RTX 4080 vs 4090: Which is the Better Graphics Card for You? – A Comprehensive Review

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 follows the RTX 4090 launch from last month and is now among the best graphics cards, ranking at the top of our GPU benchmarks hierarchy. However, the 16-pin connectors have caused some issues. The RTX 4080 uses less power, which may prevent melting plastic connectors, but it’s still expensive at $1,199, making it unaffordable for most gamers. This price is a big jump from the previous generation and inherits the RTX 3080 Ti’s launch price, which was also considered too high. If you are confused about the buying RTX 4080 vs 4090, make a more informed decision based on your budget and requirements, read this article.

RTX 4080 vs 4090
Nvidia RTX 4080, Source: Nvidia

To read a full review on Nvidia’s 40-series, check our article HERE!

Read a full review on Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti, check our article HERE!

RTX 4080’s hardware specs and limitations: RTX 4080 vs 4090

RTX 4080 vs 4090
RTX 4080’s hardware specs
SpecsRTX 4090 24GBRTX 4080 16GBRTX 4070 Ti 12GB
Die Size608mm²379mm²295mm²
CUDA Cores1638497287680
Boost Clock2.52GHz2.51GHz2.61GHz
Memory Interface384-bit256-bit192-bit
Memory Bandwidth1018GB/s742GB/s557GB/s
PSU Recommendation850W750W700W
PSU Cables4x 8-pin3x 8-pin2x 8-pin
Base Price$1499/£1649$1199/£1199$799/£799
Release dateOctober 12th, 2022November 16th, 2022January 5th, 2023
Spec sheet of Nvidia’s 40-series GPU

We already know what to expect from Nvidia’s Ada Lovelace architecture. The only real question is how performance will scale down to fewer GPU shaders, less memory, less cache, a narrower memory interface, etc.

The RTX 4080 has 76 of the potential 80 Streaming Multiprocessors (SMs), which is 40% fewer than the RTX 4090. While clock speeds are similar, you get 33% fewer memory channels, VRAM, and bandwidth, and the rated TBP drops by 29%. On paper, the RTX 4090 could be up to 70% faster based on theoretical computing performance, which is a concern.

Price and availability: RTX 4080 vs 4090

Most gamers cannot afford the RTX 4080, priced at $1,199. Instead, it may be preferable to save an additional $400 for the RTX 4090. However, since launch, the RTX 4090 has been sold out below $2,100, resulting in a significant $900 upsell.

With the impending release of AMD’s Radeon RX 7900 XTX/XT cards next month, using AMD’s RDNA 3 GPU architecture, pricing becomes even more concerning. These cards look promising and may outperform the RTX 4080 while costing $200-$300 less. Therefore, it’s advisable to wait until next month to see what AMD has to offer unless one is entirely opposed to purchasing an AMD graphics card.

To read about the AMD 7900-series, check our article HERE!

Prices and Buying Options:

As prices are frequently changing, it is better to keep yourself updated:

Asus Nvidia RTX 4080: Amazon

MSI Nvidia RTX 4080: Amazon

GigaByte Nvidia RTX 4080: Amazon

Zotac Nvidia RTX 4080: Amazon

Power requirements and connector issues

Nvidia now uses a single 12-pin PCIe 5 standard connector on its RTX 40-series cards, providing up to 600 watts in total. To connect three eight-pin PCIe power cables, there’s a 12VHPWR adapter cable in the box.

Using Nvidia’s included power adapter is not recommended due to reports of power adapters melting on the RTX 4090. Nvidia is still investigating the issue. During the transition to power supplies that natively support 12VHPWR, it’s worth investing in a single cable solution from third-party providers like cable mod if you’re spending more than $1,000 on a graphics card alone.

The RTX 4080 has the same minimum power requirements as the RTX 3080, at least a 750-watt power supply. The RTX 4080 uses up to 320 watts of power, the same as the 10GB RTX 3080. If you’re interested in overclocking the RTX 4080, you’ll want a stronger power supply for additional headroom.

Deep learning, AI, DLSS 3, and professional use

Nvidia’s advantages over AMD are unlikely to be matched soon. The RTX 4080 outperforms AMD’s offerings in deep learning and AI power, with the expected FP16 and INT8 throughput of AMD being less than a third of the RTX 4080.

Nvidia’s enhanced Optical Flow Accelerator (OFA) has made DLSS 3 possible, which is another Nvidia feature. Ten games, including Bright Memory: Infinite, Destroy All Humans! 2 – Reprobed, F.I.S.T.: Forged in Shadow Torch, F1 22, Justice, Loopmancer, Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered, Microsoft Flight Simulator, A Plague Tale: Requiem, and Super People currently support DLSS 3. In less than a month, AMD’s FSR2 technology has about half as many games supporting it, and it works with almost all GPUs, whereas DLSS 3 requires an RTX 40-series GPU.

Professional users and their employers also prefer Nvidia GPUs. Although true workstations may opt for the RTX 6000 48GB card over the GeForce RTX 40-series, using one or more RTX 4080 cards for AI and deep learning has potential. Content creators may also benefit, although they may only need to pay a small price increase to get the 4090 instead of the 4080.

Gaming Benchmarks at 1440p: RTX 4080 vs 4090

Rigorous testing was conducted on all GPUs, maxing out all games at ultra settings. Only Microsoft Flight Simulator failed to hit the coveted 100fps mark. Shadow of the Tomb Raider blasted a whopping 259fps without the help of DLSS. And here’s the kicker: Cyberpunk 2077 achieved 127fps at 1440p without ray tracing or DLSS on the RTX 4080!

The RTX 4080 outperformed the previous RTX 3080 by around 50% in most games, making it a force to be reckoned with. It was about 30-40% faster than the RTX 3080 Ti, which is quite impressive. However, the RTX 4090 was still the top-performing GPU, boasting a 10-20% speed advantage at 1440p.

BenchmarkRTX 4080 RTX 4090 RTX 3080 RTX 3080 Ti RTX 3090
Microsoft Flight Simulator6364616261
Microsoft Flight Simulator + DLSS 25960585858
Shadow of the Tomb Raider259291164179187
Shadow of the Tomb Raider + DLSS 2277301187202211
Forza Horizon 5167189107121125
CS: GO590684578612625
Gears 5179222121140138
Control + DLSS 2 + RT194209140155165
Control + RT125171829499
Metro Exodus Enhanced110137697880
Metro Exodus Enhanced + DLSS 2 + RT118141758386
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla149172103113117
Watch Dogs: Legion13615091100101
Watch Dogs: Legion + DLSS 2 + RT105106758686
Cyberpunk 2077127144859597
Cyberpunk 2077 + DLSS 2 + RT99122657375
Cyberpunk 2077 + DLSS 2 + Psycho RT93116616870
RTX 4080 Benchmarks at 1440p, Source:TheVerge

Gaming Benchmarks at 4k

Modern graphics cards are put to the test with Cyberpunk 2077 to assess their 4K performance, and it is undoubtedly a demanding game that provides insight into the level of performance modern games require. Although the RTX 4080 falls short of the impressive 74fps achieved by the RTX 4090 at 4K, the use of DLSS 3 allows it to achieve over 60fps without any problems even with max settings and ray tracing turned on.

BenchmarkRTX 4080RTX 4090RTX 3080RTX 3080 TiRTX 3090
Microsoft Flight Simulator6262424850
Microsoft Flight Simulator + DLSS 25858565759
Shadow of the Tomb Raider14319592103108
Shadow of the Tomb Raider + DLSS 2187227118131136
Forza Horizon 5122153788991
CS: GO315435374419430
Gears 597140698080
Control + DLSS 2 + RT114160778591
Control + RT6089434750
Metro Exodus Enhanced7098455153
Metro Exodus Enhanced + DLSS 2 + RT79109505658
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla97119667276
Watch Dogs: Legion84112566364
Watch Dogs: Legion + DLSS 2 + RT7597465557
Cyberpunk 20775874404548
Cyberpunk 2077 + DLSS 2 + RT5472353941
Cyberpunk 2077 + DLSS 2 + Psycho RT5067323637
RTX 4080 Benchmarks at 4k, Source:TheVerge

Conclusion: Which one to choose RTX 4080 vs 4090

The RTX 4080 outperforms the previous RTX 30-series cards it replaces, making it a more than capable card at 4K. However, the RTX 4090 outshines it at 4K for an additional $400. At 1440p, the RTX 4080 is ideal for high refresh rate gaming with a smaller gap between the two cards.

DLSS 3 significantly boosts frame rates for both 1440p and 4K. Still, it’s disappointing that only 35 games and apps have been confirmed so far. Despite the Ada Lovelace architecture advancements, it’s hard to justify the RTX 4080’s $1,199 price tag. The rumored $899 12GB RTX 4070 Ti would have been more reasonable, but AMD’s RX 7900 series might challenge Nvidia’s pricing.

Although Nvidia’s brand preference and DLSS make the RTX 4080 an appealing upgrade for many, it’s difficult to ignore the potential performance from AMD. It remains to be seen if AMD can deliver a performance blow that would shake up Nvidia’s pricing.

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