TheOverclocker Presents - ROG STRIX GeForce RTX 3080

overclocker

We take a look at the mightiest GeForce RTX 3080 graphics card money can buy. Built for both extreme overclockers and enthusiasts, the ROG STRIX model is easily the greatest example of the Ampere 3080 GPU money can buy.

ROG MAXIMUS XII EXTREME


THEOVERCLOCKER PRESENTS

ROG MAXIMUS XII EXTREME

ROG STRIX GEFORCE RTX 3080

THE OVERCLOCKER | PRESENTS

ROG STRIX GEFORCE

RTX 3080

THEOVERCLOCKER PRESENTS

The GeForce RTX 3000 series has been with us for almost a month. In that time, we’ve

seen many interpretations of both 3080 and 3090. While I can’t speak to the RTX 3090,

I can say that the RTX 3080, and especially the ROG STRIX model, is incredible.

Abold assertion to start an

editorial piece with, given

my limited exposure to the

GPUs. However, we have

such things called benchmarks.

From what I have gathered through

comparative benchmarks, the ROG

STRIX GeForce RTX 3080 is the

mightiest of them all.

Being the fastest, however, isn’t all

there is to a graphics card. Past

the synthetic fi gures and outright

performance, the graphics card has

to be usable and easy to live with.

This may seem obvious, but it

matters when we are talking about

the ROG STRIX model and its high

price.

As we expect from STRIX models, the

3080 has two BIOS options (quiet and

performance mode) and two four pin

fan headers. These are standard, but

the biggest difference with the 3080

is in the cooling and perhaps power

delivery. I will not speak at length

about power delivery as there isn’t

much reliable information on this, but

it features 22 power stages or phases

if you prefer. With this, it can provide

copious amounts of power to the GPU

and memory. Important because it

is this which allows the ROG 3080 to

draw over 360W of power right out

of the box. In fact, during my testing

I sometimes recorded figures above

370W.

This is a good 50 watts more than the

rating on the Founders Edition. With

that boost in power draw, you get

a matching uptick in performance.

Many of the competing cards, including

the Founders Edition, are supposedly

limited by power. The ROG STRIX with

its three 8-pin 12V sockets suffers no

such limitations. In fact, using ROG’s

own GPUTweakII, the graphics card

can draw up to 447 Watts, which is

significantly more than many of its

contemporaries.

It is likely that the ROG 3080 can

provide more than double this power

output for the extreme overclockers

and enthusiast. There are markings

and pads on the PCB for soldering

all the relevant components needed

for controlling various voltages rails.

Three such locations are on the front

of the PCB (three pads each for

SDA/GND/SCL), along with the usual

voltage measuring points on the

upper rear edge. Nowhere does ROG

mention these features on the PCB,

but they are there and deliberately

placed on the PCB for such use. It


ROG MAXIMUS XII EXTREME

...the ROG STRIX GeForce

RTX 3080 is the mightiest

of them all...

may not be obvious at face

value, but extreme overclocking

DNA runs through this card.

For all intents and purposes,

the ROG TRIX 3080 is extreme

overclocking ready right out

of the box (finding an LN2

BIOS though may prove most

challenging).

For those that do not dabble

in the fine art of extreme overclocking,

there is the matter of

the heat-sink and fan

assembly, which objectively

is the best ROG has ever

produced. The reason one

can write this with confidence

is down to just how cool the

graphics card operates, even

under extreme loads. Even

with the default power target

increased (up to 121% using

GPUTweakII), I did not record

temperatures above 71 degrees

Celsius. Even this figure was

a once off affair, as I could not

reach that temperature again

with the highest reproducible

figure at a stunning 68 degrees.

For a mid-range Graphics

card this is an impressive

temperature, but for this class

of GPU, it’s nothing short of

astonishing. This figure means

the STRIX 3080 operates at a

lower temperature than the

outgoing ROG STRIX GeForce


THEOVERCLOCKER PRESENTS

ROG MAXIMUS XII EXTREME

...The ROG 3080 is easily the most

capable and impressive offering to

come out of the ROG labs...

RTX 2080Ti. That card has a

lower TBP (Total Board Power)

rating, and the Turing GPU

itself draws less power. Despite

all this, the new cooling solution

drops operating temperatures

over its predecessor.

With such cooling prowess,

one expects an increase in fan

noise, but again this is not the

case. The odd thing here is

that this superior cooling

performance makes the dual

BIOS capability somewhat

redundant. There is virtually

no difference between quiet

and performance mode in

acoustics. The card remains

quiet regardless of the load or

setting between the two.

The combination of exceptional

power delivery and cooling

capacity are, to me, the two

most important aspects of this

card. Visually it is better in the

flesh than on paper by far. The

RGB Lighting is tasteful if not

understated when compared

against other models. As with

most high-end ROG products,

the construction materials,

quality, finish and heft are

convincing. If one picks up

the ROG model and any other

graphics card, just through

touch alone, it is easy to tell

which is the ROG model. For

a graphics card this shouldn’t

matter, yet it’s undeniable that

there is a difference between

this card and many others.

Past all of this, however, the

important thing ultimately is

going to be performance and

the everyday experience of

gaming. This is where the

rubber meets the road and it

is here where it all comes

together to deliver an

incredible experience.

Component noise is something

we all have to deal with on

enthusiast class hardware.

The dreaded ‘coil whine’ (that’s

actually not what the noise is)

while present is minimal on

this card. In fact, I only heard

this noise on the title

screen of Assassin’s

Creed Odyssey. Short

of that, this noise isn’t

an issue in the least

(supposedly related to

excessively high

frame rates, such as

on title screens).

NVIDIA states that

the target resolution

for the GeForce RTX

3080 is 4K.


ROG MAXIMUS XII EXTREME

This Is true when one looks at

the performance figures. The

lowest frame rate I have on

record is an incredible 50FPS

in the re-mastered Crysis

game. As the benchmarks

in the video show, that is

at very high settings with

ray-tracing enabled. That

level of performance was not

feasible prior to the RTX 3080.

Even the mighty Turing based

TITAN RTX cannot produce such

performance figures.

True to NVIDIA’s claims then,

the GeForce RTX 3080 is

4K ready. I will say, however,

that I think this GPU is most

comfortable at the UWQHD

(Ultra-Wide Quad HighDefinition)

resolution. At this pixel density,

the graphics card delivers an

incredible 75FPS in one of the

toughest games on the market

today - Metro Exodus. This is

with Ray-Tracing and image

quality set to the demanding

Ultra pre-set.

As with all pieces of hardware,

however, not all is perfect or

rather, there is always room for

improvement. Number one for

me is GPUTweakII. I have read

that there’s a 3rd version coming

soon, but at present the one on

the ROG website is version 2.

This application that must, for

all intents and purposes, bring

out the most in the graphics

card is the weakest link. The

issue isn’t functionality, but

presentation. The UX is not up

to standard as it is. That which

can break what is an otherwise

incredible gaming experience

is this application that harkens

back to the early noughties in

usability.

THEOVERCLOCKER PRESENTS

ROG STRIX GEFORCE RTX 3080


THEOVERCLOCKER PRESENTS

ROG MAXIMUS XII EXTREME

The other part of the ROG

STRIX experience that could do

with some improvement is the

bundled items. There really isn’t

anything of value inside the box.

For such a heavy graphics card,

it’s obvious that the card will

sag. Honestly, I would rather

have a VGA holder, instead of

the little lucky-packet 10cm

ruler that’s inside.

These two aspects of this

entire ROG experience are the

only complaints I have about

the graphics card. Fortunately,

these are hardly the kinds of

things that most potential

owners will care about.

The ROG 3080 is easily the

most capable and impressive

offering to come out of the

ROG labs, I believe. After years

of being saddled with what

seemed to be repetitive designs,

we have a new heat sink

assembly. It isn’t new for

the sake of it, but brings the

most impressive thermal

performance with it to date.

It’s rare, but happens once in

a while where a graphics card

stands out from the rest in a

way that all can appreciate.

From the extreme overclocking

crowd right through to the

professional or competitive

gamer. There is merit in choosing

this card over other offerings on

the market. Pricing at present

is an issue, there isn’t a way of

getting around that, but one

should keep in mind that all

GeForce RTX 3080 prices are

inflated. With demand set to

outstrip supply into 2021, this

card may be tougher to fi nd

than one would like. This will

only add to the high pricing, but

at some point, it should

normalize.

At that point, it should offer

even better value as it will be

faster (driver updates) and

possibly cheaper too.

With the ROG 3080, I came in

to the evaluation with some

bias against the card. Besides

the infl ated pricing, I was

expecting a faster, but

significantly warmer version of

the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti.

I could not be more wrong and

happier about the fact that I

was wrong. This model next to

the 2080Ti leaves the 2080Ti

with no redeeming qualities.

The ROG STRIX GeForce RTX

3080 is breathtakingly quick

and built to a quality that no

other prior STRIX model can

match. The ROG team has

knocked this one out of the

park. It is easily the most

desirable GeForce RTX 3080 I’ve

seen to date, and it may remain

so for a while still.

THEOVERCLOCKER PRESENTS

ROG STRIX GEFORCE RTX 3080



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