Nvidia RTX 3080 review – is it still worth it?

Should you buy an RTX 3080 in 2024?

RTX 3080 review

You can trust PC GuideOur team of experts use a combination of independent consumer research, in-depth testing where appropriate – which will be flagged as such, and market analysis when recommending products, software and services. Find out how we test here.

Last Updated on

The Nvidia RTX 3080 may be a fair few years old but that hasn’t stopped this once high-end video card from providing a solid gaming experience. While it was initially incredibly hard to find throughout its lifetime, it has since become not only easy to find but also heavily discounted in 2024, making it a great value buy. Yes, it still holds up, and while no longer among the absolute best graphics cards available since the launch of the RTX 40 series, should still be considered if found at a discount.

ASUS ROG Strix NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 OC Edition

CUDA cores
760.3 GB/s
Memory bus width
Base clock speed
1440 MHz
Boost clock speed
1905 MHz
  • Excellent 4K gaming performance
  • Often available discounted in 2024
  • Either 10GB or 12GB VRAM
  • No longer worth it at MSRP
  • No support for DLSS 3
✓ Review summary

Why we’ve scored it a 4

The RTX 3080 displays powerful performance at a competitive price point provided you can find it on sale from major trusted retailers. It can’t use DLSS 3 Frame Generation and it’s no longer a leading option, hence the few points we’ve deducted.

Nvidia RTX 3080 price

The Nvidia RTX 3080 originally debuted at $699 back in 2020, however, the pandemic made it near-impossible to find for MSRP throughout its lifespan until Ada architecture graphics cards were ushered in two years later. With that said, in 2024, it’s easy to find an RTX 3080 through retailers such as Amazon and Newegg available as low as $500 either brand new or secondhand. Should you find this GPU for that price tag, complete in either 10GB or 12GB VRAM, it’s well worth considering.

For context, the prices of its successor, the RTX 4080 doubled in MSRP to $1,199 making 80-class hardware a much higher bar to clear, which makes revisiting the price tag of the RTX 3080 seem like a true bargain. In terms of its nearest direct comparison, you’ve got the RTX 4070 Super at $599 or the RTX 4070 Ti Super at $799 (which is essentially a cheaper version of the RTX 4080). Should you want DLSS 3 Frame Generation, this could be the play.

Nvidia RTX 3080 key specs

We’ll keep this short and sweet. The RTX 3080 is built upon the GA102 die with a total of 8,704 CUDA cores and either 10GB or 12GB of GDDR6X VRAM on a 320-bit memory bus. It features 68 second-generation ray tracing cores as well as 272 Tensor cores, the latter of which aids the AI-powered Nvidia DLSS 2 upscaling. This GPU was originally marketed based on its 4K prowess and that’s possible through its 760.3 GB/s bandwidth for 19 Gbps effective memory.

✓ Editor’s note

Find the RTX 3080 on sale

Retailers such as Amazon in the US are selling the RTX 3080 for as low as $500 in brand new condition but it’s worth shopping around for the best deal. Instead of paying $600+ you could get the RTX 4070 Super instead; a more up-to-date buy.

Then we get into the Nvidia RTX 3080’s speeds. The high-end Ampere GPU has a base clock speed of 1,440 MHz and a boost clock speed of 1,710 MHz taking the Nvidia Founders Edition model into account, however, some partner cards can go further than this. This includes our review unit, the ASUS ROG Strix RTX 3080 can be pushed up to 1935 MHz through overclocking. Some partner cards are more expensive than others so keep that in mind when weighing up your options.

Nvidia RTX 3080 design

Speaking to the Founders Edition model, the Nvidia-made RTX 3080 is a dual-slot GPU measuring 11.2 x 4.4 x 1.6 inches (LxWxH) with a 320W TDP meaning you’ll need at least a 700W PSU to ensure adequate power to the video card. This will depend on your partner card, as the aforementioned ASUS ROG Strix model is a triple-slot GPU with a larger heatsink, and triple fan design to cope with the overclocking potential.

It’s clear that the RTX 3080 hasn’t missed a step even nearly four years after its initial introduction

Nvidia’s Ampere graphics card lineup was the first to use a bespoke adapter, in this case, it’s the 12-pin power adapter instead of standard PCIe power connectors, but some partner cards may use 2x or 3x regular power connectors, so that’s something to keep in mind. You have the choice of MSI, EVGA, Gigabyte, and many other manufacturers in terms of design and size, so whether you’re buying brand new or refurbished, there are many options whether you opt for 10GB or 12GB variants.

Nvidia RTX 3080 gaming performance

In our testing conducted by BGFG’s Sebastian Kozlowski, it’s clear that the RTX 3080 hasn’t missed a step even nearly four years after its initial introduction. This is most evident in its 4K prowess in today’s top games such as CS:GO, Dirt 5, Doom Eternal, and Fortnite, all of which are well above the 60fps mark with ray tracing enabled when playing natively in 2160p. Simply put, that’s impressive and means even without the bolstering of DLSS 3 Frame Generation, you’ll have a smooth gaming experience.

Nvidia RTX 3080 synthetic performance

The synthetic benchmarks are equally strong as the RTX 3080 excels with high figures in the likes of 3DMark and Blender. While this GPU can’t quite keep up with its successors from the Ada architecture lineup, there’s no doubting the level of prowess here. That means that creatives and content creators alike are sure to be able to squeeze some juice out of this GPU yet, not bad given its discounted rates this year.


RTX 3080 and packaging
The ASUS ROG Strix RTX 3080 and its packaging © BGFG

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 impresses with its second-generation RT cores leading to far stronger real-time ray tracing than the likes of the older RTX 2080 Ti and it should be a great upgrade from GTX models. The frame rates are far higher both natively and through DLSS, too, whether you’re playing on one of the best gaming monitors with HDMI and DisplayPort. While the Founders Edition card may be all but extinct nowadays, some partner cards are still around and discounted.

PC games still benefit from the memory bandwidth of Ampere architecture with even top titles still being made with the older models in mind, especially when factoring in Deep Learning Super Sampling, albeit without Frame Generation. Just remember to pair with a top-end Intel Core or AMD Ryzen CPU to avoid any potential bottlenecking, and you shouldn’t need to worry about upgrading for a couple of years at least. That goes double when considering the likes of Nvidia Reflex and applications for streamers and content creation, too.

Reasons to Buy
  • You can find it discounted
  • You want to game in 4K
  • You engage in creative tasks
Reasons to Avoid
  • You can find the RTX 4070 Super for less
  • You want to utilize DLSS 3 Frame Generation

Alternatives to the RTX 3080

As touched upon above, the best alternatives to the RTX 3080 are either the RTX 4070 Super or the RTX 4070 Ti Super which occupy the mid-range pricing gap left in Ada’s wake with a similar (or superior) level of performance. On the AMD front, there’s the RX 7700 XT for around $450 in terms of 1440p performance. Alternatively, for 80-class performance, there’s the RTX 4080 Super but you’ll be paying $999 and up for significantly stronger gaming and creativity performance.

Is the RTX 3080 still worth it?

If you can find the RTX 3080 available discounted in a new or refurbished condition down from its MSRP then it’s worth it. However, we don’t recommend spending an MSRP of $699 on this card when the newer RTX 4070 Super can do more for less.

Aleksha McLoughlin is Hardware and News Editor for PC Guide and she oversees buying guides, reviews, news, and features on site. She was previously Hardware and Affiliates Editor at VideoGamer.