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Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti review: revisiting the super-performers

Doom Eternal, Control, Borderlands 3, Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

We begin with the 'super-performers', the four games that showed some of the greatest gen-on-gen gains for Ampere cards over their Turing predecessors. Each game is built on a modern engine that tends to make full use of recent high core count CPUs, allowing the GPU to stretch its legs further than in games of more naïve design.

We've run our benchmarks at three resolutions: 1080p, 1440p and 4K. Recently, we have been asked to run ultra-wide benchmarks too, but you can extrapolate expected performance here pretty easily - 2560x1080 is somewhere between 1080p and 1440p, while the more common 3440x1440 is almost exactly between 1440p and 4K.

Our benchmark results are presented a little differently to what you might be used to elsewhere on the web. On mobile, you'll get a basic overview, with metadata from the video capture of each GPU being translated into simple bar charts with average frame-rate and lowest one per cent measurements for easy comparisons.

On a desktop-class browser, you'll get the full-fat experience with embedded YouTube videos of each test scene and live performance metrics. Play the video, and you'll see exactly how each card handled the scene as it progresses; you can even choose exactly what GPUs at what resolutions you're interested in and it'll update in real time. Below the real-time stuff is a bar chart, which you can mouse over to see different measurements and click to switch between actual frame-rates and percentage differences. All the data here is derived from video captured directly from each GPU, ensuring an accurate replay of real performance.

Let's see how the RTX 3080 Ti manages to play - the specs suggest that we're going to be near 3090 levels of performance, but does that hold up in real world use?

Doom Eternal

Developers id have always known how to push the boundaries of hardware of the day, and Doom Eternal is no different, with a cross-platform design that scales incredibly well to take advantage of new hardware. We're using the first engine-driven cutscene in the game, which occurs fairly early on in the Hell on Earth level. The 3080 Ti gets off to a strong start here, coming within one percent (!) of the RTX 3090 at 4K, although if you look at the worst one percent frame-time scores the difference is more like six per cent. Either way you slice it, that's a very similar result and bodes well for the rest of the benchmarks. The closest 3080 Ti competitor from the Radeon group is the RX 6900 XT, and the 3080 Ti performs well here too, with a seven percent lead over the $1000 AMD card.

Doom Eternal: Vulkan, Ultra Nightmare, 8x TSSAA

  • GTX 1080 Ti
  • RTX 2080 Ti
  • RTX 3070
  • RTX 3080
  • RTX 3080 Ti
  • RTX 3090
  • RX 6800
  • RX 6800 XT
  • RX 6900 XT
  • GTX 1080 Ti
  • RTX 2080 Ti
  • RTX 3070
  • RTX 3080
  • RTX 3080 Ti
  • RTX 3090
  • RX 6800
  • RX 6800 XT
  • RX 6900 XT
  • GTX 1080 Ti
  • RTX 2080 Ti
  • RTX 3070
  • RTX 3080
  • RTX 3080 Ti
  • RTX 3090
  • RX 6800
  • RX 6800 XT
  • RX 6900 XT

Borderlands 3

Borderlands 3 comes next, as we take a jaunt through the dangerous jungles of Eden-6. The 3080 Ti is now three percentage points adrift from the 3090, but still very much in the wake of the $1500 card but not to what you would call a noticeable degree. The difference from the RTX 3080 to the new Ti is bigger, at around 12 percent, but that's still not enough to justify the big increase in pricepoint. Coming from the RTX 2080 Ti, you can expect a 54 percent performance uplift on the 3080 Ti, while upgrading from the GTX 1080 Ti means you get 2.25 times the average frame-rate - a transformative shift from 30 to 68fps! As we head down the resolution ladder, the gap from 3080 Ti to 3090 stays around the same at 1440p, but the 3080 Ti to 3080 gap shrinks to nine percent; at 1080p the 3080 Ti and 3090 turn in effectively the same performance while the 3080 remains around 10 percent adrift.

Borderlands 3: Bad Ass, DX12, TAA

  • GTX 1080 Ti
  • RTX 2080 Ti
  • RTX 3070
  • RTX 3080
  • RTX 3080 Ti
  • RTX 3090
  • RX 6800
  • RX 6800 XT
  • RX 6900 XT
  • GTX 1080 Ti
  • RTX 2080 Ti
  • RTX 3070
  • RTX 3080
  • RTX 3080 Ti
  • RTX 3090
  • RX 6800
  • RX 6800 XT
  • RX 6900 XT
  • GTX 1080 Ti
  • RTX 2080 Ti
  • RTX 3070
  • RTX 3080
  • RTX 3080 Ti
  • RTX 3090
  • RX 6800
  • RX 6800 XT
  • RX 6900 XT

Control

Control contains one of the best mazes in any videogame, but that's not important right now. What is important is that, despite being well-known as an RT and DLSS showcase, the game actually remains incredibly hard for AMD GPUs to run compared to their Nvidia opposition. So it goes for the 3080 Ti, which manages to exhibit the largest lead over the RX 6900 XT we've seen yet: 23 percent at 4K, 16 percent at 1440p and still 10 percent at 1080p. The inter-Nvidia rivalries are a little less interesting, with the 3080 Ti following the 3090 by two percent at 4K and 1440p; the new card also leads the 3080 by 12 percent at 4K. Compared to past flagships, the 3080 Ti is nearly 50 percent faster than the 2080 Ti and 175 percent faster than the 1080 Ti - so you're definitely going to notice the performance differential there, even if RT and DLSS features don't do it for you.

Control: High, DX12, TAA

  • GTX 1080 Ti
  • RTX 2080 Ti
  • RTX 3070
  • RTX 3080
  • RTX 3080 Ti
  • RTX 3090
  • RX 6800
  • RX 6800 XT
  • RX 6900 XT
  • GTX 1080 Ti
  • RTX 2080 Ti
  • RTX 3070
  • RTX 3080
  • RTX 3080 Ti
  • RTX 3090
  • RX 6800
  • RX 6800 XT
  • RX 6900 XT
  • GTX 1080 Ti
  • RTX 2080 Ti
  • RTX 3070
  • RTX 3080
  • RTX 3080 Ti
  • RTX 3090
  • RX 6800
  • RX 6800 XT
  • RX 6900 XT

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is yet another game in which the 3080 Ti holds a roughly 10 percent lead over the 3080 and a two percent deficit against the 3090; so far, so normal. That's good for a 1.44x multiplier against the RTX 2080 Ti and 2.41x multiplier against the older GTX 1080 Ti - pretty solid stuff if you're still holding onto a Pascal-era card, assuming of course that you can actually purchase a 3080 Ti at anywhere near its RRP. The 6900 XT is slightly better value here, with the 3080 Ti around 14 percent faster at 4K while costing 20 percent more - again, in a hypothetical world where the graphics card market wasn't completely bonkers.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider: Highest, DX12, TAA

  • GTX 1080 Ti
  • RTX 2080 Ti
  • RTX 3070
  • RTX 3080
  • RTX 3080 Ti
  • RTX 3090
  • RX 6800
  • RX 6800 XT
  • RX 6900 XT
  • GTX 1080 Ti
  • RTX 2080 Ti
  • RTX 3070
  • RTX 3080
  • RTX 3080 Ti
  • RTX 3090
  • RX 6800
  • RX 6800 XT
  • RX 6900 XT
  • GTX 1080 Ti
  • RTX 2080 Ti
  • RTX 3070
  • RTX 3080
  • RTX 3080 Ti
  • RTX 3090
  • RX 6800
  • RX 6800 XT
  • RX 6900 XT

So far, the 3080 Ti has what it takes to stick to the 3090, but how do things change in games that aren't so good for Nvidia's latest generation? Let's find out over the next couple pages.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti analysis

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About the author

Richard Leadbetter

Richard Leadbetter

Technology Editor, Digital Foundry  |  digitalfoundry

Rich has been a games journalist since the days of 16-bit and specialises in technical analysis. He's commonly known around Eurogamer as the Blacksmith of the Future.

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