Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Super review: second only to the RTX 4090, and finally worth buying

The RTX 4080 Super is the enthusiast GPU we've all been waiting for from Team Green

An Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Super on a desk
Best in Class
(Image: © Future / John Loeffler)

TechRadar Verdict

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Super isn't much of an upgrade in terms of performance over the RTX 4080, but as its predecessor was already an astounding performer, so this release is really all about the price drop. Paired against its rivals though, the price drop alone makes this card more than worth buying — if you've got the money.

Pros

  • +

    Better performance than RTX 4080

  • +

    Much cheaper than RTX 4080

  • +

    Gorgeous finish

Cons

  • -

    Still very expensive

  • -

    Still power hungry

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Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Super: two minute review

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 wasn't my favorite graphics card - by a long shot - when it was released in late 2022, so in a lot of ways the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Super that's just gone on sale has a pretty easy bar to clear, and it does so by delivering better performance than its non-Super sibling at a much lower price.

To be clear, you are mostly getting a price cut on the RTX 4080 with this card, with some extra performance akin to some well-tuned overclocking. In a different universe, this card could have been released in 2022 and pretty much buried the rival AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX out the gate, rather than give Team Red a chance to own the sub-$1000 premium tier essentially all on its own.

However, now that the Nvidia RTX 4080 Super is available for a US MSRP of $999.99 (about £800/AU$1,400), the market as it stands has just had a GPU whale-bellyflop its way into it, and there's only so much you can relitigate the past in a review like this.

An Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Super on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

On its merits, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Super is essentially the best graphics card you can buy right now, other than the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090. It provides a roughly 1.4% performance gain (geometric mean) on the Nvidia RTX 4080 with most of that coming in terms of synthetic benchmarks. 

On the other side, it manages to outperform the RX 7900 XTX by about a geometric average of about 7% both in synthetic performance and gaming, across raster and ray-traced workloads, both with graphics upscaling and native resolutions.

It even comes within 18% overall of the RTX 4090, which is a hell of a thing considering it costs about 40% less at MSRP. In short, if you're an enthusiast looking for the best 4K graphics card but you're not a creative professional who needs the kind of power that an RTX 4090 brings to the table, then the RTX 4080 Super is the perfect card for you.

An Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Super on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

If you're lucky enough to pick up a Founders Edition of the RTX 4080 Super, you'll get the same gorgeous black finish that we saw on the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Super, and considering how quickly these cards are probably going to sell out, these might be something of a showpiece for those wanting to flex.

That said, if you're the type of gamer who lives and breathes RGB, then one of Nvidia's AIB partners will likely offer a better card for your build. Expect them to run higher than MSRP, however, which unfortunately negates the key advantage of this card.

There's no doubt that this card is a seriously premium purchase no matter which way you go though, so someone looking for the best cheap graphics card or the best 1440p graphics card to satisfy a midrange price point will still only be window shopping the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Super, but at least with the Super, it might not be so out of your reach as it once was.

An Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Super on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Super: Specs & features

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Super Specs
Header Cell - Column 0 RTX 4080 SuperRTX 4080
Compute Units8076
Shaders10,2409,728
Ray processors8076
AI/Tensor processors320304
Base clock2,295 MHz2,205 MHz
Boost clock2,550 MHz2,505 MHz
Memory clock1,438 MHz1,400 MHz
Memory typeGDDR6XGDDR6X
Memory pool16 GB16 GB
Memory speed (effective)23 Gbps22.4 Gbps
Memory bandwidth736.3 GB/s716.8 GB/s
Bus interface256-bit256-bit
TGP320W320W
Required power supply700W700W
Power connector1 x 16-pin1 x 16-pin
Slot widthTriple-slotTriple-slot

While you are getting more from the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Super in terms of specs — including more compute units, faster clock speeds, and faster memory — the TGP of the card is still 320W, so even though you have more of everything, you everything ends up just a bit underpowered as a result, leading to a card that is slightly faster in terms of performance, but not by much.

You would need about 336W to power all of the added hardware in the RTX 4080 Super to the same extent that the base RTX 4080's hardware was, so if you have an overclocking target, you know where you need to be. Thankfully, Nvidia does let you overclock its cards, so you do have some headroom if you want to squeeze the most out of those extra shaders.

An Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Super on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Super: Price & availability

  • How much is it? US MSRP listed at $999.99 (about £800, AU$1,400)
  • When is it out? It was released on January 31, 2024
  • Where can you get it? You can buy it in the US, UK, and Australia

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Super is available in the US, UK, and Australia (among other markets) from January 31, 2024, with a US MSRP of $999.99 (about £800 / AU$1,400).

This puts it directly against the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX in terms of price, and effectively takes the lead as the best value among the top-tier premium cards. It's also about 17% cheaper than the RTX 4080 it effectively replaces. 

Considering that the original launch price of the RTX 4080 essentially knocked 1.5 stars off its final score from me, that $200 price difference really is that big a deal at this stage since it puts enough room between it and the $1,600 price point of the RTX 4090 to make the RTX 4080 worth buying.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Super: Performance

In terms of performance, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Super offers the best bang for your buck of any of the top-tier premium cards, rivaling the performance of even the RTX 4090.

Of course, this was true of the base RTX 4080, but where the RTX 4080 Super really delivers is bringing this level of performance below the $1,000 price point that separates the enthusiast segment from the creative professional class who have company money to throw around.

On synthetic performance, the RTX 4080 Super is second only to the RTX 4090 overall, and where it falters against the RX 7900 XTX is mostly when dealing with 3DMark Fire Strike and Time Spy workloads (both regular as well as Extreme and Ultra versions), but as expected, whenever ray tracing is involved, the RTX 4080 Super shines. 

The RTX 4080 Super also outperforms the RX 7900 XTX when it comes to raw compute performance, so machine learning workloads will run much better on the RTX 4080 Super than the RX 7900 XTX.

In terms of creative performance, the RTX 4080 Super walks away the winner against the RX 7900 XTX, even if you don't factor in the fact that Blender Benchmark 4.0.0 workloads wouldn't even run on the RX 7900 XTX (though the RX 7900 XT was able to run them, just not nearly as well).

The RTX 4090 is still the card you'll want for creative workloads, 100%. But if money is a bit tighter than it used to be now that interest rates are non-zero and money means something again to VCs, the RTX 4080 Super is a good compromise.