Nvidia RTX 3070 vs 3080 vs 3090 Review: New VR GPUs

Nvidia has announced its new 2020 flagship graphics cards for gaming and VR. In this guide, we compare the GeForce RTX 3070 vs 3080 vs 3090 with facts that tell you which card is the best value for virtual reality players. Come find out:

  • Should you buy the 3070 or the 3080?
  • What features in the new RTX cards help virtual reality gaming?
  • Where can you buy the RTX 3070, 3080, or 3090?

As well, we have facts and statistics on:

  • Price
  • Speed
  • Memory
  • Bandwidth
  • TGP

and a lot more!

All of these cards are getting serious consideration for our best GPUs for VR guide.

Comment down at the bottom of this guide and let us know which RTX series card you are going to use for VR.

What is the Nvidia RTX 3000 Series?

nvidia rtx 3070 vs 3080 vs 3090

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 30XX Series (Ampere architecture) are Nvidia’s 2020 graphics cards for high performance gaming PC and virtual reality applications. RTX series cards have performance enhancements over Nvidia’s GTX series and new releases always bring a lot of attention.

They are some of the top choices for those looking to build their own PC or buy a pre-made workhorse.

The RTX 30XX series graphics cards replaces the 20XX series (Turing architecture), which were the first GPUs to feature ray tracing technology. RTX 30XXX includes second generation ray tracing.

The RTX 3090 card replaces the Nvidia Titan RTX card to bring three models into the base RTX series. These cards are the direct competitors to AMD’s Big Navi series which are due out in late 2020 or early 2021.

A breakdown of special features included in the upcoming graphics cards 2020 cards is below.

2nd Generation Ray Tracing

Ray tracing (RT) allows light to be rendered in real-time in games. It adds an unprecedented accuracy to video games and was a big deal when it was announced.

The 2020 RTX specs show second generation RT cores. During the release of the chips, Nvidia previewed ray tracing on a number of VR-ready games such as Fortnite, Minecraft, and more. If you are a serious virtual reality gamer, then ray tracing coming to your headset is a big deal.

3rd Generation Tensor Cores

Tensor cores are special types of processing cores that do deep learning and artificial intelligence. They allow for faster computation and better graphics rendering.

New PCIe Power Connectors

You’ll want to make sure that your card is compatible with the PCIe power connection on your PC because they appear to vary by default:

  • 3070 and 3080 = dual 8-pin connectors
  • 3090 = triple 8-pin connectors

Nvidia will include a dual 8-pin to standard single 12-pin connector with each card, so pay attention and make sure. Custom models of the card may also go back to a more standardized connection.

Teraflops: 3070 vs 3080 vs 3090

A teraflop (TLFOPS) is a calculation referring to the capability of a processor to calculate one trillion floating-point operations per second. It is a general representation of the speed and processing power of a graphics card. There are three different processors in a graphics card: Programmable shaders, ray-tracing (RT) cores, and tensor cores.

The new RTX cards offer the following:

  • 3070 = 20 Shader TFLOPS, 40 RT TFLOPS, 163 Tensor TFLOPS
  • 3080 = 30 Shader TFLOPS, 58 RT TFLOPS, 238 Tensor TFLOPS
  • 3090 = 36 Shader TFLOPS, 69 RT TFLOPS, 285 Tensor TFLOPS

Since VR games require a lot of operations to render the game on your computer and your headset, teraflops are very important. This is one area between the RTX 3070 vs 3080 vs 3090 for VR that is worth considering paying extra for.

Next up, get direct links to buy the new Nvidia RTX cards. Underneath that, we’ll have a look at the RTX 3070 vs 3080 vs 3090 to see which graphics card has your attention the most!

How to Buy the Nvidia RTX 3070 vs 3080 vs 3090

Nvidia works with a handful of certified board partners such as Zotac, XFX and more. who package the chips on a custom board. Below are direct links to purchase these boards.

If you know somewhere else to buy the new RTX chips, comment down at the bottom of this guide!

RTX 3080

Check out the RTX 3080 cards you can buy right now! If you click the Buy on Amazon link and the card is out of stock, click the Notify Me button on the right side to get an email the second it comes back in stock!

ZOTAC Gaming GeForce RTX 3080 Trinity 10GB GDDR6X 320-bit 19 Gbps PCIE 4.0 Gaming Graphics Card, IceStorm 2.0 Advanced Cooling, Spectra 2.0 RGB Lighting, ZT-A30800D-10P
  • NVIDIA Ampere architecture, 2nd Gen Ray Tracing Cores, 3rd Gen Tensor Cores
  • 10GB 320-bit GDDR6X, 19 Gbps, PCIE 4.0
  • SPECTRA 2.0 RGB Lighting, IceStorm 2.0 Advanced Cooling, FREEZE Fan Stop, Active Fan Control, Metal Frontplate, Lighted Backplate

Not sure which card is right for you? Check out our complete breakdown of features below!

Nvidia RTX 3070 vs 3080 vs 3090 For VR

Price

Naturally, price is the first factor to consider if you are looking at the new RTX graphics cards. The price of the Nvidia RTX 3070 vs 3080 vs 3090 are as follows:

  • 3070 = $499 USD
  • 3080 = $699 USD
  • 3090 = $1499 USD

Nvidia promises that the RTX 3070 performs as well as last year’s 2080 TI model, which retails still up over $1000. This large price savings is a big reason why a lot of VR gamers will be upgrading this year.

Release Date

The release date of the new RTX 30-series GPU cards are:

  • 3070 = October 15th, 2020
  • 3080 = September 17th, 2020
  • 3090 = September 24th, 2020

The release dates above are for third party graphics cards. Nvidia will be releasing a Founders Edition at a later date with optimized specs.

It was rumored that the RTX 3080 Founder’s Edition would launch on September 17th alongside third party cards, but Nvidia confirmed that this is not the case.

GPU SKU

The GPU is the physical silicone board that all of the components sit on. The models of GPU in the new cards are as follows:

  • 3070 = 8nm GA104-300 GPU
  • 3080 = 8nm GA102-200 GPU
  • 3090 = 8nm GA102-300 GPU

All three Ampere GPU models use a 8 nanometer production process.

CUDA Cores

CUDA cores are a fancy term for the computing power of the chip. CUDA cores work in parallel to render graphics on your display. The more you have, the faster and higher process power your chip has. Nvidia’s CUDA cores is equivalent to AMD’s stream processors and are the following on the new chips:

  • 3070 = 5888
  • 3080 = 8704
  • 3090 = 10,496

If you are wondering how these specs compare to last year, the RTX 2070 had 2304 CUDA cores and the RTX 2080 had 2944. This means that any 2020 graphics cards has doubled its capacity in this area.

Memory

The memory is responsible for storing all the graphical information. This information is shown on the output screen. Higher memory helps the card perform at high levels. This is a main factor to consider when buying a VR-ready GPU.

The memory in each of Nvidia’s new GeForce RTX cards are:

  • 3070 = 8GB DDR6
  • 3080 = 10GB GGR6X
  • 3090 = 24GGB DDR6X

Immediately noticeable is the extra 14GB included in the flagship GeForce RTX 3090. This is cause for most of the price increase for this card.

Both the RTX 2070 and 2080 contained 8GB DDR6 of memory.

Memory Clock

The GPU memory measures millions of cycles per second. The higher clock rate you have, the higher the number of pixels that can be processed by the graphics processor every second. 

The memory clock rate on the new RTX cards are:

  • 3070 = 16 GB/s
  • 3080 = 19 GB/s
  • 3090 = 19.5 GB/s

Boost Clock

Boost clock is the overclocking speed of the device. When a graphics card notices that power and temperature have extra room from their upper limits, it automatically overclocks itself to add more performance. The boost clock for the new Nvidia RTX cards are:

  • 3070 = 1730 MHz
  • 3080 = 1710 MHz
  • 3090 = 1700 MHz

Boost clock isn’t too much to be concerned about when looking for a VR-ready GPU. The difference between the models is minimal and not something you will notice.

Memory Bus

Memory bus works together with the memory on the chip to deliver information. The memory bus is the pathway that your gpu uses to access the memory it has. It works together with the memory clock speed to work out exactly how much of the memory can be accessed per second.

  • 3070 = 256-bit bus
  • 3080 = 320-bit bus
  • 3090 = 384-bit bus

The higher 320-bit memory bus rating on the RTX 3080 means that it can access its 10GB of memory at a much faster rate than the 3070’s 8GB.

Bandwidth

The memory bandwidth is the measure of speed between the graphics card and other components inside of the PC. A higher bandwidth means that the card can communicate with the computer’s CPU, memory, and other components quicker.

  • 3070 = 512 GB/s
  • 3080 = 760 GB/s
  • 3090 = 936 GB/s

Both the RTX 2070 and 2080 have a bandwith of 448 GB/s. This means that 3070 vs 3080 vs 3090, you’ll see bandwidth improvements across each card.

As expected, the 3090 has maximum bandwidth, the most on any graphics card ever.

TGP

TGP stands for Total Graphics Power. Higher power output means higher temperature output, which requires extra cooling of the card and more fans. The TGP of the RTX 3070 vs 3080 vs 3090 are as follows:

  • 3070 = 220W
  • 3080 = 320W
  • 3090 = 350W

The TGP of the 2070 and 2080 were 115W and 150W respectively, meaning the power consumption of these 2020 cards is quite a bit more! Worth noting, the 3070 only contains a dual fan configuration, while the others contain 3.

The power supply requirement for the 3080 and 3090 is 750W, while the 3070 has a requirement of 650W.

Other Facts

  1. The RTX 3090 contains a new dual axial flow through thermal design. This keeps the 3090 up to 10 times quieter and keeps the GPU up to 30 degrees cooler (celsius) than the TITAN RTX design.
  2. With the RTX 30-series GPUs, the following games now support ray tracing: Fortnite, Cyberpunk 2077, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, Minecraft, Watch Dogs: Legion

Summary: Nvidia RTX 3070 vs 3080 vs 3090 For VR

nvidia rtx 3070 vs 3080 vs 3090 ampere

Once again, here is a summary of the specs between the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 vs 3080 vs 3090.

RTX 3090RTX 3080RTX 3070
GPUGA102-300GA102-200GA104-300
Transistors28 billion28 billion17 billion
CUDA Cores10,4968,7045,888
Boost Clock1700 MHz1710 MHz1730 MHz
Shader FLOPS36 TFLOPS30 TFLOPS20 TFLOPS
RT FLOPS69 TFLOPS58 FLOPS40 FLOPS
Tensor FLOPS285 FLOPS238 FLOPS163 FLOPS
Tensor Cores328272184
Memory24GB GDDR6X10GB GDDR6X8GB GDDR6
Memory Clock19.5 Gbps19 Gbps16 Gbps
Memory Bus384-bit320-bit256-bit
Bandwidth936 GB/s760 GB/s512 GB/s
TGP350W320W220W
Price$1149$769$499
Release DateSeptember 24thSeptember 17thOctober

So, which graphics cards should you buy for your new VR-ready computer? Well, even the 3070 has better performance in every category compared to the RTX 2070 and 2080. So if you can look past the shiny extra features of the 3080 vs 3090, then the 3070 is the best price for a nice improvement!

The RTX 3080 has extra memory and bandwidth which is valuable for gaming. It also comes with a third cooling fan which is a cost saver if you end up needing a third fan for your 3070 anyway. If you can afford the upgrade, these are key features that will keep this card fresh for the next 4+ years.

It will be hard for most to justify the cost of the flagship GeForce RTX 3090. It’s a gorgeous card at a commercial price point. If you do go for the 3090, make sure your setup is compatible with 12-pin power connectors!

Frequently Asked Questions

When will Founders Edition cards be released?

When new chips are released, Nvidia licenses the technology to third-party packagers who release the graphics card. Founders Edition graphics cards are sold by Nvidia with the GPU and cooler coming directly from Nvidia. As soon as these chips for the new RTX-series are announced, we will update this guide with the details.

What are the best brand partners to buy a graphics card from?

This question is subjective because all partners technically have the same GPU and core components on them. However, some do a better job of packaging the system over others. Brands that are frequently recommended are Asus, MSI, EVGA, and Gigabyte (source: Graphics Card Hub). Zotac, Galax, and PNY are mid-tier brands that have decent reviews at a lower price point usually.

Which card is better: RTX 2080 Ti vs 3070

For performance, the 3070 has the same performance as the RTX 2080 Ti but at a much better price of $499. Both the 3080 and 3090 exceed the 2080 Ti.

What are the most important specs for VR players?

If you are comparing the 3070 vs 3080 vs 3090 for VR, you want to know which specs are most important for you. The answer varies from person to person and there is no exact science. We like looking for high memory, bandwidth, and teraflops. These factors contribute to high quality graphics rendering that is fast.

When you compare the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 vs 3080 vs 3090, which card do you like the best? Comment below and let us know!

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