If you are building your own PC, GPU is one of the things that you'll need, so we have list down here 9 of the best GPU under $500.
NVIDIA released the RTX 3000-series graphics cards last year, and this generation proved to be much different from previous generations. The power consumption of the graphics cards in this generation was way higher than any other generation, and there was a significant performance improvement too. The GeForce RTX 3090 is the flagship graphics card from the generation, followed by RTX 3080 Ti and RTX 3080. We are listing some of the best RTX 3080 aftermarket graphics cards worth considering in 2021.
The GeForce RTX 3080 is a mind-blowing graphics card that came with a fantastic price to performance ratio (that’s why we also recommend this if you want to upgrade because of the game Fortnite). This graphics card is one of the best-suited graphics cards for 4K Gaming or 1440P 165Hz gaming. The graphics card has a power consumption of around 320 watts, which is why you must have a high-end power supply to host it. With 8704 CUDA cores, 272 Texture Mapping Units, and 96 Render Output Units, the graphics card runs at a base clock of 1440 MHz, while the boost clock is 1710 MHz. The graphics card’s memory is pretty impressive, too, providing 10 GB of GDDR6X memory with 760.3 GB/s of memory bandwidth. So before starting the best RTX 3080 list, let’s check out a few things you need to know before buying a graphics card.
|Best Overall RTX 3080||EVGA RTX 3080 FTW3 Ultra||Check Price Read Customer Reviews|
|Best Editor's Pick RTX 3080||ASUS ROG STRIX GeForce RTX 3080 GAMING OC||Check Price Read Customer Reviews|
|Best Premium RTX 3080||MSI GeForce RTX 3080 GAMING X TRIO||Check Price Read Customer Reviews|
|Best Affordable RTX 3080||ZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 3080 AMP Holo||Check Price Read Customer Reviews|
|Best Premium RTX 3080||GIGABYTE RTX 3080 VISION OC||Check Price Read Customer Reviews|
|Best Budget RTX 3080||INNO3D GeForce RTX 3080 ICHILL X3||Check Price Read Customer Reviews|
|Best Budget RTX 3080||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition||Check Price Read Customer Reviews|
|Best Affordable RTX 3080||Gainward GeForce RTX 3080 Phoenix||Check Price Read Customer Reviews|
Graphics cards are one of the most expensive components in a computer system, and that is why buying them without doing research is not a good idea. We have created this buying guide for those who do not have an excellent knowledge base of graphics cards and need a hand in selecting the most suitable RTX 3080 variant for them.
The Cooling Solution: The cooling solution of the graphics card is the most crucial factor of a graphics card variant. High-end graphics cards come with massive cooling solutions that keep the graphics card below the 70-degree mark at full load. The cooling solution of a graphics card mainly depends on the size of the heat sink, the technology used in the contact between the graphics card chip and the heat sink, and the fans used. Most high-end graphics cards come with a tri-fan design, while mid-range variants come with two fans.
Overclocking Potential: The overclocking potential of a graphics card is pretty similar to a motherboard. Like the VRM on the motherboard, the graphics card also uses high-end power delivery systems. High-end graphics cards use more than 12 phase power delivery among the RTX 3080 variants, while low-end variants use less than 10 phase power delivery.
Acoustic Performance: The acoustic performance of the graphics cards matters a lot these days. Most users want a silent graphics card that does not create much noise during gaming. For this reason, manufacturers use patented fan designs, and there is a lot of difference between fans from different manufacturers.
Design and Looks: The graphics cards these days are the best-looking components of a computer system. Usually, manufacturers provide both black and white-colored variants for a particular graphics card, while some variants use unique designs. EVGA RTX 3080 FTW3 ULTRA and ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 3080 GUNDAM are excellent examples of such graphics cards that look fantastic from every aspect.
EVGA graphics cards are known for their great build quality and inspiring customer service policies. EVGA graphics cards were not very good-looking in the past for sure, but after the release of the GTX 1000-series graphics cards, we saw a huge improvement in the designs. EVGA RTX 3080 FTW3 Ultra is the flagship graphics card variant from the company, having a tri-slot tri-fan form factor.
The design of this graphics card makes it one of the best-looking RTX 3080 variants. It looks beastly, unique, and has a lot of RGB lighting on the upper side of the graphics card. The three graphics card fans are not in a straight line, which creates a nice curvy design. The backplate of the graphics card has a huge number of vents for cooling, which looks pretty awesome too.
The boost clock of the graphics card is increased to 1800 MHz, an increase of 5% from the stock clock rate of 1710 MHz. The memory clock rate of the graphics card is unchanged, just like all the other variants of RTX 3080. You might feel that the boost clock of this graphics card is lower than most of the flagship variants, and even though it is true, there is barely any difference in real-time performance due to its great cooling solution. The overclocking capabilities of this graphics card are as good as any flagship RTX 3080 variant, which is why you will easily be able to increase the boost clock by around 80 to 100 MHz.
With a thick heat sink like this and a tri-fan design, you don’t have to worry about the cooling performance of this graphics card. Even at the stock fan curve, the graphics card stays at around 75 degrees at full load, which is fine for an RTX 3080.
Overall, EVGA RTX FTW3 Ultra is the best RTX 3080 graphics card in the flagship category, and if you can bear the higher price, you should definitely go for it.
ASUS ROG STRIX graphics cards are the favorite of enthusiasts due to their extremely high performance and reliability. The designs of ROG STRIX graphics cards are better than almost any other variant, which is one reason for its popularity. For the RTX 3000-series graphics cards, ASUS ROG STRIX GeForce RTX 3080 GAMING OC is the fastest variant of the RTX 3080 and one of the coolest RTX 3080.
The design of this graphics card makes it a really interesting product. With a silver and dark gray color theme, the front shroud of the graphics card hosts three large fans. The central fan spins in the opposite direction than the other two fans to lessen the turbulence. There is an aesthetically pleasing RGB lighting at the top of the graphics card, while the ROG logo at the backplate is also RGB-lit. The graphics card is around 12.6 inches long, which is slightly more than the AMP Holo edition.
The boost clock of the graphics card is set at 1905 MHz, which is an increase of 11% from the stock boost clock of the GeForce RTX 3080. The memory clocks are still untouched, but other than that, there is no variant of RTX 3080 that comes with a faster boost clock out of the box. The real-time clock rates of this graphics card are better than most flagship variants, too, since it is equipped with a highly sophisticated cooling solution. Despite being the fastest out-of-the-box graphics card, it is one of the coolest variants, having impressive thermals at around 65 degrees on full load.
Overall, ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 3080 GAMING OC is one of the best RTX 3080, but it is among the most expensive variants too.
MSI graphics cards are as good as the ROG STRIX graphics cards when it comes to the flagship graphics card variants. MI GeForce RTX 3080 GAMING X TRIO is a masterpiece of everything, whether you talk about the looks, performance, or the graphics card’s price.
The design of the graphics card is almost as good as the ROG STRIX variant despite having a much lower price. The silver and gray-colored fan shroud hosts three MSI TORX fans known for their top-notch acoustic performance. These are some of the quietest fans in the market, which is one of the reasons for the high popularity of MSI graphics cards. There is RGB lighting at the front and the top of the graphics card, adding vibrance to the overall looks.
The boost clock of the graphics card is set at 1815 MHz, which is a 6% increase from the 1710 MHz clock of the stock card. The cooling solution of the graphics card is also better than most graphics cards, keeping it at around 70 to 75 degrees at full load. The overclocking potential of this graphics card is slightly lower than the FTW3 variant, and you might be able to push it to 50 to 80 MHz higher.
Overall, MSI GeForce RTX 3080 GAMING X TRIO is one of the best-valued variants of RTX 3080, having a balanced price while offering top-notch performance and looks.
ZOTAC was not as popular as ASUS, MSI, GIGABYTE, or EVGA a few years ago, but after the release of GTX 900-series graphics cards, its amazing build quality was hugely praised. All the following generations continued this legacy, and right now, ZOTAC graphics cards are known for the best build quality. ZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 3080 AMP Holo is a pretty massive graphics card, even though it is smaller than its bigger brother AMP EXTREME.
Some people might not like the newer design of this graphics card, as the RTX 2000-series graphics cards looked much better, especially the RTX 2080 AMP EXTREME. There is RGB lighting at the top, but the metal piece already has a greenish/grayish effect.
The boost clock of the graphics card is 1770 MHz, which is slightly lower than that of the FTW3 ULTRA. The cooling performance of this graphics card is also a little worse than the FTW3, but that can be expected since it is a much cheaper variant. It is around 12.5 inches long, which is similar to the flagship variants of the RTX 3080.
The overclocking capabilities of this graphics card are, although not bad, you might not be able to reach as high on the boost clock as the FTW3 Ultra. With such a cooling solution, the graphics card stays at around 78 to 80 degrees, which is not bad for a 320-watt graphics card.
Overall, ZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 3080 AMP Holo is a great graphics card for you if you are not planning to spend a hundred or hundred and fifty bucks more on a flagship variant.
GIGABYTE designs tons of electronic products, and graphics cards are one of the company’s most popular products. The RTX 2000-series graphics cards were some of the most beautiful products in the market we had seen, and it is pretty much the same with RTX 3000-series graphics cards. GIGABYTE RTX 3080 VISION OC is the silver-themed alternative to the GIGABYTE GAMING OC graphics card.
The design of the graphics card is fairly simple. The large silver fan shroud feels attractive, and especially, the white fans look fantastic. The boxy design of the graphics card makes it one of the most elegant variants of the RTX 3080. The unique shape of the fans minimizes the noise levels while providing a sharp look.
The boost clock of the graphics card is 1800 MHz, a 5% increase from the stock boost clock. The graphics card is around 12.6 inches long, the same as the ROG STRIX variant, although the ROG STRIX variant is slightly taller. The cooling potential of this graphics card is quite impressive. Despite being a mainstream non-flagship graphics card, it stays at around 70 degrees, which is awesome.
Overall, GIGABYTE RTX 3080 VISION OC is a fantastic white-themed variant of RTX 3080 that tries to keep a balance between price and performance.
INNO3D is not as recognized as the mainstream manufacturers, but its products have been improving a lot. INNO3D GeForce RTX 3080 ICHILL X3 is one of the flagship graphics cards from the company, followed by the ICHILL X4 variant.
The design of the graphics card is a bit of a mixture of ASUS ROG STRIX and ZOTAC AMP Holo variants. There is bright RGB lighting at the top right side of the graphics card. The metallic texture of the graphics card looks fabulous, with a complex-looking fan shroud. The backplate of the graphics card comes with many open areas, which possibly aids in cooling the graphics card.
The boost clock of the graphics card is the same as the AMP Holo edition, which is why the performance of this graphics card is roughly the same. The graphics card is around 11.8 inches long and requires three slots for installation. The I/O of the graphics card provides 1 x HDMI and 3 x DisplayPort, which is the standard configuration of most graphics cards these days. The graphics card hosts two 8-pin power connectors at the top, which is not as good as the flagship variants, which utilize up to three 8-pin connectors.
Overall, INNO3D GeForce RTX 3080 ICHILL X3 is an affordable variant of RTX 3080 that serves as a great alternative to the expensive high-end variants.
NVIDIA’s reference graphics cards were despised a decade ago due to high temperatures and low performance. However, the tables have turned, and now NVIDIA’s Founders Edition graphics card is one of the coolest-looking variants. NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition is a mind-blowing graphics card that provides dazzling looks while having the lowest price and great thermals.
The RTX 2000-series graphics cards were the first generation of NVIDIA graphics cards that came with open-air coolers. The RTX 3000-series graphics cards are totally different from any other graphics cards you would have seen. In RTX 3080 FE, there are two fans, but one fan is present at the front of the graphics card while the other is present at the rear side of the graphics card. The graphics card looks are very elegant, just like always, and the performance is exceptional too.
The boost clock of the graphics card is 1710 MHz, which originates the stock clock of the RTX 3080. The cooling solution of this graphics card is better than most third-party variants, keeping the graphics card at around 70 to 75 degrees. Since the graphics card has the lowest boost clock rate of all cards on the list, you can easily overclock it to about 100 MHz, which should yield impressive results.
Overall, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition is one of the nicest variants of GeForce RTX 3080, but the biggest issue with these is that they are rarely available and often overpriced than even the priciest variants.
Gainward graphics cards were known as some of the classiest graphics cards in the 2010-2015 era. Lately, the company was not able to manufacture high-quality graphics cards; however, the RTX 3000-series graphics cards by the company proved to be amazing. Gainward GeForce RTX 3080 Phoenix is a marvelous-looking graphics card that surpasses the looks of even the graphics cards like the ASUS ROG STRIX variant.
The design of the graphics card feels very futuristic, with a completely unique-looking fan shroud. The gray color theme of the graphics feels in contrast with the whole theme of the graphics card. There is Gainward written at the front of the fan shroud with RGB lighting, which adds a shine to the graphics card.
Despite being absolutely awesome in looks, the cooling solution of this graphics card is subpar. The fans are extra loud, yet the graphics card reaches around 80 degrees at full load, which is not exceptional. The boost clock of the graphics card is 1755 MHz, which is a 3% improvement from the stock boost clock. The graphics card uses three PCI-E power connectors; however, you should not count on overclocking the graphics card, as its thermals are not good enough to handle higher clock rates.
Overall, Gainward GeForce RTX 3080 Phoenix is a cheap variant of RTX 3080 that tends to provide the best looks but compromises on the cooling of the graphics card.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 is one of the best graphics cards for high-end gaming, whether that be 4K gaming or 1440P high-refresh-rate gaming. Its unmatched performance gives it a significant edge over previous-generation graphics cards, which is why you will find it pretty difficult to see this graphics card in stock. The graphics card has a high power consumption of around 320 watts, so make sure that your power supply rating is good enough to handle it.
When it comes to the best variants of RTX 3080, there are a lot of suitors. Some variants are meant to be the flagship variants, which tend to be much more expensive than mainstream variants and provide fantastic thermal and acoustic performance. The gaming performance of mainstream variants is slightly lower than the flagship variants, but the visuals of these graphics cards are often not as pleasant as the latter.
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