As the primary third-birthday birthday celebration photographs playing cards withinside the GeForce RTX 30 Series start rolling off the line, it is time to look if all that more engineering that Nvidia placed into the redesigned PCB and cooling device of its Founders Edition playing cards became really well worth the attempt.
Can third-birthday birthday celebration producers nevertheless produce excessive-overall performance playing cards that maintain their cool with out all the ones fancy video manufacturing values(Opens in a brand new window) brought on pinnacle? Asus’ TUF Gaming RTX 3080 OC ($729.99) is right here to show that classically designed PCBs and heatsinks can nevertheless hold tough (or rather, “TUF”) with the brand new improvements Nvidia is bringing to the table.
The TUF card’s barely slower inventory overall performance throughout the board (in particular given its better clock velocity) would possibly provide a few consumers pause, however this card, realistically, is probably a higher select out than a Founders Edition for the easy truth that you can have a higher danger of really shopping for any such withinside the close to destiny.
Specs Compared: Asus TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 3080 OC vs. the World
Indeed, getting your arms on a GeForce RTX 3080 of any stripe, whether or not the TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 3080 OC or the Founders Edition, can be very touch-and-cross over the following couple of months. The variations among this Asus card (one in every of numerous Asus RTX 3080 variants) and the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition are not massive sufficient to justify deciding on one over the opposite, if it includes months spent expecting new inventory. The prospect for buying any kind of RTX 3080 card, Founders Edition or otherwise, has been dicey for all and sundry who isn’t always a bot, and the scenario would not appearance to be enhancing every time withinside the close to destiny, both. So the fine RTX 3080 recommendation can also additionally properly actually be to get whichever version you could whilst the getting is accurate, in case you are in a rush.
To start, it is most effective honest that we examine the TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 3080 OC in opposition to Nvidia’s Founders Edition RTX 3080, in addition to the playing cards it plans to supplant withinside the GeForce RTX 20 Series, the GeForce RTX 2080 and the RTX 2080 Super…
The TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 3080 OC would not include the identical refinements to the cooling device that we noticed withinside the Founders Edition, with its pinnacle and backside lovers going for walks a completely unique airflow pattern, and a big trailing warmness sink in the back of a shortened PCB.
Indeed, the extent of care and element placed into the layout of the brand new Founders Edition 30 Series playing cards makes maximum of the relaxation of what we have got visible from OEMs (all of them, now no longer simply Asus) appear flat out…stodgy, with the aid of using comparison.
(That said: Don’t worry, there is RGB! A small badge at the aspect of the cardboard is customizable thru Asus Aura Sync(Opens in a brand new window).)
Note a minor tempest that emerged approximately every week after the RTX 3080 release. It has been tough to quantify the effect, card to card, of the trouble, however Nvidia issued a motive force replace rapidly after the release of the RTX 3080 that coincided with a pronounced rash of crashes in a few video games with positive third-birthday birthday celebration RTX 3080 playing cards.
That trouble can also additionally had been down, consistent with EVGA withinside the case of one in every of its personal card designs, because of a positive aggregate of so-referred to as MLCC and POSCAPS capacitors on the cardboard; that card became held from the marketplace earlier than release pending a few layout tweaks.
Nvidia issued a assertion noting that no precise blend of those capacitors is any indication of inferiority of layout, and the crashing problems appear to have abated with the motive force replace.
For the ones concerned approximately the TUF Gaming RTX 3080 OC being vulnerable to such problems, searching for what you offer can be glad to realize that it makes use of all-MLCC capacitors, consistent with the company–aleven though once more, that preference of additives is right all the way down to an engineering preference this is inside spec.
All that said, we examined the TUF card with this new motive force and it ran flawlessly.
Whatever the cardboard is made of, aleven though, this TUF card is massive. Without the unique heatsink layout and abbreviated PCB like the ones at the Nvidia Founders Edition playing cards, the triple-fan, 2.7-slot TUF Gaming RTX 3080 finally ends up measuring a whopping 11.eight inches from bow to stern.
This isn’t always pretty so long as the RTX 3090 Founders Edition (a meatball-hero-duration 12.three inches), however nevertheless big sufficient that you may want to take a few measurements of your case earlier than you go together with this card in particular.
Indeed, at PC Labs, we genuinely needed to switch our testbed into an entire new case simply to healthy it comfortably, and with different OEM alternatives just like the MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio coming in at greater than a foot lengthy, the fashion of massive playing cards withinside the 30 Series most effective seems to be getting, properly, bigger.
The diversion from the Founders Edition layout additionally way no fancy, hyper-engineered 12-pin energy connector.
Nvidia’s Founders card makes use of a unique adapter to this new energy connection, whilst withinside the TUF Gaming RTX 3080, we noticed a greater conventional dual-eight-pin setup, that’s best with the aid of using us whilst we yet again take into account the MSI RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio, which desires a borderline-bananas 3 eight-pin connectors as well up.
The backplane in this card is different, too. It strains up with the Founders Edition RTX 3080 in that it ditches one conventional port, however it manages to one-up it with 3 DisplayPort 1.4a slots, plus HDMI 2.1 ports as opposed to simply one.
As for the port that became ditched: VirtualLink. Anyone hoping that the dearth of VirtualLink withinside the new 30 Series Founders Edition playing cards became only a fluke might be dissatisfied to locate that the same old seems to be on its manner out earlier than it even located its manner in. VirtualLink, a kind of USB-C port that seemed on a few of the better-quit “Turing” GeForce RTX 20-Series playing cards, in no way noticed the adoption charge Nvidia had forecasted for the destiny of VR (both with the aid of using clients or headset producers).
Now, with new frontiers like 8K gaming at the horizon, the selection to consist of one or greater HDMI 2.1 ports looks as if the fine manner to assure the cardboard a niche for your PC for the following couple of years or greater.
Let’s Get Testing! Time to Play TUF
So, again to the cardboard on hand. PC Labs ran the Asus TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 3080 OC thru a sequence of DirectX 11- and 12-primarily based totally artificial and actual-international benchmarks.
Our spanking-new PC Labs take a look at rig is Intel-primarily based totally and employs a PCI Express three.0, now no longer 4.0, motherboard.
It’s ready with an Intel Core i9-10900K processor, 16GB of G.Skill DDR4 reminiscence, a strong-kingdom boot drive, and an Asus ROG Maximus XII Hero (Wi-Fi)(Opens in a brand new window) motherboard.
All playing cards underneath had been retested in this rig. Given our exams with the Core i9-10900K and latest Ryzen nine CPUs, this rig is the fine affordable configuration of the instant in 2020 to reduce the CPU out of the equation for body rates. (Hit this hyperlink for greater approximately how we take a look at photographs playing cards.)
For our checking out, we centered a number of the attempt at the esports factor of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 with video games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) and Rainbow Six: Siege, and we additionally ran the cardboard thru the relaxation of our new widespread benchmark regimen, which exams a card’s competencies to deal with AAA video games at the very best viable nice settings, in addition to the way it cruises at some point of artificial benchmarks that strain the cardboard in a number of ways.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 (Detail)
Also bear in mind that nearly each take a look at we run (other than the esports titles) is carried out at the very best viable nice preset or settings.
If you’ve got got a better-hertz gaming screen and you are concerned your card may not make the body-charge grade, it may nevertheless be viable with the proper card and a aggregate of decrease settings.
Not most effective that, however lots of those titles (consisting of Death Stranding, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and F1 2020) have each DLSS and FidelityFX CAS with Upscaling included at once into the sport.
This can suggest boosts of as much as forty percentage greater overall performance on pinnacle, relying at the placing and the cardboard you are gambling with.
And so, onward to our take a look at effects. Note: If you need to slim down our effects underneath to a selected decision (say, the decision of the screen you propose to recreation on), click on the opposite decision dots withinside the chart legends underneath to suppress them and notice a unmarried set of effects. Our new listing of AAA titles consists of a combination of new AAA titles like Red Dead Redemption 2 and F1 2020, in addition to a few older-however-nevertheless-dependable pillars of the benchmarker’s toolkit, like Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Far Cry 5.
Testing Results: Synthetic Benchmarks
Synthetic benchmarks may be accurate predictors of actual-international gaming overall performance. UL’s circa-2013 Fire Strike Ultra remains a cross-to as an approximation of the burden levied with the aid of using mainstream 4K gaming. We’re searching most effective on the take a look at’s Graphics Subscore, now no longer the Overall Score, to isolate the cardboard overall performance. Meanwhile, we additionally ran 3DMark’s Time Spy Extreme take a look at, which is a superb take a look at of the way properly a card will do in particular in DirectX 12 video games at 4K decision.
Finally there is Port Royal, which is exactly a take a look at for RTX playing cards proper now, measuring how properly they deal with ray-tracing tasks. (Thus why clean effects for the AMD playing cards on that one.)
The TUF card is reliably simply in the back of the RTX 3080 Founders Edition in nearly each take a look at right here, however those variations will most effective be seen in charted effects, now no longer to the bare eye.
Benchmarks are the most effective location wherein you’ll be capable of select out one out from the opposite in a crowd.
Testing Results: Recent AAA and Multiplayer Games
Now for the coronary heart of checking out: The following benchmarks are video games that you could play. We normally utilized in every case (for the AAA titles) the very best in-recreation preset and, if available, DirectX 12.
The multiplayer-centered and esports titles (CS:GO, Rainbow Six: Siege) are a tick or down from the pinnacle settings.
Here’s wherein the cost proposition of the Asus TUF Gaming RTX 3080 OC wanes a touch withinside the face of the Founders Edition RTX 3080, however most effective barely.
(We’ll give an explanation for our reasoning on that a chunk greater withinside the conclusion.) Still, overall, the TUF Gaming RTX 3080 OC keeps the legacy of the RTX 3080 GPU as a family, topping the 4K/60fps, ultra-superb barrier that had eluded even the maximum tricked-out GeForce RTX 2080 Ti playing cards, relying on the sport.
In 4K benchmarks (that’s wherein maximum consumers have to be gambling if they’re even searching at playing cards of this caliber), the TUF RTX 3080 is going almost body-to-body with the $699 RTX 3080 Founders Edition, however it additionally falls in the back of in more than one titles to the supercharged $759 MSI GeForce RTX Gaming X Trio, as expected. Switching gears over to multiplayer titles, the tale became once more the identical: The ratings waffle greater at decrease resolutions, however those playing cards are manner overkill for all and sundry gambling video games like those at 1080p, aleven though it bears bringing up that they may make experience for all and sundry shifting as much as a 1440p 240Hz panel just like the ViewSonic XG270QG.
For example, all GeForce RTX 3080 playing cards we have got examined on Rainbow Six: Siege to this point have effortlessly cleared the 240fps hurdle for 1440p play on a 240Hz panel, whilst preceding GeForce Turing playing cards just like the RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition simply slightly made it over the 240fps line. This type of overall performance may want to in all likelihood be finished in case you tweak a small placing or downward, aleven though, so do not ditch that antique GPU simply but if that is the volume of what you play. It’s the AAA-recreation overall performance at 4K which you are paying the massive card dollars for.
Testing Results: How About Some Legacy AAA Titles?
We additionally ran a few brief exams on a few oldies-however-sweets that also provide the AAA gaming experience. These legacy exams consist of runs of Hitman: Absolution, Tomb Raider (2013), and Bioshock: Infinite, the ultimate being a recreation that has no enterprise nevertheless being as properly optimized as it’s far right here in 2020.
The energy of the GA102 die powering the RTX 3080 Founders Edition and third-birthday birthday celebration playing cards enables a few legacy video games we run, like Hitman: Absolution, ultimately move the coveted 4k/60fps end line, aleven though the Asus TUF RTX 3080 got here up quick with the aid of using a body. So close!
The relaxation of the video games had lengthy for the reason that handed over that threshold at some point of the Turing days, and withinside the case of the 30 Series it is simply pushing older video games even similarly than they had been ever meant to head.
That said, the TUF constantly underperformed the Founders Edition card and the MSI Gaming X Trio with the aid of using some frames in maximum video games at maximum resolutions. Nothing drastic or maybe noticeable, however consistent.
Overclocking and Thermals: Big Chill
There’s now no longer lots of progressive tech on show with the Asus TUF Gaming RTX 3080 OC’s cooling device at the outside (it is a 3-fan brute-pressure approach), however what is below will be greater intriguing.
The 3 lovers feed right into a heatsink that Asus says has 15 percentage greater warmness dissipation vicinity than preceding era ROG Strix playing cards, which is essentially a fancier manner of saying “it is bigger.”
We ran a 10-minute strain take a look at in 3DMark’s Port Royal at the TUF Gaming RTX 3080 OC, and the cardboard peaked at a temperature of simply seventy one tiers C.
That’s a complete 6 tiers C cooler than in our checking out of the RTX Founders Edition below comparable circumstances, a genuinely strong end result that had us enthusiastic about the overclocking possibilities.
No surprises at the warmness-unload pattern, both, regarded thru our Flir One Pro thermal imager; maximum of it to the backplate, with a few warmness additionally being vented out the again.
When it got here time to overclock the cardboard the use of EVGA’s Precision X1(Opens in a brand new window) utility, I became capable of acquire a solid and reproducible overclock profile of round 6 percentage throughout each the reminiscence clock and the GPU clock. (Bear in mind, the cardboard comes pre-overclocked, as it’s far.) This translated to profits of 1:1, with nearly precisely a 6 percentage improve in artificial benchmarks.
The overclock remained quite solid throughout more than one exams however ultimately croaked whilst we attempted to head everywhere beyond eight percentage whilst going for walks video games that use all 3 middle complexes immediately (Shadow of the Tomb Raider with RTX and DLSS on, for example).
So, when you have a chassis with the more airflow to feed this card amped up a chunk, and the center to tweak this warm rod even similarly, you’ve got got the capacity to suit the Founders Edition card or exceed it with the aid of using some frames, relying on the sport or application.
But as is, it is masses rapid because it comes out of the box, relative to nearly whatever else out there. Whatever the RTX 3080, you are already withinside the elite class.
Hanging ‘TUF’…Most of the Time
The Asus TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 3080 OC is a best card that meets the expectancies set with the aid of using Nvidia’s killer Founders Edition, and doing the activity at a decrease temperature profile than we expected.
Considering that it ups the clock velocity of the RTX 3080 Founders Edition whilst nevertheless falling a smidge in the back of it in gaming effects with the current-at-time-of-evaluate motive force, it misses getting as excessive a mark in our ee-e book for that precise reason, however its thermal overall performance became fairly chilly.
And despite the fact that its overclocking headroom became decrease than what we noticed at the Founders Edition, people who want a card which could output to 2 separate HDMI 2.1-linked shows immediately now have an choice withinside the arsenal to paintings with.
It’s now no longer the very quickest or the cheapest, however the actual tale of the Asus TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 3080 OC is this: Maybe you could genuinely get it.
The marketplace is so strapped for any RTX 30 Series playing cards proper now that the incredibly minor variations among the TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 3080 and the RTX 3080 Founders Edition is negligible withinside the face of the scarce inventory.
And the hair-splitting in our charts aside, withinside the very last summation, this access from Asus does sufficient to keep up its quit of the good deal representing the RTX 3080 as a GPU. It’s nevertheless a monster relative to what has come earlier than; it is only a query of selecting your private taste of Godzilla.