Nvidia has upgraded selected parts of their graphics card, which has now been added to the expected Super upgrade with associated post-fixes.
The official Nvidia price for the original RTX 4080 is, at the time of writing this article, £1,139. It's interesting to note that this card is sold out, while the RTX 4080 Super is priced at £959.
It's the same GPU chip, the AD103 chip, with 10,240 vs. 9,728 CUDA cores that primarily handle common computational tasks, plus 320 vs. 304 TMUs (Texture Mapping Units), while Render Output Units etc. are the same as is the 16 GB of GDDR6X VRAM you get. There are 320 Tensor cores and 80 Ray-Tracing cores. The base/boost clock has gone from 2205 MHz/2505 MHz to 2295/2550 MHz - it's not much, but it all helps.
What we've tested here is the Founder's Edition, the base board, the reference, if you will. Unfortunately, not many of them are produced and the £959 price tag is typically on the low end for graphics cards from other manufacturers. With the RTX 4080, we unfortunately saw other brands' RTX 4080 cards quickly cost 20% more, often with the excuse that the card had been overclocked further.
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Now you can get a card that's better on paper for much less money - great. But unfortunately, the deciding factor is still what these third-party manufacturers will sell their cards for and how much optimisation is needed for the card to perform at its very best.
The card itself is a modern design classic - Nvidia's industrial and functional design with many heat sinks, only in black, and alternating between glossy surfaces and exposed heatsinks. It's beautiful, and the fans are kept in the same style. But it's also massive, with proportions of 14x30cm and 6cm thickness. I'd guess it weighs around one and a half kilograms too.
We measured a slightly higher power consumption than Nvidia claimed, at 287.4 watts, with some peaks of 304 watts. But considering it delivers 4K with Ray-Tracing, it's perfectly acceptable. The noise also comes with the territory. It's low-frequency and constant, so it's surprisingly subtle and unobtrusive considering we measured 47.1 dB.
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The Ada Lovelace architecture it's all built on is still solid, so it's great to see that the price has come down a level.
Here are the benchmarks, tested on a Z790 system with an Intel i9-13900K CPU, 48 GB DDR-6000 DDR5 RAM, and all running off an NVMe 5.0 drive.
Time Spy: 26528
Time Spy Extreme: 14011
Speed Way: 7449
Port Royal: 18187
Total War: Warhammer III
Red Dead Redemption 2
Ultra with Ray-Tracing Ultra/Ultra with zero Ray-Tracing
Assassin's Creed Valhalla
Far Cry 6
Overall, I'm a little impressed. For me, this is mainly about hiding a price cut in response to being in real competition with AMD for the first time in many years. We actually see up to 20% improvements, not just compared to the older RTX 4070 Ti Super, but also compared to the RTX 4080. However, this was in very specific cases. If you have one of the older RTX 4080 cards, or one that is heavily overclocked, the difference will be close to nothing.
Where there used to be a very large lead in non-Ray-Tracing titles for AMD's RX 7900 XTX, the RTX 4080 Super has actually caught up quite a lot, and the price will often be almost the same. Again, it's very difficult to advise yourself or others on what to buy, as it depends on each individual's usage and needs. But it can only be to the benefit of consumers that competition on the graphics card front is back in full swing.