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In the world of high-end graphics cards, pitting the best of the last generation against the second-best of the last is a tradition as old as the industry itself. In this case, the RTX 3090 vs. RTX 4080 battle has left many people without a clear choice in mind.

Beyond both being some of the latest models that Nvidia has released, these graphics cards are packed with powerful specs and features. They’re ideal for gaming, video editing, and pretty much any other highly demanding task you have in mind.

So you might be struggling to decide which one is for you. In this article, we’ll compare the RTX 3090 vs. the RTX 4080 to help you decide which one’s for you.

RTX 3090 vs. 4080: Side-by-Side Comparison

Here’s a table comparing the main specs and features of the RTX 3090 and 4080:

SpecificationRTX 3090RTX 4080
GPUGA102AD103-300
CUDA Cores104969728
ArchitectureAmpereADA Lovelace
Thermal design power (TDP)350 W320 W
Base Clock (MHz)13952205
Boost Clock (MHz)17402505
Memory Size24 GB16 GB
Memory TypeGDDR6XGDDR6
Memory Bandwidth936 GB/s760 GB/s
ZOTAC Gaming GeForce RTX™ 3090 Trinity OC 24GB GDDR6X 384-bit 19.5 Gbps PCIE 4.0 Gaming Graphics Card, IceStorm 2.0 Advanced Cooling, Spectra 2.0 RGB Lighting, ZT-A30900J-10P
$1,389.90
  • Memory Speed:19.5 Gbps.Digital Max Resolution:7680x4320
  • NVIDIA Ampere architecture, 2nd Gen Ray Tracing Cores, 3rd Gen Tensor Cores
  • 24GB 384-bit GDDR6X, 19.5 Gbps, PCIE 4.0; Boost Clock 1710 MHz
  • SPECTRA 2.0 RGB Lighting, IceStorm 2.0 Advanced Cooling, FREEZE Fan Stop, Active Fan Control, Metal Frontplate, Lighted Backplate.Avoid using unofficial software
  • 8K Ready, 4 Display Ready, HDCP 2.3, VR Ready
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03/03/2023 02:00 pm GMT

As you can see, the RTX 3090 and 4080 are very similar, which makes sense since they’re only a generation apart. However, there are some key differences, so let’s discuss them.

RTX 3090 vs. 4080: What’s the Difference?

In general, both the RTX 3090 and 4080 are top-of-the-line graphics cards that can deliver excellent performance in a wide variety of applications. However, there are a few key differences to be aware of.

One of these is the amount of memory: the RTX 3090 has almost 10 more gigs of memory, which can give it an advantage in tasks such as 4k or 8k gaming and heavy video editing. 

You should also remember that the RTX 3090 uses the slightly faster GDDR6X memory instead of GDDR6. However, this difference is pretty small and may only be noticeable in some situations where the card is tested to the extreme.

So, the RTX 3090 will probably perform slightly better for some particular uses. Only considering raw performance, the RTX 3090 and 4080 are very similar, despite their difference in clock speeds. Those only noticeably impact performance for most tasks when boosted to the max, as then the RTX 4080 has an advantage of almost 1000 MHz.

So, in most cases, the performance of these graphics cards will be almost identical, but they could both be bottlenecked by a comparatively less powerful CPU. Let’s get into the details.

Specs

When it comes to high-end graphics cards, the specs are what truly make each generation shine. So let’s take a look at how the RTX 3090 and the RTX 4080 compare in terms of core count, clock speed, and other specs.

Clock Speed and Cuda Cores

The RTX 3090 features 10496 CUDA cores, while the RTX 4080 has 9728 CUDA cores, making the RTX 3090 the clear winner in terms of core count, but not by that much. The RTX 3090 also has a base clock speed of 1395 MHz and a boost clock speed of 1695 MHz, while the RTX 4080 has a base clock speed of 2205MHz, and a boost speed of 2505MHz. This makes the RTX 4080 the winner in terms of clock speed.

Memory

The RTX 3090 uses GDDR6X memory, while the RTX 4080 uses GDDR6 memory. GDDR6X memory is faster and more efficient than GDDR6 memory, which means that the RTX 3090 will have an advantage when it comes to some intensive tasks like high-resolution gaming or heavy video editing. Additionally, the RTX 4080 only has 10GB of VRAM, whereas the RTX 3090 has a much bigger 24GB. The RTX 3090 is the clear winner.

TDP and Cooling

The RTX 3090 has a TDP of 350W, which is pretty high for a graphics card. To handle this power, it features —and frankly requires— a triple-slot, triple-fan cooling solution. On the other hand, The RTX 4080’s TDP is a lower 320W, but it also needs three fans and a similar build.

Pricing and Availability

The RTX 3090 and 4080 are both high-end models, so you should expect to pay a premium price. The RTX 3090 has a suggested retail price of $1,499, while the 4080 has a suggested retail price of $699.

Both graphics cards are highly demanded, so they can be challenging to find in stock. Some retailers may have small quantities available for pre-order, and demand may skyrocket with sales or discounts.

It’s also worth noting that the prices of graphics cards can fluctuate over time due to various factors, but in recent years cryptocurrency mining has disrupted the market, so you should check back regularly to see if more units become available.

ZOTAC Gaming GeForce RTX 4080 16GB AMP Extreme AIRO GDDR6X 256-bit 22.4 Gbps PCIE 4.0 Graphics Card, IceStorm 2.0 Advanced Cooling, Spectra 2.0 RGB Lighting, ZT-D40810B-10P
$1,227.89
  • NVIDIA Ada Lovelace Streaming Multiprocessors: Up to 2x performance and power efficiency, 4th Generation Tensor Cores: Up to 2X AI performance, 3rd Generation RT Cores: Up to 2X ray tracing...
  • Boost Clock 2565 MHz 16GB GDDR6X, 256-bit, 22.4 Gbps, PCIE 4.0
  • IceStorm 2.0 Advanced Cooling, SPECTRA 2.0 ARGB Lighting, 3x 110mm dual ball bearing fans, FREEZE Fan Stop, Active Fan Control, Die-cast Metal RGB Lighted Backplate, Dual BIOS, Bundled GPU Support...
  • 8K Ready, 4 Display Ready, HDCP 2.3, VR Ready
  • 3 x DisplayPort 1.4a, 1 x HDMI 2.1a, DirectX 12 Ultimate, Vulkan RT API, Vulkan 1.3, OpenGL 4.6
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03/03/2023 02:00 pm GMT

RTX 3090 vs. 4080: 6 Must-Know Facts

  • The RTX 3090 and 4080 will deliver almost identical performances.
  • The RTX 3090 has a higher power draw and requires a more powerful power supply unit.
  • The RTX 3090 is larger and heavier than the 4080, which may not fit in all cases or for all motherboard configurations.
  • Both graphics cards support Nvidia’s DLSS technology, which improves in-game graphics with machine learning.
  • The RTX 3090 and 4080 are compatible with Nvidia’s Ray Tracing technology, which provides realistic lighting and shadows in supported games.
  • Both cards support 4k and even 8k resolution gaming.

RTX 3090 vs. 4080: Which One Is Better? Which One Should You Use?

In conclusion, the Nvidia RTX 3090 and 4080 are both excellent graphics cards. Both are based on the same GPU and have similar specs and features, with only minor differences. The main difference is the amount of memory: the RTX 3090 has twice as much as the 4080. 

The two graphics cards are very similar in terms of performance. In terms of price, the RTX 3090 is more expensive than the 4080, with a suggested retail price of $1,499. So, deciding which one to choose ultimately depends on your needs and budget.

If you need a lot of memory and are willing to pay a premium price, the RTX 3090 may be the better choice. If you don’t need as much memory or are looking for a more affordable option, the 4080 may be a better fit.

Overall, the RTX 3090 and 4080 are top-of-the-line graphics cards suitable for a wide range of tasks, including gaming, content creation, and machine learning. No matter which one you choose, you can expect excellent performance and high-quality graphics.

RTX 3090 vs. 4080: Full Comparison, Specs, and More FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Which card consumes more power?

The RTX 3090 has a higher power draw than the RTX 4080. The max TDP of the RTX 3090 is 350W, and the max TDP of the RTX 4080 is 320w. While the RTX 4080 is more energy-efficient, the recommended size of your PSU doesn’t vary, so don’t worry too much about this point.

Which card is better for video editing?

In general, higher VRAM is better for video editing, as that’s a task that requires the graphics card to process a lot of information in high quality in a very short period. If you’re looking to edit 4k or 8k videos, the RTX 3090 will allow you to do so more efficiently.

Is the RTX 4080 more future proof than the RTX 3090?

This largely depends on what you intend to use your graphics card for. If you enjoy gaming or video editing at the highest resolutions and framerates, you’ll generally always need the best. For now, if you have to choose between the RTX 3090 and the RTX 4080, that’s probably the RTX 3090, as it has more VRAM. However, if you only care about framerates and don’t tend to play in 4k or 8k, the RTX 4080’s higher maximum clock speeds will serve you better in the long run.

When was the RTX 3090 released?

The Nvidia RTX 3090 was released in September 2020, making it over two years old.

When was the RTX 4080 released?

The RTX 4080 launched in November of 2022, so it’s the latest generation of GPUs released by Nvidia.

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  • Nvidia Available here: https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/geforce/graphics-cards/30-series/rtx-3090-3090ti/
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