Nvidia recently announced its next generation RTX 4000 series graphics cards, which calls into question whether its predecessors are still worth buying.
The Nvidia GTC Keynote 2022 brought the announcement of the Nvidia RTX 4080 and RTX 4090, officially replacing the RTX 3000 series. It also comes with the latest Lovelace engineering, along with new features exclusive to the RTX 4000 series, such as third-generation ray tracing and DLSS 3.
With all these new features and new architecture, is the RTX 3000 series still worth it? Keep reading to find out how the RTX 4080 compares to the RTX 3090.
The Nvidia RTX 3090 was introduced in September 2020 and had a starting price of £1,399 / $1,499. It can now be found on third-party sites, such as eBay and Overclockers, for less than £1,000.
The RTX 4080 will be available for purchase sometime in November of this year, with no specific dates set yet. It comes in two flavors, with 12GB of memory and 16GB of memory.
The 12GB model is priced at $899 / £949, with the 16GB model starting at $1,199 / £1269.
The Nvidia RTX 3090 features an Ampere design, which uses Samsung’s 8nm process. It comes in a single configuration and packs Micron’s 24GB GDDR6X video memory, as well as 10496 CUDA Cores.
On top of that, it requires a 12-pin PCle power adapter, with the GPU featuring a 350W power draw, one of the highest you’ll find on a graphics card.
As mentioned, the RTX 4080 comes in two configurations. We will focus on the most powerful model, which has 16 GB of memory.
The RTX 4000 series comes with the new Lovelace architecture, which features TSMC 4nm process nodes. Nvidia managed to cram 76 billion transistors onto this node, which is a huge jump compared to the 28 billion transistors on Ampere cards. More transistors generally result in faster performance, as data can be transmitted and processed at a faster rate.
Both 12GB and 16GB use GDDR6X memory, which is the same technology as the RTX 3090. However, the RTX 3090 comes with an astounding 24GB of memory, making it the best option if memory is a priority for you.
The RTX 4080 12GB has 7,680 CUDA Cores, while the 16GB model comes with 9,728 CUDA Cores. This shows that despite being in the next generation range, the RTX 3090 outperforms both RTX 4080 configurations in terms of CUDA Cores.
The RTX 4080 also consumes less power with the 16GB model that has a 320W graphics card, and the 12GB version cuts that down to 285W.
Since we haven’t been able to review any of the graphics cards yet, we can’t definitively claim which one has the best performance. However, we can use the specs provided by Nvidia to get an idea of what graphics card will come out on top.
Since both models of the RTX 4080 come with fewer CUDA cores than the RTX 3090, it probably won’t be that fast. CUDA cores are developed by Nvidia and are designed to perform multiple computations at the same time, allowing for fast and efficient parallel computing. More cores means more calculations can be performed simultaneously, which is important for anyone looking to play graphically demanding games.
However, the latest RTX 4080 comes with an improved architecture, featuring a 4nm node instead of Ampere’s 8nm node. The difference in size and the huge amount of transistors in the RTX 4080 should help boost performance significantly. Looking at the chart below, we can see that Ada Lovelace offers massive performance boosts on the Ampere.
On top of that, the RTX 4080 comes with updated software, such as DLSS 3 and third-generation ray tracing, which should provide smoother, better-looking images for anyone who wants to play graphic-intensive games.
The RTX 4080 may have improved performance when playing games with DLSS 3 and ray tracing, thanks to the updated technology, even if it doesn’t have the same amount of raw power as the RTX 3090.
Until we get the chips to test, we can’t claim that one is stronger than the other. However, thanks to the improved architecture and new updated software, it looks like it will be a close competition.
Be sure to check back with Trusted Reviews soon, as we hope to review these graphics cards over the coming months to see which offers the best performance.
Specifications for Nvidia RTX 4080 and Nvidia RTX 3090
United Kingdom RRP
Clock speed boosted
NVIDIA RTX 4080 (12 GB)
NVIDIA RTX 4080 (16 GB)
304 x 137 x 61 mm
HDMI port, 3x DisplayPort
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090
140 x 336 x 61 mm
HDMI port, 3x DisplayPort