We’ve obtained examples of the RTX 3060 Ti, the RTX 3070, and the RTX 3080 and have spent the last two weeks running them through a suite of benchmark tests. In this article, we’ll present our results to you and conclude with some remarks as to what systems and usage cases these cards are best suited to.
We’ve tested first-person shooters and AAA titles at 1080p, 1440p 1400p Ultrawide, and 4K. Our testing methodology differs from some other sites: We’ve chosen settings that show these games in their best light, and that’s not always ‘ultra’ across the board. We’ve tested most games here on high or a mix of high and ultra settings, allowing the GPUs to shine and giving you a better understanding of how you can expect them to perform in the real world. The settings remain consistent both within each test and across the resolutions.
From the results here, you will be able to tweak settings to obtain higher quality or higher framerates, whichever you prefer, but you can expect performance on a par with our numbers here. Where we identify a clear CPU bottleneck we’ve mentioned it (Hi Warzone!).
The test system is our Ryzen test bench with a Ryzen 7 5800X, 16GB of RAM running at 3600MHz Cl16, and a B550 motherboard.
So, let’s dig into the numbers.
RTX 3060 Ti vs 3070 vs 3080: Synthetic Tests
Firstly, a quick look at some synthetic benchmarks helps us verify our cards are performing correctly, and get an idea of where they stack up overall. We’re just looking at the GPU scores here. We’ve included some popular GPUs of the last generation so you can see how they compare.
Time Spy uses The DX12 API and is more representative of current games, here the RTX 3060 Ti fares better but it’s clear the RTX 3080 still has a big lead.
Finally, we can take a looking ‘Port Royal’ helps us assess the relative Ray tracing capabilities of the RTX-enabled GPUs. This test uses DX12’s Ray tracing commands to render out a complex scene full of shadows, reflections, and lighting sources over and above the traditionally rasterised rendering of the core 3D scene. Despite using the last generation RTX cores the RTX 2080 Ti acquits itself well here, and there’s a fair gap between the performance of the 3060 Ti, RTX 3070, and RTX 3080 commensurate with their RTX core counts and overall rendering ability. The RTX 2060 brings up the rear, the least powerful card with RTX capabilities.
RTX 3060 Ti vs 3070 vs 3080: Gaming Benchmarks
1080p FPS Gaming
Doom eternal is really well optimised and shows good scaling with GPU power, everything from the RX 5700XT up exceeding 240FPS.
In Call of Duty Warzone, on high settings, we see all the Ampere cards exceed 200FPS average but you’re not gaining a huge amount from the additional cost and power of the RTX 3080. I think we’re seeing the ceiling of the 5800X’s performance here although lows don’t suffer like the can in some titles when CPU bound. There was a hard limit of 250FPS maximum frame rate in all the Ampere GPUs.
Rainbow 6 Siege shows good 1080p scaling but even an entry-level GPU is capable of fairly insane framerates at 1080p in this game.
1080p AAA Gaming
As for the AAA Titles, In Shadow of the Tomb Raider we’re seeing all the GPUs exceed 144FPS average at 1080p with the 3080 nearing 200FPS. Of note here is that the 3070 was 78% GPU bound, and the 3080 was only 50% GPU bound: Even with a Ryzen 5800X, GPU performance is being left on the table in this title with the higher performing Ampere GPUs in this game at 1080p.
In Red Dead Redemption 2, a more demanding title, the high settings load GPU’s even at 1080p. The 2080Ti and 3080 are the only GPUs to exceed 100FPS average, but in this title we’re really looking for a consistent 60FPS at high settings and everything from a 1080ti and 5700XT upwards is capable of that here. Like Doom eternal, the Vulkan API’s help the 5700XT perform – AMD cards respond well to this API.
1080p Flight Simulator
And finally in Flight Sim 2020, 1080p means the CPU performance is as exposed as GPU performance, we see minor performance improvements from the higher tier cards but even the 3080 only just hits 60FPS: That’s a function of the demanding nature of this test, flying over New York City at low level. As you’d expect, at 1080p all of these GPUs perform very well and we do see utilisation drop below 100% on occasions as they wait for the CPU to process the game data. Ultra settings sees performance drop about 10FPS across the board.
1440P FPS Shooters
This resolution is a much better match for these GPUs, and Doom Eternal is really well optimised letting the higher-end hardware shine. Again we see the power of the 3080 compared to the 2080 Ti, and Nvidias claims re the 3070 matching the 2080Ti ring true. Doom has a very well refined settings system: Each graphics preset adds or removes about 10FPS so you can fine-tune the game to your liking but all of these GPUs give a fluid, exciting experience at 1440p and over 100FPS, even the 1660 Super hits 90FPS average. It’s still very enjoyable but you might want to reduce settings a notch or two.
Rainbow Six Siege shows excellent scaling with the more powerful GPUs, and the RTX 3080 really stretches its legs to deliver a 400FPS average: Even the 3060 Ti exceeds 260FPPS, and we’re well into diminishing returns since we’ve well exceeded even a fast monitors refresh rate and generally this is a title that would be played at 1080p. Note the 2060KO and below are run on a Ryzen 3600 System: That likely accounts for some of the performance difference here, but it’s not a huge difference.
Call of Duty: Warzone we still see them all exceed 144FPS average at high settings. The RTX 2080ti marginally outperforms the Ampere cards here, which could be down to it being an established card with optimised drivers whilst the Ampere cards are newer – but note they don’t scale well. An RTX 3080 isn’t getting you substantially more performance in this title over the much cheaper 3060 Ti.
1440P AAA Titles
Moving on to Triple-A titles, Red Dead Redemption can make the most powerful graphics cards sweat, and we have turned up settings here. That’s for a couple of reasons, firstly because the game should be experienced in all its glory at higher settings, and secondly, because it shows the significant break in performance between the cards that can maintain 60FPS average, and those that can’t. Last generation cards struggle, whilst the 3060 Ti comfortably maintains nearly 70FPS, and the RTX 3070, RTX 2080 Ti, and RTX 3080 all approach 100FPS average. Again, you can tweak settings to get the performance you’re happy with as they are turned right up here, but those GPUs are capable of providing an excellent experience at 1440p.
Looking at Shadow of the Tomb raider, again this title shows where the GTX 1660 Super begins to struggle, although it is still capable of running well optimised titles like this at 1440p. The scaling with the more powerful GPUs is clear with all of the Ampere GPUs exceeding 100FPS average. This is at ‘highest’ settings and we can see that the 3080 is the card that manages to exceed 144FPS average at 1440p in this title with settings cranked.
In Flight Simulator at 1440p, we’re now becoming much more GPU bound. 50-60FPS average at high-end settings really is a good performance in this test, and it looks utterly gorgeous doing it. All Ampere GPUs exceed 30FPS at all times. 1440p is where Flight Sim 2020 really begins to shine, and the RTX 3060 Ti, in particular, impressed me with its performance here. Lifting settings to ‘Ultra’ adds some nice visual tweaks but still costs about 10FPS across the board. Again, there’s room to tweak here with just a couple of detail settings turned down from ultra getting you most of the performance benefits at almost no detriment to visuals.
We can see that these cards really begin to come alive at 1440p, significantly outpacing all but the highest-end options from the last generation. It was the 3060 Ti that impressed me most, with performance very much in the same ballpark as it’s bigger siblings. Once you’re up to 100FPS in AAA titles at high settings, you really are getting what you paid for in games, so there’s not much more to be asked for the 3060 Ti. The RTX 3070 also excels at this resolution.
1440p Ultrawide Gaming
Moving on to ultrawide 1440p, this resolution bridges the gap to 4K and is becoming increasingly popular. We particularly like the versatility of workspace it offers, combined with the immersion in gaming.
1440p Ultrawide FPS Gaming
The first person shooters still record high FPS if they’re well optimised, Rainbow 6 Siege is generating over 250FPS in high settings. COD:Warzone really does seem to be CPU limited – FPS doesn’t really drop much from 1440p so you’re at no penalty opting for ultrawide. Doom Eternal is still generating well over 144FPS on everything except the 1080ti, and we’re at ultra nightmare settings here.
1440p Ultrawide AAA Titles
Moving on to AAA Titles, we’re exceeding 60FPS in Red Dead Redemption 2 on all the Ampere cards at demanding settings. The 3060ti and 3070 are again relatively Close in performance with 10FPS between them, with only the 3080 distinguishing itself 20FPS higher. Shadow of the Tomb Raider is much the same pattern, but with slightly higher framerates. The 3070, 3080, and 2080 Ti all approach or exceed 100FPS.
And finally, at 1440p Ultrawide, we see the same scaling in Flight Simulator 2020 – But all of these GPUs are approaching or exceeding 50FPS even at this resolution which is impressive, and again you can see you’re paying a great deal in going from an RTX 3060 Ti to an RTX 3070 and on to an RTX 3080 to go from 46 to 60 FPS.
The takeaways here are really how closely the RTX 3070 matches the RTX 2080 Ti so Nvidias claims ring true there. Also, note that the hierarchy of cards is now well established but the 3060Ti really isn’t a bit-part player here: It’s very much keeping pace and in any of these titles you’re not going to see or feel a difference in performance between say 160 FPS and 190Fps, or in just a couple of settings turned down to see it match the performance of the RTX 3070. The 3070 is clearly excellent in 1440p ultrawide, but the 3060ti is more than capable as well. The 3080 holds it’s clear lead.
4K FPS Shooters
Moving on to 4K, we’re now at a resolution that can make these GPUs really work hard. Looking at the shooters, note that we’re still exceeding 100FPS in Doom Eternal and CoD Warzone – and we’re still at high settings here. Likewise, in Rainbow6 Siege we’re exceeding 144FPS meaning you’ll be maximising a high performance 4K monitor, not that this is an ideal set up for competitive play. The RTX 3080 is still pushing past 300FPS, but the 3060Ti and 3070 are much lower here beaten even by the GTX 1080ti and I confirmed this with multiple runs. I can’t confirm exactly why this is.
4K AAA Titles
AAA titles are where you can revel in the detail rendering at 4K gives – but we’re starting to see all of these GPUs struggling to make the magic 60FPS. You’re going to have to turn down settings a little from those we’ve used throughout these benchmarks. Again we see the 3070 shadowing the 2080 Ti closely although the 2080 Ti does come out on top – just – in these three tests. The 3080 has a clear advantage, and if you’re building a 4K focussed gaming PC then it’s really between the RTX 3080 and the RX 6800 XT as to which GPU is right for you.
The RTX 3060 Ti
Firstly, the RTX 3060 Ti was the standout card of this test. It performs excellently, to the point where it’s close to the RTX 3070 in most of these titles at 1440p. In well optimised games and first-person shooters, it’s producing fluid responsive gameplay at high FPS and high settings. In demanding titles, it’s punching well above its weight. The RTX 3060 Ti a great card, and if you’re looking to trade off components in your system to afford a better CPU, monitor, or SSD, you should absolutely consider the 3060 Ti. It won’t feel like a compromised choice at all.
Ampere Gaming at 1080p
Secondly, none of the Ampere cards achieve their potential at 1080p. They’re either exposing CPU limitation in very high FPS titles or else not shining in AAA titles restricted by a lower pixel count. You can make a case for the RTX 3060 Ti in either a very high FPS esports build, or in a PC aimed at playing AAA titles at 1080p and very high settings: But really, We’d recommend that if you’re considering any of these Qmpere cards you start your search with a 1440p Monitor capable of 144Hz and adaptive sync. That’s where you start getting your money’s worth out of these GPUs.
The RTX 3080
Finally, of course, there’s the RTX 3080. This GPU is an absolute monster. It cleanly wins every benchmark here, and whilst the 3070 has clearly been pegged to the RTX 2080 Ti, and the RTX 3060 Ti massaged to ensure it’s 10% or so slower than that, the RTX 3080 is allowed to stretch its legs and hit the limits of its’ capability. That really comes down to power restrictions but We’ll dig into that more with a specific look at the RTX 3080 in a future article.
Watch out for bottlenecking in aged systems
One note of caution here is if you pair these GPUs with an aging system, they’re all-powerful enough to expose weakness, particularly in CPUs. You may find that whilst you can run at higher settings, you begin to experience stutter and frame time inconsistencies if you hit the limit of your CPUs performance. That’s something we want to investigate and we will be running through some tests with a Ryzen 5 3600 and Intel CPUs from the last-generation to see if they negatively impact performance at all, or if they’re sufficient to maximise the potential of these GPUs.
Best Ampere Card for 1080p FPS Gaming / 1440p All-rounder Builds: RTX 3060 Ti
Based on our results, realistically we’d recommend the RTX 3060 Ti as the high FPS esports GPU at 1080p, or for a 1440p all-round gaming machine.
Best Ampere Card for 1440p AAA Gaming: RTX 3070 / 3060 Ti
Stepping up in to solid 1440p AAA title performance the RTX 3070 makes a strong case for itself, but cross-shop the RTX 3060 Ti if you’re working to a budget – you won’t feel short-changed with its performance and if it allows you to purchase a high-performance CPU as well then it’s the right choice to make.
Best Ampere Card for 1440p Ultrawide Gaming: RTX 3070 / 3080
At 1440p Ultrawide, the RTX 3070 shines but the additional cost of a RTX 3080 begins to make sense to provide a really remarkable gaming experience.
Best Ampere Card for 4K Gaming: RTX 3080
And finally, at 4K, it’s such a demanding resolution that in high-end titles like Red Dead Redemption or Cyberpunk you will need to lower settings from Ultra to maintain 60FPS performance even on an RTX 3080. There is one ace up the Ampere GPUs sleeve though: DLSS. This technology form Nvidia uses a trained neural network and AI to up-sample the rendered image for display: when it works well it allows you to combine heightened settings with higher frame rates. However, just a handful of titles are using it to it’s full potential, so it’s something we’re looking into and will deliver our impressions on it later..
I hope you’ve found this roundup of the Ampere GPUs useful: pair any one of these cards with a well-matched monitor (linked below) and you’ll have an absolutely fantastic set up to enjoy the latest games as they are meant to be played.