Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 12 GB “titleonly”
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Things are tight in Nvidia’s high-end segment: Since January, the new 12 GB version of the GeForce RTX 3080 has been positioned below the GeForce RTX 3090, between the GeForce RTX 3080 and the 3080 Ti. A review of the GeForce RTX 3080 with 12 GB was still missing on ComputerBase. With the Suprim X from MSI, the editors are now catching up.
When the embargo fell in January, the template was missing
The 12GB GeForce RTX 3080 was released on January 11, without Nvidia ever mentioning the model itself at CES a week earlier or at any other time. Many editors, including ComputerBase, had already signed NDAs from board partners at the end of December, who also sent out samples over the turn of the year. However, the pattern for ComputerBase never arrived.
Nvidia didn’t want any tests in January
But even the editors who received a sample could not create any tests until the fall of the “embargo” (more like market launch) on January 11th – because Nvidia kept the driver under lock and key, the group simply didn’t want any press reports on the GeForce RTX 3080 12 GB .
First and foremost is the RRP
With the market launch, it was also obvious why: The new GeForce RTX 3080 with 12 GB and 350 watts is only slightly faster than the well-known GeForce RTX 3080 with 10 GB and 320 watts, even if Nvidia itself does not name an RRP and in the absence of a Founders Edition does not have to name an RRP either, the actual motivation behind the graphics card quickly becomes clear when looking at the prices of the partners: Nvidia demands more from the manufacturers for the combination of GA102 GPU and 12 GB GDDR6X and thus benefits in contrast to selling those with a low RRP launched GeForce RTX 3080 with 10 GB more of the prices on the market.
The market currently looks as follows: The cheapest GeForce RTX 3080 with 10 GB currently costs 1,200 euros, the GeForce RTX 3080 12 GB is almost 200 euros more expensive at 1,389 euros.
The MSI GeForce RTX 3080 12 GB Suprim X in review
It’s now almost two months since January 11th, and the topic could be shelved without testing the GeForce RTX 3080 with 12 GB. But at the latest with the next generation, this model, which is usually available in stores, will be missing. For this reason, ComputerBase is catching up on the GeForce RTX 3080 12 GB test today with a GeForce RTX 3080 12 GB Suprim X model.
RTX 3080 12GB and RTX 3080 10GB in comparison
Technically, the two variants of the GeForce RTX 3080 are very similar, only the configurations are slightly different. Both are based on Nvidia’s largest Ampere GPU: the GA102. However, the original GeForce RTX 3080 has 68 streaming multiprocessors (SMs) enabled, compared to 70 on the 12GB version. The number of FP32 ALUs increases accordingly by 256 to 8,960, with the amount of RT- and tensor cores growing slightly.
In contrast, there are no differences in the clock speeds. Nvidia specifies an average boost clock of 1,710 MHz for both models, so that the 12 GB card offers 3 percent more theoretical computing power. At 1,260 MHz, the new edition has a base clock that is 180 MHz lower, but this has no practical effect on Ampere. So that the same clock can be maintained with the additional shader units and the more VRAM, the new model comes with a power consumption increased by 30 watts to 350 watts. The TDP is therefore the same as that of the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti and the GeForce RTX 3090.
Memory, interface and bandwidth make the difference
The biggest differences between the two expansion stages can be found in the storage system. With 12 GB instead of 10 GB, there is the logical 20 percent more VRAM. However, so that this can be realized at all without tricks that affect performance, the memory interface is automatically increased from 320 to 384 bits. Instead of ten 32-bit controllers, there are now twelve and therefore the maximum expansion level of the GPU. 1 GB of GDDR6X memory is then connected to each of the two additional controllers. Despite the same memory clock of 9,504 MHz (19 Gbps), the GeForce RTX 3080 12 GB can access a 20 percent higher memory bandwidth.
Nvidia does not distinguish between the 10 GB and 12 GB versions by name – both models are simply called “GeForce RTX 3080”. And also most, if not all, custom designs do not give an exact name. But the good news is that trade is solving the problem. There, a strict distinction is made between the 10 GB and 12 GB versions and the graphics cards are marked accordingly.
Die MSI GeForce RTX 3080 12 GB Suprim X im Detail
MSI offers three different variants of the GeForce RTX 3080 12 GB, starting with the Ventus. Then there’s a Gaming X, and finally the flagship GeForce RTX 3080 12GB Suprim X on review, which serves as the premium model. At 1,499 euros, it is the most expensive variant.
The MSI GeForce RTX 3080 12GB Suprim X is an absolutely monstrous graphics card, both in terms of dimensions of just under 34 cm and the weight of 1.9 kg – with the model you should seriously consider it, with a stand that is otherwise pretty to stabilize hardware hanging crookedly in the computer. MSI doesn’t include such a device in the package for free. On the plus side, however, are a successful look and feel. Aside from Nvidia’s Founders Edition, no other graphics card on the market looks or feels more premium.
Two BIOS versions for different speeds
The huge 2.9 slot cooler then scores with a massive amount of material. The cooling surface covers the entire graphics card, there are seven heat pipes and a nickel-plated base plate. Three axial fans with a diameter of 95 mm provide the necessary fresh air, but the fans on the Windows desktop remain silent. The starting speed is tame at around 820 revolutions. With “Silent” and “Gaming”, the graphics card offers two BIOS versions that can be switched on the PCB, which only affect the fan control.
MSI has overclocked the GeForce RTX 3080 12 GB Suprim X in-house. Instead of 350 watts, 390 watts can be consumed, but the power consumption can be increased manually to up to 430 watts. Three 8-pin power connectors are required for operation. At 1,890 MHz, the boost clock is 180 MHz higher than the Founders Edition, while the 12 GB GDDR6X memory works at the normal 9,504 MHz.
The successful RGB lighting, which is one of the larger of its kind, is also worth mentioning. The Suprim logo, two stripes between the fans and a side stripe are illuminated, optically it’s pretty chic. Monitors can be connected to three DisplayPorts and one HDMI output.