ASUS TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 3080 OC ReviewJanuary 18, 2021
The GeForce RTX 3080 is one of the enthusiast tier cards of the recently launched Nvidia RTX 3000 series. Along with the RTX 3070 and RTX 3090, the RTX 3080 brings next-generation RT cores and Tensor cores to the table. These new Ampere graphics cards also bring in new graphics enhancing and gaming experience amplifying features into the fray.
As one of Nvidia’s AIB partners, ASUS has a couple of models for the Ampere graphics card line. Its high-end ROG Strix line has all three GPUs available. The ASUS ROG Strix line offer RTX 3000 series graphics cards with top-caliber ASUS features and technologies that can be found on its cooling and power delivery system. However, for some, the premium price of the top tier models are a little out of reach, which is why ASUS has created the TUF lineup.
The TUF lineup has almost the same performance as the ROG Strix lineup but a tad more affordable. Like the Strix line, the TUF lineup also has variants of the RTX 3070, RTX 3080, and RTX 3090. Just like other brands, ASUS has OC and non-OC models available, which on numerous occasions makes choosing a little confusing. To somewhat lessen the confusion, let us help you determine if the OC variant of RTX 3080 under the TUF line is the right graphics card upgrade for your existing system or for your upcoming build.
ASUS introduces a new shroud design for its GeForce RTX 3000 series TUF Gaming lineup. Unlike its previous TUF Gaming line, its GeForce RTX 3000 series comes with a metal shroud that screams premium despite being one of the brand’s budget-friendly offering.
The ASUS TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 3080’s shroud and other TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 3000 cards are now of aluminum material, exuding a more premium look than its predecessors.
The all-aluminum shroud introduces more vents that work in tandem with its 2.7 slot design to provide more air space for the heatsink. The backplate is also redesigned with a large cut-out that provides room for the right axial fan’s airflow.
The new TUF cooling system features a middle axial fan that rotates in reverse to eliminate turbulence, minimizing noise when on higher RPMs.
And to provide a more fluid heat dispersion, its heatsink’s GPU contact now features a more smoother surface. Moreover, to ensure that all components are well-cooled, the massive heatsink is built with a dedicated VRAM heatsink.
While there are revamps on the design, the TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 3080 OC still goes through the rigorous ASUS Auto-Extreme manufacturing process, which eliminates the possibility of human errors during manufacturing. This ensures that all the ASUS TUF Gaming RTX 3080 OC graphics cards would have identical performance and durability.
Its shroud and backplate aren’t the only new additions on this generation’s TUF Gaming lineup. ASUS also introduces a new TUF Gaming logo on the GeForce RTX 3000 series graphics cards. The new TUF Gaming logo near the PCIe power slots is a monogram of the TUF letters. A modern logo that features RGB lighting.
TUF Cooling System
With years of experience and an outstanding RND team, ASUS created a cooling system with exemplary performance in its TUF Gaming lineup. This rings true on the ASUS TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 3080 OC, as its triple-fan setup and behemoth heatsink are more than enough to keep the GPU temperature at bay during heated gaming sessions.
While doing our gaming tests, the TUF cooling system pushed its fan speed to 80% or around 2100 rpm that kept the GPU temperature at 65C, enabling it to run at tip-top condition. While some graphics cards have noticeable fan noise when they reach over 80% fan speed, the TUF Gaming’s triple-fan begs to differ as the fan noise only becomes noticeable when it reaches 90%.
Fortunately, the only time it would reach the 90% fan speed is when you set an aggressive fan curve through GPU Tweak II or any third-party software that would allow you to do so. But with the TUF Gaming cooling system’s stellar performance on our test, we can’t find any reason for anyone to tweak its fan curve.
Even when we pushed an additional 120Mhz to its core clock and 110Mhz to its memory clock speed, the default fan curve was still able to keep the temperatures at bay. This means that higher additional boosts in both GPU and VRAM clock speeds are achievable.
ASUS TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 3080 OC Specifications:
- Tensor Cores – 272
- RT Cores – 68
- CPU: Ryzen 5 5600X (Stock Clock)
- CPU Cooler: AMD Wraith Prism
- Motherboard: ASRock X570 Taichi
- Memory: 16GB (8×2) HyperX Predator 3200MHz
- Drive: 2TB Seagate Firecuda, 256GB Kingmax Zeus PX3280 M.2 NVMe
- Graphics card(s): ASUS TUF RTX 3080 OC, Radeon RX 6800, Radeon RX 6800 XT
- Power Supply Unit: FSP Hydro G Pro 850W Gold
- Chassis: Open Bench
- Ambient Temperature: 32*C
Synthetic and Game Benchmarks
What we think
As the pioneer of in-hardware real-time ray-tracing on consumer graphics cards, Nvidia’s RTX 3000 series is one step ahead of its competition in this department. It is, as of this writing, the graphics card of choice if you are keen on a visually stunning gaming experience.
To that extent, ASUS RTX graphics cards would be one of the best choices when it comes to design, functionality, and performance, which rings true on the ASUS TUF RTX 3080 OC. With its out-of-the-box clock speeds, the ASUS TUF RTX 3080 OC will deliver above 60 fps on a handful of games at 4K resolution. Moreover, with its well-constructed PCB that is backed by an outstanding cooling system and power delivery, anyone can easily push in 120 MHz to its core clock and 1000 MHz to its memory clock without pushing its power limit.
So, if outstanding out-of-the-box performance is what you’re looking for, or you’re eyeing an RTX 3000 series card that has a great overclocking capability, then the ASUS TUF RTX 3080 OC is what we’ll recommend. With high-quality components, a well-thought-of cooling system that boosts its overclocking capability, it’s without a doubt, the ASUS TUF RTX 3080 OC is one RTX graphics card that will make any gaming setup competent for long while.