Best RTX 4080 graphics card 2022
The next addition to the Ada architecture lineup so which one will you pick?
The new card was announced with two models the 16GB and 12GB models. However, the lower, 12GB card got unlaunched after criticism of being a different card altogether.
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- ASUS Dual GeForce RTX 3050 OC – was
$379.99, NOW $260.52
- MSI Ventus 2X RTX 3060 – was
$379.99, NOW $339.99
- MSI Ventus 3X GeForce RTX 3060 Ti – was
$509.99, NOW $429.99
- Zotac Trinity OC GeForce RTX 3070 Ti – was
$699.99, NOW $569.99
- Maxsun iCraft OC GeForce RTX 3080 10 GB – was
$939.99, NOW $699.99
- XFX Speedster SWFT309 AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT – was
$499.99, NOW $389.99
- XFX Speedster MERC319 AMD Radeon RX 6750 XT – was
$579.99, NOW $449.99
- XFX Speedster SWFT 319 AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT – was
$749.99, NOW $629.99
So now you only have to focus on one option to choose from while the other is saved for another date. So if you still don’t want to spend over $1,000 on a new GPU you’re going to have to wait a bit longer.
With the new generation of cards, you also get a new specification for its power specification. Which does mean even the best RTX 4080 is going to be utilizing the 12VHPWR power connector.
Our top picks
How do we choose the best RTX 4080?
Now when a new graphics card comes out there are a lot of custom AIBs to choose from, if you’re not opting for the Founder’s Edition. So there are a few differences that distinguish them from each other that will affect their performance and if they are worthy.
So picking out which of these is better takes some knowledge. And that’s what we provide, with expertise in the field and hands-on experience with some products we know what to look for.
One key difference is the cooling solution of the cards. Since there is not a lot of change allowed between cards apart from design and frequency. So the TBP is a big focus of this generation with the RTX 4090 size we’ve seen, we expect something similar for the 4080.
Having been through many launches and knowing the products we can use that. As well as using reviews we can apply them to the new stuff to know how they perform.
How we test
With so many options available it’s not always possible to get hands-on with each one. But when we do we get to test out their claims and performance. Putting them through good testing and trials.
While hands-on you can also get a feel and assess the GPU. Being able to see how the physical card is built and finished.
So we can see how big it is in terms of fitting into builds. The heft behind it with the growing cooling solutions. As well as what the quality is like and if the card will bend or feel cheap for how much you’re paying for it.
Best RTX 4080 buying tips
So what is it you want to look for when comparing the different models? There are a few features to consider between them that might help you make up your mind.
A major factor between the models will be the design of the cards. This will include the cooling solution implemented by the company. So it can be tested to see how it performs against the standard.
Making sure it does what it is meant to do. As keeping the card cool will mean keeping up the performance level. Overheating will cause the card to throttle down to keep itself alive. So it is important that the cooling keeps up with the heat produced.
The RTX 4080 has a TBP (total board power) of 320 W. That means the card consumes that much energy which ends up converted to heat due to inefficiencies.
Usually, on GPUs, there are options for air or water cooling. And seeing the card is a lower rating and not higher than the last gen, there isn’t a need for liquid usually. So it might be uncommon to pick from. But there is usually a water block to add into your loop or all-in-one to help with the size of the card.
Another big factor is how big the card is. As the TBP grows so does the cooling which in turn makes it bigger which can get in the way of a lot of options. As it can be harder to fit them into some cases.
The Founder’s Edition card itself is only dual-slot. Measuring 336 mm long, 140 mm wide, and 61mm height. But the custom options might not be the same size. And in fact, tend to be much bigger so it’s a consideration.
Especially as some of these options are still using the same big size as the 4090. Likely reusing the same stuff to save money. So you will have triple and quad slot cards to pick from. These will be affected by compact spaces so space is an important factor.
One other big decider is the price of the graphics card. Although there is an MSRP provided by Nvidia, some AIBs will ask for more depending on what features they also add. So they may not in fact all come in at the same price.
It’ll only be the FE model that will come in at $1,199/£1,269. With the other ones charging more. One factor of which is if it is overclocked. This would give it more performance than the other options and so another feature to consider but usually comes at an extra cost.
Now when looking at graphics cards. These are what make the card what they are. Differentiating them from others with what they have to offer.
Also known as the frequency, it is how fast the processor works. It is how quickly those instructions get processed and get the scenes up to your display.
So when comparing some of the options this is one of the specifications that will be differing with different models. Therefore comparing the same GPU is an important choice to pick from.
Whilst between different tiers of GPU it’s less of a factor. As those have bigger factors that affect the performance between them. Especially when based on different architectures.
This won’t change between AIBs of the same GPU model. However, it is a factor between other models. As it allows the pixel store and frame buffer in the video memory.
Which is ideal for use with high resolutions. Since they run higher pixel counts and so you want higher counts and faster bandwidth to improve their performance.
So if you are interested in the high fidelity displays then you want something strong and powerful to run on it.
The total board power gives you an idea of the power usage and heat of the card. So if you’re more interested in saving a buck running the card then you want a lower pick.
This new generation has offered the manufacturer’s choice of unlocking the power if they want to. Meaning even between models that can be higher as well.
Best RTX 4080
ASUS ROG Strix RTX 4080 Gaming OC
ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 4080 GAMING OC
Core Clock Speed
2,535 MHz boost, 2,205 MHz base
357.6 x 149.3 x 70.1mm
- Unhindered performance with a great cooling solution
- Cutout cooler design allows unblocked airflow for optimal cooling
- Overclocked card offers the best performance at this tier
- One of the biggest cards to accomodate the cooling solution may not fit many cases
- A popular card it is harder to find and usually more expensive than the other options
Another great selection, the ROG Strix is the best of its kind. As it offers one of the leading performance metrics of the selection. With such a massive shroud that it seems to bring over from the ROG Strix RTX 4090.
But it is a great solution to get the most out of your card. With a milled heat spreader, the vapor chamber can move away plenty of the GPU heat. Getting it away saves your card from throttling and lasts longer with a better lifespan.
This also means it can be overclocked even further, as the OC model offers improvements and leaves it unlocked for you for more. Although all that cooling does stack up in terms of size and weight, something to consider when trying to fit the card into any case.
However, the weight is there as support as well. As the shroud, frame and backplate are diecast. This means there should be minimal bending across the card, leaving it in a newer condition.
The design is also updated from the previous generation. With a minimal RGB addition but also more open for airflow to move that heat away from the GPU.
MSI RTX 4080 Suprim X
MSI RTX 4080 SUPRIM X
Core Clock Speed
2,205 MHz base
336 x 142 x 78 mm
- Excellent cooling solution to keep temperatures down
- Overclo cked option allows for top tier performance
- A more premium choice of card that will cost more than the rest of the selection
Another top-place spot is for the MSI Suprim X RTX 4080. This card is focused on the quality and build materials of MSI’s lineup. Asking for a premium for the top-spec choice of GPU.
It brings with it a high-quality build with a brushed metal finish and a lot of straight edges that are finished to a higher quality. And the cooling has also been improved from the last generation. With upgraded fans and airflow to give the best air-cooling of its pack.
The Suprim also features a vapor chamber, moving the heat from the GPU die and VRAM to keep it under wraps. Which is helped by the use of the core (heat pipes) which are also flat to the plate to seamlessly fit onto the card.
It also improves the pipe pathing to fit more into the space and move the heat away. As well as including V-shaped cutouts at the end of the heatsink for another area for the air to leave and improve efficiency and airflow.
With a solid metal backplate, it also aims to withstand any bending on the long card to help improve its lifespan. Which it also does with the higher-end materials and components it uses.
Colorful iGame GeForce RTX 4080 Neptune OC
Colorful iGame GeForce RTX 4080 Neptune OC
Core Clock Speed
2,640 MHz boost, 2,205 MHz base
Card: 253.5 x 170.8 x 41.5 mm, Radiator: 394 x 119.2 x 54.4 mm
- Liquid cooled option that will keep the temperatures minimal for longevity and performance
- Cooling allows for optimal overclocking and pushing the performance
- Easier to fit into PCIe slots as long as you can mount the radiator
- A much more expensive option to push limits
For the biggest ease of mind when it comes to cooling, you can find the all-in-one Colorful iGame RTX 4080 Neptune OC. One of the only options for a water-cooled 4080 as it is a much smaller TBP than a 4090 so it may seem unnecessary.
But the style and size are nothing to miss out on. As the White design is quite uncommon to see these days and so might be of interest to you. As well as having the water cooling on it means that the card itself is only two slots. Capable of being fit into a much smaller build, as long as you have somewhere to mount the 360mm radiator.
The card features a full-coverage copper plate to move all that temperature away from the card. This is done with a liquid moving that heat away to the massive radiator which has a greater size to move than heat away.
There is also some addition of wave RGB lighting but it may not be controllable so might not be to your liking. But at least the card should last you some time with the great cooling and long-term solution.
PNY XLR8 RTX 4080 Verto Epic-X
PNY XLR8 RTX 4080 VERTO EPIC-X
Core Clock Speed
2,505 MHz boost, 2,205 MHz base
331.7 x 136.9 x 71.1 mm
- A basic card that offers the budget option for the GPU
- Still well designed with airflow in mind so shouldn’t hinder perfromance
- Lower quality build focused on budget
Lastly, we get the PNY XLR8 Verto Epic-X RTX 4080. A bit of a mouthful and not too memorable name, but it is there to get the job done. As it will come in close to the MSRP of the 4080 as many custom cards will struggle to do with the margins available.
It is also a chonker of a graphics card, with plenty of space for the cooling in it to tame the GPU and keep the temps down. A simpler design is quite open to allow all the airflow out. With the backplate sealing it off, it also is likely providing structural rigidity as it covers the majority of the width and is screwed into multiple locations to hold it into place.
Also following suit with the rigidity needed to keep all the weight up from bending, there is a metal backplate to keep the card rigid. Whilst also having a cutout towards the end of the card, to let the air flow out. As well most of the width is unobstructed to achieve the same thing.
Whilst the front plate with the fans features a dash of RGB, trying to be unintrusive to the design.
There are a few good options out there to pick from. So it also can come down to your preference of design. As there will be plenty of benchmarks available on release, you should be able to check how they perform to give you an idea of the card’s performance.
But if you’re not sure if these cards are the pick for you there are plenty of other options. Even going back to the old gen to grab a good deal, or even waiting for what AMD’s RDNA 3 has to offer.
RTX 4080 FAQs
Which RTX 4080 should I buy?
When it comes to picking out the best RTX 4080 there are a few options to go for. So when it comes to performance you have the choice of the ROG Strix or MSI Suprim. But if you want small and cool, then you can have the Colorful Neptune. Whilst for budget you may opt for the PNY XLR8.
What is an AIB?
AIB stands for add-in board and generally relates to partners of the GPU manufacturers such as AMD or Nvidia. They produce custom solutions for the graphics cards that aren’t Founder’s Edition or ones by the company itself. It offers a lot more variety in the market.
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