There was a time when video games looked like mere lines on a screen. And now, we’ve come so far that it can be genuinely tricky to distinguish between real-life imagery and a video game’s graphics. With every new generation of gaming consoles, the visual fidelity and detail of games increase dramatically.

The PC platform has always been a step ahead and utilizes the true potential of what the latest technologies and hardware have to offer. And, of course, you need the appropriate hardware to display these things correctly.

And that brings us to graphics cards. Nvidia has always been one of the leading companies in the GPU market, and they have released some of the best cards you can get your hands on. Fortunately, the Nvidia RTX 3000 series is no exception with its amazing raytracing and DLSS capabilities.

The top two cards in the RTX 3000 series are the Nvidia RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 – incredibly powerful GPUs that offer the highest resolution, great RTX support, and fantastic performance. However, it’s not easy to decide which one to buy due to their price differences.

So, is it worth getting the Nvidia RTX 3090 over the RTX 3080? Or is the RTX 3080 good enough for you to buy? Let’s overcome the significant differences and answer which one you should buy!

Nvidia RTX 3080 vs. 3090

There are several factors to keep an eye on when looking for which GPU is better. Price, power, memory, and benchmarks are the most important, and we’ll be going over them to pick our winner.

Notable Specifications

Notable Specifications

The Nvidia RTX 3080 and 3090 are both excellent cards, but they do have several differences in their specifications. Though you’d expect the RTX 3090 to be better in everything – there are a few things that the 3080 has over it.

1. Maximum VRAM

  • RTX 3080 – 12GB VRAM (GDDR6X)
  • RTX 3090 – 24GB VRAM (GDDR6X).

The RTX 3080 has a maximum of 12GB VRAM, a modest upgrade from the first model, which had 10GB. The RTX 3090 has an unbelievably high amount of 24GB, which is amazing.

So, the 3090 excels in this aspect.

2. Power Consumption

  • RTX 3080 – 320 Watt
  • RTX 3090 – 350 Watt.

Power consumption is an overlooked aspect that matters a lot. If you get a GPU that your power supply can’t handle properly, it’s a recipe for disaster. So, you should always make sure that you buy a suitable PSU or that your computer can handle the upgrade, to begin with.

The RTX 3080 wins this with a 9% lower consumption rate, though it’s not a significant difference.

3. Chipset

  • Both RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 use the Ampere GA102 Chipset.

Fortunately, both cards make use of the excellent Ampere architecture, and that makes them very much alike in more ways than one.

4. Clock Speed

The core clock speed of the RTX 3080 is surprisingly up to 50 MHz higher than the RTX 3090. But on the other hand, the memory clock speed of the RTX 3090 is roughly 500 MHz higher than the RTX 3080 – which is a great advantage.

So, the RTX 3090 does win this aspect overall.

5. CUDA Cores

  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 – 8960 / 8704
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 – 10752.

Both GPUs have many CUDA cores, but the RTX 3090 has a clear edge.


No matter how good a card is, it’s not worth anything if you can’t afford it. So, let’s talk about the price of these GPUs.

  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 12GB – $799 (MSRP)
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 24GB – $1000-1400 (depending on variants and retailer)

The price gap between the RTX 3080 12GB is not that big.

If you go for the 10GB variant at $699 versus the RTX 3090, then it’s a bit better. Especially since the 3090 is not always available for purchase at the MSRP. But you can always wait it out to find stocks, and the difference is cut down further.

So, ultimately, I’d say the price-to-features ratio of the RTX 3090 24GB is very much worth it compared to the RTX 3080.

8k gaming


This is what you mainly have to look at when buying a new GPU. How well does it run all of the latest games in the market? And more specifically, games that you love.

One thing that you need to know about both of these GPUs is that the RTX 3080 is best for 4K gaming, while the RTX 3090 is meant to aim for 8K gaming for those who like to go that far up. If you wish to play on 1080p or 4K only for the next couple of years, then the 3090 loses half of its value to you as a consumer.

Cyberpunk 2077

  • Resolution: 4K
  • Graphics: Ultra
  • RTS: Ultra
  • DLSS: Quality.

When benchmarked through different parts of the game, the RTX 3080 has 37 to 41 FPS on average. The RTX 3080 has an average of 42 to 50 FPS, which is not a massive improvement but is still pretty good for those who love consistency.

Cyberpunk 2077

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

  • Resolution: 4K
  • Graphics: Ultra
  • The RTX 3080 has an average of 45 to 60 FPS, depending on where you are in the game.
  • The RTX 3090 has an average of 52 to 70 FPS, also depending on the location you’re at.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

Red Dead Redemption 2

  • Resolution: 4K
  • Graphics: Ultra

The RTX 3080 has an average of 70 to 76 FPS. While the RTX 3090 has an average of 82 to 86 FPS for the most part.

In numbers, this sounds like a notable difference, but it’s pretty similar when you watch it in gameplay, thanks to the consistency. Interestingly, RTX 3080 TI has the same FPS as the 3090.

Red Dead Redemption 2

Horizon Zero Dawn

  • Resolution: 4K
  • Graphics: Ultra.

On the RTX 3080, we have an average of 71 to 75 FPS. While on the 3090, we have an average of 84 to 88 FPS. Remember that the game takes too long to get to the action once you boot it up, so it might be slightly lower for both later.

Horizon Zero Dawn

Call of Duty: Warzone

  • Resolution: 4K
  • Graphics: Ultra

On the RTX 3080, we have an average of 100 to 110 FPS, while the RTX 3090 goes from 117 to 124 – which is a pretty good difference.

Call of Duty: Warzone

Ultimately, both graphics cards are nothing short of a beast in their performance. But the Nvidia RTX 3090 has an edge that gives it better FPS – especially when using RTX and DLSS.

If you use DLSS in certain games with RTX on, you get 70 to 150 FPS quickly, even though you usually would be stuck at figures like 30 and 40.

Who is the winner?

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090!

With everything in mind, such as the specifications, capability, technology, and price – we have a clear winner between the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 and the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090.

nvidia games

Though the difference is not massive, the RTX 3090 is a better graphics card that offers more FPS in video games and can handle better multitasking. And, of course, the RTX 3080 will fall short when you try to take it up to 8K, but the 3090 does an excellent job of remaining playable on it.

Usually, if the price of the weaker card is meager, it makes buying the expensive one that is not too different useless. But the RTX 3090 does not cost much more than the 12GB variant of the RTX 3080 – so the price point argument ends too.

Lastly, it’s worth keeping in mind that the RTX 3080 TI and RTX 3090 TI exist too. But we did not separately benchmark them because everything, such as the gap between performance and the price difference, is still similar. Thus, it’s better to get the 3090, whether it’s TI or not.

Sometimes you can find the RTX 3090 TI for just $1,099 on Nvidia’s official site – so never miss out on that deal since it’s just a few dollars above the standard variant.

We hope that you found this guide helpful and that it helped you decide which GPU between the two you want. If you can’t afford the RTX 3090, you should still buy the RTX 3080 because it’s a fantastic card in its own right – even if the 3090 is better.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply