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The RTX 3080 is still one of the most sought pieces of hardware in the world. Massive performance leap over the Turing architecture coupled with competitive pricing stirred the tech market despite the obvious shortcoming of the Ampere architecture. If you want to learn more about the tech behind graphics cards such as the RTX 3080 do check out our graphics cards section.
Despite its shortcomings (only 10GB of memory, high power requirements) the RTX 3080 is still one of the best graphics cards you can get right now. If you’re in the market for one, keep scrolling because down below you can find our picks for the best RTX 3080 graphics cards in various categories.
We have the best value RTX 3080 model, an RTX 3080 model that features the best cooling, the best pick for fans of RGB, and lots more. If you’re interested in something beefier read our guide for the best RTX 3090 graphics cards. On the other hand, if the RTX 3080 is too pricey read our list of the best RTX 3070 aftermarket cards. If you want to compare different GPUs based on their gaming performance we have an excellent GPU hierarchy tier list. Finally, if you want to check out every RTX 3080 model on the market take a look at our RTX 3080 AIB comparison list.
ASUS RTX 3080 TUF Gaming: Best value RTX 3080 card
One of the best things about the RTX 3080 is that even the cards priced at MSRP have superb cooling systems, each and everyone having a better performance than the cooling solution found on the RTX 3080 FE. And all that for about the same price.
And the best value RTX 3080 card among those MSRP cards is the ASUS RTX 3080 TUF Gaming. It has the best build quality, lowest thermals, excellent noise results, aluminum fan shroud, performance in line with the RTX 3080 FE, and excellent design.
The card also includes dual BIOS, allowing users to choose between the performance and silent modes. Finally, another advantage over its competition is the inclusion of five video ports.
While the card only supports up to four-monitor setups, it’s good to have two HDMI ports instead of one as seen on most other cards. Especially if those two ports are HDMI 2.1.
ASUS ROG Strix RTX 3080 OC: Best RTX 3080 for overclocking
With the highest out-of-the-box boost clock out of all RTX 3080 models, excellent cooling system, and OC potential that goes beyond 2000Mhz, the ASUS ROG Strix RTX 3080 OC edition is the best RTX 3080 for overclocking. At least when it comes to a card equipped with an air cooler.
Still, if you equip the ROG Strix RTX 3080 OC with a custom water block it too could reach even higher clocks. When it comes to design, the ROG Strix is one of the best-looking RTX 3080 cards. The metal shroud features outstanding industrial design and there’s also lots of RGB.
The caveat is that Ampere, as an architecture, has pretty underwhelming OC potential. Even with its superb cooling, the ROG Strix OC has only up to a five percent advantage over the FE model at 1440p, even less in 4K.
In other words, don’t buy high-end RTX 3080 models for their OC potential because, in that case, you’ll probably end up disappointed. Buy them for their excellent cooling solutions and build quality, better VRMs, and extra features such as RGB LEDs.
ASUS ROG Strix RTX 3080 OC: Best air-cooled RTX 3080
Again, the ASUS ROG Strix RTX 3080 OC model comes out at the top. Considering its specs and factory OC, it’s the best air-cooled RTX 3080 card on the market. It reaches only 65 degrees Celsius under load, which is an astounding result given its extreme factory overclock.
And even if you pushed it over its factory OC boost clocks, the card will stay well below the thermal throttling threshold for Ampere GPUs, which is set at 83 degrees Celsius. The card will crash and force restart your PC as a consequence of trying to overclock it too high before reaching 83 degrees Celsius. Yes, its cooling setup is that good.
EVGA RTX 3080 FTW3 Hybrid: Best RTX 3080 with liquid cooling
As you probably know, EVGA’s Hybrid cards are the high-end options featuring the best cooling possible but also extremely high prices. And that water cooling setup works wonders since, at stock clocks, this card’s thermals go just a tiny bit over 50 degrees Celsius.
Even when the card reaches its manual overclock ceiling, the card’s thermals peak at just 55,5 degrees Celsius. These numbers are impressive and show just how powerful the cooling setup is on this card. This is why the EVGA RTX 3080 FTW3 Hybrid is by far the best liquid-cooled RTX 3080 graphics card you can buy.
Gigabyte RTX 3080 Vision OC: Best white RTX 3080 card
The only white graphics card in the current RTX 3080 lineup comes from Gigabyte and looks stunning. Brushed metal silver cooler shroud combined with white, matte-finish fans looks incredible. This is the best-looking RTX 3080 card unless you’re into RGB, since the Vision OC comes with just a few RGB LED arrays.
If you already have a white build or plan to build one, this card would fit great with any white motherboard on the market. The card should come with respectable thermals and slight factory OC.
As for the extra features, aside from the RGB LEDs, it also comes with two HDMI 2.1 ports in addition to three DisplayPort video ins. If you plan on building a white gaming PC with this card at its center, we recommend checking our lists featuring the best white motherboards and best white PC cases.
RGB fans will love the RTX 3080 lineup since it’s chock full of RGB-heavy models. Our personal vote goes to the ZOTAC RTX 3080 AMP Extreme Holo since it has the slickest RGB lighting we’ve ever seen on a graphics card.
First of all, despite it going all around the card, covering a third of the fan shroud and the whole side of the card, it doesn’t look like it’s out of place. It perfectly blends with other elements of the card, something that can rarely be said about the RGB lighting. If we didn’t have the in-your-face Zotac Gaming logo this card would look even better.
The bad news for anyone planning a Mini-ITX build based on the RTX 3080 is that all cards are pretty long and they all have at least dual-slot cooling. In fact, most models have coolers that take even more space, with flagship models coming with triple slot behemoths.
That said, Nvidia’s RTX 3080 Founders Edition card could be a solid choice for an SFF build, as long as the case you’ll put the card in doesn’t feature sandwiched design. Regular ITX cases should offer enough airflow for the card but in sandwich cases and small ITX cases, the card’s unique cooler design will make it hot as hell.
Now, if you need a Mini-ITX case with solid airflow, see our best Mini-ITX case list, it includes a couple of cases with great airflow. And if all this talk about high thermals dissuaded you from building an SFF build, maybe check out our guide for the best airflow PC cases. You won’t have to worry about high thermals if you pick one of those cases.
Finally, we have the best overall RTX 3080 graphics card. The title goes to the ASUS ROG Strix RTX 3080 OC version. It has the best cooling system, the highest out-of-the-box clocks, the best thermals, and superb build quality.
The list of positives continues with an attractive design that features lots of RGB lighting. The card also includes extra features such as the dual BIOS and five video ports with two HDMI 2.1 ports.
Yes, it’s pricey but if you’re ready to pay the price premium you’ll get a powerful, attractive, and reliable card with excellent 4K gaming performance. Oh, you want to use this card for 4K gaming but don’t have a 4K gaming monitor yet? Well, you’re in luck because we have a list that includes the best 4K 144Hz monitors for gaming on the market.
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