EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti FTW3 Ultra review: Pure souped-up power

The EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti FTW3 Ultra is an ultra-fast, power-chugging graphics card built to ride the bleeding-edge of performance—if you can afford it.

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Our test system

We’re using our new AMD Ryzen 5000-series test rig to benchmark the EVGA RTX 3080 Ti FTW3 Ultra. Currently, we’re testing it on an open bench with AMD’s Wraith Max air cooler. In the future, we’ll be moving the setup into a case and adding an NZXT Kraken liquid cooler to the mix. Most of the hardware was provided by the manufacturers, but we purchased the storage ourselves.

  • AMD Ryzen 5900X, stock settings
  • AMD Wraith Max cooler
  • MSI Godlike X570 motherboard
  • 32GB G.Skill Trident Z Neo DDR4 3800 memory
  • EVGA 1200W SuperNova P2 power supply ($352 on Amazon)
  • 1TB SK Hynix Gold S31 SSD

We’re comparing the $1,400 EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti FTW3 Ultra against the Nvidia’s Founders Edition models of the $1,500 RTX 3090, $1,200 RTX 3080 Ti, and $700 RTX 3080, of course, as well as AMD’s rival $1,000 Radeon RX 6900 XT.

Time constraints prevented us from testing Resizable BAR or ray tracing performance. That said, because the 3080 Ti is essentially a 3090 with less memory, its ray tracing and DLSS performance should be very near identical to that card’s. You can see how the comparison GPUs all handle ray tracing in our Radeon RX 6900 XT review.

This evaluation focuses purely on traditional gaming benchmarks. We test a variety of games spanning various engines, genres, vendor sponsorships (Nvidia, AMD, and Intel), and graphics APIs (DirectX 11, DX12, and Vulkan). Each game is tested using its in-game benchmark at the highest possible graphics presets unless otherwise noted, with VSync, frame rate caps, real-time ray tracing or DLSS effects, and FreeSync/G-Sync disabled, along with any other vendor-specific technologies like FidelityFX tools or Nvidia Reflex. We’ve also enabled temporal anti-aliasing (TAA) to push these cards to their limits. We run each benchmark at least three times and list the average result for each test.

Because the RTX 3080 Ti is a known quantity at this point, we’ll leave all commentary for the end. But pay close attention to where the FTW3 Ultra falls in these charts. While the RTX 3090, 3080 Ti FE, and 3080 Ti FTW3 Ultra all deliver roughly similar results, there are several scenarios where EVGA’s card meets or even beats the flagship 3090. Wowza. You couldn’t say that about Nvidia’s 3080 Ti Founders Edition.

Gaming performance benchmarks

Watch Dogs: Legion

Watch Dogs: Legion is one of the first games to debut on next-gen consoles. Ubisoft upgraded its Disrupt engine to include cutting-edge features like real-time ray tracing and Nvidia’s DLSS. We disable those effects for this testing, but Legion remains a strenuous game even on high-end hardware with its optional high-resolution texture pack installed. No card can maintain a 60-frames-per-second average with Ultra graphics options enabled, and the game allocates more than 8GB of memory even at 1440p. Oof.

wdl Brad Chacos/IDG

Horizon Zero Dawn

Yep, PlayStation exclusives are coming to the PC now. Horizon Zero Dawn runs on Guerrilla Games’ Decima engine, the same engine that powers Death Stranding.

hzd Brad Chacos/IDG

Next page: gaming benchmarks continue

At a Glance
  • The EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti FTW3 Ultra is an ultra-fast, power-chugging graphics card built to ride the bleeding-edge of performance—if you can afford it. Overclocking enthusiasts and gamers who refuse to sacrifice a single frame will love it, but most people would be better off with a more affordable option.

    Pros

    • Excellent 4K and 1440p gaming
    • Huge factory overclock
    • As fast as RTX 3090, sometimes faster
    • 12GB of high-speed GDDR6X memory
    • Loaded with overclocking-friendly features
    • Fan and RGB headers, striking RGB lights
    • Precision X1 software is superb

    Cons

    • Staggering power draw
    • Massive size, 3x power pins limits some PC compatibility
    • EVGA's fantastic cooler delivers merely very good heat, noise results due to sky-high power draw
    • Very expensive (more so on the street), low availability
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