080 16Gb can overclock to 3GHz while maintaining its default power rating is very significant, considering the RTX 4090 can only reach a similar clock speed with a power rating of around 600W. We can’t confirm, but it looks like these results were achieved using the Founders Edition of the graphics card, as these reportedly have a power limit of up to 600W.

GPU temperatures for this test were not reported, but can be expected to be rather extreme. In any case, it seems like the 4080, with its lesser number of cores, possesses greater overclocking capabilities than the 4090.

Compared to the RTX 3090 Ti and RTX 3080, the RTX 4080 comes out on top. Testing has shown the 4080 to be 60% faster than the 3080 and 30% faster than the 3090 Ti. This, along with the lower power rating, means the 4080 is essentially more energy efficient than the 30- models.

Although the 4080 has fewer cores than the 3090, due to the improved architecture and ray tracing capabilities it looks like performance is still improved.

Core Count vs. Clock Speed: Which Is More Important for Gaming?

Generally, clock speed receives more attention when it comes to gaming than core count. In an ideal world, we would choose the system with the highest clock speed and the greatest number of cores, but this is often limited by budget restraints.

Therefore, a compromise is reached, depending on the user’s needs and priorities. Achieving a balance between cores and clock speed is usually optimal, as both factors are important for overall system performance.

With a higher clock speed, system operations can be synchronized with more speed and calculations performed quicker, meaning that applications and games will run faster and smoother.

Clock speed pulls ahead in terms of importance when considering single-threaded applications, where programs function linearly with commands being processed one at a time. As most programs work in this way, it would be tempting to say clock speed reigns supreme.

CPU

Most processors these days are multi-core, meaning that the CPU can process multiple tasks at one time. A core is a single processing unit, and having more of these generally means the CPU can continue working even if one core gets stuck on a task, such as a program that keeps freezing.

CPUs with multiple cores will appear faster since they can take on a larger workload that is split between the cores. As far as gaming is concerned, a huge number of cores may not be required since most games will benefit from the increased single-threaded performance, as cores do not need to be split between multiple applications.

Prioritizing One Over the Other

Prioritizing clock speed over core count in this case will lead to improved performance at a lower cost. An example of this would be a quad-core processor supporting a clock speed of 3GHz vs a dual-core processor supporting 3.5GHz. The dual-core would run approximately 14% faster on a single-threaded program due to the higher clock speed.

Should I Overclock My Graphics Card?

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GPU is a specialized electronic circuit designed to manipulate and alter memory.

Overclocking simply refers to increasing the clock rate of a CPU or GPU past the limit certified by the manufacturer. From this definition alone, we can see that doing this can be risky and potentially even dangerous.

Since operating voltage is most likely increased, theoretically the lifespan of the circuits can be shortened, although this is less likely with more modern GPUs which are built to be more durable. Most of the risk comes from the extra heat being produced by overclocking a system, which can lead to irreversible damage if this heat is not dispersed efficiently.

Heat production can be mitigated effectively by raising the speed of the GPU’s fans, which can usually be managed manually or automatically (so that fan speed is reduced during less intense moments of gameplay).

The benefits of overclocking, such as increased frame rate and performance, can be desirable, especially because they extend the current usability of your system for as long as possible before an upgrade is due.

Practically, most overclocking tools, such as MSI Afterburner, will allow you to monitor GPU temperature to keep it below the recommended maximum of 80 to 85C so that potential damage can be avoided.

Even so, you are likely to observe anomalies such as visual artifacts and computer crashes before you cause any permanent damage. These days, overclocking is therefore far safer than it used to be.

Last update on 2022-11-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Nvidia RTX 4080 16GB Maintains Default Power Rating While Overclocking to 3GHz FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

When is the RTX 4080 16GB coming out?

The RTX 4080 is set for release on November 16, 2022.

When was the RTX 4090 released?

The RTX 4090 was released on October 12, 2022.

What is overclocking?

Overclocking is the process of pushing the clock speed of a GPU beyond that intended by the manufacturer. This allows tasks to be processed faster, resulting in smoother gameplay with increased frame rates.

While the increased voltage and heat output need to be managed effectively, the useful life of a GPU can be extended by allowing it to keep up with ever-increasing software requirements.

What is the default power rating of the RTX 4080?

The TDP is set at 320W, and managed to maintain this while apparently overclocking to 3GHz.

How many cores does the RTX 4080 have?

The RTX 4080 contains 9,728 CUDA cores, whereas the RTX 4090 contains 16,384 cores.

Will the RTX 4080 have better performance than the RTX 3090?

While the cards haven’t been fully tested yet, it’s likely the RTX 4080 will at least match the 3090 in performance, due its improved architecture, particularly with games that support DLSS3 and ray tracing.

 

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