RTX 3080 vs 3090 - What Does 2x Price Get You?

RTX 3080 vs 3090 - What Does 2x Price Get You?
9 min read
13 October 2020

I’ve compared Nvidia’s new RTX 3080  against the 3090 in games at 4K,  1440p, and in 1080p resolutions as well as content  creator workloads to see what the differences are.

Let’s start with the spec differences, as you  can probably guess based purely on the names,   the 3090 is better in every aspect, but as  a result it does require more power and it   also costs more than twice as much as the  3080, so let’s find out if it’s worth it. RTX 3080 vs 3090 - What Does 2x Price Get You?This is the system that I’m using to test  both Nvidia’s RTX 3080 Founders Edition,   and MSI’s RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio.RTX 3080 vs 3090 - What Does 2x Price Get You? Both  were tested with the same Windows and   Nvidia updates, so let’s get into the results.

Starting out with Microsoft Flight Simulator,  I’ve got the 3090 shown by the purple bars,   and the 3080 below shown by the red bars.RTX 3080 vs 3090 - What Does 2x Price Get You? The  three resolutions tested are on the left, starting   from 1080p down the bottom, 1440p in the middle,  and 4K towards the top. In this test there were   only small differences at 1080p and 1440p, then at  4K the 3090 was 17% higher in average frame rate.

Red Dead Redemption 2 was tested using the  games benchmark tool.RTX 3080 vs 3090 - What Does 2x Price Get You? Again there’s less   of a difference at 1080p, as these higher end  GPUs are better utilized at higher resolutions.   At 1080p the 3090 was only 4% faster, 12%  faster at 1440p, then 20% faster at 4K.

Battlefield 5 was tested in campaign mode  by running through the same mission on both   graphics cards. RTX 3080 vs 3090 - What Does 2x Price Get You?Both were hitting  the 200 FPS frame cap at 1080p,   then interestingly at 1440p the 1% low from  the 3080 was slightly higher, though the 3090   was 12% faster when it came to the average, then  it was 16% faster at the highest 4K resolution.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider was tested  with the games built in benchmark.  RTX 3080 vs 3090 - What Does 2x Price Get You? Once more only minor differences at 1080p,   the 3090 wasn’t even 4% ahead here, then  at 4K the 3090 was 16% ahead of the 3080,   so not really a worthwhile difference given  it costs more than twice the amount of money.

For Control I’ll start with RTX off results. RTX 3080 vs 3090 - What Does 2x Price Get You? Unlike most of the other games tested,   this one saw the largest gap between the 3080  and 3090 at 1080p, with the 3090 14% higher in   average frame rate. The 3090 was then 17%  faster at 1440p, and about the same at 4K,   though the 1% low from the 3090 is now  close to even the average from the 3080.

With RTX on and DLSS enabled the gap between  the two is even smaller now. RTX 3080 vs 3090 - What Does 2x Price Get You?At 4K the 3090   was just 15% ahead of the 3080, but this is  the lowest result out of all 11 games tested,   so it seems that playing with RTX on  still does quite well from either card.

RTX 3080 vs 3090 - What Does 2x Price Get You?I’ve tested Metro Exodus with the game's  benchmark tool, and this test saw some of   the biggest differences out of all  11 titles tested. The 3090 was 23%   faster at 1440p and 26% faster at 4K, the largest  improvement at these resolutions, though the 3080   is still well above 60 FPS at 4K high settings,  so it’s not like it’s garbage or anything.

RTX 3080 vs 3090 - What Does 2x Price Get You?The differences aren’t looking  that big in Death Stranding,   in general most results were below average out  of all games tested. Even at max settings the   3080 is still able to deliver above 100 FPS at  4K, the 3090 was around 16% faster though, but   this was the second smallest difference at this  resolution out of the 11 games we’re looking at. RTX 3080 vs 3090 - What Does 2x Price Get You?In The Witcher 3 the 3080 is still running the  game flawlessly at max settings 4K, though the   3090 was 18% faster in average frame rate if  you really are after best possible results. RTX 3080 vs 3090 - What Does 2x Price Get You?Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was tested with  the built in benchmark, the 3080 was still   above 60 FPS at 4K, which is quite good for  this test at max settings, the 3090 was 16%   ahead though, but yeah again for more  than double the price that’s a tough ask.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare was  tested in campaign mode. RTX 3080 vs 3090 - What Does 2x Price Get You?Again   it was still playable at max settings  4K with the 3080, but the 3090 was 20%   faster, the second best improvement out  of the 11 games tested at this resolution.

Rainbow Six Siege was tested using  the games benchmark tool with Vulkan. RTX 3080 vs 3090 - What Does 2x Price Get You? No major improvements here, pretty average  differences and again still no problems at all   running the test at 4K max settings on the 3080  even if you do have a high refresh 4K display.

At 1080p on average over all 11 games tested  the 3090 was about 8% faster than the 3080.RTX 3080 vs 3090 - What Does 2x Price Get You?  Battlefield V down the bottom shows basically  no change as both GPUs were able to hit the max   200 FPS cap, but outside of this in general  we’re not really seeing big differences.

At 1440p the 3090 was now almost 14%  faster than the 3080 on average. RTX 3080 vs 3090 - What Does 2x Price Get You?As   higher resolutions can typically make better use  of the GPU we’re starting to get a better idea   of what both of these cards are capable of. There  was basically no difference in Microsoft’s flight   simulator at the bottom of the graph, while  Metro Exodus at the top saw the biggest change.

At 4K the 3090 is now 18% faster than the  3080 on average. RTX 3080 vs 3090 - What Does 2x Price Get You?Again Metro Exodus saw   the biggest difference out of the 11 games tested,   but in most games the performance boost  from the 3090 isn’t exactly massive.

When we look at total system  power draw from the wall, RTX 3080 vs 3090 - What Does 2x Price Get You?  the PC with the 3090 installed was using  17.7% more power, while the game I’m testing,   Control at 4K high settings, was  reaching 17.5% higher average FPS,   so a similar performance uplift relative  to the additional power being consumed.

In terms of value, well the 3080 is the  clear winner when considering cost per frame.   RTX 3080 vs 3090 - What Does 2x Price Get You?That’s not really a surprise as the 3090  costs more than twice the price of the   3080 while delivering an 18% higher average  frame rate in the games I’ve covered here.   The 3090 isn’t exactly marketed as a gaming  card, it’s more of a Titan class product,   but at the same time it does perform better,  it’s just probably not worth it for most   people compared to spending much less on  a 3080, at least as far as gaming goes.

It’s not all just about gaming though, let’s check  out some compute and content creator workloads.RTX 3080 vs 3090 - What Does 2x Price Get You? I’ve tested DaVinci Resolve with the Puget Systems  benchmark, and the RTX 3090 was scoring around   18% higher than the 3080, so similar to what  we were seeing in many of the games earlier.RTX 3080 vs 3090 - What Does 2x Price Get You? In the V-Ray benchmark the 3090 was  scoring 22% higher than the 3080.   If you caught my comparisons with the 2080  Ti, both of these Ampere GPUs are offering   huge gains over Turing based options  from last generation in this test,   but the difference here between them seems similar  to what was seen in other workloads tested.

RTX 3080 vs 3090 - What Does 2x Price Get You?Blender was tested with the Open Data  Benchmark with the BMW and Classroom tests,   and again there’s a similar  improvement on offer with the 3090,   which was completing these rendering  tasks 19% faster than the 3080.

The 3090 does of course have 140% more memory, so  if you’re doing something that can actually take   advantage of it that, like intense 3D modelling  or something, then the 3090 could be worthwhile.   For most people though, I don’t think  the 3090 is worth more than 2x the cost,   but that’s just what happens when you get to the  top of a product stack, and hey if time is money   then the 3090 could still be worth considering,  or if you’ve got money and just want the best.

As mentioned for gaming though, I think the  3080 is the much better pick for the majority   of people, especially given it destroys even the  RTX 2080 Ti from last generation for best money.   It’s just in a better sweet spot while  the 3090 is more of a halo product. 

JT 2017
Joined: 3 years ago
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