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Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti review: the typical performance upgrade spectrum

Metro Exodus, Dirt Rally 2, Assassin's Creed Unity.

We conclude our testing of traditional, rasterised game performance with the Assassin's Creed Unity, released in 2014 and currently enjoying a new lease of life on Xbox Series X's back-compat catalogue - plus the more recent (and coincidentally easier to benchmark) Metro Exodus and Dirt Rally 2.0.

In order to deliver precise results, our performance data is more than just a readout of an average frame-rate at the end of a test. Instead, we use the FCAT tool built into Rivatuner Statistics Server (RTSS), which overlays a coloured border to the left side of the screen. Each new frame is represented by another coloured box in the sequence - and its height signifies the time it took to generate. We capture a direct feed of the game footage and border from the graphics card we're testing, analysing the resultant video file with our own tools to essentially write down the frame-time for each frame. This metadata is uploaded to the Eurogamer site, then rendered by the server into the live widgets you see below, allowing us to choose the comparisons you'll find most interesting - while giving you the power to make your own selections too.

Metro Exodus

Metro Exodus' integrated benchmark takes us through the fire and flames, and at the end of the inferno it's the 3080 Ti that comes out unscathed. The more expensive RTX 3090 is just two percent to the good over the 3080 Ti, which can turn around and brag of a 12 percent lead over the RTX 3080 OG Edition. If you're upgrading from the 2080 Ti, you'll get nearly 50 percent more frames per second, while 1080 Ti owners get more than a doubling in performance. That impressive 80fps average is enough for the 3080 Ti to take a 12 percent lead over the RX 6900 XT; quite a lot given that turning on RT on both cards would push things further in Team Green's direction.

Metro Exodus: Ultra, 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

Dirt Rally 2.0

We'll keep this one short and to the point. The Dirt Rally 2.0 analysis encompasses an entire stage and is one of the longest repeatable stretches of actual gameplay committed to a benchmark. The 3080 Ti is just one percent behind the 3090, making it obviously the better value option, but the vanilla 3080 is on another level, delivering 88 percent of the 3090's performance at around half the cost (if MSRPs meant anything anymore). The RX 6900 XT does relatively better here, with the 3080 Ti holding just a seven percent lead over AMD's top card.

Dirt Rally 2.0: DX12, Ultra, TAA+8x MSAA

  • 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 6800 XT

Assassin's Creed Unity

After the mighty Crysis 3 was nerfed by a Windows upgrade that limits performance in GPU-bound scenarios, Assassin's Creed Unity is our last legacy game standing - and still a terrific experience, as the recent Xbox Series X FPS Boost patch attests. Back in the day, this benchmark was brilliant for showcasing CPU limitations and for highlighting issues with driver limitations, and so it is today. The 3080 Ti is three percent behind the 3090 and nine percent ahead of the RX 6900 XT, making it a good value (comparatively). If you're upgrading from the GTX 1080 Ti to the 3080 Ti, you'll get a 2.33x boost to frame-rate alongside your additional 1GB of VRAM.

AC Unity: Ultra High, DX11, FXAA

  • 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 that's the standard benchmark suite out of the way, but Resizable BAR is a fascinating new feature that played out nicely on supported titles in our recent AMD and Nvidia reviews - let's take a look.

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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