Which GPU should you buy? - NVIDIA RTX 3070, 3080, or 3090

Struggling to figure out which of the latest NVIDIA GPUs you should buy? Here's everything you need to know about the RTX 3070, 3080, and 3090.

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NVIDIA is making waves today thanks to the latest GeForce Special Event. Running for a little less than an hour, the event gave fans a great look at the company’s three upcoming GPUs, including what it is calling a BFGPU (we see what you did there and we applaud it). With so much to look forward to with the new GPUs, deciding whether you should buy the RTX 3070, 3080, or 3090 might be a bit troublesome for some out there. That’s why we’ve put together this handy buyer’s guide, which will break down everything you need to know to make the perfect choice for your set up.

Which GPU should you buy? - NVIDIA RTX 3070, 3080, or 3090

Which GPu should you buy? RTX 3080, 3090, or 3070
Is the RTX 3090 worth buying or should you go for the RTX 3070 or 3080?

Deciding on which GPU you should buy all comes down to deciding what you really need out of your system. If you’re someone that wants the latest and greatest, then you’ve probably already made the decision to dump the $1,499 needed to claim yourself a 3090 when it arrives later this month. For those working off a budget, though, choosing between the $499 and $699 price tag of the 3070 and 3080 respectfully might be a different thing altogether.

That’s why it’s always important to look at the value that you’re getting for your money. Here’s a handy breakdown of all three GPUs various specs courtesy of NVIDIA.

Spec Name RTX 3070 RTX 3080 RTX 3090
NVIDIA CUDE Cores 5888 8704 10496
Boost Clock (GHz) 1.73 1.71 1.70
Memory Config 8 GB GDDR6 10 GB GDDR6X 24 GB GDDR6X
Memory Interface Width 256-bit 320-bit 384-bit

As you can see, each GPU offers a pretty significant leap in power from the previous level, meaning that you should see plenty of bang for your buck no matter which one you decide to go with. The primary thing to take into account when making your decision is how much you’re willing to spend, does your set up require any additional upgrades, and well, do you really need that much power? Some other important points to think about, too, are how big the cards are and how much power they consume.

The RTX 3090, while boasting the most power out of the three, also consumes the most power, requiring 350W to run in your system. You’re also looking at a card that takes up three slots on your motherboard, with a running length and width of 12.3 by 5.4 inches (313 mm by 138 mm). The RTX 3080 comes in at just 11.2 by 4.4 inches (285 mm by 112 mm) and only takes up two slots. It does come with a required power of 320W for the card. Finally, the 3070 comes in at just 9.5 by 4.4 inches (242 mm by 112 mm) and takes up two slots like the 3080. It offers the lowest power requirement at 220W. Of course, third-party cards could come in different sizes, so that is definitely something to keep in mind when purchasing later on. 

For the most part, the majority of players are going to be perfectly fine with the power that the 3070 offers at just $499. According to NVIDIA, the 3070 is set to be more powerful than the 2080ti, which currently runs for around $1,200. With a lower power consumption and smaller size, it's also going to be the most accessible for many PC owners who aren't equipped to give up the three slots needed for the 3090. Of course, all we can do is provide our recommendation. Ultimately, the final decision is up to you.

Now that you know a bit more about each GPU, you should be able to choose which of the latest RTX cards is the best fit for your set up. Make sure you check out the latest news on the RTX 3070, 3080, and 3090 for more details, and be sure to keep your eyes glued right here to Shacknews for more of breaking news and content.

Guides Editor

Joshua holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and has been exploring the world of video games for as long as he can remember. He enjoys everything from large-scale RPGs to small, bite-size indie gems and everything in between.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    September 1, 2020 11:00 AM

    Josh Hawkins posted a new article, Which GPU should you buy? - NVIDIA RTX 3070, 3080, or 3090

    • reply
      September 1, 2020 11:16 AM

      Thanks Josh. I haven't seen it yet but what kind of pin connection is there for these? I remember that was a rumor that PSUs would need a 12 pin connector or whatever. Was that confirmed for all 3 cards?

      • reply
        September 1, 2020 11:18 AM

        Only the 3080 & 3090 have the 12-pin connector and they include an adapter with it. See this Digital Foundry video with a hands on look at the RTX 3080 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWD01yUQdVA

        • reply
          September 1, 2020 11:19 AM

          will take a look. I was planning on the 3080 so that's good to know as I build my new PC (still waiting on AMD to release their CPU stuff)

          • reply
            September 1, 2020 12:32 PM

            Yeah, what shadowdane said. That's actually really good info to add, so thanks for bringing that up! :D

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