The RTX 3000 series was a successful launch for Nvidia. It is a range of GPUs that offer solid performance at a fair price.
However, as with many other NVIDIA GPU releases, we get Ti variants of the 3070 and 3080. Unlike those previous generations, the Ti variants are less impressive this time around, specifically because of their pricing.
Even so, we know that there will always be enthusiasts out there that want to acquire the best possible hardware for their computers. With that in mind, we have compiled this list of the best 3080 Ti GPUs on the market.
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EVGA RTX 3080 Ti FTW3 Ultra
Specifications:rn• Interface: 3 x DisplayPort (1.4), 1 x HDMI (2.1)rn• Boost Clock – 1800 MHzrn• Dimensions: L: 300mm x W: 136.75mm x H: 2.75 slots
- Considerably shorter in length than the competitionrnGreat Overclock
- Can get loudrnTacky design
Many NVIDIA GPU enthusiasts say that if you ever go with EVGA variants, you will never go wrong. The models from this brand are not only reasonably priced but also quiet and fast.
The EVGA RTX 3080 Ti adopts the already very well-known design “FTW3 Ultra”, which is thermally efficient with previous SKUs in the RTX 3000 series. Expectations for this model are high.
Let’s see whether or not it will meet those expectations.
The MSRP of all RTX 3000 SKUs have been quite fair, with the exception of the RTX 3090. Well, the 3090 was the only exclusion until now. We can add the 3080 Ti to the list of disappointing prices.
Its price tag is $1200, $500 more than the 3080. For a 40% price increase, you should expect the performance to be improved considerably. Unfortunately, you will be disappointed in that regard too, but we’ll look at that later.
According to EVGA, the FTW3 Ultra variant will retail for $1400, $200 more than NVIDIA’s MSRP. This is a big price bump, moving your costs closer to the RTX 3090 (if you manage to find a 3090 at its MSRP).
In terms of design, it’s the same as other RTX 3000 SKUs using the FTW3 Ultra model. A basic black shroud surrounds the triple-fan setup on the front with a nice amount of RGB on the side. The RGB strip can be a bit tacky, but that’s down to personal preference.
You will find a metal backplate on the back, which acts as a heat conductor, as there are thermal pads on the memory chips on the back of the PCB. The backplate itself has multiple protrusions (holes) that can help with heat dissipation.
Interestingly, the Founders Edition of this card is rated at 320W, which is why it has only two 8-pin connectors. The 3080 Ti FTW3 Ultra is rated at 350W but has three 8-pin connectors, probably to allow for additional overclocking, which takes us to the next topic.
In terms of connectivity, you’ll get three DisplayPort 1.4a and one HDMI 2.1, which supports up to 8K@30FPS or 4K@144Hz.
Performance And Overclocking Capabilities
Naturally, looks are not a top priority for a tech lover. You are likely more intrigued by this card’s capabilities, so let’s explore that.
With its factory settings, the 3080 Ti FTW3 Ultra averages at around 1846 MHz and peaks at about 1875 MHz during gaming loads. That’s as much as 4% more than the advertised clock speeds. Not bad, but let’s see if any custom OC can help this card reach higher frequencies.
Based on a few results found online, it seems EVGA’s card can consistently overclock up to 1950 MHz, which is about 8-9% faster. Real-life performance uplift will probably be lower than that.
Keep in mind that, with three 8-pin connectors, the power draw can jump up to 450W.
Good performance does not necessarily translate to a good graphics card. A good card also needs to have a powerful enough cooler/heatsink to keep it quiet and cool.
The triple-fan setup on this EVGA GPU is enough to keep the 3080 Ti at bay. Looking at temperatures during gaming, we see it spiking up to 80°C, but it averages at around 77°C. This isn’t exactly cool, but with the fans spinning at just 2200 RPM and producing a noise level of 43 dBA, it’s pretty good.
This is when using EVGA’s OC BIOS. The default BIOS is quieter but will also be hotter and clock lower.
MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Suprim X
Specifications:rn• Interface: 3 x DisplayPort (1.4), 1 x HDMI (2.1)rn• Boost Clock – 1830 MHz (Gaming mode), 1845 MHz (EXTREME mode)rn• Dimensions: L: 336mm x W: 140 mm x H: 61 mm
- Great OverclockerrnCool, quiet, and fast at factory settingsrnStylish RGB lighting
- Exceptionally large
MSI’s GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Suprim X might be one of the best variants of this card.
If you are unfamiliar with MSI’s Suprim X, you should know that it is their flagship design for GPUs. If you want the best temperatures, noise levels, performance, and looks from MSI, this is what you need. Naturally, flagship products also come with a heftier price. Let’s take a look at the pricing.
MSI has not specified an MSRP for the Suprim X. But, with EVGA’s $1400 price tag on their card, we can estimate that this card will hover around the $1500 range. That’s as high as the RTX 3090.
If MSI’s card doesn’t satisfy your needs, it might be better to just go for an RTX 3090 Founders Edition.
In terms of design, MSI has upped its game considerably. This is a hefty GPU, weighing 1900 grams, and it is considerably larger than the FTW 3 Ultra, measuring 336mm in length.
At the bottom, the triple-fan design is surrounded by an aluminum shroud. That’s a huge plus, as many other variants feature a plastic casing. The brushed (silver) aluminum goes well with the black fans and accents at both ends of the card. There are also two slits between the fans for additional RGB.
On the side, you will find a lot of RGB lighting. There is one long strip of RGB across the card and Suprim X branding that also supports RGB lighting. It looks pretty good.
The backside is equipped with a metal backplate featuring a cutout of the MSI logo, which also has RGB. No matter how you position it, this card is going to light up your PC.
In terms of connectivity, there are again three DisplayPort 1.4a and one HDMI 2.1.
Performance And Overclocking Capabilities
The card’s positives don’t stop there. Its performance and overclocking capabilities are just as good as expected from a flagship MSI card.
The official specifications on MSI’s website show the RTX 3080 Ti Suprim X clocking up to 1845 MHz with the EXTREME mode enabled. Real-life gaming shows different results. The GPU clocks up to a maximum of 1980 MHz but drops down and averages around 1885 MHz. That’s about 2% higher than the advertised frequency.
Of course, many of you will want to push this card even further, and thanks to that huge cooler, it is possible to do so.
By pushing the power limits to the maximum, the clock speeds could reach an average of 1950 MHz which is about 3.5% higher. This is actually slower than the FTW3 Ultra, but it comes close and might come at a lower price.
This will increase the power draw up to 440W. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the temperatures.
This almost 2 kg GPU offers adequate cooling during even the heaviest loads.
While gaming, the GPU’s temperatures stay around 72°C, with a noise level of just 38 dBA at 2100 RPM, when using the Gaming BIOS. This is considerably lower than the EVGA 3080 Ti.
With the default BIOS, the noise levels decrease to 33 decibels, but average temperatures rise up to around 80 degrees Celsius.
ASUS GeForce RTX 3080 Ti STRIX LC
Specifications:rn• Interface: 3 x DisplayPort (1.4), 2 x HDMI (2.1)rn• Boost Clock – 1860 MHz (OC mode), 1830 MHz (Gaming mode)rn• Dimensions: rnL: 293mm x W: 133 mm x H: 52 mm – cardrnL: 272mm x W: 121 mm x H: 54 mm – radiator (fans included)
- Unique liquid-cooled designrnIncredibly low temperatures and noise levels thanks to liquid coolingrnBest Overclockrn
- Unjustifiably expensivernRequires additional case space for radiator
This claimant to the title of best RTX 3080 Ti is slightly different from some of the others mentioned in this article.
This GPU is liquid-cooled, meaning better factory OC, overclocking, noise levels, thermals, and also increased price. ASUS is popular for its liquid-cooled GPUs, so, naturally, we’re getting one for the RTX 3080 Ti: the ASUS GeForce RTX 3080 Ti STRIX LC.
As mentioned previously, liquid-cooled graphics cards never come at a “fair” price. Specifically, ASUS has priced this 3080 Ti at $2100, an increase of 75% over the MSRP of the 3080Ti FE.
It’s impossible to justify this kind of price bump. Even so, for the people that are specifically looking for liquid cooling, this might be the best option.
Design-wise, the 3080 Ti STRIX LC is unsurprisingly much different from what we are used to. There are two parts of the puzzle here: one is the card itself, and the other is the radiator that is connected with the card with tubing.
Sadly, the heatsink/cooler found on the PCB is made of plastic, specifically on the front of the card where the single fan is located. That isn’t necessarily a dealbreaker, but considering the much cheaper Suprim X MSI variant has an aluminum shroud, plastic doesn’t make much sense in this case.
On the side, you will find a bit of RGB, with three 8-pin connectors, a BIOS switch (P Mode or Q Mode), two tubes right under the switch, and two 4-pin fan headers.
The tubes lead to the 240mm radiator, which comes with a pair of 120 mm RGB fans. Those two fans can be easily connected to the 4-pin fan headers found on the card to make cable management and installation easier.
The radiator and the tubes are pre-filled with coolant.
At least the backplate is made of aluminum, which can help keep your GPU cooler.
Performance And Overclocking Capabilities
With liquid cooling and such a massive jump in price, we expect considerably better thermal results but slight increases in performance.
Our expectations were correct. The factory overclock is definitely higher than the MSI and EVGA variant, but not by much (1860 MHz).
Like many other models, the real-life results are different. Clock frequency jumps up to a maximum of 2025 MHz and an average of about 1920 to 1925 MHz.
This liquid-cooled GPU should be able to overclock a bit more than some of the other contenders, and it does so. Several online results show that the STRIC LC can be pushed up to 2000 MHz. That’s a 7.5% increase in frequency over the advertised clock speeds.
This is where the card shines.
With liquid cooling, a radiator, two fans attached to the radiator, a heatsink on the PCB, and a fan on the heatsink, the temperatures never rise above 55°C, even with the quiet BIOS. Fans stay at around 1150 to 1200 RPM, and noise levels of just 33 dBA.
With P Mode BIOS enabled, temperatures drop down to 51°C while RPM bumps up to 1600 RPM and noise levels to 42 dBA. That is 40% cooler than MSI’s variant and 50% cooler than the EVGA card.
Zotac GeForce RTX 3080 Ti AMP HoloBlack
Specifications:rn• Interface: 3 x DisplayPort (1.4), 1 x HDMI (2.1)rn• Boost Clock – 1710 MHzrn• Dimensions: L: 317 mm x W: 131 mm x H: 64 mm
- Sleek designrnSolid thermal performancern
- Could use a higher factory OC
Zotac might not be your first pick for a GPU company as it is less well-known than some of the other brands mentioned in this article. However, that doesn’t translate to bad quality or performance. In fact, in our 3080 guide, we named the Zotac RTX 3080 Trinity as the best price-to-performance card, so keep that in mind.
The product in question this time around is Zotac’s flagship model: the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti AMP HoloBlack.
Zotac has been unclear on the pricing as there isn’t any official information regarding this topic. We can only assume what this card costs.
MSRP should be around $1300 to $1350. Anything above that makes for awful frames-per-dollar.
The RTX 3080 Ti AMP HoloBlack is what we like to see. A metal shroud surrounds the entire PCB, including a metal backplate. The design itself is not tacky or too “gamer” at all. It follows a black/grey theme around the three black fans on the front and back.
There is a pretty large RGB strip on the side. If you like RGB, that’s a great plus. If not, you can always disable it.
The AMP HoloBlack is also much lighter than some other contenders here, weighing about 1500 grams. For those worried about GPU sag, this is definitely worth considering.
What’s also different about this variant is that it has only two 8-pin connectors, compared to the three on the MSI, EVGA, and ASUS cards.
Performance And Overclocking Capabilities
The advertised 1710 MHz clock speeds sound quite low. Thankfully, that is not the case when pushing the GPU to its max with heavy loads.
During gaming, the 3080 Ti AMP HoloBlack can spike up pretty high (above 1900 MHz) but then quickly stabilize at around 1820 to 1840 MHz. This is a bit lower than some of the previous picks.
Overclocking might push it closer to the MSI or EVGA card, and it does so. With power limits pushed, the card maxes out at 385W, and clocks can be brought to about 1910 MHz. This is marginally slower than MSI’s Suprim X. If you’re able to find this GPU considerably cheaper than the MSI card, it’s a good option.
With this three-fan design, the card stays cool at 76°C while the fans are ramped up to 2000 RPM and noise levels at 40 dBA. There are no performance or quiet BIOS options here, so if you want lower temperatures or noise levels, we suggest playing around with the fan curve.
Which RTX 3080 Ti Should You Get?
With four great options, the question remains of which one you should get.
This all depends on your budget and what you are looking for specifically.
If budget is not a factor, the ASUS GeForce RTX 3080 Ti STRIX LC is a no-brainer and gets our Premium Pick. It stays incredibly cool and quiet thanks to the two-fan radiator.
Our Best Value award goes to the MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Suprim X. It isn’t liquid-cooled, but it’s still quiet and powerful. It also doesn’t cost a whopping $2100 over the MSRP.