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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Should you buy the EVGA RTX 3080 Ti FTW3 Ultra?

We’ve said it in every graphics card review we’ve published this year, and we’ll say it again: You probably shouldn’t buy any graphics card right now. Prices are slowly starting to come down, but nevertheless remain flat-out ludicrous during the crippling GPU shortage. I’d recommend most people sit on the sidelines and stream their PC games via Nvidia’s GeForce Now service until the dust settles. While this card ostensibly costs $1,400—already a princely sum—it’s going for $1,700 to $1,900 on the streets. That’s more than Young Brad’s first several hooptie cars combined.

Most people don’t need this level of firepower, either. The non-Ti GeForce RTX 3080 delivers exceptional 4K and 1440p gaming performance for (ostensibly, again) half the price of the FTW3 Ultra. You’re paying twice as much for frame rates that are only 10 to 15 percent faster. Price-to-performance becomes seriously out of wack up here at the luxurious end of graphics cards.

evga rtx 3080 ti ftw3 ultra 2 Brad Chacos/IDG

All that said—and it needs to be said—Bugattis exist for a reason. Some people simply demand peak performance, price be damned. If you’re a gamer with deep pockets and a thirst for pure speed, the EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti FTW3 Ultra was built to quench it. This ultra-luxe graphics card meets or beats the RTX 3090’s gaming performance out of the box for $100 less than the flagship’s baseline price, but it comes absolutely loaded with thoughtful extra features—like the iCX sensors, dual-BIOS switch, ARGB and PWM headers, and Precison X1 software—that can help overclockers push the hardware to peak performance with ease. To that end, EVGA loaded the FTW3 Ultra with a generous 400W power limit—50W more than the Nvidia Founders Edition. You can manually increase it by another 50W for even more headroom. Now you're playing with power!

Driving the pedal to the metal comes with some tradeoffs. The FTW3 Ultra is physically massive, draws a truly staggering amount of power, and its heat and noise levels are simply good, not exceptional. But muscle cars always guzzle gas and run hot to achieve their impressive performance, and EVGA’s graphics card is no different. Those potential “drawbacks” aren’t drawbacks whatsoever for the sort of person who would buy this card.

evga rtx 3080 ti ftw3 ultra 6 Brad Chacos/IDG

It’s also worth noting that EVGA’s customer service reputation is nothing short of stellar. The company drove that home with its behavior around the RTX 30-series launch, creating the industry’s first queue system for graphics card buyers and eradicating the red “lips” elements on the ends of its GPUs that proved aesthetically divisive. Stellar customer service should be a given when you’re buying hardware this high-end, but that’s sadly not often the case.

The EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti FTW3 Ultra isn’t for everyone—far from it. But if you’re on the hunt for pure power and love to tinker with your hardware to crank the horsepower to the bleeding edge of possible performance, it’ll be hard to find a more complete and compelling graphics card than this. Highly recommended…if you fall into that spirited 1 percent.

This story, "EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti FTW3 Ultra review: Pure souped-up power" was originally published by PCWorld.

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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