NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Review: Amped-Up Ampere For Gamers

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti: UL 3DMark, Unigine, And Virtual Reality Benchmarks

How We Configured Our Test Systems: We tested the graphics cards represented in this article on a MSI X570 Godlike motherboard, equipped with a Ryzen 9 5950X and 16GB of G.SKILL DDR4 RAM clocked at 3,200MHz. The first thing we did when configuring the test system was enter the UEFI and set all values to their "high performance" defaults, then we disabled any integrated peripherals that wouldn't be put to use. The memory's clock was dialed in to its optimal performance settings using its XMP profile and the solid state drive was then formatted and Windows 10 Professional x64 was installed and fully updated. When the Windows installation was complete, we installed all of the drivers, games, applications and benchmark tools necessary to complete our tests. For all of the standard tests, the Radeon RX 6000 series cards were tested using their "Balanced" performance profile enabled in the driver and Resizable BAR / Smart Access Memory was enabled throughout.

geforce rtx 3080 ti angle 2

HotHardware's Test System
Ryzen Powered
Hardware Used:
AMD Ryzen 9 5950X
(3.4GHz - 4.9GHz, 16-Core)

MSI X570 Godlike (AMD X570 Chipset)
16GB G.SKILL DDR4-3200

Samsung SSD 970 EVO
Integrated Audio
Integrated Network

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti FE
EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti XC3 Ultra
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 FE
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 FE
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 FE
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti FE
AMD Radeon RX 6800
AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT
Relevant Software:
Windows 10 Pro x64 (v2004)
AMD Radeon Software v21.3.2
NVIDIA GeForce Drivers v466.54

Benchmarks Used:
3DMark (Time Spy, Fire Strike, Port Royal, DXR)
Unigine Superposition
Crytek Neon Noir
Metro Exodus
Red Dead Redemption 2
Gears Tactics
F1 2020
FarCry: New Dawn

Unigine Superposition
Pseudo-DirectX / OpenGL Gaming
Superposition is the latest benchmark from Unigine, powered by the UNIGINE 2 Engine. It offers an array of benchmark modes, targeting gaming workloads as well as VR, with both DirectX and OpenGL code paths. There is an extreme hardware stability test built-in as well. Unigine Superposition uses the developer’s unique SSRTGI (Screen-Space Ray-Traced Global Illumination) dynamic lighting technology, along with high quality textures and models, to produce some stunning visuals. We ran Superposition in two modes using the DirectX code path – 1080p Extreme and VR Future -- to compare the performance of all of the graphics cards featured here.

unigine superposition
Unigine Superposition

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uni 2 geforce rtx 3080 ti

As their branding suggests, the new GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Founders Edition and EVGA XC3 Ultra slotted in right behind the GeForce RTX 3090, but ahead of the original RTX 3080 in Unigine Superposition's 1080P Extreme test. NVIDIA's newest flagship was also able to overtake the Radeon RX 6900 XT here.

uni 3 geforce rtx 3080 ti

uni 4 geforce rtx 3080 ti

uni 5 geforce rtx 3080 ti

Superposition's VR Future benchmark tells essentially the same story, with the Founders Edition 3080 Ti and EVGA's offering clearly outpacing the GeForce RTX 3080 and Radeon RX 6900 XT, but not quite catching the beastly GeForce RTX 3090.

Testing Rift And Vive Readiness
UL's VRMark is designed to test a PC’s readiness for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets. The benchmark does not, however, require that one of the headsets is attached to the PC to run and it uses an in-house graphics engine and content to ensure comparable results between different platforms. We ran the "Blue Room" VRMark test at defaults settings here, which is currently the most taxing test offered by the tool.

vr mark thumb
Futuremark VRMark

vrmark details 3080 ti
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti VRMark Details

vr 1 geforce rtx 3080 ti

vr 2 geforce rtx 3080 ti

We're only a couple of benchmarks in and are already seeing a pattern. The new GeForce RTX 3080 Ti cards couldn't quite catch the GeForce RTX 3090, but again they were able to slot in ahead of AMD's flagship Radeon.

UL 3DMark Time Spy
Direct X 12 Performance
3DMark Time Spy is a synthetic DirectX benchmark test from UL. It features a DirectX 12 engine built from the ground up to support bleeding-edge features like asynchronous compute, explicit multi-adapter, and multithreading. Time Spy is designed to test the DX12 performance of the latest graphics cards using a variety of techniques and varied visual sequences. This benchmark was developed with input from AMD, Intel, Microsoft, NVIDIA, and the other members of the UL Benchmark Development Program, to showcase the performance and visual potential of graphics cards and other system resources driven by close-to-the-metal, low-overhead APIs.

time spy
3DMark Time Spy

time spy details 3080 ti
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Time Spy Details

timespy 1a geforce rtx 3080 ti

timespy 2a geforce rtx 3080 ti

In the DX12-based 3DMark Time Spy benchmark, the Radeon RX 6900 XT is able to slip past the new GeForce RTX 3080 Ti cards, but NVIDIA's newest flagship gaming GPU once again clearly overtakes the RTX 3080.

UL 3DMark Fire Strike
Synthetic DirectX Gaming
3DMark Fire Strike has multiple benchmark modes: Normal mode runs at 1920x1080, Extreme mode targets 2560x1440, and Ultra mode runs at a 4K resolution. GPU target frame buffer utilization for normal mode is 1GB and the benchmark uses tessellation, ambient occlusion, volume illumination, and a medium-quality depth of field filter. The more taxing Extreme mode targets 1.5GB of frame buffer memory and increases detail levels across the board. Ultra mode is explicitly designed for high-end and CrossFire / SLI systems and cranks up the quality even further. GT 1 focuses on geometry and illumination, with over 100 shadow casting spot lights, 140 non-shadow casting point lights, and 3.9 million vertices calculated for tessellation per frame. GT2 emphasizes particles and GPU simulations.

3d mark fire strike
3DMark Fire Strike

fire strike details 3080 ti
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Fire Strike Details

fire strike 1 geforce rtx 3080 ti

fire strike 2 geforce rtx 3080 ti

The new GeForce RTX 3080 Ti cards slot in behind the RTX 3090 and AMD's top end Radeon RX 6000 series cards in the Fire Strike benchmark. Performance is much closer to the RTX 3090 than it is to the RTX 3080, though.

UL 3DMark Port Royal
DXR Ray Tracing Benchmark
Port Royal was released earlier this year as an update to UL’s popular 3DMark suite. It is designed to test real-time ray tracing performance of graphics cards that support Microsoft DirectX Raytracing, or DXR. Although DXR is technically compatible with all DX12-class GPUs, the graphics card must have drivers that enable DXR.
3mark port royal dxr
3DMark Port Royal

port details 3080 ti
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Port Royal Details

port 1a geforce rtx 3080 ti

port 2a geforce rtx 3080 ti

3DMark's Port Royal benchmark has the new GeForce RTX 3080 Ti cards just missing the mark set by the GeForce RTX 3090. The RTX 3080 Tis have no trouble dispatching the RTX 3080 here though, and the Radeons fall even further down the stack.

We also did some testing with the more focused and demanding DirectX Ray Tracing Feature test, which was recently released as an update to 3DMark...

dxr details 3080 ti
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti DXR Feature Test Details

dxr 1 geforce rtx 3080 ti

NVIDIA's Ampere architecture rules in the 3DMark DXR Feature test. In this benchmark, the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti cards finish just hair behind the RTX 3090, but nearly double the performance of AMD's Radeon RX 6900 XT and GeForce RTX 2080 Ti.

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