Nvidia RTX 4080 Super vs RTX 4080: does the Ada refresh do enough?

If you’re considering a high-end graphics card then you’ve no doubt weighed up the Nvidia RTX 4080 Super vs RTX 4080. We certainly have, having tested and reviewed both GPUs, we now have a clear cut answer for you. 

It’s been a turbulent time for enthusiast-class graphics card pricing, this being the major complaint we had when Ada launched, but there’s a saving grace now. 

Let’s get one thing straight; both the RTX 4080 Super and the RTX 4080 can be considered not only one of the best 4K graphics cards on the market, but some of the best graphics cards from a raw technical perspective. Neither come cheap, but for those wanting leading 4K and high-end 1440p gaming, they are among the top offerings from Team Green without investing a further few hundred dollars and splurging on an RTX 4090 - which is overkill for gamers. 

For a more thorough dive into both video cards we recommend you check out our dedicated RTX 4080 review and RTX 4080 Super review. Below we’re comparing the two GPUs based on their price, design, and performance to help you find out which one is right for you. Let’s kick things off.

An Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Super on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

RTX 4080 Super vs RTX 4080: Price

This is arguably the biggest factor when weighing up an RTX 4080 Super vs RTX 4080. The recently-released RTX 4080 Super is now available for $999 (about £960 / AU$1,520) which significantly undercuts the price of the original RTX 4080 which debuted for a staggering $1,199 (about £1,080 / AU$1,740). That’s a decrease of about 17% which evens out to a discount of $200 (about £120 / AU$221). 

It’s definitely a change for the better and looks to answer one of our biggest criticisms with the RTX 4080 - the fact it was overpriced for what it was. The RTX 4080 Super, instead, positions itself in league with the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX, the best AMD graphics card on the market, which is about the retail price it should have been all along. Better late than never we suppose.

  • Winner: RTX 4080 Super

A masculine hand holding the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Super

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

RTX 4080 Super vs RTX 4080: Design

In terms of their design, very little has changed between the RTX 4080 and the newer RTX 4080 Super. The original Ada release is built upon the AD103 die and features 9,728 CUDA cores with 16GB GDDR6X VRAM on a 256-bit memory bus. In contrast, the RTX 4080 Super bumps that core count up to 10,240 (an increase of 5%). 

There are a couple of granular differences which deserve mentioning. For example, the RTX 4080 Super features the “Super” branding carved into the Founders Edition model, but that’s not all. The latter card is clocked ever so slightly faster with a base clock of 2.29 GHz as opposed to the original model’s 2.21 GHz. This extends to the boost clock, too, with the Super running at 2.55 GHz contrasting against the 2022 release’s 2.51 GHz. 

Aside from that, the two GPUs remain identical in size when comparing the two Founders Edition models, but your mileage may vary when factoring in partner cards. Both the RTX 4080 and RTX 4080 Super are 3-slot GPUs measuring in at 11.9 x 5.3 inches (L x W) and the two cards require a 16-pin adapter which needs 3x 8-pin PCIe power connectors. Nvidia has chosen to be iterative and make a slightly faster card that’s a fair bit cheaper instead of doing any radical upgrades as we saw earlier this month with the RTX 4070 Ti Super.

  • Winner: Tie

An Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 on a wooden desk in front of a white panel

(Image credit: Future)

RTX 4080 Super vs RTX 4080: Performance

In our synthetic benchmarks, the RTX 4080 Super and RTX 4080 are almost neck and neck in the likes of 3DMark Sky Diver, Night Raid, Fire Strike, Time Spy, Speed Way, and Portal Royal, which shouldn’t come as too big of a surprise. 

There are benchmarks that show the lead taken by the former, however, most notably with the 3DMark Wildlife Extreme which shows the largest jump. The important takeaway is that the cheaper of the two is a touch faster, barring the PassMark 3D Graphics test where the older model takes an edge.

When gaming, any gaps between the RTX 4080 and RTX 4080 Super are essentially filled with single-digit figures of difference at best. We can evidence this with Total Warhammer III which averaged 74fps in 4K at Ultra settings on the first iteration of the card and 78fps average on the Super variant. 

That’s a difference of 5%. This is consistent with Returnal running natively in 4K, the game scored an average of 90fps on the original GPU and 91fps on the Super variant for a 1% boost. 

Meanwhile, Cyberpunk 2077 gives us another example of performance differences. With RT ray tracing enabled the open-world action game scored 27fps and 28fps averages with the Super variant coming out on top. 

Factoring in DLSS 3 Frame Generation and that jumps up to a much more playable 61fps and 63fps respectively. This is a consistent increase of 3% which is on par with the theoretical power performance given the slightly faster clock speed and the 5% extra CUDA cores available.