NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080

Platform(s): PC
Genre: Hardware
Publisher: NVIDIA
Developer: NVIDIA
Release Date: Nov. 16, 2022


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Hardware Review - 'Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080'

by Cody Medellin on Nov. 15, 2022 @ 6:00 a.m. PST

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 delivers the ultra performance and features that enthusiast gamers and creators demand.

The GeForce RTX 4090 is a monster of a card. It can easily hit 4K resolutions at 60fps on its own while the various flavors of DLSS give it more than a fighting chance at going beyond the frame rate limits of the current lineup of 4K TVs and monitors. There is no doubt that it is the absolute top-of-the-line card for gaming at this very moment. One can argue that the pricing is ridiculous during a global recession, but others can argue that it is a halo product, and its performance should give us a better look at how all of Nvidia's cards will behave later down the 4000 series stack. Announced alongside the RTX 4090 is the GeForce RTX 4080, the first card that is targeting more than the high-end enthusiast market.

Physically, the card is exactly the same as the RTX 4090, but it has 16GB of VRAM instead of 24GB. It's made mostly of metal with a double fan design configured so that one fan blows air into the card shroud and one fan pulls the hot air into the rest of the case. It weighs a little under five pounds and takes up three slots on the PC case, but unlike some of the 4090 cards that came from other vendors, Nvidia's version seems to hold well in a case without experiencing any sag. You may still be prompted to find some sort of anti-sag solution for peace of mind.

As mentioned in the RTX 4090 review, we normally don't get loads of hardware to test, so we don't have a cache of video cards for comparison. It also doesn't help that we sent out the RTX 3080 to another reviewer, so we can't take fresh benchmarks for games that added ray tracing, like Forza Horizon 5. That said, we're going to use data from the last review to compare the RTX 4080 with the RTX 4090 and the RTX 3080, even though Nvidia states that this card is more of a replacement for the RTX 3080 Ti.


The test PC remains the same as before, with a Ryzen 7 5800x accompanied by 32GB of DDR4 3600Mhz RAM. The power supply is a Corsair 1000w model, but the specs for this card show that you can use a 750w power supply; that's the same requirement as the RTX 3080 regular and Ti variants. We're using the LG C2 65" OLED TV as our monitor now. We're using Nvidia drivers 526.72, which are the ones that were sent over prior to the newest one that takes care of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II issues. Also, due to the shorter amount of time to review this card and some issues with some game updates acting odd, we used fewer titles for this review than before. We heavily advise that you use this as a complementary review against all other reviews to give you the best picture of how this card performs across a suite of games.

Synthetic Benchmarks

The RTX 4080 starts off rather strong in synthetic benchmarks. Unigine Superposition is first, with the card getting a score of 16818 at 1080p, a very strong lead over the RTX 3080's score of 10541 and a decent distance behind the RTX 4090, which scored 21220. 1440p sees similar results, with the RTX 4080 scoring 10337 versus the RTX 3080's 6516 score and the RTX 4090's 12935 score. At 4K, the RTX 4080 hits 4579 while the RTX 3080 got 2689 and the RTX 4090 got 5715.

Boundary is up next, with the benchmark squarely focused on ray tracing and DLSS. At 1080p, the RTX 4080 starts off pretty strong with 110fps natively and 175fps with DLSS on. That's a huge leap over the RTX 3080's 62fps and 100fps, respectively, but lower than the RTX 4090's 147fps and 219fps. The gap lessens between the RTX 4080 and RTX 3080 once you get to 1440p, as native mode nets 69fps and 40fps, respectively, but the difference becomes greater at DLSS with 114fps and 69fps. The gap lessens even more at 4K, with the RTX 4080 scoring 33fps natively and 58 with DLSS while the RTX 3080 gets 20fps and 35fps. Meanwhile, the RTX 4090 sits atop the stack with 101fps and 157fps on 1440p and 49fps and 84fps at 4K.

Next comes the suite of 3DMark benchmarks. Fire Strike has the RTX 4080 scoring 64687 at 1080p, 34310 at 1440p, and 17447 at 4K on Graphics, placing it at a little over half of the performance over the RTX 3080 at everything but 4K, where it does a bit better. The Time Spy suite sees the same thing occur, where the RTX 4080 gets 28408 on Graphics at 1440p and 14089 on Graphics at 4K. Meanwhile, Port Royale has the RTX 4080 pegged at 17827, again squarely in between the RTX 3080 at 10906 and the RTX 4090 at 25197. As for the DLSS tests, it hits triple digits with DLSS on at 1440p and hovers around the high 90s/low 100s at 4K with the various DLSS forms. If you really wanted to try to make this into an 8K card, you'd rely on DLSS 3 at Ultra Performance; that's the only mode that broke into 68fps versus Performance at 49fps, while Quality and native 8K takes you into single-digit territory.

With the synthetic tests out of the way, we'll cover some real games. This is aiming for a mix of both old and new titles, and unless otherwise noted, all of the games were run with their settings at the highest presets for 1080p, 1440p and 4K for both rasterized and ray-tracing renders alike. Where applicable, we run the games both with and without ray tracing and both with and without DLSS. Note that we're only using DLSS here, and though some games are already patched in with FSR 1.0 and 2.0 support and even XeSS, we're keeping it all Nvidia here as far as technologies go. We're using DLSS Quality mode, since most of the games we tried didn't seem to produce much of a difference frame rate-wise when going from Quality to Performance. Mileage will always vary here, though.


We'll start with Gears 5. At 1080p, the three cards aren't much different in terms of fps. The 3080 gets 143fps, 4080 gets 156fps, and 4090 gets 157fps. Take it to 1440p, and the differences between the RTX 3080 and RTX 4080 start to show, with the 3080 scoring 114fps and the 4080 getting 163fps. 4K is where the differences between all three cards are more pronounced, with the 3080 getting 68fps, the 4080 getting 104fps, and the 4090 getting 134fps.

Riders Republic is up next, and we start to see some more significant differences in 1440p and 4K workloads. At 1440p, the RTX 4080 hits 144fps, better than the RTX 3080's 114fps but a respectable number below the RTX 4090's 169fps. That gap is maintained when going to 4K, as the 4080 gets 105fps; again, it's better than the RTX 3080's 69fps but lower than the 4090's 133fps.

Bright Memory: Infinite shows that the RTX 4080 is going to have to use DLSS if it wants to get playable 4K speeds with ray tracing on, as it gets 27fps natively but 53fps with the upscaling technology activated. It's significantly better than what the 3080 can do with 15fps native and 32fps with DLSS, but the 4090 remains the king since DLSS pushes it past the 60fps barrier into 76fps. It handles the game better at 1440p with 58fps natively, and DLSS only solidifies that with 103fps.

Metro Exodus: Enhanced Edition sees this narrative play out again with the 4080. 1080p leaves the card with 113fps without DLSS and 121fps with. Things drop to 90fps at 1440p natively, but DLSS brings it back to 112fps. Native 4K is still playable at 53fps, but DLSS gives the card 82fps, something the RTX 3080 can't reach at this resolution.

The RTX 3080 was already good enough for Rainbow Six: Extraction, but the RTX 4080 pushes up the performance significantly. 1080p sees the card getting 313fps natively and 354fps with DLSS. At 1440p, it natively gets 250fps but gets a boost to 303fps with DLSS. 4K still sees the game going beyond the refresh rates of most monitors with 138fps natively and 188fps with DLSS.

Tiny Tina's Wonderlands makes another case over how much of an upgrade you're getting with the 4080 over the 3080. 1080p nets the RTX 4080 205fps, while the RTX 3080 comes away with 141fps. 1440p has the 4080 at 164fps and the 3080 at 102fps. 4K is where this starts to matter, as the 4080 gets 88fps while the 3080 almost breaks the 60ps barrier at 58fps. Meanwhile, the RTX 4090 gets very comfortable double-digit numbers at 215fps for 1080p, 202fps for 1440p, and 126fps for 4K.

Assassin's Creed Valhalla sees a similar situation between the RTX 3080 and RTX 4080. The 3080 does well at 1080p with 103fps and 85fps at 1440p but gets so close to the coveted 60fps with 55fps at 4K. The RTX 4080 has a more comfortable spot here with 162fps for 1080p, 142fps for 1440p, and 90fps for 4K.

It's the same story for Forza Horizon 5 before the ray tracing upgrade comes into play. The RTX 3080 gets 99fps at 1080p, 83fps at 1440p, and 58fps at 4K. By comparison, the 4080 gives you more breathing room with 127fps at 1080p, 113fps at 1440p, and 77fps at 4K.

More Games

Looking at Grid Legends, it shows that a CPU upgrade is needed for the test rig to show off any differences not only between 1080p and 1440p but also between the RTX 4080 and RTX 4090; the difference is only one frame between the cards at both resolutions (178fps vs 179fps). 4K is where the differences start to emerge between all of the cards. The RTX 3080 gets 99fps, the RTX 4080 breaks the triple-digit barrier at 145fps, and the RTX 4090 sits up much higher at 183fps.

Far Cry 6 is another interesting one; the drops between 1080p, 1440p, and 4K are rather miniscule with DXR off or on. For the RTX 3080, RTX 4080, and RTX 4090 this means 112fps, 120fps, and 115fps with DXR off and 90fps, 98fps, and 94fps with it on at 1080p. 1440p shows the differences as 103fps, 144fps, and 109fps with DXR off and 84fps, 94fps, and 89fps with it on. 4K has all three cards at 72fps, 100fps, and 105fps with DXR off and 62fps, 85fps, and 85fps with DXR on.

For Grand Theft Auto V, the RTX 4080 is all about breathing room at 4K, as it scores 86fps compared to 55fps for the RTX 3080. If you're spending lots of time on GTA Online at that resolution, that should give you less opportunity for frame rate dips when things get more chaotic. The story is the same for Red Dead Redemption II, though the differences aren't as profound between the cards at 4K. The 3080 gets 67fps while the 4080 gets 75fps. Both are good, but the 4090 still comes away looking strong with 118fps at 4K.

Watch Dogs: Legion made the RTX 4090 hit 61fps when at 4K with ray tracing, so it comes as no surprise that the RTX 4080 hits 44fps in that same scenario. As seen with other games, it needs DLSS to hit around 71fps, which places it in a better scenario than the 3080 as that card gets 41fps at 4K with ray tracing and DLSS on. Turn off ray tracing at 4K, and the RTX 4080 is looking at 82fps natively and 103fps with DLSS which is, again, better than the 3080 getting 47fps natively and 67fps with DLSS.

A Plague Tale: Requiem might not have its ray tracing update yet, but it does have DLSS, which helps tremendously at 4K. The RTX 4080 gets 110fps with it on but remains good at 55fps natively. Expect DLSS to be essential when the ray tracing update drops, something that can't be said for the RTX 3080 as its current 52fps at 4K with DLSS means having to drop more settings to make it playable. The 4080 does much better with other resolutions, as it hits 120fps natively and 223fps with DLSS at 1080p while 1440p gives it 103fps natively and 186fps with DLSS.

We'll end things with Cyberpunk 2077. At 1080p, the RTX 4080 delivers 125fps, which puts it around 17 frames ahead of the RTX 3080 at 108fps and only five frames behind the RTX 4090 at 130fps. Activate DLSS, and the RTX 4080 scores 132fps, maintaining the gap from the RTX 3080's 115fps, but it gets smoked by the RTX 4090's 257fps. Throw ray tracing into the mix at this resolution, and things differentiate even more. Scoring 84fps, the RTX 4080 takes a significant lead over the RTX 3080's 49fps and gets closer to the RTX 4090's 91fps. Turning on DLSS gives the RTX 4080 a boost to 94fps, but the RTX 3080 plays a bit of catch-up at 77fps while the RTX 4090 leaves them both behind at 187fps.

1440p changes things for a little bit. At 79fps, the RTX 4080 narrowly edges out the RTX 3080's 76fps but gets left behind by the RTX 4090's 124fps. Things get back to normal for a while with DLSS on as the RTX 4080 gets 129fps, placing it firmly in the middle between the 84fps the RTX 3080 can do and the 211fps the RTX 4090 can muster. The story is the same with ray tracing turned on; the RTX 4080 can produce 57fps, which is better than the RTX 3080's 34fps and respectable against the RTX 4090's 70fps. With DLSS added in, the RTX 4080 gets boosted to 90fps against the RTX 3080's 56fps and RTX 4090's 167fps.

The story with 4K is that the card really needs DLSS if you plan to max out everything. A strange anomaly places the RTX 4080 behind with 35fps, while the RTX 3080 gets 40fps and the RTX 4090 comfortably sits at 73fps. Turn DLSS on, and things get back to normal at 70fps for the RTX 4080, 45fps for the RTX 3080, and 162fps for the RTX 4090. Ray tracing drops things to somewhat playable levels, at least for the RTX 4080 scoring 27fps and 37fps for the RTX 4090; the RTX 3080 is a non-starter at 6fps. Again, DLSS saves things, as the RTX 4080 now gets 52fps and the RTX 4090 gets a very comfortable 101fps while the RTX 3080 settles in at 30fps.


More so than the RTX 4090, the GeForce RTX 4080 is a card that comes with some scrutiny. On the one hand, the card displays some great performance chops on most games with an average 50% gain over the regular RTX 3080 and an average of 75% of the performance of the RTX 4090. While 3080 owners can sit out this upgrade, owners of the RTX 2080 regular and Ti variations may be tempted to upgrade. The price tags for the RTX 4080 ($1,200 USD) and the RTS 4090 ($1,600) may be daunting for high-end enthusiasts who are looking for cheaper alternatives. In a vacuum, the GeForce RTX 4080 is solid, but with the Radeon 7000 series set to launch in less than a month, we want to wait to see how Radeon's top-of-the-line $1,000 card stacks up against this Nvidia offering.

Score: 8.0/10

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