Mon. Dec 5th, 2022

So. The funny thing about our RTX 4080 review is that I kind of don’t have time for this. We’re in the middle of the busiest few weeks in PC gaming hardware in four years, with major product launches (from its competitor the Radeon RX 7900 XT to 13th Gen Intel processors) and a never-ending stream of other components and peripherals that are still need evaluation. . Also, I’m under the impression that if I don’t do Black Friday anymore, senior ReedPop figures will show up in my apartment and start cutting my fingers with chisels.

That said, there will no doubt be potential graphics card upgrade makers looking at the RTX 4080 to see if it’s a more compelling purchase than the RTX 4090. This vanguard of Nvidia’s next-gen Ada Lovelace architecture is by far the most powerful GPU out there. ever tested and introduced a very cool new feature in DLSS 3 but with prices starting at £1679 / $1599 it’s just not a smart option. And since I got an RTX 4080 at the last minute – a tuned Asus ROG Strix GeForce RTX 4080 OC Edition – I can at least provide some quick benchmarks and initial thoughts on whether it would be any better.

Here is one such thought: no. The RTX 4080 may be cheaper than the RTX 4090, but at £1,269 / $1,199 and up, it’s still hundreds of pounds / dollars above the RTX 3080’s starting price. Is this an Asus model? More like £1,649 / $1,550 which comes close to the cost of the RTX 4090 Founders Edition. This… this… I… no. Not!

At least it beats the king of the Ampere generation: the RTX 3090 Ti. And often even by a solid margin. Below are my test results for the RTX 4080, with a focus on its native 4K environment:

A performance bar chart showing how the RTX 4080 performs in various 4K gaming benchmarks compared to other high-end graphics cards.

The RTX 4080 also delivers a significant boost over the RTX 3080, although it’s not exactly proportional to the price increase. If you’re really looking for drastic, generation-by-generation improvements, then the RTX 4090 might even – and it almost hurts to put those words into your keyboard – the best buy. His performances in Total War: Three Kingdoms and Metro Exodus in particular are far ahead of the rest. Compared to it, the achievements of the RTX 4080 seem ordinary.

There’s some relatively positive news about the release of the RTX 4080 DLSS 3. This redesigned upscaler, which can further boost performance by adding AI-generated interpolated frames alongside normal frames, actually increases FPS better here than on the RTX 4090. Here’s how the two cards compared in Cyberpunk 2077:

A performance bar chart showing how the RTX 4080 compares to the RTX 4090 in Cyberpunk 2077 with various DLSS 3 settings.

RTX 4080 starts at a disadvantage; at 4K it can’t even handle the Psycho ray tracing setting without upscaling. But with both DLSS 3 scaling and AI frame generation enabled, the RTX 4080 gets more of a multiplier effect on the overall frame rate. For example, the DLSS 3 quality setting delivers a 204% improvement over native on the RTX 4080, while the RTX 4090 delivers a 153% improvement. On a higher performance setting, it is 278% faster (!) on the RTX 4080 and 223% faster on the RTX 4090.

The catch is that Cyberpunk 2077 will still “feel” smoother on the RTX 4090, as the thing about these AI-generated frames is that they don’t affect input responsiveness like “real” rendered frames do. In terms of smooth aiming and camera movement while driving, those 82fps in Quality mode will be more like the 49fps the RTX 4080 got with frame generation disabled.

I still think DLSS 3 is worth a try for complex games like this, although the list of supported games needs time to expand. And in other games, including those with older versions of DLSS, can we say that the RTX 4080 is close enough to the RTX 4090 to justify its cost? Or even that it is far enough ahead of the RTX 3090 Ti, which is now cheaper? Not really, at least from my testing so far. Power efficiency looks surprisingly good, and DLSS 3 compatibility is a plus in itself, but that’s about it for now.

I’ll run some more tests when I get a chance and/or I’ll be able to give Will all the deal coverage again. But aside from repeated wild performances and perhaps more luck with meltable power adapters, it’s hard to see how the RTX 4080 could be worth the money.