Nvidia’s RTX 4080 graphics card with 16GB of VRAM – the high-end model, as opposed to the 12GB version – has been spotted in a purported 3DMark benchmark, giving us an idea of its gaming performance.
Now, we should make it clear upfront that it is just that – a notion of performance, more on that later – and we must be careful about assuming it’s genuine, too. It could be fakery, and as VideoCardz, which flagged up the benchmark, points out, there are doubts over how a functioning driver with support for the GPU was obtained. (Unlike the imminent RTX 4090, the RTX 4080 graphics cards don’t come out until November).
So, there are some chunky question marks around this, and the source, the Chiphell forums in China, is not the most reliable one either, though it has sprung some genuine leaks in the past.
Onto the graphics scores (at 4K resolution) the RTX 4080 supposedly achieved in 3DMark, which were 17,465 in FireStrike Extreme and 13,977 in TimeSpy Extreme. Looking at comparative scores for the RTX 3080 (12GB), that makes the RTX 4080 about 50% faster on both counts.
A further 3DMark Port Royal result was also highlighted, with the RTX 4080 hitting 17,607, which is about 45% faster, so again pretty much the same ballpark.
As a sidenote, in the images provided, specs are shown with the RTX 4080 having a boost clock of 2.5GHz.
Analysis: Let’s wait and see – but pricing worries certainly abound
At the risk of sound like a broken record, as we always remind folks with these kinds of leaks, it’s just one synthetic benchmark – what we really need to judge a GPU is testing in actual games, and a wide array of them too (as results can vary a good deal with different games, and for that matter graphics settings).
In actual fact, there is a game benchmark delivered by this leak in the form of Shadow of the Tomb Raider, where the RTX 4080 achieved 128 frames per second at 4K resolution. While we don’t have a point of comparison for that – and none of the ins-and-outs of the graphics details – on the face of it, this seems a pretty decent result.
While some folks online have been a bit disappointed by the 3DMark scores here, they are in line with what we were expecting really – and what we must also remember is that wonky drivers are likely at play. When official support comes in the release driver for the RTX 4080, the GPU will surely be faster by some measure. And of course that’s before we start talking about other benefits like DLSS 3 which looks to be a huge boost for games that support the tech (RTX 3000 GPUs won’t have this, by the way, though it might come to the Ampere range eventually).
Of course, this entire leak could be made up, but there’s a decent dollop of material and images here, so if it is a fake, someone has gone to a fair bit of trouble (mind you, it wouldn’t be the first time that has happened). So, let’s be cautious around this leak, and if it is true, equally cautious about the potential performance the RTX 4080 is seen achieving here, as the GPU will be quicker at launch (or something really would be very, very wrong).
Likely the reason there has been something of a negative reaction to this leak in some quarters is looking at that rough 50% performance gain, and comparing it to what is a big perceived increase in price. But in reality, if we look at the cheapest RTX 3080 12GB models right now (the GPU used in the performance comparisons above), the RTX 4080 is around a 60% relative price increase for that 50% performance boost.
That still means the Lovelace GPU is pricier in performance per dollar terms, but not by all that much. And hopefully as mentioned, when the full speed of the released RTX 4080 is realized, it might be pretty much on a par as an overall value proposition in performance terms.
Which still isn’t great, mind you, as graphics cards are still overpriced in our book, and the tomes of many others for that matter – and of course there’s also the reality that the RTX 4080 16GB may be pricier than the MSRP when it first breaks cover. We seriously hope not, though, but these days, it almost feels unrealistic to expect recommended pricing to hold at a GPU launch. Initial stock levels will, of course, be a big determining factor here...
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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).