The gaming world is like a morass; once you get stuck in it, you keep sinking deeper and deeper. There’s so much that goes into building an excellent gaming setup, from what gaming PC to go for to the best-suited graphic cards that can amplify your gaming experience.
Any gamer would be aware of the importance of a graphic card with good-quality features. Graphics cards enhance your gaming PC even more, making it powerful and capable of handling the high-level work that comes with new-generation games.
When looking into graphic cards, you’ll see the two most talked about GPUs currently, RTX 4090 and RTX 3080 Ti.
But which one to go for among these two?
You might be considering switching from RTX 3080 Ti to RTX 4090 now that the most recent model has hit the market.
Now there’s no doubt that the latest release, RTX 4090 has more enhanced features to offer making it a better choice to go for, but the key question is whether the performance advantages are worth the higher cost. And by exactly how much better?
To make it easier for you, we’ve put RTX 4090 vs. RTX 3080 Ti and compiled all the information in this article to assist you in making a wise purchase.
RTX 4090 vs. RTX 3080 Ti: What Makes the Better Choice
Before comparing it against RTX 3080 Ti, we’ve put RTX 4090 against RTX 3090 and RTX 3090 Ti; RTX 4090 performance was outstanding against both GPUs.
Now let’s see how well it does compare to RTX 3080.
Before dwelling on the details, let’s look at the fundamental differences between the two,
|Technical specifications||RTX 4090||RTX 3080 Ti|
|Manufacturing process technology||4 nm||8nm|
|Thermal design power (TDP)||450 watt||350 watt|
|Memory capacity||24 GB GDDR6X||12 GBGDDR6X|
|Memory speed||21 Gbps||12 Gbps|
|CUDA cores||16384 CUDA||10240 CUDA|
|Boost clock speed||2520 MHz||1665 MHz|
|Core clock speed||2235 MHz||1365 MHz|
|Bandwidth||1081 GB/s||912.4 GB/s|
Now that we have seen the basic differences between the two GPUs, let’s discuss them further to get a better understanding
More Power, Smaller Processor
The RTX 4090 is a fully rebuilt GPU, as one might anticipate. It’s not just an improved version of the 30-series; everything about it is new.
To begin with, the RTX 4090 is built using a 608 mm2 die and a 4 nm production technique.
The RTX 3080 Ti, in contrast, is built on a 628 mm2 die using Samsung’s 8 nm fabrication node.
Even in a smaller chip, RTX 4090 offers significant enhancements as the two GPUs are based on entirely distinct technology.
Consider the number of transistors. The RTX 4090 outnumbers the RTX 3080 Ti, which has 28 billion transistors, with an astounding 76 billion transistors. As a result, the most recent and finest RTX 4090 also has a large number of additional CUDA cores.
At the time of its release, the RTX 3080 Ti had 10240 CUDA cores, which on its own was a large number but then comes RTX 4090 with 16384 CUDA cores.
Additionally, there have been significant increases in both the base and boost clock speeds. The RTX 4090 has 2235 MHz and 2520 MHz, giving it an increase of up to 870 MHz over the RTX 3080 Ti’s 1365 MHz and 1665 MHz base and boost frequencies, respectively.
All improved: Processor, Speed, and Even Power Consumption
Whichever way you look at it, the RTX 4090 has greater specifications compared to a lot of other gaming GPUs on the tech market today. Packed with a larger L2 cache capacity, increased Tensor cores, RT cores, SM count, ROPs, TMUs, and shading units. It is better in every way.
But like all things great, this too comes at a price which in this case is a higher TDP. RTX 4090 is rated at 450W instead of the RTX 3080 Ti’s 350W rating. Therefore, the 850W PSU recommended for the RTX 4090 is also more powerful than the 750W PSU for the RTX 3080 Ti.
Powering up this monstrous GPU requires an equally good power connector, which is the new 12VHPWR/16PCle GEN 5 power connector.
This has its boons and cons to deal with. For instance, there have been cases of 12VHPWR heating up and melting. NVIDIA proceeded to request that AIBs return all the RTX 4090s that have been damaged for additional testing.
When it comes to RTX 4090, as there is increased power usage, there’d be more heat generation as well, right? But that’s not a good feature for any GPU to possess, so to counteract this heat problem, NVIDIA set up a massive cooler on top of RTX 4090, making it look ginormous.
While having such a large cooler makes the GPU appear absurdly large, it does an excellent job of lowering temps.
RTX 4090 vs. RTX 3080 Ti: the Game Test
When comparing the two GPUs’ exact characteristics, it becomes evident that the RTX 4090 trumps RTX 3080 Ti; the real test, however, remains.
The real battlefield for any GPU is how well it does at gaming, and to put this to the test, we’ve compared the gaming performance of RTX 4090 and RTX 3080 Ti by running different popular games and seeing how well each does.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
We’ve all been a part of Lara Croft’s adventures in Shadow of the Tomb Raise and enjoyed the sheer graphics of this game.
Well, in terms of pure gaming performance, the RTX 4090 easily overshadows RTX 3080 Ti.
When running Shadow of the Tomb Raider, while RTX 4090 does 218 FPS, RTx 3080 Ti still runs at 113 FPS. This gives RTX 4090 a great lead of a steady 92.9% over RTX 3080 Ti.
Just as we observed before, the RTX 4090 is once more operating cooler than the RTX 3080 Ti, this time by roughly 12.1%, as it is running at 66°C as opposed to 74°C.
When looking at the power consumption, it was naturally greater for RTx 4090 with its higher TDP rating.
The RTX 4090 uses an impressive 408.3W overall, while the RTX 3080 Ti is using roughly 17.2% less power at 348.2W.
The RTX 4090 immediately displaces the RTX 3080 Ti with a massive advantage of 60.9%. The Witcher 3 is often operating at 243 FPS on the RTX 4090 and 151 FPS on the RTX 3080 Ti.
The RTX 4090 plummeted to 172 FPS and the RTX 3080 Ti to 134 FPS, despite the disparity in the 1% lows being reduced by half compared to the average FPS.
Looking at the temperature data, it appears that the enormous cooler on top of the RTX 4090 is indeed doing miracles in this situation. Due to the GPU operating at 60°C, which is around 25% cooler than the 3080 Ti operating at 75°C, this is the case.
Coming to power consumption, RTX 4090 runs Witchers 3 more efficiently, consuming 341.3W compared to the 351.5W consumed by RTX 3080 Ti.
PUBG undoubtedly has a vast fanbase that plays the game religiously, so it was only natural to include it in our comparison of RTX 4090 and RTX 3080 Ti.
The RTX 4090 runs PUBG at an absurd 404 FPS, while RTX 3080 Ti remains at 239 FPS only.
Although 239 FPS is amazing on its own, the glory fades when you look at RTX 4090, gaining an advantage of 69%.
Going well till now, RTX 4090 appears to drop significantly from its average FPS at the 1% lows; the GPU is currently operating at 251 FPS. The RTX 3080 Ti, on the other side, is operating at 195 FPS.
When running PUBG, the RTX 4090 manages to remain cooler than the RTX 3080 Ti, with a difference of around 22.5%, as expected. The RTX 4090 and RTX 3080 Ti are both operating at 62°C and 76°C, respectively.
Even though it trumps in cooling capacity, RTX 4090 continues to consume around 5.2% more power than the RTX 3080 Ti.
After looking at the specs, there was hardly a doubt that the RTX 4090 would outperform the RTX 3080 Ti. Thought after running the games, RTX 4090s efficiency astounds you a little.
The RTX 4090 is well renowned for its massive cooler, so big that it makes some of the motherboards appear small.
But having a cooler this size has paid off because it is doing its job incredibly well. If we average the thermal variance over all the games, the RTX 4090 maintained a significant thermal advantage over the RTX 3080 Ti.
Another astounding fact is that the RTX 4090 managed to do all that while consuming almost the same amount of power as the RTX 3080 Ti.
RTX 4090 vs. RTX 3080 Ti: Which to Purchase?
The final decision on which GPU to purchase entirely relies on your needs.
Looking at the price point of view, the RTX 4090 digs deep into your pockets. Though the price is completely justified for all the specs, it possesses.
Similarly to that, the RTX 3080 Ti currently offers good value for the money. The GPU performed all our games at 1440p and maximum settings with impressive FPS.
If a quality gaming experience is your requirement and you can afford to buy it, then the RTX 4090 will surely make for an excellent addition to your gaming unit.
On the other hand, the RTX 3080 is the best for a budget buy and will provide you with a decent gaming experience too.
One thing to remember in all this is that the RTX 4080 will undoubtedly overtake the RTX 3080 Ti in the market as soon as it releases. So if you can hold onto buying a graphic card at the moment and evaluate the performance of the other RTX 40 series GPU, you might land yourself a beneficial deal.
From Author’s Desk
Through this article, I hope you got a general idea of the properties the RTX 4090, and the RTX 3080 Ti each possess and can decide on which GPU to purchase.
With the appropriate components, both GPUs will make for an amazing addition to your gaming unit so go for the one that suits your needs better.