NVIDIA announced the new series of GeForce RTX 3080 GPUs, which is what you should consider if you're searching for the best graphics card. If you're not a fan of the founder's edition, we've rounded up some of the best third-party RTX 3080 GPUs from manufacturers right here.
This fine example from PNY sports a killer design, which will look great in most PC builds. The core clock speed of 1440MHz and boost of 1710MHz are perfect for more demanding games. Not only that, but you get 8,704 CUDA processing cores, 10GB of GDDR6X RAM, and up to 760GB/s bandwidth. This GPU is ready for high-end 4K gaming PCs with PCIe 4.0.
Like most RTX 3080 graphics cards from manufacturers, the Gaming X Trio from MSI has three fans with the TRI FROZR 2 thermal design. It's designed to run pretty cool even when powering through demanding games. The 10GB of GDDR6X is perfect for UHD gaming, especially with 8,704 CUDA processor cores. This has a higher boost of 1815MHz (and power draw) than the Ventus 3X.
Sporting a slightly slower boost clock speed (1,710MHz) than its Gaming X Trio, the Ventus 3X from MSI is a great card for those looking to pick up an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 GPU without having to part with so much cash. This GPU still comes rocking 8,704 CUDA processing cores, 10GB of GDDR6X RAM, and a three-fan cooling system.
ZOTAC included almost everything it could on this more affordable GPU, including 8,704 CUDA processing cores, 10GB of GDDR6X RAM, a boost clock speed of 1710MHz, the company's excellent cooling solution, and a massive shroud. It has a striking look that's more subtle, perfect if you're not a fan of intrusive RGB lighting.
This is one gorgeous-looking GeForce RTX 3080 GPU. The all-metal shroud holds three fans for maximum cooling, all the RGB lighting you could ask for, as well as the full 8,704 CUDA processing cores. EVGA decided to go with a boost clock of 1800MHz, which when coupled with the 10GB of GDDR6X RAM will allow you to smash through even the more demanding games.
If you're a fan of the EVGA RTX 3080 look, but don't want to spend too much on the GPU, the GeForce RTX 3080 FTW3 GAMING is a great secondary choice to the ULTRA graphics card. We've got a similar design, the same 8,704 CUDA processing cores, the same 10GB of GDDR6X RAM, but a slower boost clock speed of 1710 MHz.
The XC3 is a little different to the FTW3 series in that the design looks a little less bling-bling. You could think of this card as a middle ground between the FTW3 and FTW3 ULTRA RTX 3080 GPUs from EVGA. You've got 8,704 CUDA processing cores as well as a boost clock speed of 1755 MHz.
ASUS makes some awesome-looking GPUs and the new RTX 3080 TUF Gaming series is another home run. These are cracking cards that will fit right at home in most PC builds, allowing you to put together one awesome gaming rig without all the flashing lights. It's also got the performance too, rocking a boost clock speed of 1710 MHz and 8,704 CUDA processing cores.
This GPU is identical to the TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 3080 we just covered here, but instead of the boost clock speed being 1710MHZ, we're looking at 1800MHz, providing additional headroom for increased frame rates. If you want among the best of the bunch, this is a solid choice.
Choosing the best NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 GPU
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When it comes down to choosing the best aftermarket GPU, you can look at price as the main factor in your decision making. Most manufacturers produce similar results within a GPU series like the RTX 3080, so you can expect to see similar results throughout. There are some cards that come with higher clock speeds and other high-end features that set them apart, however.
The MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio is a brilliant GPU for your new gaming PC build. It has incredible amounts of power compared to even the RTX 20 series from NVIDIA, providing a significant boost in performance per $. If you've been holding off on buying a new GPU, the RTX 3080 is your reward that'll last for many years to come.
But don't worry if your budget can't quite stretch the premium RTX 3080 cards. Options like the PNY GeForce RTX 3080 XLR8 Gaming Epic-X are still worth considering and won't let you down in-game. Even the more affordable RTX 3080 cards will be a significant upgrade on past generation GPUs.
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Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.