Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 vs 3080 vs 3070 vs 3060: here’s best comparison


What Nvidia GeForce RTX 30 GPU is best for your gaming PC? Find out here

In the wake of Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 30-series release, we’re hearing rumours of a new line, the GeForce RTX 40-series, in the works.

Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 30-series GPUs are still hard to come by, despite this. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, given how much power they provide at such a low cost.


You’ll want to know which of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 vs 3080 vs 3070 vs 3060 graphics cards is best for you if you’re lucky enough to come across a plentiful supply of Nvidia graphics cards.

Lowdown on Nvidia’s RTX 30-series GPUs

Compare all the Nvidia RTX 30-series cards side by side in a single graph is the quickest and easiest method to see how they compare. Several sources of information were used to compile this report, including Nvidia, retail sources, and our own hands-on time with the cards.

Do keep in mind that since these cards were released, there have been more powerful “Ti” versions available. There are two notable examples of this: the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti and the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti. They are essentially just more powerful and expensive versions of their non-Ti siblings. As a result, the following guidelines still hold true.


Here is the information that we believe is most relevant to the average consumer:

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090
Nvidia CUDA Cores 3,584 4,864 5,888 8,704 10,496
Boost Clock (GHz) 1.78 1.67 1.73 1.71 1.70
Memory Size 12 GB 8 GB 8 GB 10 GB 24 GB
Dimensions 9.5 x 4.4 inches 9.5 x 4.4 inches 9.5 x 4.4 inches 11.2 x 4.4 inches 12.3 x 5.4 inches
Power Draw 170W 200W 220W 320W 350W
Price $330 $400 $500 $700 $1,500

Listed below are definitions for some of the more esoteric terms that appeared in the above list:

Nvidia CUDA Cores refer to parallel data processing units within a GPU. They work similarly to how a CPU works in your computer. Generally speaking, the more CUDA Cores a GPU has, the more complicated data it can churn through quickly.


Boost Clock refers to the maximum speed a GPU can attain if it has the power available and is running cool enough. There’s also a Base Clock stat, although Nvidia GPUs will pull more resources while gaming, providing you have a powerful system that’s not otherwise engaged. A greater Boost Clock speed generally equals better performance, but it’s reliant on a lot of other things, including your unique PC’s hardware.

Memory Type is a subtle distinction. It’s important to note that, in theory, GDDR6X memory should be able to handle more demanding games at higher settings than GDDR6.

Finally, Power Draw refers to how much power the GPU can draw, by itself, while functioning under a full graphical load. Choosing a power supply is a distinct topic, so we didn’t include any of Nvidia’s suggestions for how much power a PC needs with each card installed.


All five Nvidia GeForce RTX 30-series GPUs in this comparison have several characteristics in common, which is a welcome sight. Nvidia Ampere architecture and Nvidia DLSS are both used by all three, as is second-generation ray-tracing capabilities (sort of an AI upscaler for games).

Nvidia FreeStyle, ShadowPlay, Highlights, G-Sync and GPU boost work on all of the 30-series GPUs. They’re all VR-ready, and HDMI 2.1-compatible. Additionally, theoretically, all of them may handle screens with a resolution of 8K. It’s possible that you’ll be able to achieve a lot more in 8K than you think, depending on the model you get. Finally, if you’re keen about productivity, all of them support up to four monitors.

In other words: While the horsepower varies greatly across the Nvidia 3060, 3060 Ti, 3070, 3080 and 3090, they have a set of essential features in common. Which one you should choose, then, depends primarily on how hard you intend to drive your PC, and with which apps.


Nvidia GeForce RTX 30-series GPU recommendations

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090

While the GeForce RTX 3090 has a lot of power, $1,500 is still a significant amount of money. For that money, you could quite conceivably build an entire system with one of the lower-end cards, and still have enough left over for games and accessories.

Furthermore, the RTX 3090 is arguably aimed more for productivity users, with creative suite drivers and considerably more memory than most games need. It’s a great card, and potentially extremely future-proof. If you’re not in animation, it’s probably not worth it to pay for membership.


Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 is an obvious suggestion for high-end gaming systems in general, provided you have the funds to spend on it. Its GDDR6X memory and approximately 9,000 CUDA cores set it apart from the competition. It’s a really huge card and draws a significant amount of power, so you’ll have to make sure that your case and your power supply can support it. You’ll also need a relatively high-end processor and amount of RAM to get the most out of it. But if you have $2,000 or more to invest on a gaming PC, an RTX 3080 may be a vital part of it.

Now, the more challenging part: Comparing the 3070, the 3060 Ti with the 3060. Naturally, the 3070 is the most powerful; the 3060 is the least powerful; the 3060 Ti is somewhere in the middle.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070

I can say from personal experience that I constructed the Tom’s Guide test setup with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070, and I’m really impressed with the way it performs games at QHD resolutions. I doubt it would be a 4K powerhouse, but I bet it would clear 30 fps in most games easily. It costs $500, which is more than either the 3080 or the 3090 does.


Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti 

As stated above, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti features 4,864 Nvidia CUDA cores and 8GB of GDDR6 memory. This sets it apart from both the RTX 3070 (5,888 CUDA cores, 8GB GDDR6 memory) and the RTX 3060 (3,584 CUDA cores, 12GB GDDR6 memory) (3,584 CUDA cores, 12GB GDDR6 memory). While the 3060 boasts more RAM, it’s still generally not as powerful as the 3060 Ti. This card seems like an acceptable alternative for mid-range computers that nevertheless desire decent QHD performance,.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 

In terms of 1080p resolution and frame rates, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 appears to be a safe pick as the final powerful card in the RTX 30-series. We’ll have to check how it performs with QHD panels for ourselves, but we wouldn’t count on high-end 4K performance.

The 3060 also has a slight — albeit temporary — edge over other GPUs, in that it supports Nvidia’s resizable BAR technology. This enables for faster frame rates without much additional processing power. But since the other 30-series GPUs will receive this technology before the end of the month, the gap between the 3060 and its more expensive competitors may expand again quickly.


Until then, it’s best to base your decision on pricing alone, keeping in mind that the more you pay, the better your results will be.

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