NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition is the fastest graphics card I’ve ever tested, and it’s an amazing product for the money. Now, actually buying one for $699 might require devine intervention, but we don’t really know until they go on sale.
We know demand will be there because performance is just so damn impressive with this card. No, the leap in performance isn’t 2x over the RTX 2080 outside of certain testing scenarios, but it’s always significant – often 60% or greater. The RTX 2080 was soundly beaten in these benchmarks by an average of 72% (!) between raster and raytraced tests.
I’ll be honest here. The RTX 2080 was a letdown. The Turing launch left a lot of gaming frustrated, and Pascal continued to be the architecture of choice for most GeForce gamers. RTX made for an awesome demo, but outside of a few titles that was about it. DLSS took time to improve, and without it full native rendering with real-time ray tracing was too expensive from a performance standpoint.
I feel like the ray tracing story has changed, if the RTX 3080 is any indication. Suddenly I’m really interested in games that use more RTX features, and excited about the prospect of the RTX 3090’s performance in this department. Frame rates – even without DLSS – are suddenly playable even at very high settings, and the visuals in some of the games and demos are stunning.