RTX 3080 VS RTX 4000 For Gaming: Which Should You Buy?

RTX 3080 VS RTX 4000 For Gaming

The announcement of Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 4000 GPU series certainly came as a surprise for all of us despite the rumor-based confirmations of its release.

With the massive specs boost and the intriguing Ada Lovelace architecture aside, the pricing is the aspect that excites us even more for these new Nvidia graphics cards. What complicates things is that people are not even over the RTX 3000 series GPUs.

So, the announcement may not be sitting well with those who may have purchased a 3000 series GPU only recently.

Since it’s obvious that RTX 4090 (which is Nvidia’s next release) would cost a lot more than RTX 3080, it’s better to compare it with an equivalent 4000 series GPU so that the comparison of specs is fairer.

UPDATE (10/17/22)

The Nvidia RTX 4080 12GB has been canceled by Nvidia and will no longer be released with the other 2 graphics cards in the 4000 series lineup.

The reason behind it is just as we stated, it has a different chipset to the Nvidia RTX 4080 16GB and was, as a result, underpowered and not worth the price tag.

Nvidia has implied that they will repurpose the card in the near future, so expect to see it as the Nvidia RTX 4070 very soon.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 vs Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080: Which GPU is Better?

Since we’ve barely heard anything on RTX 4080, 4060, or 4050, and comparing RTX 3080 with RTX 4080 16GB and 4090 would be out of proportion, the 12GB edition of RTX 4080 is so far Nvidia 4000 series’ worthiest competitor for RTX 3080. 

While the price of a potential Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 is still unknown, knowing that even RTX 4080 costs just $200 higher than RTX 3080, it’s most likely for the RTX 4070 to at most cost the same as 3080, but since the 12GB edition of the RTX 4080 is the cheapest current option, it automatically becomes the most comparable GPU from the 4000 series. 

So, in case you’re willing to buy an Nvidia RTX graphics card around the price range of $699-$899 in the near future or may even keep an eye for the more expensive option, this article may help you determine what the best purchase for you is.

rtx 3080


Nvidia RTX 3080 comes in two editions, with different VRAMs. Both the 10GB and 12GB versions are GDDR6X. It is modeled with the Ampere architecture, which succeeded the 2000s series’ Turing architecture. 

Its architecture consists of 26 billion transistors and uses Samsung’s 9nm processing. The GPU features 8704 or 8960 CUDA Cores depending on the version. While the 10GB RTX 3080 takes 320W worth the power, the 12GB version would need a supply of up to 350W. 

Nvidia RTX 4080, on the other end, also comes in two editions. While it’s understandable for the 12GB edition to be GDDR6X, the case isn’t any different for the 16GB edition, so the latter isn’t as much of an upgrade in that aspect the 12GB edition comes with 7,680 CUDA Cores while the much stronger (also less affordable) 16GB counterpart comes with 9,728 CUDA Cores.

What elevates both editions, however, is the 4000 series’ Ada Lovelace architecture. The architecture uses TSMC’s 4nm process node, with a massive upgrade of 76 billion transistors.

The higher the number of transistors is, the faster the data gets processed, and in this case, the transistors are nearly thrice as many as the Ampere GPUs. Despite the upgrades, both the RTX 4080 editions consume less power than the RTX 3080. The 16GB edition requires 320W, and the 12GB one requires a much lower supply of 285W.


nvidia gpu performance

Since we barely have any data from RTX 4000 testing, we can only speculate about the RTX 4080’s performance based on Nvidia’s promises and the GPU’s specs. From what it seems, it may slightly outdo the RTX 3080 even if underestimated. 

The contest between both the GPUs’ 12GB editions is tough in terms of CUDA Cores. The 16GB RTX 4080 easily outdoes both of them though. For those not aware of what CUDA Cores are, they’re the GPU equivalent of CPU cores and are the main determining factor for processing speed. 

As stated above, the Ada Lovelace architecture is also a significant upgrade for the RTX 4000 series. Even if the 12GB configurations of RTX 3080 and 4080 are stalemate in terms of CUDA Cores, the latter has a considerably higher number of transistors.

The architecture also provides a boost via the 4nm node. According to the graph posted above, which was published by Nvidia, the Ada Lovelace architecture is promised to perform thrice as well as Ampere. 

The 4000 series, like every new GPU series, also has features that are exclusive to it. Third-generation ray-tracing and DLSS 3 look quite better than their predecessors too. While the CUDA Core count and VRAM may be on par, the architecture provides the new RTX generation unquestionably improved features. 

According to Nvidia, the 16GB edition of the RTX 4080 is supposed to be nearly 4x faster than even the RTX 3080 Ti. While nothing confirms this yet, it’s known that RTX 3080 is fairly slower than the RTX 3080 Ti, and if Nvidia claims the 16GB RTX 4080 to be faster than even RTX 3080 Ti, it’s most likely that the 12GB RTX 4080 will outdo RTX 3080 too. 

So, while the speculation and specs favor RTX 4080, it’s important to take everything with a grain of salt before further testing is done. Regardless of your decision after reading this article, do check out performance reviews for the 4080 GPUs after their release.

Price rtx 4000


The Nvidia RTX 3080 was released two years ago and has since then been priced at around $699. The price may increase or decrease depending on the manufacturing brands. 

The Nvidia RTX 4080, which releases this November, costs only a bit higher. The 12GB configuration costs $899, and the 16GB one costs $1199.


While actual testing and reviews will reveal a lot more, depending on the specifications at least, even the 12GB RTX 4080 will most likely offer considerable improvement. 

The best option, undoubtedly, is the Nvidia RTX 4080 16GB. It’s much better than its 12GB counterpart, and considering the improvement, costs only $300 higher. It’s also quite closer to the RTX 4090 than the 12GB 4080 in terms of specs. So, if you can take your time and save a lot, the 16GB RTX 4080 is the best option. 

Nvidia RTX 3080 is the best option if you have a limited budget or are in a hurry. It’s quite pointless to get the 12GB RTX 4080 since the 16GB variation doesn’t cost much higher and besides the transistor count and features, it’s not as much of an improvement over the predecessor in terms of performance. 

So, at the end of the day, the choice depends on how much you’re willing to spend, but considering how greater the 16GB RTX 4080 is than the 12GB edition, it’s wiser to take your time and save an additional $300 for the strongest option among the three. 

We hope this article informed you well about the Nvidia RTX 4000 series. While you’re still here, please check out our other articles on GPUs and other hardware.  

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