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RTX 4080 vs RTX 4090

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ASUS TUF GeForce RTX® 4090 OC Edition

Nvidia’s Ada Lovelace architecture for better or worse seems to be the de facto winner this generation as it decimates the competition from a resurgent AMD and an entry-level focused Intel Arc lineup. Nvidia’s RTX 4090 continues to lead charts well into 2024 simply for the lack of a refresh or a better option from most of its direct competitors.



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While AMD has refused to pitch a competitor to the RTX 4090, taking a somewhat reserved stance citing lack of demand for such a model from their users, Intel continues to focus on its mid-range offerings with the ARC lineup currently, making the RTX 4090 effectively the only BFGPU-tier contender in the market.


The RTX 4080 however has been met with some resistance from gamers, enthusiasts, and productivity-based users. The extra 8GB of VRAM on the RTX 4090 makes it a much more alluring option for productivity users, but the significant performance gap versus the relatively small $400 gap in MSRP between Nvidia’s high-end flagship and its penultimate GPU makes the RTX 4090 often look like a better future-proof choice especially when considering the $1200 outlay in play for the RTX 4080.

While it is easy to know which GPU is the fastest of the two, finding the best option for gamers and productivity-centric users is a much trickier affair, compounded by reignited interest in the RTX 4090 thanks to large amounts of AI-centric demand that has made it subject to both, shortages and export restrictions to various territories outside the US pushing prices upwards and limiting the number of SKUs on offer at multiple retailers.


On the RTX 4080’s end, users waiting for price cuts might have to wait a considerable amount of time longer given the sheer amount of demand for the Nvidia flagship also creating demand for the RTX 4080 by users unwilling to pay the $700 to 1000 premium for a brand new RTX 4090 currently.

How Does the RTX 4080 SUPER Change Things In 2024?

Nvidia’s RTX 4080 SUPER is arguably the biggest change that one sees from Nvidia in 2024 as the GPU that was the last out of the door out of all of the SUPER variants and the only one that came with a large price cut where it effectively eliminated the $1200 RTX 4080 by coming into play at a much more respectable $1000 with a performance gain of 3-5% across all comparable models.

The RTX 4080 SUPER’s price cut was also reflected in the prices for some RTX 4080 variants which have resulted in some premium variants that were in short supply (and not readily available in the SUPER trim also) climbing even higher as retailers transition to offering the SUPER variants of the same GPU and deal with a surge in demand.


In the long term however, the RTX 4080 SUPER will result in most RTX 4080 SKUs that remain for sale across 2024 to dip below the $1000 that is currently being asked for available RTX 4080 S models with stock clocks in play.


The Best RTX 4090 and RTX 4080 GPU Picks

  • ASUS TUF GeForce RTX® 4090 OC Edition

    The ASUS TUF GeForce RTX 4090 OC Edition is a premium RTX 4090 SKU that offers some of the best vapor chamber cooling on offer in the industry coupled with industry-grade electronics to ensure a highly overclockable RTX 4090 GPU that delivers on both the performance and reliability counts for end-users.

  • ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX® 4080 OC Edition

    ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX® 4080 OC Edition

    The ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX® 4080 OC Edition brings the Strix’s badge to Nvidia’s RTX 4080 lineup. With what is arguably the best-in-class cooler in the market right now with a design that exudes quiet power, the Strix RTX 4080 is the endgame when it comes to premium RTX 4080


While there are multiple contenders for the best RTX 4090 and the best RTX 4080 GPUs, a topic that has been covered extensively by the team at Game Rant, two of the best SKUs currently available on the market are the ASUS TUF RTX 4090 and the ASUS ROG Strix RTX 4080 OC, both of which are premium SKUs of their respective underlying GPU offerings. Both come with excellent overclocking potential and are relatively reasonably priced within their performance bracket, making them an easy recommendation compared to some of their lower or higher-end peers.

The team at Game Rant has also reviewed the ASUS ROG Strix RTX 4090 OC and found it to be one of the fastest GPUs consumers can buy and push to high overclocks with ease. The sub-$2000 RTX 4090 TUF OC SKU, much like the Strix offers a vapor chamber, solid build quality, and excellent thermals to round off what is a promising yet well-priced alternative to a premium RTX 4080 currently.


Competing Products

While the RTX 4090 commands its massive price tag by simply offering the fastest GPU experience money can buy, things are not so clear-cut for the RTX 4080 which is taken on directly by AMD’s competing RX 7900 XTX that tends to beat it comprehensively but fails to push its advantage when it comes to Ray Tracing (RT); Here Nvidia’s massive investment in RT tech begins to show as it pulls ahead in essentially every benchmark that compares them head to head.

With The RTX 4080 enjoying as much as a 50% lead in FPS when benchmarked by the gold standard for Ray Traced gaming, Cyberpunk 2077, versus the 7900 XTX, the RTX 4080 might still be the best GPU to buy at the sub $1k mark if Ray Tracing is on a user’s list of requirements; and at the price spent, it should be.

RTX GPUs


The RTX 4000 series started tracking with Steam’s hardware survey statistics in Jan 2023. The RTX 4090 has outsold its smaller sibling by ~58% and the relatively newer RTX 4070TI seems to be nipping at the RTX 4080’s heels from a better price point too, nearly catching up to it when it comes to adoption on Steam’s hardware survey (pictured above).

The RTX 4090 has no illusions of having any competition to beat for now. It comes to the table as the fastest mainstream GPU users can buy for gaming, and it will stay that way for the foreseeable future. This also reflects in terms of consumer demand. The RTX 4090 and RTX 4080 are somewhat controlled in supply by Nvidia to allow prices to remain stable thanks to a slew of crypto-mining GPUs entering the market as miners continue to dump stock en masse. Despite these factors, Consumers overwhelmingly pick the RTX 4090 over the RTX 4080 despite the price gap.


This is primarily due to the RTX 4090 being considerably more powerful for one. The RTX 4080’s price does it no favors either. Consumers and reviewers alike feel it is priced too close to the RTX 4090 while not offering similar value for money despite both GPUs being pricey offerings by Nvidia. With the introduction of the RTX 4070TI at a more palatable $799, we expect the adoption numbers to further skew in favor of Nvidia’s higher and lower-end (relatively) RTX 4000 offerings over time.

For now, it seems the RTX 4090’s nearest competitor is Nvidia’s own RTX 4080 since there are no comparable GPUs in play that can come within spitting distance of the RTX 4090 currently. AMD’s 7900 XTX does make an effort but generally falls short of the 4080 when Ray Tracing or DLSS and FSR (AMD’s answer to DLSS) come into play.


Head-to-head comparison

RTX Version

RTX 4080

RTX 4090

GPU Codename

AD103

AD102

CUDA Cores

9728

16384

Stream Processors

76

128

RT Cores

76

128

Memory

16GB GDDR6X, 256Bit

24GB GDDR6X, 384 Bit

TDP

320W

450W

Clock Speed (Base/Boost)

2210 MHz/2510MHz

2230MHz/2520MHz

Nvidia DLSS Support

Version 3, backward compatible

PCI-E Support

Gen 4.0, backward compatible

Maximum Resolution/Refresh Rate

4K at 240Hz or 8K at 60Hz with DSC, HDR

Retail MSRP

$1199

$1599

Current Market Price*

$1199

$2000

*Current market prices are based on a price point where multiple retailers/AIBs have stock priced to sell at the time of writing versus MSRP, something that is hard to find an RTX 4090 at currently.


The Nvidia RTX 4090 flexes its massive 16,384 CUDA cores versus the RTX 4080’s 9728 CUDA cores. This makes its performance proposition one that has never been seen before from Nvidia’s consumer-grade GPUs. The RTX 4080 is no slouch either. It comes quite close in CUDA core count to the RTX 3090 (10496) and RTX 3090TI (10752) and beats both comprehensively in real-world performance thanks to its considerable core clock advantage as it pushes past the 2GHz barrier with ease compared to the more restricted last-gen Ampere GPUs.

Both GPUs support Nvidia’s Proprietary DLSS 3 (Deep Learning Super Sampling) and prior implementations as well as Nvidia’s latest frame-gen technologies to boot. Both GPUs are built on a 4nm manufacturing process featuring 3rd generation RT cores and 4th generation Tensor cores in addition to overhauled streaming multiprocessors that Nvidia claims are twice as fast and efficient in ideal conditions.


The biggest difference between the two GPUs apart from the GPU core is how its GDDR6X memory is implemented. Thanks to the wider 384-bit bus, the RTX 4090 can push as much as 1,008 GB/s in speed across 24GB of memory while the RTX 4080 with its much tamer 256bit bus pushes as much as 716.8 GB/s in memory speed across 16GB, both of which are sufficient for their respective GPU’s needs.

The RTX 4090: The Best, But At Significant Cost

There is no denying that the RTX 4090 is by far the most powerful GPU Nvidia has ever built and, despite its monstrous ask, if people are willing to pay well north of $2000 at times for an RTX 3090TI, the RTX 4090 is not looking for a new market; it is simply addressing users willing to pay the premium for using the best-in-class technologies that money can buy. The RTX 4090 for the most part is a quiet performer that can boost quite well with the right thermal solution coupled with hardware designed to assist the overclocking process.


Our Best RTX 4090 Performance Pick

ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 4090 OC Edition

ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 4090 OC Edition

With Great Price Comes Great Power

$2250 $2750 Save $500

The ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 4090 OC Edition may be one of its largest GPUs ever, but the patented design supports the most potent overclocking potential out of its peers.

With a vapor chamber in tow, the ROG Strix comes in both black and white and does not disappoint in either looks or power. It is easily the most powerful 4090 out there, clocking at a stable 3120 MHz in Game Rant’s in-house testing.

Brand
Asus

Cooling Method
Air-Cooled w/Vapor Chamber

GPU Speed
2640 Mhz

Memory
24 GB GDDR6X

Power
600W

Boost Speed
2640 Mhz

Pros

  • The fastest performing RTX 4090 money can buy
  • Features rare dual HDMI 2.1 ports
  • Has an excellent 24+4 phase, 70 amp power delivery system
Cons

  • Availability at MSRP remains a hit-and-miss affair
  • Regularly out of stock and scalped

Our performance pick for the best RTX 4090 also happens to be our featured pick for this comparison; The reasons are many, but can be summed up in one word: Performance. The RTX 4090 is all about raw performance and power under the hood that no other GPU can match and only the MSI Suprim X or the ASUS ROG Strix 4090 OC truly qualify as SKUs that can go the extra mile in terms of clock speed and cooling potential when it comes to their thermal solutions.

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Our test unit regularly boosted to 3.2 GHz before dropping to sub 2.9-3.0 GHz during our tests running Hogwarts Legacy maxed out at 4K. That would make it one of the highest boost speeds with stable performance that we have seen from any RTX 4090 manufacturer. Based on various user reviews available online, many other users have similar findings. The RTX 4090 Strix OC is just that good and with the option to manually tweak the card to sub 600W power limits versus its average load consumption of sub 450W, though the card can creep up to sub 520W fairly easily if allowed to boost during gaming sessions.


The RTX 4080: The Middle Child With Solid Performance

The RTX 4080, despite being overlooked thanks to the shock and awe performance by the RTX 4090, is still an excellent performer, albeit with plenty of flack being thrown its way because of the price point it commands. At the core value proposition of its AD103 chip is an extremely fast GPU that clocks up to the 4090’s levels easily even if it has lesser muscle than its elder brother.

It also has no equals in the last generation save the pricey RTX 3090TI in some rasterized titles and even that is not a fair fight. Anything that implements DLSS 2 or RT tends to perform far better on the RTX 4080 than the last generation RTX 3090TI and DLSS 3, changing the name of the game altogether, with the RTX 4080 posting as much as a 2x to 3x gain over the last generation flagship on titles such as Microsoft Flight Simulator and Cyberpunk 2077 to name a few.

Our Best Performance RTX 4080 Pick

MSI Suprim X GeForce RTX 4080

MSI Suprim X GeForce RTX 4080

A Supreme Option

The MSI Suprim X GeForce RTX 4080 offers top-of-the-line performance for an RTX 4080 SKU while packing impressive power delivery, cooling, and build quality upgrades in tow.

It also comes with a significantly larger cooler design than its last-generation predecessor even as it runs cooler than most of its siblings thanks to what can only be called the perks of over-engineering.

With boost clocks on the higher side and an aesthetic that screams premium, the Suprim X is as solid as they come – but with a price tag to match.

Brand
MSI

Cooling Method
Air Cooled Vapor Chamber

Memory
16 GB GDDR6X

Boost Speed
2640 MHz (MSI Center)

CUDA Cores
9728 Units

GPU Speed
2205 MHz

Interface
PCI-Express 4.0

Power
320 W

Pros

  • Has superior build quality compared to most, if not all of its alternatives
  • Boosts considerably higher than most of its peers when under load
  • Is one of the most premium RTX 4080 models available to end users
  • Offers 16GB of GDDR6X memory which is enough for most 4K gaming titles
Cons

  • Considerably larger than some low-profile RTX 4080 GPUs

The MSI Suprim X GeForce RTX 4080 offers an excellent penultimate RTX 4000 series experience for a premium SKU that does trade at a significant premium versus the stock option or the newer RTX 4080 SUPER model. For its higher ask, however, it brings high boost clocks, a premium vapor chamber design, and subtle RGB to the table, making it one of the best SKUs gamers and enthusiasts can buy currently.


It trades considerably close to the ASUS ROG Strix RTX 4080 OC which is also an excellent, capable option for users requiring a GPU with better RGB lighting on offer. At the same time, the Suprim X runs cooler, quieter, and at a higher clock than most of its siblings but does draw an unfavorable comparison to some of its other premium RTX 4080 SUPER alternatives that are significantly cheaper if in stock.

Related

The Best RTX 4080 GPUs

A buyer’s guide on which RTX 4080 variant options are the best for your gaming and productivity needs

Conclusion

The RTX 4090 and the RTX 4080 and their respective AIB variants are both capable GPUs and both of these will remain relevant for gaming for the foreseeable future. In a nutshell, both can run any game thrown at them with an acceptable performance from both GPUs on the most demanding titles, especially if they get to punch back with a DLSS 3.0 solution in tow.


With DLSS 3.0 coming to more titles consistently, it is expected that Nvidia’s Frame-gen tech will feature in both new and unreleased as well as older titles extensively, and having an RTX 4000 series GPU might just be the best purchase PC players can make this year. Here, the RTX 4090 does have an edge: It will be the fastest RTX 4000 series card for the foreseeable future, or at the very least, most of 2024, making it a better purchase, given the price points of some of the more premium RTX 4080 units fast approaching RTX 4090 Founders Edition price points.

And even if that was not the case, there is no denying that the RTX 4090 is simply just a faster card, and no aftermarket RTX 4080 can surpass even the Founders Edition variant with ease. The RTX 4080 has a more confused value proposition as it competes with the RTX 4070TI which offers a better price: performance at a much more approachable price at the door. It is also why the RTX 4070TI is our de facto pick for the best Nvidia GPUs to buy in 2024.


This is not to say that the RTX 4080 (and by proxy, the RTX 4080 SUPER) does not have value or a place in the market; just that it does happen to be in a market segment that might be quite thin: People who need (and can splurge on) something better than an RTX 4070TI but can not afford an RTX 4090 making it a GPU with limited appeal especially considering the huge jump in performance to the current Ada Lovelace flagship for a $400 MSRP price premium.

This value is further compounded thanks to increased prices for the RTX 4090, driving users looking to spend around the $1500 mark to the only obvious alternative: grabbing a high-end non-FE RTX 4080 option off shelves, where they thankfully remain well-stocked for now even as a gold rush for the RTX 4090 continues thanks to its potential AI applications on offer.

FAQ

Q: Is the RTX 4090 faster than the RTX 4080?

Yes and considerably so. It comes with more CUDA cores, Stream processors, RT Cores, memory bandwidth, and capacity, and a marginally higher clock out of the box that can see it post double-digit gains easily versus its smaller sibling.


Q: Is the RTX 4080 or 4090 worth getting?

If you like to have access to the bleeding edge of technology when it comes to GPUs and gaming, yes. DLSS 3.0 is poised to be a game-changer and both of these GPUs benefit greatly from the enhancements it brings to the board. Lower temperatures, better coolers, and more efficient performance are also key benefits when you get an RTX 4090 or an RTX 4080 GPU.

Q: What Are The Best RTX 4080 and RTX 4090 discounts on offer currently?

While the Nvidia RTX 4090 rarely goes on discount, it does have budget-centric SKUs in play. Some of the best value-added RTX 4090s can be seen on Game Rant’s regularly updated RTX 4090 guide.

Users needing an RTX 4080 however have more luck in play thanks to it getting regular discounts that get plenty of comprehensive coverage as part of a dedicated buyer’s guide from Game Rant.

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