Final words and conclusion
Gigabyte has a proven concept with the Gaming OC series. This round, the factory tweak is very mild TBH; we see roughly 1 maybe 2% performance increases over reference at best. However, the PCB and component design tied towards that massive cooler doe make sure it can tweak another 5% in performance; weird to observe, though, is that the power limiter remains limited. So please do realize there's no extra power budget available for your tweaks. I'll keep saying this, but it is a bizarre time to write reviews on graphics cards with the shortages and insane price hikes related to that. Really what the market needs are affordable, high-performing graphics cards that sit well under the 500 USD marker. The 3080 Ti does fall into a very premium niche and likely will be hard to get. The good news is that the new NVIDIA SKUs are mostly hash-rate limited on the AIB side, preventing cryptocurrency miners from dominating sales. However, the reality is that NVIDIA can only fabricate only a certain number of GPUs, and they'll still need to make the call on how much allocation ends up at gamers and how much is intended for other markets. We hope NVIDIA will make wise decisions because if the trend continues, the PC gaming market will die off as they need to realize what software houses will invest in PC gaming if that market is on a sharp decline?
Overall the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti is second to that flagship product, blazingly fast on all fronts, and (based on MSRP) is the cheaper card to get. The Gaming OC offers roughly 1~2% additional performance seen from FE straight out of the box; the card has been tweaked for you already, albeit very little. The 12GB GD6X memory is well balanced; we never understood the expensive 24GB on the 3090, to be brutally honest (not that I mind or don't find it awesome). Overall though, this is a small powerhouse; this card can run games at 4K quite easily with raytracing and a DLSS combo; it will serve you well at that resolution. The closest product from the competition would be the Radeon RX 6900 XT. NVIDIA, however, offers faster raytracing performance and offers you the option to put that into 6th gear with DLS
Cooling & noise levels
Depending on the airflow level inside your chassis, expect the card to hit close to 75 Degrees C range temperature-wise under hefty load conditions in SILENT BIOS mode at 37 DBa. If you are not comfortable with that value, you can select the Perf BIOS mode. Here noise levels will hit roughly 41 DBa with temps below 70 Degrees C. This mode can be heard but remain to be really acceptable. It's a choice you get to decide. The default configuration for these cards is the silent mode. And make no mistake, the performance is 100% the same. The only thing different is that the fan RPM delta is measured against temperature. We recommend the silent BIOS mode.
The power draw under intensive gaming for GeForce RTX 3080 Ti remains to be significant. We measured it to be close to the 360 Watts for the Gaming OC from Gigabyte. Are we happy with that amount of energy consumption in the year 2021? No, not at all. Will you, as an end consumer, care about it? We dispute that as well. Keep in mind you'll need a power supply with two 8-pin PCIe graphics power headers. We advise a 700~750 Watt model as the rest of the system needs some juice, and you will want some reserve. Gigabyte limited the power limiter; you cannot tweak energy consumption any higher so that 360W typically is what it is. Heat output and energy consumption are always closely related to each other as (graphics) processors and heat can be perceived as a 1:1 state; 100 Watts in (consumption) often equals 100 Watts of heat as output. This is the basis of TDP. NVIDIA is listing their TGP at 350 Watts, which the GPU and major components use. We measure the graphics card based on TBP, total board power, as you'd easily forget that fans spinning and RGB also draw power. As such, in peak load conditions, we're touching 400 Watt states now and then.
Much like the 3080 and 3090, the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti does exhibit coil squeal. Is it annoying? It's at a level you can hear it. In a closed chassis, that noise would fade away in the background. However, with an open chassis, you can hear coil whine/squeal. Graphics cards all make this in some form, especially at high framerates; this can be perceived. This card remains a relatively silent coil whine-wise.
NVIDIA is pricing the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti at USD 1199. The good news is that that is cheaper than the price of the RTX 3090, while in most scenarios, you are at close to that performance. We do expect AIB cards to be more expensive, as that is a trend as of late. We'll have to wait and see how that pans out, though, as everything is dependant on the actual volume availability of these cards. We can say so little about pricing these days.
The card actually tweaked okay for an RTX 3080 Ti. That power limiter was a no-go. But adding 130 MHz on the GPU clock resulting in observed boost frequencies towards ~2050~MHz (depends and varies per game title/application). The memory has been binned as well; we breached breach 2.1 GHz on GDDR6X stable. All that combined brings us a 5% performance premium seen from the reference model.
The Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3080 Ti truly is a lovely product; I like that industrial look. The factory tweak is limited, though; we also don't quite grasp the power limiter having no stretch whatsoever. Regardlessly, once tweaked, you'll gain 5% additional performance. We also like the dual BIOS feature with a perf and silent mode. The fans of the Qindforce 3X cooler can be heard at all times, but in silent mode, these will fade away in the background easily. The performance mode does not offer more performance rendering-wise, just a stronger fan delta lowering temps by roughly 5 degrees C. I would level it a silent mode and be done with it personally.
In general, I think anyone would agree with me; we all would love to own a 3080 Ti. This is a very well-balanced enthusiast-class graphics card. Basically, it's almost a 3090 with half the memory and a few configuration tweaks. I am totally fine with the 12GB memory btw; the 24 GB on the 3090 is impressive but far-fetched and made the product extra expensive. 12GB is a notably well-balanced value in the year 2021. Performance-wise NVIDIA carved out something beautiful. You will be way up there in the highest performance regions, and even at Ultra HD, you can enable Raytracing with the combination of DLSS where applicable. Competition-wise, overall, AMD will still win in the lower resolutions thanks to their massive L3 buffer. However, in more demanding scenarios, NVIDIA takes the lead in rasterized shading performance when the resolution goes up when it comes to brute force muscle power in more demanding scenarios. NVIDIA also has faster Raytracing performance and, of course, the implementation of DLSS that will support that raytracing even further in performance. For raytracing, it's still hard to find Games with raytraced properly reflections, but that's what you should be after, and the numbers will grow in the future. As an overall package of hard- and software, the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti performs well on all fronts, performance, cooling, and acoustics.
Gigabyte has a solid offering here, it's close to baseline reference performance, but that card is a solid build. We're certain that Gigabyte will take it to the next level with an Aorus version. Factory tweaked performance remains relative though, this card may be only 2% faster, but that's 2 FPS on average on a 100 FPS budget. In our opinion, go for the best price and the feature set and preferences you require. All in recommended, let's hope we'll see some availability and reasonable prices.
- Hilbert, LOAD"*",8,1.