If you’re in the market for a new graphics card, you might have been doing some research. If you have, you’ve likely come across two cards that keep being mentioned by those in the know: the Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti and the RTX 3070. For now, Nvidia is still arguably the last word in graphics tech; while AMD has released some convincing alternatives to the RTX range, there’s still nothing that lights our fire the same way that Nvidia’s range does.
So, which should you buy? Is the RTX 2080 Ti still the legendary powerhouse that it was a few years ago, or is the RTX 3070 now the card of choice to pick up? Nvidia says that the RTX 3070 is capable of matching the RTX 2080 Ti’s performance, despite being cheaper and smaller, but is that true? Let’s put the two cards to the test. Here’s our guide on whether the RTX 2080 Ti or the RTX 3070 is a better graphics card. There might be less in it than you think!
The most important element of any graphics card is whether its performance is up to snuff. Suffice it to say that whether you buy the 2080 Ti or the 3070, you’re still getting an absolute monster of a graphics card. Both cards have incredible performance, so you should be able to game at 1440p or even 4k without any issues.
Given that the 3070 is cheaper than the 2080 Ti, you’d expect its performance to suffer, right? Well, the story may not be that simple. In Forbes’ benchmarks, the RTX 2080 Ti and the RTX 3070 were almost neck-and-neck across every resolution and game the website tested, with the RTX 3070 even pulling ahead in some areas.
Digital Trends’ tests came to a similar conclusion, with the website suggesting that the RTX 3070 will outpace the RTX 2080 Ti due to its cutting-edge architecture. Obviously, your mileage will vary when it comes to frame rate tests, but most modern games should top out at around 80-90FPS if you’re playing them at 1440p on Ultra settings on both cards.
The winner here is tough to determine. If we’re going on sheer performance, then we have to call it a tie, because both cards are performing pretty much within range of one another. We’ll give this one to both cards.
In this area, the RTX 3070 unquestionably has the RTX 2080 Ti completely beaten. The 3070 can be found on most reputable websites for about £500-£600, while the RTX 2080 Ti could well cost you almost three times that much, depending on where you get it from.
Of course, the RTX 2080 Ti is an absolute beast of a card, and you might be able to get it cheaper depending on whether you buy it as part of a pre-build, but the fact remains that the RTX 3070 is a much cheaper card however you slice it. Obviously, we have to give this one to the 3070.
Winner: RTX 3070
This is a tough one. While both cards can manage ray tracing in gaming, we’re still not quite at the point where enabling ray tracing won’t result in an absolutely massive hit to your performance (at least without DLSS enabled). As such, it’s a tougher call to make between the two cards.
Technically, the RTX 3070 just about edges it in terms of ray tracing performance, but the fact is that there’s so little in it, we have to call this one a tie as well. If you’re waiting for a card that can easily handle ray tracing with very little impact on performance, then neither of these cards is going to be the one for you, unfortunately.
If size is a concern for you, then the RTX 3070 has you covered. This card is smaller than the RTX 2080 Ti, despite packing in a very similar performance level, so if you need to make some room in your case, then you should definitely opt for the RTX 3070 over its slightly older cousin.
Of course, there are arguably advantages to a bigger card as well. The RTX 2080 Ti is, as we’ve established, a beast of a card, and there’s something reassuring about seeing a massive, bulky GPU in your case, capable of handling anything you throw at it when it comes to gaming.
Still, form factor is a huge deal for many people, and if you’re looking for something smaller so that you can assemble a PC with a smaller chassis, then you’re going to want to opt for the RTX 3070. There really is no competition here.
Winner: RTX 3070
Once again, the RTX 3070 establishes itself as a clear winner in this department. If power draw is a big deal for you, then you’re going to want to plump for the RTX 3070. As Forbes mentions in its benchmarks, the RTX 3070 can deliver very similar performance to the 2080 Ti, but with much less power consumption; Forbes found that the device was drawing just 343W under load, while the RTX 2080 Ti drew 403W.
Winner: RTX 3070
In our analysis, the RTX 3070 emerges as the clear winner in this conflict. While both cards offer similar performance, the 3070 is smaller, sleeker, and cheaper, making it the obvious choice if you’re building a new PC. Don’t worry if you’re already an RTX 2080 Ti owner, though; upgrading isn’t worth your cash right now.