The RTX 3080 Ti and 3070a To update Nvidia’s wildly popular Ampere series. On paper, the 3070 Ti does not appear to be significantly different from the base 3070. This new GPU from Nvidia boasts additional cores and a minor increase in clock speed, but it falls short of our expectations.

Is it worthwhile to upgrade from an RT3070 to an RTX 3070 Ti? Should you spend a little more money and get the 3080? For the year 2021, we gathered the RTX 3070 Ti, 3080, and 3070 for a head-to-head comparison to see which card is the best buy.

Pricing and accessibility

It was stated on September 1, 2020, that Nvidia would be selling the RTX 3070 for $499, and the 3080 would be available for $699 on September 17, 2020. The 3070 Ti was released on June 10, 2021, shortly after the 3080 Ti, for $599.

Those prices are meaningless. The RTX 3070 is currently selling for around $1,300 on the secondary market, while the 3080 is frequently selling for $2,000. Even if you are fortunate enough to obtain one of these cards from the source, you will pay significantly more than the MSRP. Retailers typically sell RTX 3070 models for $700 to $800, while the 3080 frequently sells for more than $1,000.

This is due to the ongoing GPU shortage. Manufacturing supply chain disruptions, increased demand from cryptocurrency miners, and tariffs on Chinese-imported cards have all contributed to low supply and high demand, resulting in one thing — insanely high prices. To be honest, none of the cards are worth their secondhand prices, and there’s a case to be made that none of them are worth their retail prices, either.

The RTX 3070 is the best value of the three. The 3070 is reasonably priced at around $700, so you’re not wasting money. However, how much you pay will be determined by which cards are in stock and at what price.

Specifications and performance

Balance is becoming an issue in the Ampere range, as demonstrated by the RTX 3080 Ti. The RTX 3070 Ti only adds to the confusion. It’s a marginal upgrade all around, with modest gains over the RTX 3070 while still trailing the specs of the RTX 3080. And, for an extra $100 — or, given the GPU market, much more — the RT3070 It doesn’t do enough to distinguish itself.

RTX 3070 TiRTX 3080RTX 3070 
GPUGA104-400-A1GA102-200-KD-A1GA104-300-A1
InterfacePCIe 4.0PCIe 4.0PCIe 4.0
CUDA cores6,1448,7045,888
Tensor cores192272184
RT cores486846
Base clock1,575MHz1,440MHz1,500MHz
Boost clock1,770MHz1,710MHz1,725MHz
Memory8GB GDDR 6X10GB GDDR6X8GB GDDR6
Memory speed1,188MHz1,188MHz1,750MHz
Bandwidth608GBps760GBps448GBps
Memory bus256-bit320-bit256-bit
TDP290W320W220W

Let’s start with the minor enhancements. In comparison to the base 3070, the 3070 Ti has 256 more CUDA cores, eight more Tensor cores, and two more RT cores. It also has a slight clock boost, which works well with some GPU overclocking. The most significant improvement is in memory. Although the 3070 Ti still has 8GB of RAM, it uses GDDR6X memory, which has a much higher bandwidth on the same 256-bit bus.

Specs do not tell the entire storey, but they do provide a synopsis. The 3070 Ti does little to distinguish itself from the 3070.It’s undeniably a more powerful card, but don’t expect a significant upgrade if you sell your RTX 3070.

Early indicators support this. The 3070 Ti outperforms the 3070 in a variety of synthetic tools by up to 10%, and the difference is visible in games as well. In comparison, the RTX 3080 achieved up to 40% higher performance in the same benchmark suite.

The RTX 3080 completely destroys the other two cards. A quick glance at the spec sheet confirms this, as does our real-world testing. When playing demanding AAA games like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Battlefield V, the 3080 can deliver above 60 frames per second (fps). The 3070 and 3070 Ti can play these games at 4K resolution, but you’ll need to downgrade to 1440p to see comparable frame rates.

The real question is whether 10% is worth $100 or more. Given Nvidia’s pricing, the 3070 Ti should perform roughly 20% better than the 3070 and 20% worse than the 3080, but this is not the case. There are really only two options in this three-way fight. If you already have an RTX 3070 and want to upgrade, the RTX 3080 is the way to go. If you don’t have a card yet and are trying to decide between the three, the 3070 and 3080 are your best bets.

That is, assuming you will pay the same price for the 3070 and 3070 Ti. If the difference is $100 or more — difficult to say with used prices constantly fluctuating — you can save money with the 3070 or spend a little more for the 3080.

Ray tracing and LHR

Cryptocurrency mining demand is one of the reasons Nvidia’s graphics cards are so expensive. Fortunately, Nvidia has a solution. The Lite Hash Rate (LHR) GPU core is found in the RTX 3070 Ti, 3070, and 3080. This GPU core provides identical performance while limiting the Ethereum hash rate, which should help miners reduce demand. If you’re a miner, you might want to consider an AMD card instead.

All three cards include Nvidia’s RTX features. The hardware-accelerated ray tracing is the first component of the RTX package. Each of the cards employs dedicated ray tracing cores to render photon-level reflections and shadows, bringing a new level of realism to supported games.

The problem is that ray tracing is very demanding, which is where the other RTX feature, deep learning super sampling (DLSS), comes in.DLSS employs artificial intelligence to upscale games from a low-resolution internal render. Instead of rendering a game in 4K, for example, DLSS renders it in 1080p and upscales it to 4K with minimal image quality loss.

One of the main reasons to buy an Nvidia card rather than an AMD card is the RTX package. Fortunately, all three of our competitors provide them.

There are two viable options.

This is essentially a comparison of the RTX 3080 versus a 3070. The difference in price between the 3070 and 3070 Ti isn’t worth it. However, you may be able to find the two cards for around the same price, in which case the 3070 Ti is a slightly more powerful card.

Normally, the 3070 Ti would be an unnecessary addition to the Ampere lineup. It adds a little extra performance, but not enough to justify the price. However, these are not ordinary circumstances. If the 3070 Ti excels at anything, it’s delivering more cards to the market, and that’s what matters right now. We just don’t think it’s worth it to pay a significant premium for the 3070 Ti over the 3070.

The 3080 complicates matters a little. It’s by far the best of the bunch, but it also sells for a lot more money. It’s the best option if you can find one for a reasonable price — under or around $1,000 at this point.

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