Writing about graphics cards today is like teasing a lion. They are apparently available, but their prices are more than prohibitive and hardly anyone agrees to spend several thousand zlotys. But let me briefly tell you what the Gainward Phantom GeForce RTX 3080 Ti can do.
A year ago, while reviewing the GeForce RTX 3070, I wrote that graphics cards are expensive. It turns out, however, that it was only a prelude then. GeForce RTX 3070 with the suggested price around PLN 2,350, it cost PLN 3,000. Today, you have to pay PLN 6,000 for such a card (!). This is called inflation. The model tested today, the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, was supposed to be expensive at the start, the suggested price is USD 1199, i.e. around PLN 5,500. In stores, however, you will probably not find it for less than PLN 10,000. Compared to consoles, this is a huge amount and I am not surprised that players are complaining. Unfortunately for us, the situation is unlikely to change in the near future. We can only hope that someday the supply will finally catch up with the demand.
Gainward Phantom GeForce RTX 3080 Ti – specification
But let’s go back to the hero of today’s review, the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti made its debut on the market in the middle of the year. However, Gainward recently released a Phantom version with an improved cooling system that now offers a much greater work culture, at least on paper. In addition, we have the GA102 chip at our disposal, the same as in the RTX 3080 model, but with all CUDA cores turned on. The number of TMU, ROP, RT and Tensor units has also increased proportionally, as has the memory bus, the width of which is 384 bits. Apart from the RTX 3090 model, it is currently the most efficient graphics card on the market, which should allow you to play freely even in 4K resolution with ray-tracing effects turned on.
|GPU||RTX 3080 Ti||RTX 3080||RTX 3070||RTX 3060 Ti|
|Lithography||8 nm||8 nm||8 nm||8 nm|
|Transistors||28.3 billion||28.3 billion||17.4 billion||17.4 billion|
|Timing||1395 MHz||1440 MHz||1500 MHz||1410 MHz|
|Boost||1665 MHz||1710 MHz||1725 MHz||1665 MHz|
|Memory clock||19 Gbps||19 Gbps||14 Gbps||14 Gbps|
|Memory size||12 GB||10 GB||8 GB||8 GB|
|Capacity||912 GB / s||760 GB / s||448 GB / s||448 GB / s|
|TDP coefficient||350 watts||320 W.||220 W.||200 W.|
|Launch Price||$ 1,199||699 USD||$ 499||$ 399|
|Price (November 2021)||~ 10,000 PLN||~ 8000 PLN||~ 6000 PLN||~ 4500 PLN|
Gainward Phantom GeForce RTX 3080 Ti – card photos
The cooling system of this card looks very similar to what we saw in the RTX 3070 model. The large heat sink with heat pipes is cooled by three quite large diameter fans. As it usually happens, the card can work semi-passively, which means that the fans are not spinning in the rest mode, thanks to which the card does not generate any noise.
In the rear part there is a large back-plate, i.e. a metal plate, which makes the whole structure stiff and improves heat dissipation.
Officially according to the specification, the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti needs up to 350 W, so the laminate has 3 PCIe power sockets. As it turns out, it is not exaggerated at all, the card can absorb up to 400 W. The set of ports is standard, we have 3 x Display Port 1.4a and 1x HDMI version 2.1, which allows you to achieve 4K resolution at 120 refresh rates Hz on many popular TVs. For players, this is a very important aspect.
Unfortunately, the 3 power sockets are located in a slightly unfortunate place, if you would like to display your card in a housing with a glass. It will be difficult to route the cables so that they do not obscure the manufacturer’s logo, which is lit with RGB diodes. This is in a way forced by the fact that the PCB is much shorter than the heat sink.
The test configuration consists of a standard clocked Intel Core i9-9900K processor and 16 GB of DDR4-3200 MHz memory, which are mounted on an ASUS motherboard with the Intel Z370 chipset. Everything worked under the control of Windows 10 version 64bit (build 2004), which was installed on the WD Black SN750 drive with a capacity of 1 TB. The whole is powered by an 850W Corsair RM850x. During the tests, I used the latest available drivers from NVIDIA.
Gainward Phantom GeForce RTX 3080 Ti – gaming performance
The specification is almost identical to the reference model, only the core clock speed in boost mode is slightly higher, which can reach up to 1725 MHz. Plus, we’ve got the best of the market right now, including 12GB of GDDR6X memory.
However, when we turn on a game, it turns out that the GPU core clock increases up to 1950 MHz. The power consumption for the entire card then reaches 390 W (340 W for the GPU only). However, more importantly, the fans actually turn on only after exceeding a certain temperature and with longer playing time they can start to around 1900 RPM. This is already an audible noise, but with the housing closed, in which the AIO cooling system for the processor operates, it is practically indistinguishable. At the same time, the card temperature slightly exceeds only 70 degrees Celsius. This is a very good result for the GA102 chip.
I do not think I will surprise anyone with the performance results, it is undoubtedly the most efficient graphics card I have tested, although the advantage over the RTX 3080 is not overwhelming and does not justify the difference in price (even when comparing the prices suggested by the manufacturer ;-)).
If you want to play on a 4K TV and have a 120Hz display, this is the perfect card for you. Virtually all games can be run in high quality in this resolution and achieve performance around 120 fps. Only when RTX is turned on does the card get a bit out of breath, but this can be easily circumvented by turning on DLSS (if available for the game).
Gainward Phantom GeForce RTX 3080 Ti – summary
The Gainward Phantom GeForce RTX 3080 Ti 12 GB is certainly a card that I could recommend to anyone with a clear conscience. But I’m afraid that the price in the vicinity of PLN 10,000 or even more is beyond the reach of most of us. Perhaps when a new generation of cards appears, the situation will finally improve, but looking at the charts, even at the suggested price of PLN 5,500, it will still be better to choose the RTX 3080. In my opinion, the acceptable price of a graphics card is currently similar to the Xbox Series X console price. or PlayStation 5, but if you can make money on them by also mining cryptocurrencies, we will not get to see it soon. As for the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti chip itself, its performance will certainly be enough for players for the next few years. The more that we have 12 GB of VRAM here.
Gainward did a great job designing this model, and the cooling system used works great. To dissipate 350 W of heat is a real task, and to do it with an acceptable noise level is the greater the achievement. The Phantom is a design that you can safely install in your housing and enjoy peace and unwavering performance.