- Nvidia RTX 3080 vs AMD RX 6800 XT: Performance
- Bottom Line: RX 6800 XT vs RTX 3080
- Nvidia RTX 3080 vs AMD RX 6800 XT: Architecture
- Pricing and availability
- Ray tracing and other features
- Nvidia RTX 3080 vs AMD RX 6800 XT: Memory
- Price: RTX 3080 vs RX 6800 XT
- Ray Tracing
- Сравнение бенчмарков
- Power Consumption / Efficiency: RTX 3080 vs RX 6800 XT
- Features and Technology: RTX 3080 vs RX 6800 XT
- Gaming Performance: RTX 3080 vs RX 6800 XT
- Test system
Nvidia RTX 3080 vs AMD RX 6800 XT: Performance
While we wish we could give a definitive answer as to which card is most powerful, it’s hard to say without independently testing for ourselves. So don’t be swept away by internet hype as it’s not uncommon for companies to fudge numbers to make its products more appealing.
Based on the graphs below, both cards are very similar. According to AMD, at 4K, both the RTX 3080 and RX 6800 XT perform on par with one another, with Nvidia pulling slightly ahead in some games while AMD edges out in others. Again, we don’t know the exact test parameters, but if AMD is being fair in its testing, then both cards are comparable.
Likely, AMD is picking and choosing titles it knows it can eek out a performance edge against Nvidia. While AMD wasn’t so crass as to only include games that it knew it could beat Nvidia at, we’re not seeing total transparency here. For example, it’s unclear whether or not ray tracing was turned on for these titles.
(Image credit: AMD)
On the graph above, we can see that AMD is pulling ahead against Nvidia in most benchmarks. It’s a curious result, given how far ahead Nvidia has been in the graphics card race these past few years.
Hardcore Nvidia fans will know that team green has a lot more money than AMD. It means it can invest more in research and development, ultimately producing more powerful technology. According to , Nvidia invested $2.8 billion in research and development during the 2020 fiscal year. By comparison, AMD has spent on R&D in 2020 so far. That’s a massive schism.
So how is this possible? Well, it’s likely that AMD was taking advantage of Smart Access Memory in these tests. Smart Access Memory is when an RX 6000 series GPU is coupled with a Ryzen 5000 series CPU, allowing the card to have full access to the GPUs GDDR6 memory. This will yield greater overall performance. It may only be a few percentage points, but it could be enough to give AMD the slight edge. Of course, this feature isn’t available when coupled with an Intel CPU. And since Nvidia isn’t in the consumer processor market, this kind of proprietary technological cross-talk can only happen if users are running total AMD hardware.
(Image credit: AMD)
Bottom Line: RX 6800 XT vs RTX 3080
|Round||AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT||Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080|
|Features and Technology||✗|
|Drivers and Software||✗||✗|
|Power and Efficiency||✗|
The Radeon RX 6800 XT and the GeForce RTX 3080 are relatively well matched cards, but at this tier, it’s almost too close to call. For a lot of people, performance will be the number one consideration, but the winner and margin of victory can vary greatly depending on the game and settings being used. DLSS makes the RTX 3080 a formidable competitor as well, and anyone that cares about ray tracing will be better served by the RTX 3080 — right now it’s the card we’d most like to recommend based on official prices.
That’s the problem, though. Street prices are generally terrible, as is availability. The RTX 3080 appears to be in wider circulation, but for normal gamers, paying $1,000 or more just for a graphics card is asking far too much. Anyone willing to pay scalper prices, however, will find the Radeon RX 6800 XT costs about $700 less than the RTX 3080, and it produces higher frame rates in many games. Unless you’re mining on the side, in which case the hashing performance of the 3080 might make it worth the added cost.
When these cards sell for MSRP — if they ever do before being replaced by future cards — the tables could turn. Don’t expect that to happen in 2021, though. The GPU shortage will likely drag on until next year, and scalpers will continue to manipulate the market prices.
And there’s the rub. Our rankings and overall preferences mean nothing if you can’t get your hands on either of the cards at acceptable prices. If you manage to acquire either a Radeon RX 6800 XT or a GeForce GTX 3080, count your lucky stars and be happy with your purchase. That’s especially true if you managed to pick it up at anywhere close to MSRP (i.e., under $1,000).Overall Winner: Tie, until (unless) availability improves a lot
Nvidia RTX 3080 vs AMD RX 6800 XT: Architecture
Comparing AMD’s RDNA 2 architecture to Nvidia’s Ampere is like comparing — as much as I bemoan the clichė — apples and oranges. The two are based on different technologies, use different manufacturing processes, and use different metrics. Looking at which has the larger number proves little.
For this generation, AMD has added Ray Tracing hardware on its cards, with research and development collaboration with Microsoft. The goal for both companies has been to optimize DirectX 12 Ultimate, as evidenced by Microsoft’s full hardware support on Xbox.
RDNA 2, like the original RDNA, is a 7 nanometer chipset, but with 50% performance per-watt improvement. Even though RDNA 2 is using the same manufacturing processes as last generation, AMD says its optimized data paths on the back end to eek out that increased performance per watt. There’s also a 30% clock increase over last gen and it sticks to a 300 watt TDP.
Ampere is Nvidia’s architecture with the 3000 series of GPUs. It’s made some major changes over last generation’s Turing. Ampere chips, manufactured by Samsung, sit on an 8 nanometer process, a huge improvement over Turing’s 12 nm. It does require a higher TDP at 350 watts. But over Turing, Ampere brings second generation Ray Tracing cores and third generation Tensor Cores, delivering two times the throughput. While Nvidia claimed in its presentations that 3080 would bring double the performance over 2080 Ti, it was more like a 30-70% increase, depending on the title. Even then, those are dramatic gains.
Nvidia has invested a significant amount of time and resources into making Ray Tracing a thing. It learned a lot from Turing, and is bringing that experience to Ampere. AMD, on the other hand, is just now getting in on the Ray Tracing game. According to some number crunching from VideoCardz, AMD’s Ray Accelerators appear to be than Nvidia’s RT cores. This could prove to be significant once we get out hands on for full comparison testing.
On the image upscaling side, AMD did unveil its Fidelity FX Super Resolution, a direct competitor to Nvidia’s DLSS. While DLSS was shaky at first, it’s come a long way, and can help games fake a smooth 4K-looking experience. We’ll have to wait and see how Super Resolution matches up once review units are sent out.
Pricing and availability
AMD’s new RX 6800 and 6800 XT launched on November 18 for $579 and $649, respectively. At only $70 less than the RTX 3080, the 6800 XT probably won’t win over many users purely based on price, though it’s at least staying competitive, especially compared to 3080 board partner cards.
At the end of October 2020, however, the RTX 3080 isn’t in stock anywhere. Nvidia has struggled to get a handle on its 30-series launch, following reports of poor yields of the Samsung 8nm node powering Nvidia’s new cards. The RTX 3080 is sold out everywhere right now, and it’ll likely stay that way well into 2021. AMD’s RX 6800 XT has only just gone on sale and as we would expect it has immediately sold out, however we have heard reports that AMD has increased production of its Big Navi graphics chips at TSMC. We feel optimistic AMD will overcome its supply problems in a reasonable timeframe and predict you are more likely to find stocks of AMD RX 6800 XT than Nvidia RTX 3080 by early 2021.
Historically, TSMC — the foundry behind the 7nm node in the RX 6800 XT — has been able to meet demand with high-volume manufacturing. Especially moving into the holiday season, AMD could steal back some significant market share from Nvidia if it can keep cards on shelves. The RX 6800 XT is already cheaper than RTX 3080 but the big news is that AMD’s performance claims have been verified and the RX 6800 XT matches the performance of the RTX 3080 in most games.
Ray tracing and other features
AMD was quick to highlight hardware support for DirectX 12 during its RX 6000 reveal event, and follow-up reports have given us some idea about its potential performance. AMD includes a single Ray Accelerator on each compute unit, meaning the RX 6800 XT has 72 of them in total. Some third-party testing and AMD’s own numbers give us a rough comparison of RX 6800 XT and RTX 3080 Ray Tracing performance, and the RTX 3080 wins handily. The confirmation comes in synthetic tests such as 3DMark – Port Royal where the RX 6800 XT is beaten by Nvidia’s RTX 3080 and also by the RTX 2080 Ti.
We are still in the early days of benchmarks that test Ray Tracing, so the impact of this technology is hard to assess, but it became apparent with Nvidia’s RTX 20-series GPUs that Ray Tracing takes a huge toll on performance. This means that Nvidia’s DLSS is an important feature as it allows Nvidia to boost image quality with Ray Tracing and then offset the hit first with DLSS and now with DLSS 2.0. It can make a massive difference too, with intense ray tracing games like Minecraft being entirely playable at 4K with all the lighting effects turned up, when DLSS is enabled, but barely creeping above 30 fps on AMD hardware.
AMD guarantees many performance-optimizing perks on its products, such as adaptive sharpening and varying-rate shading, but we have yet to find another similar option to DLSS. AMD announced that they have a new Super Resolution feature in the making, but we still don’t know when it’s due to debut. Without testing it ourselves, we can’t say if it will be an adequate alternative to DLSS.
The $70 difference
Based on everything we’ve been able to test, we’ve found that AMD and Nvidia offer pretty similar features and performance. The RTX 3080 appears to be slightly quicker and has a card with more features; however, it’s harder to find, is expensive, and lacks functionality when it comes to memory. If differences are negligible, we’d recommend saving the extra $70 by opting for the RTX 3080.
The RTX card is an excellent option if you typically play games that utilize DLSS and ray tracing. However, if you need to play standard rendered 4K resolution games, either card is a fantastic candidate. You can’t go wrong with either one of these cards as they are practically interchangeable, so you can either go for the card that’s cheaper at your local retailer or the one that they have on hand.
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Nvidia RTX 3080 vs AMD RX 6800 XT: Memory
Let’s assume that both the RTX 3080 and RX 6800 XT are exactly the same in performance. It’s in memory, however, where AMD will pull ahead. While Nvidia was being miserly with the amount of memory included on its cards, only 10 GBs on the 3080, AMD is packing its cards with 16GBs worth of chips. But both Nvidia and AMD are using slightly different technologies.
While AMD is sticking with GDDR6 memory, Nvidia has gone with Micron’s GDDR6X, a memory technology that can push double the bandwidth. But Nvidia isn’t clocking its memory at double. It will instead keep it at a lower clock speed while gaining the same level of performance. This can yield less heat, more overclocking capabilities, and of course, Nvidia could push out a patch to increase that frequency.
Even then, the RX 6800 XT is likely the better value, as that increased overhead can help in 4K gaming, high resolution video encoding and other GPU intensive applications.
But the most curious addition to AMD’s technological lineup is Smart Access Memory. Like mentioned above, it’s the ability for both an RX 6000 series GPU and a Ryzen 5000 series CPU to work in tandem to address all of the 6000 series GDDR6 memory. We’re seeing a similar idea with the upcoming PS5 in which Sony has designed its chips to work together for greatest overall efficiency.
If this trend holds true, then it could mean that manufacturers will try and push custom ecosystems of computer hardware so users can obtain maximum performance. What’s stopping AMD from creating custom RAM and SSDs? All of which can be optimized at the hardware level for greater overall performance. We wouldn’t be surprised if Nvidia is trying to figure out a similar solution, which might be difficult as it isn’t competing in the consumer desktop CPU space. Maybe a partnership with Intel?
Price: RTX 3080 vs RX 6800 XT
(Image credit: Shutterstock)
Nvidia kicked off this GPU generation with the RTX 3080 hitting the market in September 2020 for a suggested price of $699. AMD came in a bit later with a November 2020 release for the RX 6800 XT, landing with a lower MSRP of $649. Sadly, neither of those prices reflect the current state of the market — not even close. With extremely limited availability, we’re seeing massively inflated prices from scalpers and effectively nothing available at MSRP.
The GPUs at this tier have never been what you would call affordable options. The GeForce RTX 3080 is what Nvidia considers its flagship graphics card (the 3090 is apparently chopped liver to Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang), with a price to match the previous generation RTX 2080 Super and GTX 1080 Ti. AMD hasn’t had a competitive offering in this price bracket for a while (no, the Radeon VII and R9 Fury X weren’t really competitive), so this is the first time ever that AMD has had a single-GPU solution worth paying $650 or more in our opinion. It’s too bad that neither company is currently able to keep up with demand, as those prices sound downright inviting these days.
A quick look at our GPU Pricing Index shows that RTX 3080 and RX 6800 XT cards are selling for extreme premiums on eBay, which is currently the easiest place to pick up a graphics card if you’re willing to pay double or triple the official price. And good luck finding one in a store at MSRP. Since their launch in late 2020, the RX 6800 XT and RTX 3080 have been nearly impossible to find, and the madness isn’t expected to slow down any time soon. Demand for GPUs is at an all-time-high right now and production is constrained by multiple factors.
On eBay, then, it’s $2,200 (give or take) for the RTX 3080 versus $1,525 for the RX 6800 XT. Interestingly, however, the regular Newegg Shuffle frequently puts up cards using both GPUs. There, the RTX 3080 bundles typically cost in the neighborhood of $1,300 while the RX 6800 XT bundles have a similar price (assuming the bundled components are similar prices, anyway). There have also been far more RTX 3080 bundles listed over the past month than RX 6800 XT, so theoretically it’s ‘easier’ to score the 3080. Realistically, though? We haven’t been selected for a single 3080 or RX 6000-series bundle, and we’ve tried on nearly every one. Back to scalpers, then, or wait until 2022…
Our most recent numbers indicate that a Radeon RX 6800 XT is a much better deal than a GeForce RTX 3080 on eBay, probably because the 3080 is 50% faster for Ethereum mining. The average eBay price for a Radeon RX 6800 XT was around $1,500 at the time of writing. That’s almost a 2.5X premium over the MSRP. However, if you prefer team green, expect to pay significantly more than that. eBay pricing on the RTX 3080 is hovering around $2,250, 3.2x the MSRP of a Founders Edition card.Winner: AMD, but actually, no one
With the average eBay price for a Radeon RX 6800 XT currently sitting at $750 less than the typical GeForce RTX 3080 card, the Radeon appears to be the better value. The reality is, at these prices, the only winner is the scalper taking profits. If you get lucky with a Shuffle, pricing looks roughly tied — but then you’re down to pathetic odds. If you need a new GPU, try to find one for as low a price as possible and you can use our RTX 3080 stock tracker to help. We can’t support paying two to three times the MSRP for either of these cards.
Причины выбрать AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT
- Видеокарта новее, разница в датах выпуска 1 month(s)
- Частота ядра примерно на 27% больше: 1825 MHz vs 1440 MHz
- Частота ядра в режиме Boost на 32% больше: 2250 MHz vs 1710 MHz
- Скорость текстурирования на 39% больше: 648.0 GTexel/s vs 465.1 GTexel/s
- Более новый технологический процесс производства видеокарты позволяет её сделать более мощной, но с меньшим энергопотреблением: 7 nm vs 8 nm
- Примерно на 7% меньше энергопотребление: 300 Watt vs 320 Watt
- Максимальный размер памяти примерно на 60% больше: 16 GB vs 10 GB
- Частота памяти на 68% больше: 2000 MHz (16 Gbps effective) vs 1188 MHz (19 Gbps effective)
- Производительность в бенчмарке PassMark — G2D Mark примерно на 9% больше: 1093 vs 1004
- Производительность в бенчмарке GFXBench 4.0 — T-Rex (Frames) примерно на 1% больше: 3375 vs 3356
- Производительность в бенчмарке GFXBench 4.0 — T-Rex (Fps) примерно на 1% больше: 3375 vs 3356
- Производительность в бенчмарке 3DMark Fire Strike — Graphics Score примерно на 3% больше: 18217 vs 17699
|Дата выпуска||28 Oct 2020 vs 1 Sep 2020|
|Частота ядра||1825 MHz vs 1440 MHz|
|Частота ядра в режиме Boost||2250 MHz vs 1710 MHz|
|Скорость текстурирования||648.0 GTexel/s vs 465.1 GTexel/s|
|Технологический процесс||7 nm vs 8 nm|
|Энергопотребление (TDP)||300 Watt vs 320 Watt|
|Максимальный размер памяти||16 GB vs 10 GB|
|Частота памяти||2000 MHz (16 Gbps effective) vs 1188 MHz (19 Gbps effective)|
|PassMark — G2D Mark||1093 vs 1004|
|GFXBench 4.0 — Manhattan (Frames)||3720 vs 3716|
|GFXBench 4.0 — T-Rex (Frames)||3375 vs 3356|
|GFXBench 4.0 — Manhattan (Fps)||3720 vs 3716|
|GFXBench 4.0 — T-Rex (Fps)||3375 vs 3356|
|3DMark Fire Strike — Graphics Score||18217 vs 17699|
Причины выбрать NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080
- Количество шейдерных процессоров на 89% больше: 8704 vs 4608
- Производительность в бенчмарке PassMark — G3D Mark примерно на 5% больше: 24457 vs 23293
- Производительность в бенчмарке Geekbench — OpenCL примерно на 15% больше: 181072 vs 156957
- Производительность в бенчмарке GFXBench 4.0 — Car Chase Offscreen (Frames) в 2.2 раз(а) больше: 34537 vs 15480
- Производительность в бенчмарке GFXBench 4.0 — Car Chase Offscreen (Fps) в 2.2 раз(а) больше: 34537 vs 15480
|Количество шейдерных процессоров||8704 vs 4608|
|PassMark — G3D Mark||24457 vs 23293|
|Geekbench — OpenCL||181072 vs 156957|
|GFXBench 4.0 — Car Chase Offscreen (Frames)||34537 vs 15480|
|GFXBench 4.0 — Car Chase Offscreen (Fps)||34537 vs 15480|
The new cards, which also include the RX 6900 XT to be released soon, sport the 7nm RDNA 2 architecture that introduces ray tracing for the first time on an AMD desktop graphics card, using Ray Accelerators. Each Ray Accelerator is able to calculate up to four ray/box intersections or one ray/triangle intersection every clock. As we saw with Nvidia’s RTX cards, though, game support will vary depending on the implementation, with AMD supporting those based on Microsoft DXR and Vulkan APIs. However, extensions outside of this, such as Nvidia’s extensions for games such as Wolfenstein: Youngblood, are not currently supported.
GPU 1: AMD Radeon RX 6800 XTGPU 2: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080
|PassMark — G3D Mark||
|PassMark — G2D Mark||
|Geekbench — OpenCL||
|GFXBench 4.0 — Car Chase Offscreen (Frames)||
|GFXBench 4.0 — Manhattan (Frames)||
|GFXBench 4.0 — T-Rex (Frames)||
|GFXBench 4.0 — Car Chase Offscreen (Fps)||
|GFXBench 4.0 — Manhattan (Fps)||
|GFXBench 4.0 — T-Rex (Fps)||
|3DMark Fire Strike — Graphics Score||
|Название||AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080|
|PassMark — G3D Mark||23293||24457|
|PassMark — G2D Mark||1093||1004|
|Geekbench — OpenCL||156957||181072|
|GFXBench 4.0 — Car Chase Offscreen (Frames)||15480||34537|
|GFXBench 4.0 — Manhattan (Frames)||3720||3716|
|GFXBench 4.0 — T-Rex (Frames)||3375||3356|
|GFXBench 4.0 — Car Chase Offscreen (Fps)||15480||34537|
|GFXBench 4.0 — Manhattan (Fps)||3720||3716|
|GFXBench 4.0 — T-Rex (Fps)||3375||3356|
|3DMark Fire Strike — Graphics Score||18217||17699|
|CompuBench 1.5 Desktop — Face Detection (mPixels/s)||610.23|
|CompuBench 1.5 Desktop — Ocean Surface Simulation (Frames/s)||6745.122|
|CompuBench 1.5 Desktop — T-Rex (Frames/s)||55.839|
|CompuBench 1.5 Desktop — Video Composition (Frames/s)||217.054|
|CompuBench 1.5 Desktop — Bitcoin Mining (mHash/s)||2179.577|
The picture isn’t a particularly clear one with the RX 6800 XT as there are several factors muddying the water. Firstly, it’s $50 cheaper, at least considering launch prices compared to the Founders Edition RTX 3080. This is good news for some game titles as the card matched or bettered the RTX 3080 in plenty of areas and where it fell short — well, it costs less so they can to some extent be forgiven and ultimately AMD still has a great product in these situations.
AMD’s RX 6800 XT and Nvidia’s RTX 3080
Where it seems to fall short of expectations occasionally is at 4K, where it was regularly slower than the RTX 3080, even outside of ray traced scenarios. It doesn’t happen everywhere but the majority of titles I benchmarked showed the same trend. Again, it does cost less and Smart Access Memory and PCIe 4.0 may well help it here and I’ll be looking at this in a future article.
Ray tracing, as always, is quite game dependant, but assuming you use DLSS, then Nvidia is always much faster. To quote PC Gamer’s view on DLSS 2.0 «DLSS 2.0 is an effective and immediate gateway to a gratuitous performance bump with little to no visual impact», so I think this assessment and using it in these benchmarks is fair.
Ultimately then, AMD has an attractive offering with the RX 6800 XT, especially if you game at 2560 x 1440. That probably comes with the proviso that you aren’t too fussed about ray tracing. Wider support for the latter will come, as will AMD’s own version of DLSS, which is apparently in the works, but it’s great to see some much-needed competition for Nvidia at the high-end at last.
Power Consumption / Efficiency: RTX 3080 vs RX 6800 XT
When you’re playing around with graphics cards at the level of the RTX 3080 and the RX 6800 XT, you’re going to need a fair bit of power, and efficiency is still an important consideration when selecting a GPU. The amount of juice your GPU needs affects your power supply requirements. GPUs are also the largest factor when considering the carbon footprint of your gaming system.
In past generations, AMD’s GPUs would often draw far more power than Nvidia’s counterparts, but that’s not the case with the current lineup. In our testing, Nvidia’s RTX 3080 draws more power than AMD RX 6800 XT. Nvidia’s card even pulls more power than AMD’s more performant RX 6900 XT. A lot of that is thanks to AMD’s use of TSMC 7nm N7 lithography compared to Nvidia’s use of Samsung «8nm» 8N tech, with TSMC generally costing more — and it’s in higher demand, which means it can be more difficult to get sufficient supply.
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The gap in power use between the RTX 3080 and the RX 6800 XT isn’t particularly wide, however, especially if you look at third party cards. Nvidia’s 3080 Founders Edition pulls roughly 10% more power from the wall than AMD’s reference 6800 XT. For factory overclocked cards, however, the gap can all but disappear — depending on the card models, naturally.
For games that don’t support ray tracing features, the performance difference between the two cards doesn’t justify the additional power consumption of the GeForce. Nvidia’s ray tracing and DLSS performance advantage make up for the deficit, though.Winner: AMD
AMD’s RX 6800 XT draws slightly less power than the RTX 3080 with very close performance numbers. Unless you plan to take full advantage of Nvidia’s proprietary features, the 10% power savings is probably worth going with AMD.
Features and Technology: RTX 3080 vs RX 6800 XT
(Image credit: Shutterstock)
With every generation of graphics card comes new technologies meant to improve your gaming experience. In most cases, AMD and Nvidia have direct counterparts for each other’s technology, but there are a handful of exceptions that really set these cards apart in various ways.
Nvidia’s RTX GeForce cards support Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS), a technique to increase the image resolution with minimal impact on image quality. DLSS leverages Nvidia’s AI technology to take low resolution rendered images and infer the placement of pixels to increase the output resolution. Currently, AMD doesn’t offer a direct counterpart to DLSS technology, although FidelityFX Super Resolution technology could even the playing field when it lands later this year. Until then, Nvidia has a clear performance advantage with DLSS games.
AMD and Nvidia both support ray tracing, which offers image quality improvements that are sometimes quite pretty, but they don’t offer much in the way of gameplay improvements. Ray tracing does impact the framerate that your GPU can deliver, and as noted above, Nvidia’s GPUs tend to easily beat AMD in ray tracing games. That’s likely thanks to the fact that Nvidia is on round two of RT hardware, while AMD is still on round one.
Both AMD and Nvidia offer refresh rate synchronization technology, which dynamically syncs your monitor’s refresh rate with your GPU’s frame rate output. Nvidia’s G-Sync requires an Nvidia GeForce GPU paired with a G-Sync certified (or G-Sync Compatible) display. FeeSync is AMD’s answer to G-Sync. Both technologies match your display’s speed with output from your GPU, but AMD’s solution is usually more affordable. Nvidia requires certification and licensing from display manufacturers, whereas AMD’s solution is royalty-free and free to use, giving display makers a broader opportunity to support Freesync. On the other hand, G-Sync typically works better, likely due to Nvidia’s strict requirements. Furthermore, Nvidia cards can run with G-Sync on most of the top FreeSync displays, whereas AMD GPUs are not compatible with G-Sync technology. For a more detailed analysis see our FreeSync versus G-Sync face-off.
Another display technology Nvidia offers is Reflex — both as a software and hardware solution. In games that fully implement Reflex (Apex Legends, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, CRSED: F.O.A.D., Destiny 2, Enlisted, Fortnite, Mordhau, Overwatch, Rainbow Six Siege, Valorant, and Warface), it offers a significant latency reduction that can help competitive gamers. That’s why that list is full of multiplayer games. Again, AMD doesn’t have a direct counterpart. Elsewhere, Nvidia’s Ultra-Low Latency tech and AMD’s Anti-Lag go for a similar end goal (lower latency), but neither is as good as Reflex.
AMD may be lacking in some software features, but it has the clear win in memory capacity. Whereas Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3080 comes equipped with a not too shabby 10GB of GDDR6X memory, the Radeon RX 6800 XT packs a whopping 16GB of GDDR6 memory. So far, however, there are almost no games where VRAM capacity makes a clear difference.Winner: Nvidia
While both companies offer similar feature sets, Nvidia does a better job implementing their versions. G-Sync is generally superior to FreeSync; DLSS doesn’t have a counterpart, yet; and Reflex performs better than Anti-Lag in our experience. The extra memory on the Radeon is not a reason to give up Nvidia’s impressive features.
Gaming Performance: RTX 3080 vs RX 6800 XT
GPUs are used for many purposes these days, but gaming is still the number one reason consumers spend big bucks on these devices, and people buying high-end cards expect top-notch performance. We put the RTX 3080 and the RX 6800 XT to the test with a 13-game gauntlet in three resolutions to see which GPU deserves the crown. The results weren’t as definitive as we would like, but we’ve got additional benchmarks that will help sway our final verdict.
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If you’re gaming at 1080p, both cards are more than fast enough—perhaps even overkill. Overall, the RX 6800 XT has a slight edge on the RTX 3080, with an average 169.4 FPS across all 13 games compared to the 158.3 FPS. AMD comes out slightly ahead in many games, with significant leads in several AMD promoted games like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Borderlands 3, and Dirt 5.
Increasing the resolution to 1440p shrank the delta between the two cards several percent, though the 6800 XT held onto the overall lead. Take that with a grain of salt, though, as the both cards still cranked out over 100 fps in nearly every game (Watch Dogs Legion, Metro Exodus on the 6800 XT, and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla on the 3080 being the exceptions).
Gaming at 4K, even with today’s best GPUs, remains a challenging feat, but both cards are capable of driving high-end games at this resolution with acceptable frame rates — mostly, as long as you’re okay with closer to 60 fps in many games. The 13-game average now puts the RTX 3080 slightly ahead of the RX 6800 XT, flipping the 1440p results, and in most cases the performance delta between the two cards remained negligible.
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(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)
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(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)
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(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)
The RX 6800 XT looks like it wins by a hair overall, especially if your favorite game happens to be AC Valhalla for Borderlands 3. But what if we go beyond rasterization and run games with ray tracing and/or DLSS technologies? We’ve omitted the 4K testing this time — it’s really only viable with DLSS anyway — and switched to testing ten games with DirectX Raytracing (DXR) and six games with DLSS 2.0. We’re not going to break down every chart, but the overall standings change dramatically once DXR and DLSS come into play — and a game doesn’t need to use DXR to benefit from DLSS.
Running native 1080p or 1440p, Nvidia’s lead in DXR games averaged 30% to 35%, and it was over 50% in three of the games we tested. AMD still came out with small leads in Dirt 5 and Godfall, both AMD promoted games, but we want to go on record (again) by noting that the DXR shadows in those games really don’t strike us as particularly important (and the same goes for Shadow of the Tomb Raider).
Enable DLSS Quality mode, which is difficult to tell apart from native rendering in our experience, and it’s not even remotely close. Yes, Nvidia’s GPUs render fewer actual pixels and rely on machine learning to scale the result, but if you can’t readily see the difference — and that’s looking at still frames — does it matter? In the six DLSS + DXR games we tested, the smallest lead for the RTX 3080 was 72% (Watch Dogs Legion at 1080p), but in most games the 3080 was more than double the performance of the RX 6800 XT.Winner: Nvidia
You can’t really go wrong with either of these cards. They both deliver ample performance for gaming at any resolution. If we have to pick a winner, we’ll take Nvidia’s DLSS tech (more than the DXR superiority) as a smart way of providing often significant improvements to performance. AMD needs a viable alternative to DLSS 2.0, hopefully something that clearly matches it in quality (FidelityFX CAS doesn’t, once you apply upscaling). Given Unreal Engine’s and Unity Engine’s support for DLSS, we expect plenty of upcoming games will benefit.
My test system includes an Intel Core i9-10900K and 16 GB 3,466MHz Corsair Vengeance DDR4 memory. The system is the same as the one I used for my Nvidia RTX testing, so does not support PCIe 4.0 and obviously lacks support for AMD’s Smart Access Memory too, but so do the vast majority of gaming PCs out there. I intend to compare both it and Nvidia’s implementation in a future article instead.
My graphics test system includes an Intel Core i9-10900K and 16GB DDR4 memory
With ray tracing and DLSS enabled, Nvidia has a clear lead, with the RTX 3080 comfortably outstripping the RX 6800XT at 2560 x 1440.
However, with ray tracing disabled, the AMD card actually offered a much higher minimum 99th percentile with a slight deficit on the average frame rate.
At 4K, the difference was even larger with ray tracing and DLSS enabled with a sizeable lead for Nvidia’s RTX 3080.
Interestingly, the RX 6080 XT also fared less well at 4K without ray tracing, losing its lead over the Nvidia card, albeit only just.
Nvidia has the lead in Far Cry New Dawn at 1440pm with noticeably higher minimum and average 99th percentiles.
Switching up to 4K sees the two perform similarly but there seemed to be some bunching here which could be down to bottlenecks elsewhere.
With DLSS and ray tracing disabled, it was tit for tat in Shadow of the Tomb Raider at 1440p, with the AMD gaining a higher average frame rate and Nvidia with higher minimum.
Of course, if you switch on DLSS and ray tracing, Nvidia gets a big lead once again, offering nearly double the frame rates of the RX 6800 XT.
As we’ve seen previously, at 4K, the AMD card seemed to struggle a bit when it’s an even match with ray tracing disabled, falling a little behind the RTX 3080.
As Wolfenstein uses an Nvidia ray tracing extension, AMD doesn’t support ray tracing here yet so I had to re-run the numbers with it disabled on a smaller selection of cards to save time. It’s a pretty close thing at 1080p with barely 2 percent between the cards.
Switching up to 4K in Wolfenstein and once again, Nvidia takes a noticeable lead in both minimum and average 99th percentile frame rates.
Borderlands 3 was a tit for tat mash up between the two cards with AMD offering the highest minimum frame rate and Nvidia the highest average.
At 4K yet again, though, the RX 6800 XT lagged behind the Nvidia GPU by some margin.
AMD has the last word, though, as the RX 6800 XT drew around 50W less under load, which is an impressive feat given it matched or bettered the RTX 3080 in many tests.