Rtx 3080 vs rx 6800xt: GeForce RTX 3080 vs. Radeon RX 6800 XT

GeForce RTX 3080 vs. Radeon RX 6800 XT

Still among the best GPUs you can buy, let’s take an updated look at the battle between the GeForce RTX 3080 and the Radeon RX 6800 XT. The last time we tested these two in a big benchmark comparison was about a year ago. For most of their lifetime these high performance graphics cards have been hard to get, but hopefully that situation will get keep improving throughout 2022.

Lately you might have heard things like the 6800 XT has aged better than the RTX 3080 10GB already, and that recent driver updates have pushed it ahead. We’re not sure if that’s true, but after running both GPUs through a 50 game benchmark, we’ll certainly have our answer.

As a refresher, when we tested these a year ago in a 30 game benchmark at 1080p, 1440p and 4K, we found that at 1080p the 6800 XT was ~5% faster on average, then performance was even at 1440p, while the 6800 XT was 6% slower at 4K. An overall very close battle.

For much of 2021 the RTX 3080 was priced well above the 6800 XT due to miners’ demand, and probably gamers as well. However, after what felt like forever, GPU pricing does appear to be slowly falling and today both models can be purchased for around $1,200. Not great, but a lot better than it’s been.

Clearly, this comment didn’t age too well…

If you’ve been holding out and are now willing to pull the trigger, this data should be useful, but it’s also to see how performance has progressed over the past 18 months. Our official recommendation remains to continue and hold out as long as you can before you buy a new GPU for inflated prices. We believe GPU pricing will continue to fall, but of course, we can’t know for sure. It’s also worth keeping in mind that these products are relatively old now, at least in PC hardware terms, and will be replaced with newer technology later in the year.

For all testing we used our Ryzen 9 5950X test system with 32GB of DDR4-3200 CL14 dual-rank, dual-channel memory. Both GPUs were tested at 1080p, 1440p and 4K across 50 games, using Windows 11. The driver versions used were Radeon Adrenalin 22.2.3 and GeForce Game Ready Driver 511.79.

As usual, we won’t show you 50 game results individually, but we’ve picked some of the most interesting to take a closer look. Then we’ll run a benchmark summary with scores for all games head-to-head in a single graph. Let’s get into it…


Starting with Dying Light 2, we find little distance between these two GPUs, especially at higher resolutions. The 6800 XT enjoyed a small performance advantage at 1080p, but at 1440p where we suspect most high-end graphics card owners are likely to play, performance was essentially neutralized and the same was also true at 4K.

Total War Warhammer III currently runs best on Nvidia hardware, though that isn’t to say the experience wasn’t good with the 6800 XT. However, the RTX 3080 was 8% faster at 1080p, 16% faster at 1440p, and 27% faster at 4K. It’s worth noting that 1% lows were about the same across the board.

In Call of Duty Warzone both GPUs are very evenly matched. We’re looking at near identical 1080p performance which is possibly a little CPU limited, then virtually identical performance at 1440p as the 6800 XT was just 4% faster on average and then matched performance at 4K. We expect these GPUs will scale quite evenly as you lower quality settings, so either is very suitable for Warzone gamers.

Both GPUs cranked out plenty of frames in Forza Horizon 5 using the highest quality preset, even at 4K where both maintained over 60 fps. The 6800 XT delivered 11% more performance at 4K, 17% more at 1440p and 20% more at 1080p.

God of War plays really well using either GPU, though the RTX 3080 delivered the best results. Although both graphics cards pushed over 60 fps at 4K, the GeForce was considerably faster pumping out 20% more frames. The 3080 also provided 10% greater performance at 1440p and 8% at 1080p.

In Far Cry 6 we’re looking at almost identical performance between these two GPUs. The 1080p and 1440p data is a bit useless as we’re CPU limited and this is a limitation with the game that utilizes our 5950X very lightly, limiting utilization to just 2 threads. That said, even at 4K where the game becomes primarily GPU bound, we see little difference as the 6800 XT is a mere 4% faster.

F1 2021 using the ultra high quality preset enable ray tracing on supported hardware by default. This explains why the 3080 has a performance advantage in our testing, for 8% greater performance at 1080p, 13% at 1440p, and 18% at 4K. The 6800 XT enabled highly playable performance even at 4K, but for those seeking maximum performance with ray tracing enabled, the 3080 is the better solution.

Metro Exodus Enhanced requires ray tracing support to run. For this test I’m using the ultra quality preset with the ray tracing level set to normal and we also have VRS set to 4x. This still saw the RTX 3080 well ahead of the 6800 XT, offering 38% more frames at 1080p, 47% more at 1440p and 64% more at 4K. The 6800 XT was very useful at 1440p and 1080p despite being much slower than the 3080, but at 4K it’s really not suitable, especially for those who require at least 60 fps.

For Rainbow Six Extraction testing we’re using the highest quality preset. The 6800 XT and 3080 go neck and neck at 1080p and 1440p, but the GeForce GPU pulled ahead at 4K, at least for the average frame rate where it was 15% faster. Both averaged well over 60 fps so that’s good, but the RTX 3080 proved a little more capable at 4K in this title.

The Apex Legends performance is similar, though the RTX 3080 was faster at all three tested resolutions, delivering between 6 to 12% more performance on average. Given that both pushed over 100 fps even at 4K, it’s fair to say that neither GPU will have troubles delivering the kind of frame rates required for competitive gameplay, using competitive quality settings.

Next we have Fortnite, which as many of you know is a personal favorite of mine. The 6800 XT and RTX 3080 delivered a similar experience, especially at higher resolutions. Both were good for over 150 fps at 1080p using the Epic preset, so with competitive quality settings I expect the margins will remain similar, assuming you don’t run into a CPU bottleneck, and frame rates will be well over 200 fps. Here the 6800 XT was 7% faster at 1080p, 5% faster at 1440p and just 4% faster at 4K.

Last up we have Cyberpunk 2077 with some mixed results. At 1080p the 6800 XT was 10% faster when comparing the average frame rate, despite identical 1% lows. Then at 1440p the margin came down to just 6% in favor of the Radeon, while at 4K performance was the same.

Performance Summary

Before we draw any performance-related conclusions let’s take a look at the data across all 50 games tested. First, here’s the 1080p data and we see that on average, the RTX 3080 is just 3% slower than the RX 6800 XT. If we remove the best and worst result, the margin remains the same, and if we just remove Metro Exodus, the RTX 3080 is ~4% slower on average.

Not much has changed here. In our day-one 6800 XT review which covered a dozen games, the 3080 was 6% slower, but that was using a smaller game sample, so it’s difficult to draw any conclusions from that. The margin at 1080p is still slightly in AMD’s favor.

Moving to 1440p, the margin is reduces to almost nothing. A mere 1% difference is what I’d call identical performance. Compared to our day-one RX 6800 XT review, the Radeon GPU was 2.6% faster on average, so the 1% we’re looking at here with a 50 game sample means the results haven’t changed in the last 18 months or so.

For almost half of the games tested, 24 out of 50 the margin was 5% or less, meaning there was no perceivable difference between the two GPUs. Then we see just 14 titles where the margin was 10% or greater in either direction.

In previous tests, the RTX 3080 was found to be 5% faster on average at 4K, and here across 50 games it was 7% faster, or 6% if you remove the Metro Exodus result. That’s strikingly similar to what we saw over a year ago, so again it does appear that very little has changed.

Picking a Winner

In terms of rasterization performance, the RTX 3080 and Radeon 6800 XT are very evenly matched. Whatever tales you may hear about driver optimization, truth is nothing has changed in this shootout since day one. Surely there’s been some more significant movements on a per game basis, but overall the picture looks unchanged.

When comparing our 50 game benchmark results with other reviews or follow up testing, please take note of the number of games tested, as well as the settings used as this can heavily influence the margins. For example, if we were to cherry pick the 25 most favorable games for Nvidia, the RTX 3080 ends up being 14% faster at 4K, which is twice of what we see across all games. Something to keep in mind.

With performance being so close, at least before we factor in ray tracing, DLSS and other performance-enhancing features, the next thing to look at is pricing. Last month’s pricing update saw the RTX 3080 10GB coming in at $1,538 and the Radeon 6800 XT priced slightly lower at $1,304. Today both are available at major retailers for ~$1,200 which is great to see as prices continue to slowly fall.

So how do you decide which one to purchase? Arguments could be made for either product.

The advantage of the Radeon RX 6800 XT is the larger VRAM buffer, and long term this should see it age well, though 18 months from its initial release, the RTX 3080 is still good. The only other noteworthy advantage of the 6800 XT is Smart Access Memory. When paired with a Ryzen 5000 series CPU, the performance gains in certain titles can be impressive, and even with an Alder Lake CPU we believe the uplift can be significant. GeForce GPUs don’t appear to benefit from Resizable BAR nearly as much.

The GeForce RTX 3080 has two other distinct advantages: DLSS support and superior ray tracing performance. In our opinion, DLSS has become a strong selling point of RTX branded products as support and quality continues to improve. Meanwhile, AMD still doesn’t have a real answer to DLSS. FSR has helped to lessen that blow, but it doesn’t nullify DLSS and it’s not a selling point of Radeon GPUs, largely because it supports all GPUs, GeForce included.

As DLSS continues to improve, so does ray tracing with more and more titles offering ray traced effects, and those that use it well generally see performance tank on RNDA2 based products. We feel it’s easy to argue in favor of the RTX 3080 given those features, especially so if you’re keen to check out ray tracing and think you’ll play the latest titles with it enabled. A GeForce GPU is a must as performance is typically much better then.

Choosing the Radeon over the GeForce would be justified if you are not interested in ray tracing and you could save some money in the process. On that note, our benchmarks were conducted using a Ryzen 5000 system with resizable BAR enabled. This favors Radeon GPUs more than GeForce, so if you have a system that doesn’t support resizable BAR yet, the RTX 3080 will look slightly better overall compared to what’s been shown here, though it’s a marginal difference.

Shopping Shortcuts:
  • GeForce RTX 3080 on Amazon
  • Radeon RX 6800 XT on Amazon
  • GeForce RTX 3070 Ti on Amazon
  • GeForce RTX 3060 Ti on Amazon
  • Radeon RX 6900 XT on Amazon
  • Radeon RX 6800 on Amazon
  • Ryzen 9 5950X on Amazon

GeForce RTX 3080 vs Radeon RX 6800 XT: High-end GPU Face Off

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Today, we have a high-end grudge match between the GeForce RTX 3080 and Radeon RX 6800 XT, two of the best graphics cards currently available. Graphics cards on a store shelf are as rare as hen’s teeth these days, and that makes knowing what you’re buying that much more important. If you’re going to camp out for a GPU, it better be a good one, and these both rank near the very top of our GPU benchmarks hierarchy. Let’s pit the two against each other to determine which one’s the better choice.

Last year, the graphics card market picked up in multiple big ways. For the first time in many years, both Nvidia and AMD released new GPU architectures with graphics card lineups that offered massive generational improvements. Nvidia’s RTX 3080 and the Ampere architecture arrived first, bringing new levels of performance, faster ray tracing and tensor operations, and more bandwidth thanks to GDDR6X. AMD’s RX 6800 XT and the RDNA2 architecture arrived a few months later, with AMD joining the ray tracing club for the first time, and with a relatively massive 128MB Infinity Cache to help improve effective bandwidth.

The GPUs in question have been on the market for roughly half a year now. In past generations, the hype around a GPU release would have subsided by now, but with the current market situation and GPU shortages, most people haven’t had a chance to get their hands on either card yet. Both cards are impressive, and anyone lucky enough to have snagged one during this unprecedented graphics card drought should be ecstatic to have a GPU at all. Still, there are pros and cons to each, and if you’re in the market for an expensive GPU it’s a good idea to weigh the differences to make sure you’re satisfied with your purchase when you make one.

As with our other GPU face offs, we’ll look at performance, price, features and tech, drivers and software, and power and efficiency in order to determine a winner. Those categories are listed in order of decreasing importance, in our view at least, so we’ll start with the critical aspects and move on down the list from there.

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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(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

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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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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.

Price: RTX 3080 vs RX 6800 XT

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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.

Features and Technology: RTX 3080 vs RX 6800 XT

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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.

Drivers and Software: RTX 3080 vs RX 6800 XT

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AMD and Nvidia release regular driver updates for their GPUs. In AMD’s case, the company drops annual overhauls of its Radeon drivers (currently Radeon Adrenaline 2020 — the April 2021 update added some new stuff but kept the 2020 branding), which usually include new features and a UI update. Additionally, AMD puts out regular monthly updates that address bugs and improve performance in some games, as well as extra updates for new game releases.

Nvidia maintains a similar release schedule for its GeForce drivers. It doesn’t always have a monthly driver update, but you can count on having Game Ready Drivers on launch day for most major game releases.

Radeon drivers are generally not WHQL (Windows Hardware Quality Labs) certified, which perhaps enables AMD to push out updates more frequently. The trade off is bugs can slip through the cracks when updates roll out so quickly. Nvidia’s drivers are usually WHQL certified (outside of hotfix releases), which reduces the release frequency, but decreases the likelihood of a big bug slipping through. In either case, however, testing doesn’t always catch things, and bugs do occasionally happen.

AMD and Nvidia have different approaches to their driver user interfaces. Nvidia splits its GeForce driver options into two applications. Nvidia Control Panel handles the GPU settings, such as resolution, texture filtering, vertical sync, low latency mode, power management, and more. The control panel also handles display configuration settings, such as color, rotation, and multi-display setups. Nvidia GeForce Experience handles game settings, driver updates, and includes game streaming and recording features. To access the GeForce Experience features you must log in with an Nvidia user account.

Additionally, Nvidia offers Nvidia Broadcast, an AI-enhanced broadcasting solution that uses the GeForce RTX Tensor cores to do things like clean up the noise from your microphone and remove the background behind you without a green screen. It’s not perfect, but it’s actually quite impressive compared to the background removal algorithms in other apps like Zoom or Google Meet.

AMD takes a somewhat more streamlined approach in that the Radeon driver software is a one-stop-shop for all your Radeon GPU settings and features. The Radeon Adrenaline 2020 software suite includes automatic driver updates, game performance profiles, and built-in broadcasting software to stream and record your gameplay. AMD even offers an Instant GIF button to create animated images of your most memorable gaming moments. The Radeon software also offers performance metrics logging and a tuning section with automatic overclocking profiles and settings for manual adjustment.

Winner: Tie

Both Nvidia and AMD have different advantages with their drivers and accompanying software, but ultimately they offer generally equivalent experiences. AMD’s performance monitoring can be useful, but so are the AI-enabled features that Nvidia Broadcast brings to the table. As far as driver updates, both companies release updates regularly and you can usually expect a new driver from each side when notable games hit the market.

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.

Round AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080
Gaming Performance
Price ✗ (nominally)
Features and Technology
Drivers and Software
Power and Efficiency
Total 3 3

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

 Kevin Carbotte is a contributing writer for Tom’s Hardware who primarily covers VR and AR hardware. He has been writing for us for more than four years. 

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GeForce RTX 3080 vs. Radeon RX 6800 XT: Which GPU should you buy?



Performance matters—but the price may matter even more.

By Thiago Trevisan


Thiago Trevisan/IDG

The battle of high-end graphics cards is one poised with high frame rates, high resolutions, and increasingly high prices. Want to know which muscle-car-level GPU deserves your hard-earned dollars? Welcome to contest between Nvidia’s RTX 3080 and AMD’s RX 6800 XT. We’ll go over pricing, availability, and which of these excellent graphics cards offers the best performance for your buck.

Nvidia RTX 3080 vs. AMD RX 6800 XT: Price

When Nvidia introduced the RTX 3080 at $699, our jaws dropped at the price-to-performance it offered. AMD fired back with the RX 6800 XT at $649, and the highly competitive chops to make the RTX 3080 sweat.

Quickly we were in for a rude awakening: Enter the great GPU shortage of 2020-2021 (and beyond…).  What was supposed to be an entertaining spar between friends, quickly turned into a serious bout with a heavy weight boxer. Stock levels depleted immediately, and prices skyrocketed to record heights.

mentioned in this article

GeForce RTX 3080

The RTX 3080 reached an all-time high of over $2,000 on the secondhand market during the May 2021 peak; the 6800 XT not far behind in the mid $1,000s. These astronomical prices have come down slightly, but you’re still looking at nearly twice the original MSRP of both GPUs.

AMD’s Radeon RX 6800 XT

Thiago Trevisan/IDG

These high prices are not just from your friendly neighborhood scalper, however. Third-party GPU manufactures such as Asus, EVGA, and MSI have also increased base MSRPs over time. This is due to tariffs and continued shortages. This bumps the MSRPs of these graphics cards well over the $1,000 mark. Do note that the Nvidia Founders Edition and the AMD reference models of their respective GPUs have remained at their original pricing; but these are much rarer to find.

Nvidia RTX 3080 vs AMD RX 6800 XT: Performance

The AMD RX 6800 XT brings forth incredible performance that elevates Radeon to the playing field of high-end Nvidia GPUs for the first time in years. The Nvidia RTX 3080 came ready to battle with a myriad of Nvidia-specific technologies, however.

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Nitro+ Radeon RX 6800 XT

Let’s first discuss the VRAM differences; 10GB on the RTX 3080 versus 16GB on the 6800 XT. The RTX 3080 comes equipped with GDDR6x flavor, which is faster than the vanilla GDDR6 on the 6800 XT. This can have an impact in favor of the RTX 3080, even if the VRAM size is smaller. Currently 10GB of VRAM is still acceptable for 4K gaming, but there are some titles that may soon start to pass that threshold, making the 6800 XT’s 16GB a bit more future-proof. Coupled with 128MB of infinity cache, and it’s impressive hardware.

Another important difference includes superior ray tracing performance on the RTX 3080. When combined with DLSS technology, it provides incredible performance both visually and with higher frame rates. AMD does offer Smart Access Memory, which increases GPU performance when paired with a Ryzen 5000 CPU.

Brad Chacos/IDG

In Gears Tactics, from Brad Chacos’s RX 6800 review, the RX 6800 XT is neck and neck with the RTX 3080 at 1440p and 4K. At 1080p, we see the 6800 XT take off by a larger margin. This seems to be representative of many games; the RTX 3080 is marginally better but only at high resolutions.

Brad Chacos/IDG

In Shadow of the Tomb Raider at 4K, we see how potent Nvidia’s DLSS can be. Here ray tracing performance outpaces the 6800 XT by a wide margin. AMD does have a competitor to DLSS in the works, “FidelityFX Super Resolution,” or FSR, but it’s still in the early stages. While Nvidia has the clear advantage now, the 6800 XT does have 16GB of VRAM, which ray tracing clearly will like; we just need further optimizations in software.

In non–ray tracing titles, the 6800 XT puts up a fantastic effort versus the RTX 3080. If ray tracing is something you want more of, however, the RTX 3080 currently is the best at that. The ray tracing performance of the 6800 XT is acceptable currently, and future improvements should make it highly competitive.  

Power draw and other things to know

The RTX 3080 TDP comes in at 320W compared to the 300W of the RX 6800 XT. These new-generation GPUs certainly run hotter than ever, so proper cooling will be essential for both. Do keep in mind that the GDDR6x VRAM of the 3080 (and 3090) can run very hot compared to the GDDR6 in the 6800 XT depending on your use case.

Thiago Trevisan/IDG

If you’re purchasing a Founders Edition RTX 3080, some have had issues with inadequate thermal pads from the factory, resulting in higher than normal VRAM temperatures and thermal throttling. Some users have improved this by either water cooling their GPUs or replacing the thermal pads, but your mileage may vary. Third-party 3080s are less affected if they have a beefy cooler, however. The AMD 6800 XT typically runs hot due to its power, but well within its limits.

How about LHR, or Lite Hash Rate models? Nvidia has introduced this feature in order to improve availability specifically for gamers. The non-Founders Edition RTX 3080s now have this moniker, meaning they’re less potent at crypto-currency mining (although work arounds have been popping up lately). The AMD 6800 XT has no such distinction, but it has generally not been as popular with crypto miners compared to the Nvidia GPUs due to the price-performance ratio.

Which is the best GPU for you?

Brad Chacos/IDG

Even amid historic shortages, we’re lucky to have such high-performance GPUs available from both Nvidia and AMD. The caveat of buying a GPU in such as market always falls on your own budget and needs; prices are much higher than we’d like to see, if you can find them.

Which is the best GPU? While the 6800 XT puts up a valiant effort, the RTX 3080 sneaks by for the win. Despite the VRAM size handicap, the ray tracing plus DLSS performance make it a hotrod while keeping visuals maxed out. This is especially true at 1440p and 4K resolutions, where this GPU shines. If you need Nvidia-specific features such as Nvenc encoding, and G Sync, you’ll know where to go. Otherwise, the 6800 XT is right up there as well. If you’re planning on high refresh rate 1080p or only going up to 1440p with minimal ray tracing, it’s also a worthy choice.

Author: Thiago Trevisan

AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT vs Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080: What is the difference?


AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT


Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080

Founders Edition


56 facts in comparison

AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080

Why is AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT better than Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080?

  • 123.8 GPixel/s higher pixel rate?
    288 GPixel/svs164.2 GPixel/s
  • 20W lower TDP?
  • 812MHz faster memory clock speed?
  • 1.6x more VRAM?
  • 182.9 GTexels/s higher texture rate?
    648 GTexels/svs465. 1 GTexels/s
  • 540MHz faster GPU turbo speed?
  • 16 more texture mapping units (TMUs)?
  • 1nm smaller semiconductor size?

Why is Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 better than AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT?

  • 9.03 TFLOPS higher floating-point performance?
    29.77 TFLOPSvs20.74 TFLOPS
  • 3000MHz higher effective memory clock speed?
  • 248GB/s more memory bandwidth?
  • 64bit wider memory bus width?
  • 4096 more shading units?
  • Supports DLSS?
  • 1 more DisplayPort outputs?
  • 1 years more years under manufacturer’s warranty?
    3 yearsvs2 years

Which are the most popular comparisons?

AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT


Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080


AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT

AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT


AMD Radeon RX 6750 XT

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080


Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti

AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT


AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080


Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060

AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT


AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080


Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti

AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT


Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080


Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070

AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT


AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080


Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 12GB

AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT


EVGA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti XC Gaming

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080


Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090

AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT


Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080


AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT

AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT


Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080


Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080

Price comparison

User reviews


1. GPU clock speed



The graphics processing unit (GPU) has a higher clock speed.

2.GPU turbo



When the GPU is running below its limitations, it can boost to a higher clock speed in order to give increased performance.

3.pixel rate

288 GPixel/s

164.2 GPixel/s

The number of pixels that can be rendered to the screen every second.

4.floating-point performance

20.74 TFLOPS

29.77 TFLOPS

Floating-point performance is a measurement of the raw processing power of the GPU.

5.texture rate

648 GTexels/s

465.1 GTexels/s

The number of textured pixels that can be rendered to the screen every second.

6.GPU memory speed



The memory clock speed is one aspect that determines the memory bandwidth.

7.shading units

Shading units (or stream processors) are small processors within the graphics card that are responsible for processing different aspects of the image.

8.texture mapping units (TMUs)

TMUs take textures and map them to the geometry of a 3D scene. More TMUs will typically mean that texture information is processed faster.

9.render output units (ROPs)

The ROPs are responsible for some of the final steps of the rendering process, writing the final pixel data to memory and carrying out other tasks such as anti-aliasing to improve the look of graphics.


1.effective memory speed



The effective memory clock speed is calculated from the size and data rate of the memory. Higher clock speeds can give increased performance in games and other apps.

2. maximum memory bandwidth



This is the maximum rate that data can be read from or stored into memory.


VRAM (video RAM) is the dedicated memory of a graphics card. More VRAM generally allows you to run games at higher settings, especially for things like texture resolution.

4.memory bus width



A wider bus width means that it can carry more data per cycle. It is an important factor of memory performance, and therefore the general performance of the graphics card.

5.version of GDDR memory

Newer versions of GDDR memory offer improvements such as higher transfer rates that give increased performance.

6.Supports ECC memory

✖AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT

✖Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080

Error-correcting code memory can detect and correct data corruption. It is used when is it essential to avoid corruption, such as scientific computing or when running a server.


1.DirectX version

DirectX is used in games, with newer versions supporting better graphics.

2.OpenGL version

OpenGL is used in games, with newer versions supporting better graphics.

3.OpenCL version

Some apps use OpenCL to apply the power of the graphics processing unit (GPU) for non-graphical computing. Newer versions introduce more functionality and better performance.

4.Supports multi-display technology

✔AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT

✔Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080

The graphics card supports multi-display technology. This allows you to configure multiple monitors in order to create a more immersive gaming experience, such as having a wider field of view.

5.load GPU temperature

Unknown. Help us by suggesting a value. (AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT)

Unknown. Help us by suggesting a value. (Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080)

A lower load temperature means that the card produces less heat and its cooling system performs better.

6.supports ray tracing

✔AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT

✔Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080

Ray tracing is an advanced light rendering technique that provides more realistic lighting, shadows, and reflections in games.

7.Supports 3D

✔AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT

✔Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080

Allows you to view in 3D (if you have a 3D display and glasses).

8.supports DLSS

✖AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT

✔Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080

DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) is an upscaling technology powered by AI. It allows the graphics card to render games at a lower resolution and upscale them to a higher resolution with near-native visual quality and increased performance. DLSS is only available on select games.

9. PassMark (G3D) result

Unknown. Help us by suggesting a value. (AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT)

Unknown. Help us by suggesting a value. (Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080)

This benchmark measures the graphics performance of a video card. Source: PassMark.


1.has an HDMI output

✔AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT

✔Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080

Devices with a HDMI or mini HDMI port can transfer high definition video and audio to a display.

2.HDMI ports

More HDMI ports mean that you can simultaneously connect numerous devices, such as video game consoles and set-top boxes.

3.HDMI version

HDMI 2.1

HDMI 2.1

Newer versions of HDMI support higher bandwidth, which allows for higher resolutions and frame rates.

4.DisplayPort outputs

Allows you to connect to a display using DisplayPort.

5. DVI outputs

Allows you to connect to a display using DVI.

6.mini DisplayPort outputs

Allows you to connect to a display using mini-DisplayPort.


1.Has USB Type-C

✔AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT

✖Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080

The USB Type-C features reversible plug orientation and cable direction.

2.USB ports

Unknown. Help us by suggesting a value.

With more USB ports, you are able to connect more devices.

Price comparison


Which are the best graphics cards?

RX 6800XT vs RTX 3080 — which GPU should you choose?

The more reasonably priced flagships

Updated: Sep 2, 2022 10:58 am

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MSI Gaming GeForce RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio 10G



Video memory (VRAM)

Clock speeds


Thermal design power (TDP)

6800XT vs 3080 performance

Price comparison

XFX RX 6800 XT 16GB GDDR6 Graphics Card

ASUS ROG Strix NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 OC Edition

Is 6800 XT better than 3080?

6800 XT vs 3080 FAQs

How much faster is the 6800 XT than 3080?

How much better is the 3080 than 6800 XT?

These two graphics cards came out as part of the initial generational release, but we take a closer look at the 6800xt vs 3080 battle. Comparing the two cards we take a look to see which is the best graphics card for you. It’s not just down to the raw performance but also the price and features of the two GPUs.

The AMD vs Nvidia battle is fierce and has never been so close. With plenty of great choices from both, there are lots of factors to consider. And if you’re looking at the powerful options that are less likely to break the bank we compare the 6800XT vs RTX 3080.



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