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Nvidia’s RTX 4080 may be up to 45% slower than the RTX 4090, but it’s still pricey

Nvidia’s upcoming GeForce RTX 4080 16GB is almost here, and some of its first benchmarks have just been leaked. That’s not the only interesting piece of information that was unearthed today, though.

The GPU has also been popping up at various retailers, and some of Nvidia’s board partners are pricing their versions quite high. Is it still going to be worth the price?

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 graphics card is shown flying over green perspective lines.

The more affordable counterpart to Nvidia’s RTX 4090 is set to release on November 16 with a recommended list price of $1,199. As the release date draws closer, we’re now getting one of our first looks at the card’s performance. This time, it was spotted in three synthetic benchmarks. As always, make sure you take these results with some skepticism — until the card is out in the wild, we won’t know its true capabilities.

The RTX 4080 16GB was tested in three Geekbench 5 benchmarks, including CUDA, OpenCL, and Vulkan. The test platform also included one of the best processors out right now, the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X, as well as one of the latest Asus Zen 4 motherboards and 32GB of DDR5 RAM. Without further ado, let’s dissect these benchmark results a little bit.

In the CUDA test, the GPU scored 300,728 points — that’s a huge drop compared to the 424,300 score achieved by the RTX 4090. Moving on to OpenCL, the RTX 4080 scored 248,932 points compared to RTX 4090’s 395,900. Lastly, the Vulkan test also shows a huge gap — the RTX 4080 managed to hit 148,838, but the RTX 4090 tops out at 266,500.

According to Wccftech’s comparison, this means that the GPU is definitely slower than the RTX 4090, but it does manage to beat the RTX 3090 Ti in most cases. The OpenCL benchmark showed a 9% lead over the RTX 3090 Ti and a 37.5% increase over the base RTX 3080, all the while being around 36% slower than the new Nvidia flagship.

We’re seeing similar gains and losses across the board in other tests. In Geekbench’s CUDA test, the RTX 4080 was 30% slower than the RTX 4090, but 45% faster than the RTX 3080 — and it even beat the 3090 Ti by 15%. The Vulkan test was arguably the worst of the three, with a small 5.5% lead over the RTX 3090 Ti, a 20% victory over the RTX 3080, and lastly, a whopping 45% loss when compared to the RTX 4090.

All in all, these scores aren’t surprising — no one expected the RTX 4080 to be beating the RTX 4090, after all.  And being able to rival the previous flagship RTX 3090 Ti bodes well for the GPU. However, there’s also the question of price; in that regard, the RTX 4080 may have difficulty competing.

ASUS RTX 4080 early price

— 포시포시 (@harukaze5719) November 6, 2022

We’ve already seen how much the actual pricing of the RTX 4080 is starting to vary from the $1,199 MSRP, but of course, this largely depends on location. Nvidia’s board partners will be releasing their own versions of the card; these GPUs will likely be better than the Nvidia Founders Edition, but also more expensive. Thanks to harukaze5719 on Twitter, we can see just how much pricier the RTX 4080 might turn out to be.

The frequent Twitter leaker spotted the Asus version of the RTX 4080 at an online retailer priced at up to $1,631 for the ROG Strix model of the card. That’s above the MSRP for the RTX 4090, and we don’t know whether the price already includes tax. In Europe, these prices are higher still, reaching as high as the equivalent of $2,215 with tax included. Gigabyte cards are slightly more affordable at around $1,889, followed by PNY at $1,599. These prices are listed in euros so they may vary depending on the exchange rates.

At such price points, Nvidia may have a hard time competing against AMD’s upcoming graphics cards, the RX 7900 XTX and the RX 7900 XT. The new AMD flagships are closer to the RTX 4080 in terms of specs, so if the custom versions retain some of AMD’s competitive pricing, we’re going to witness a real battle between Team Red and Team Green later this year.

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Monica J. White
Monica is a UK-based freelance writer and self-proclaimed geek. A firm believer in the "PC building is just like expensive…
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