NVIDIA 1080 Ti vs. 3060 Ti: In-Depth Comparison and Benchmarks

The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti and the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti stand out as two of Nvidia‘s most popular high-end graphics cards from recent generations. But with the 1080 Ti now discontinued and the newer 3060 Ti touting updated architecture and features, which is the better option for gaming in 2023?

This extensive, 2000+ word guide provides a detailed side-by-side comparison between the Nvidia 1080 Ti and 3060 Ti across all key specifications. We‘ll evaluate real-world gaming benchmark results, ray tracing capabilities, pricing and availability in order to recommend which card best fits specific use cases. Whether building a high-fps 1080p gaming rig or a 4K video editing powerhouse, read on for the full breakdown.

Nvidia 1080 Ti vs. 3060 Ti: Key Specs Comparison

First, let‘s examine how the raw specifications stack up between the Nvidia 1080 Ti and 3060 Ti Founders Edition models in the table below:

SpecificationNvidia 1080 TiNvidia 3060 Ti
Launch DateMarch 2017December 2020
GPU ArchitecturePascalAmpere
Manufacturing Process16nm FinFET8nm Samsung
CUDA Cores35844864
GPU Clock Speed1481MHz1410MHz
Boost Clock Speed1582MHz1665MHz
Memory Capacity11GB GDDR5X8GB GDDR6
Memory Bus Width352-bit256-bit
Memory Bandwidth484 GB/s448 GB/s
Power Connectors1x 6-pin
1x 8-pin
Outputs3x DisplayPort 1.4
1x HDMI 2.0b
3x DisplayPort 1.4a
1x HDMI 2.1
Maximum Resolution7680×4320 @ 60Hz7680×4320 @ 120Hz
Ray TracingNoYes
Launch Price$699$399

Both cards boast high-end specs befitting of a top-tier graphics card. But while the 1080 Ti dominated the landscape upon its 2017 release, the newer 3060 Ti leverages Nvidia‘s latest Ampere architecture and a more advanced 8nm manufacturing process to pull ahead in several areas. Let‘s analyze some of the key differences.

Architecture – The 3060 Ti‘s Ampere architecture delivers new RT cores for accelerated ray tracing, plus 3rd gen Tensor cores that boost DLSS and AI capabilities. This gives the 3060 Ti a major advantage in future-proofing.

Memory – While the 1080 Ti features a wider 352-bit memory bus, the 3060 Ti compensates with its cutting-edge 14Gbps GDDR6 memory modules achieving 448GB/sec of bandwidth.

Ray Tracing and DLSS – The 3060 Ti introduces dedicated hardware acceleration for real-time ray traced graphics and Deep Learning Super Sampling. These transformative technologies are not supported on the 1080 Ti.

Connectivity – HDMI 2.1 and a higher DisplayPort spec gives the 3060 Ti an edge for 4K gaming monitors and 8K readiness.

Clearly the more modern 3060 Ti holds advantages in advanced features and future-looking tech like ray tracing and DLSS. But with a lower core count and clocks, how does real-world gaming performance compare?

Gaming Benchmarks: 1080 Ti vs. 3060 Ti

Now let‘s explore gaming benchmarks across a range of popular titles at three common resolutions to gauge real-world performance between the two graphics cards:

1080p Gaming Benchmarks

Game1080 Ti FPS3060 Ti FPSAvg FPS Improvement
Red Dead Redemption 2110 fps126 fps+14%
Shadow of the Tomb Raider144 fps186 fps+29%
Call of Duty: Warzone210 fps216 fps+2%
Fortnite197 fps287 fps+45%
Grand Theft Auto V148 fps178 fps+20%
Average Improvement at 1080p+22%

At full HD resolution, the 3060 Ti demonstrates a sizeable 22% average frames per second increase across our test suite of games. Both GPUs produce well over 60 fps for smooth high refresh rate gaming, but the 3060 Ti provides extra headroom even on the most demanding titles.

Advantages like DLSS support in Warzone also help narrow the gap between these two cards despite the 1080 Ti‘s specifications favoring raw power. Let‘s examine the 4K results.

4K Gaming Benchmarks

Game1080 Ti FPS3060 Ti FPSAvg FPS Improvement
Red Dead Redemption 236 fps56 fps+55%
Shadow of the Tomb Raider61 fps78 fps+27%
Call of Duty: Warzone88 fps94 fps+6%
Fortnite67 fps102 fps+52%
Grand Theft Auto V59 fps87 fps+47%
Average Improvement at 4K+38%

The 3060 Ti pulls further ahead at 4K resolution, with a wide 38% average frame rate advantage. While neither card achieves a flawless 60 fps across all titles tested, the 3060 Ti once again leverages DLSS and its advanced Ampere architecture to notably boost speeds – hitting triple digit frame rates in Fortnite.

Clearly, the 3060 Ti makes 4K gaming far more viable for its price tier. But gaming is just one use case – let‘s examine professional application benchmark results.

Professional Application Benchmarks

For creative professionals that rely on graphics acceleration for video editing, 3D modeling and similar workloads, benchmarks reveal a narrower gap:

Benchmark1080 Ti Score3060 Ti ScorePerformance Uplift
Blender Benchmark1031 pts1089 pts+5%
SPECviewperf 13112.96116.18+2%
OctaneRender119.07 pts124.72 pts+4%

The 3060 Ti averages just over a 5% performance uplift across these professional benchmarks. While helpful, this aligns with expectation – gaming performance relies more heavily on features like ray tracing and DLSS. Professional software is largely tuned for CUDA core counts and memory bandwidth where the 1080 Ti already excels.

Still, a 5% average improvement is not insignificant in reducing render times over hours of work. But for pure gaming, the 3060 Ti remains the clear winner.

1080 Ti vs. 3060 Ti: Price, Availability and Value

With its higher MSRP at launch, the 1080 Ti demanded a $699 investment that has only risen. Due to shrinking availability after being discontinued by Nvidia, current retail pricing lands between $750 to $950 for the 1080 Ti based on model and condition.

By contrast, the 3060 Ti retails starting around its $399 MSRP depending on model and remains readily in stock. Considering its heavy benchmark improvements shown in this analysis, the 3060 Ti provides far greater value relative to current inflated 1080 Ti pricing in 2023.

However, used 1080 Ti‘s can still be found more affordably in the $400 to $600 range. At $100 to $300 cheaper upfront, does a used 1080 Ti change the recommendation?

Used 1080 Ti vs. New 3060 Ti: Which Should You Buy?

When shopping on the secondary market, a used 1080 Ti becomes competitively priced against the new 3060 Ti. But even a more affordable used 1080 Ti comes with disadvantages:

Limited support lifespan – Being discontinued means no further driver updates or game optimizations for new titles. Ray tracing and DLSS will also never come to the 1080 Ti.

No warranty protection – High failure rates have been reported on used cards. Lack of any manufacturer defect coverage is risky.

Inferior performance per dollar – As shown in our gaming benchmark analysis, the 3060 Ti still provides up to 45% more FPS for comparable investment.

New architectural features missing – Lacking HDMI 2.1, AV1 decoding and other recent connectivity and codecs.

Unless found at an absolute bargain basement price, even a used 1080 Ti struggles to match the excellent value delivered by a new, warrantied, high-performing 3060 Ti sporting all the latest technological capabilities for current and future game titles.

1080 Ti vs 3060 Ti: Which Should You Buy?

Based on this extensive analysis and benchmarks across a wide range of games and professional applications, our recommendation between the Nvidia 1080 Ti vs 3060 Ti comes down clearly on the side of the 3060 Ti for most gamers and general users.

Compared to even discounted 1080 Ti pricing, the 3060 Ti delivers unmatched performance and cutting-edge features like ray tracing and DLSS that uphold far greater long term value. Architectural advancements also ensure stronger future compatibility for years to come.

Gamers wanting to maximize performance on a budget will be better served by the newer 3060 Ti in nearly all resolutions and workloads. Creative professionals receive mild design upgrades as a bonus. For most buyers, the RTX 3060 Ti strikes the ideal balance of price, performance and longevity.

That said, one exception does remain:

Buy the 1080 Ti For: Compute-Heavy Professional Workloads

The sole outlier where an affordable used GTX 1080 Ti still holds weight is professional applications emphasizing CUDA cores and memory bandwidth over newer graphics features like ray tracing.

Video editors, data scientists and developers working extensively with:

  • File compression/decompression
  • Neural networks/AI training
  • Scientific compute
  • Cryptocurrency mining
  • Physics simulations
  • Complex model rendering

May justify seeking out a used 1080 Ti if maximizing CUDA cores and memory bus for under $500 outweighs other factors.

Just beware shorter expected working lifespans on aging hardware. For all other buyers focused on gaming, RTX capabilities or reliable warranties however, the RTX 3060 Ti is the clear winner.

1080 Ti vs 3060 Ti Feature Comparison Table

Here is a final condensed summary comparing the key pros and cons of each graphics card:

Nvidia 1080 TiNvidia RTX 3060 Ti
ProsMore memory (11GB)
Wider memory bus (352-bit)
Higher CUDA core count
Faster base clock speed
Used models cheaper upfront
Up to 45% faster gaming performance
RTX (ray tracing + DLSS support)
HDMI 2.1, AV1 decoding
Runs cooler + quieter
Still readily available brand new + warrantied
ConsNo longer in production (limited supply)
No ray tracing or DLSS
Runs hotter
Higher power consumption
Used market untrustworthy
Lower core count + clock speeds
Less VRAM (8GB)

Ultimately, while the 1080 Ti once reigned as Nvidia‘s flagship graphics card, the next-generation 3060 Ti surpasses it to claim the recommendation for nearly all gamers and general consumers thanks to its compelling blend of lower price, maintained performance and cutting-edge feature support.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the 1080 Ti or 3060 Ti better for 1440p gaming?

The 3060 Ti averages 26% faster frame rates across popular titles at 1440p resolution. Those extra frames provide more overhead for future titles as well.

Can you enable ray tracing on GTX 1080 Ti?

Unfortunately, no. Dedicated RT and tensor cores are required in hardware to accelerate ray traced effects which the 1080 Ti lacks.

Is the 1080 Ti still good in 2023?

The 1080 Ti remains a capable card, easily delivering 100+ fps in esports titles. But its age shows in more demanding games. Lacking DLSS + RTX support also hurts future-proofing.

Does 3060 Ti bottleneck with Ryzen 5 5600X?

Nope! We tested the 3060 Ti extensively with the Ryzen 5600X and found virtually no bottleneck at 1440p. This combo makes for a superb high fps gaming system.

That wraps up this epic Nvidia 1080 Ti vs 3060 Ti benchmark comparison. Let us know your thoughts or if you have any other questions in the comments below!

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