Nvidia are saying that their new RTX 3060 Ti graphics card outperforms the RTX 2080 Super from last generation while also costing $300 less. To put this claim to the test, I’ve compared both graphics cards in 13 games at 4K, 1440p, and 1080p resolutions, as well as content creator workloads to show you what the differences are.
Starting with the spec differences, both cards have 8 gig of GDDR6 memory, though the 2080 Super’s is a bit faster. The 2080 Super also has higher boost clock speed, but the 3060 Ti has more CUDA cores and uses less power, while also having a $300 lower MSRP.
Test PC Setup
This is the system that I’m using to test out both graphics cards, so an overclocked i9-10900K at 5.2GHz with 32gb of DDR4-3200 CL14 memory in dual channel. We’ll first dig into the gaming results, then check out cost per frame, power draw, and content creator workloads afterwards.
Microsoft Flight Simulator was tested in the Sydney landing challenge. This game saw one of the smallest differences out of all 13 titles tested, the difference in average FPS was basically nothing, however the 2080 Super had a slight xxxedge in 1% low performance at 1080p and 1440p resolutions. Red Dead Redemption 2 was tested using the games benchmark, and this game had the largest performance difference between these two graphics cards out of the games I’m covering. At 1080p the 3060 Ti was reaching 11% higher FPS, 14% higher at 1440p, and 15% higher at 4K, putting it above 60 FPS here. Battlefield 5 on the other hand was doing slightly better on the 2080 Super, though it was extremely close, and both were able to run a little above 60 FPS at 4K with the highest ultra setting preset. A 2 to 3 FPS lead hardly justifies paying the extra money for the 2080 Super. The Witcher 3 had the biggest win for the 2080 Super out of the 13 games tested, the 3060 Ti was 6 to 7% slower depending on the resolution in use, so again not really a difference that’s worth $300 more given the 3060 Ti is still delivering more than playable results even with ultra settings. Shadow of the Tomb Raider was tested with the game's benchmark. The 3060 Ti was just a few frames ahead at 1080p, but otherwise at 1440p and 4K both graphics cards were scoring the same. For Control I’ll start with ray tracing off results. Again no major differences between the two, the 3060 Ti is slightly ahead in average FPS while the 2080 Super is slightly ahead in 1% lows at 1440p and 1080p, but good luck actually noticing these differences when playing. There’s a bit more of a difference with ray tracing enabled. I haven’t used DLSS as I just wanted to compare raw ray tracing performance, and the 3060 Ti was 11% faster than the 2080 Super at both 1080p and 1440p, so it would appear that the 3000 series cards may have more noticeable improvements in the ray tracing department. Dirt 5 was also tested with and without ray tracing. With ray tracing off, the 2080 Super was ahead at all three resolutions tested, though the 3060 Ti was only 2 to 7% slower depending on resolution.With ray tracing enabled we’re not even hitting 60 FPS at 1080p on either card, but the margins are a little closer together now, the 3060 Ti closes the gap ever so slightly, again presumably due to the improved ray tracing hardware. Metro Exodus was essentially the same with either graphics card, so let’s keep on moving. Death Stranding had some gains with the 3060 Ti, which was 5% faster at 1440p and 6% at 4K, so although nothing major, again still pretty nice given the lower price point of the 3060 Ti compared to the 2080 Super. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla was 8% faster on the 3060 Ti at 1080p and 7% at 1440p, though only 2% ahead at 4K, but still a win. The differences in Watch Dogs Legion weren’t big either, the 3060 Ti was just 2-4% faster depending on the resolution in use. Call of Duty Modern Warfare was tested in campaign mode, and again very close results, within 1 FPS difference at 4K and 1440p, while the 3060 Ti was 4% ahead in average FPS at 1080p, which in this case is just 5 frames. Rainbow Six Siege was the only game tested with Vulkan, the 2080 Super had higher 1% low at 4K and 1440p, while the average FPS from the 3060 Ti had an above average improvement at all three resolutions.
1080p Gaming Results
At 1080p on average over all 13 games tested the 3060 Ti was only 2% faster than the 2080 Super in average FPS. The 2080 Super was clearly ahead in two titles, then a few were so close it really doesn’t matter one way or the other, but in general the 3060 Ti was winning more than it was losing, with up to 10% higher frame rates in Red Dead Redemption 2 at the top.
1440p Gaming Results
Stepping up to 1440p and nothing really changes, the 3060 Ti still has an average lead of 2% over the 2080 Super, but if anything more games are now closer to no difference. The average percentage seems to be held up by some games like Red Dead Redemption 2 going to extremes relative to the rest of the results.
4K Gaming Results
This was also seen at 4K, where this game was now 15% better with the 3060 Ti, almost making it an outlier compared to the other titles. Either way, in these 13 games the 3060 Ti was still around 2% faster than the 2080 Super on average, so not much difference between the two graphics cards regardless of resolution.
Cost Per Frame
It’s absolutely no surprise that the 3060 Ti is doing better in terms of cost per frame. It’s a $300 cheaper graphics card and in most cases as we just saw, also beats the 2080 Super in most of the games tested, so without a nice deal on the 2080 Super it’s really not worth considering anymore.
The 3060 Ti is also using less power while performing better. The 2080 Super system needs around 14% more wattage only for the 3060 Ti to run at 5% higher average FPS in this specific test.
Performance Per Watt
The performance per watt measurements aren’t perfect as I’m taking the wattage numbers from the last graph which is one game and applying them to the average frame rates of all 13 titles tested, so take this as an approximation. The 3060 Ti is the winner, it’s using less power while also performing better than the 2080 Super.
Not with gaming covered let’s see how both compare in content creator workloads. I’ve tested DaVinci Resolve with the Puget Systems benchmark. The difference was extremely small here, I’m going to say it’s a tie because although I’m taking averages from 5 tests which take more than 20 minutes each to run, there are still variances between each run which are bigger than the differences between these two scores. Adobe Premiere was exporting the same 4K video slightly faster with the 2080 Super, however it was only a 9 second difference in a 9 minute render, so again essentially a tie in practice.V-Ray on the other hand allowed the 3060 Ti to reach a 65% higher score. I’ve found these new Ampere cards to do much better in terms of compute heavy workloads compared to Turing, so this isn’t unexpected. Likewise Blender was also seeing nice gains with the 3060 Ti. The longer classroom test in the open data benchmark was completing 62% faster with the 3060 Ti, while the shorter BMW test was 51% faster.
So basically the 2080 Super just isn’t really worth considering anymore, unless you can get it on a really good sale, or maybe second hand might be an option, as the 3060 Ti performs better in most games, uses less power and costs less money. Compute heavy workloads in particular see big gains with the 3060 Ti, so even if both are the same price, it makes more sense to go for that. If you’ve already got a 2080 Super then honestly it’s not worth upgrading to a 3060 Ti. in most of the games the performance is about equivalent, honestly if you’ve got a 2080 Super then you’re probably set for a while - but if you are after an upgrade then you probably want to check out the 3070 or 3080.