RTX 3070 vs 3080 vs 3090 Performance Differences | Which To Buy

Nvidia has just announced its newest lineup of Ampere powered GPUs: the GeForce RTX 3070, RTX 3080, and RTX 3090. If you’re in the market for a new graphics card, any of these new models should fit the bill. RTX 30-series cards offer 8K gaming, ray tracing graphics, and support for all of the latest software and tech. Of course, with so much power on offer, it’ll be tough to decide between the three. To help you choose which to buy, here’s a detailed breakdown comparing the RTX 3070 vs the 3080 and 3090.

RTX 3070 vs 3080 vs 3090 | Specs and Performance Differences

RTX 3070 vs 3080 vs 3090 - Specs and Performance Differences

The latest GeForce RTX 30-series graphics cards are technical powerhouses. Each GPU includes second-generation ray tracing cores and support for 8K 12-bit HDR visuals up to 120Hz, Microsoft DirectX 12 Ultimate, and the latest Nvidia DLSS.

However, there are some subtle differences between each unit. The 3070 is the lowest tier, offering the smallest amount of RAM and CUDA cores. However, it’s also both the fastest (base/boost clock speed) and most power-efficient, even if by a small margin.

On the flip side, the full-fat RTX 3090 offers a staggering 24GB of GDDR6X 384-bit RAM and over 10,000 CUDA cores — close to twice as many as the 3070 offers. That performance increase means it takes up to 350 watts power, which will require a second 8-pin power connection.

As you’d expect, the RTX 3080 fits somewhere in between the other two. For a performance comparison, check out the following list of specifications for each of the GeForce RTX 30-series models.

GeForce RTX 3070 Specifications

GeForce RTX 3070 Specifications

  • Base Clock: 1.50 GHz
  • Boost Clock: 1.73 GHz
  • Memory: 8GB GDDR6
  • Memory Interface Width: 256 bit
  • GPU Power: 220 watts (PCIe 8-pin)
  • Recommended system power: 650 watts
  • Nvidia CUDA Cores: 5888
  • Nvidia Architecture: Ampere
  • 2nd Generation Ray Tracing Cores
  • 3rd Generation Tensor Cores
  • DirectX 12 Ultimate
  • Nvidia DLSS
  • PCI Express Gen 4
  • HDMI 2.1
  • DisplayPort 1.4a
  • Dimensions: 242mm long, 112mm wide, 2-slot height

GeForce RTX 3080 Specifications

GeForce RTX 3080 Specifications

  • Base Clock: 1.44 GHz
  • Boost Clock: 1.71 GHz
  • Memory: 10GB GDDR6X
  • Memory Interface Width: 320 bit
  • GPU Power: 320 watts (PCIe 8-pin x2)
  • Recommended system power: 750 watts
  • Nvidia CUDA Cores: 8704
  • Nvidia Architecture: Ampere
  • 2nd Generation Ray Tracing Cores
  • 3rd Generation Tensor Cores
  • DirectX 12 Ultimate
  • Nvidia DLSS
  • PCI Express Gen 4
  • HDMI 2.1 x1
  • DisplayPort 1.4a x3
  • Dimensions: 285mm long, 112mm wide, 2-slot height

GeForce RTX 3090 Specifications

RTX 3090 Specifications

  • Base Clock: 1.40 GHz
  • Boost Clock: 1.70 GHz
  • Memory: 24GB GDDR6X
  • Memory Interface Width: 384 bit
  • GPU Power: 350 watts (PCIe 8-pin x2)
  • Recommended system power: 750 watts
  • Nvidia CUDA Cores: 10496
  • Nvidia Architecture: Ampere
  • 2nd Generation Ray Tracing Cores
  • 3rd Generation Tensor Cores
  • DirectX 12 Ultimate
  • Nvidia DLSS
  • PCI Express Gen 4
  • HDMI 2.1 x1
  • DisplayPort 1.4a x3
  • Dimensions: 313mm long, 138mm wide, 3-slot height

RTX 3070 vs 3080 vs 3090 | Which should you buy?

When deciding between the RTX 3070 vs 3080 and 3090, you’ll need to look at how much power you want. If you’re even considering the 3090, chances are good your mind is already made up. It serves to replace Nvidia’s Titan series, and it’s the most capable GPU of the bunch. That’s why the RTX 3090 Founders Edition carries its current eye-watering $1,500 price tag.

For everyone else, it’s really a choice between the 3070 and 3080. The RTX 3070 serves as a replacement for the RTX 2070 Super, and it’s roughly identical in power, despite offering over twice as many CUDA cores as its predecessor. However, the higher clock speed and lower power draw put it in a class alongside Nvidia’s RTX 2080 Ti. At $499 for the Founder’s Edition, that’s a lot of bang for your buck.

Assuming you don’t mind spending a bit more, the RTX 3080 Founder’s Edition can be had for $699. Your extra 200 bucks buys another 2GB RAM with a higher interface width, and close to 3,000 more CUDA cores. However, it requires more power, including an additional 8-pin PCIe connection. It’s also just a bit longer than the 3070 (by 43 millimeters, or about 1.7 inches), though it retains the same two-slot height.

The RTX 3070 should be more than enough grunt for all but the most power-crazed PC players. It’s the cheapest of the bunch, but it offers all of the same features shared by the 3080 and 3090. Stepping up in power will sharply increase the price, and for now, most buyers will probably prefer to save the extra $1,000 dollars that the 3090 demands. If you’re ready to buy, here’s more information about RTX 30-series pre-orders.