Nvidia RTX 3080 review: 4K greatness at $699—and good news for cheaper GPUs

For some people, summarizing the Nvidia RTX 3080 difference may revolve around a slew of high-end—and sometimes proprietary—technologies. Ray tracing. Deep-learning super sampling. Crazy-fast memory bandwidth. In some cases, Nvidia’s new $699 GPU is at its best when software leverages its very specific perks and features.

But as we all know, 2018’s line of RTX 2000 GPUs left fans with high-priced options that didn’t offer enough universally drool-worthy boosts. At the time, I called those cards “a ticket to the RTX lottery,” and for nearly two years, the payoff was scant.

It’s getting better—especially as DirectX 12 Ultimate and a pair of next-gen consoles finally lean into most of 2018’s RTX-specific perks. AMD will soon cash in on this stuff with its own powerful RDNA 2 line of GPUs. Once Nvidia’s RTX features feel less “proprietary,” we should see them in more games—but that also leaves Nvidia to answer a question. Well, what else ya got?

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