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As if you forgot, right? Today, the real next generation in gaming begins, with the release of the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 as the first in the desktop Ampere architecture.

Need a reminder of just how ridiculous and powerful the RTX 3080 is? Here's some specs:

NVIDIA CUDA® Cores 8704
Boost Clock (GHz) 1.71
Standard Memory Config 10 GB GDDR6X
Memory Interface Width 320-bit
Ray Tracing Cores 2nd Generation
Tensor Cores 3rd Generation
Maximum GPU Temperature (in C) 93
Graphics Card Power (W) 320
Recommended System Power (W) (2) 750
Supplementary Power Connectors 2x PCIe 8-pin

Additional details: they will support the latest Vulkan, OpenGL 4.6, HDMI 2.1, DisplayPort 1.4a, HDCP 2.3, PCI Express 4 and support for the AV1 codec.

Stock is expected to be quite limited, especially since they did no pre-ordering and stores will likely sell out quite quickly. Even so, here's a few places where you might be able to grab one. Some of the sites are under quite a heavy load too due to high traffic, so prepare to wait a bit. I've seen plenty of "website not available" issues today while waiting to get links.



Feel free to comment with more and we can add them in.

Driver Support

Along with the release, NVIDIA also put out a brand new Linux driver with 455.23.04. This is a Beta driver, so there may be some rough edges they still need to iron out. It brings in support for the RTX 3080, RTX 3090 and the MX450.

On top of new GPU support, it also has a bunch of fixes and improvements including support for device-local VkMemoryType, which NVIDIA said can boost performance with DiRT Rally 2.0, DOOM: Eternal and World of Warcraft with DXVK and Steam Play. Red Dead Redemption 2 with Steam Play should also see a bug fix that was causing excessive CPU use.

The VDPAU driver also expanded with support for decoding VP9 10- and 12-bit bitstreams, although it doesn't support 10- and 12-bit video surfaces yet. NVIDIA also updated Base Mosaic support on GeForce to allow a maximum of five simultaneous displays, rather than three. For PRIME users, there's also some great sounding fixes included too so you should see a smoother experience there.

Some bits were removed for SLI too like "SFR", "AFR", and "AA" modes but SLI Mosaic, Base Mosaic, GL_NV_gpu_multicast, and GLX_NV_multigpu_context are still supported. There's also plenty of other bug fixes.

What's next?

Today is only the start, with the RTX 3090 going up on September 24 and the RTX 3070 later in October. There's also been a leak (as always) of a RTX 3060 Ti which is also due to arrive in October. Based on the leak the upcoming RTX 3060 Ti will have 4864 CUDA cores, 8GB GDDR6 (no X) memory clocked at 14Gbps with a memory bandwidth of 447Gbps which means even the 3060 is going to kick-butt.

Are you going for Ampere, sticking with what you have or waiting on the upcoming AMD RDNA 2 announcements? Do let us know in the comments.

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CatKiller 17 Sep, 2020
Quoting: bisbyxI want to agree with you. But for people who dont care about nvidia vs AMD. For $700 in 1.5 months, AMD is not going to go roll out something noticeably faster than the 3080. They might roll something out at $700 but the same speed, or they might roll something out 20% faster than 3080... but costs more.

And at that point, you've just waited 1.5 months to get something that is roughly equal.

The reason it's sensible to wait isn't because you're necessarily expecting AMD to release something that will blow Ampere away.

I don't regret my purchase of a 2080 Ti in the slightest: I've had two years of excellent gaming performance, and I'll likely have several more. But if, at the time, AMD had anything to offer that was in the same ballpark, or even competitive with the 1080 Ti, it would likely have been a darn sight cheaper.

In a couple of months' time, if AMD can show that they're in the game, perhaps Nvidia will slash prices, or perhaps they'll release Ti versions. It's worth waiting even if you're planning to get an Nvidia card.
Avehicle7887 17 Sep, 2020
Definitely going for an AMD card next.

My main system runs a 2060 Super however in recent months I also bought an RX 5500XT (cheapest Navi card I could get my hands on) to learn more about Mesa, compiling the drivers and living without Nvidia in general.

After my experience, I can say I like AMD better. Mesa has a certain degree of flexibility that Nvidia doesn't offer (such as running multiple drivers if necessary). If I were to go back in time with what I know now, it would be a 5700XT.

TBH I'm not expecting AMD to blow Nvidia out of the water in October, but if performance will be anywhere close at a reasonable price, I'm game for switching out my 2060 S.

Lately I've been playing on my 5500XT system a lot, I haven't encountered any crashes, glitches or otherwise instabilities.

Sorry long read :)
Shmerl 17 Sep, 2020
Quoting: bisbyxBut I 100% don't expect to get a better price to performance deal, only better open source drivers.

I expect that AMD will provide better price / performance combination, but it wouldn't bother me if it won't happen. I'm not going to use Nvidia either way.
gradyvuckovic 18 Sep, 2020
Quoting: BreezeIf 6800XT is anything like the 5700XT launch:

  • October 28th announcement of release November 30th, reference only.
  • February 1st AIB cards released.
  • March 1st, I can build the kernel and Mesa from git branches to have a somewhat stable experience.
  • October 2021 first Ubuntu release that works reliably, April release didn't have everything.

I have bought a few Nvidia cards and they worked with proprietary drivers the week of release with zero issues. I have a 5700XT, the question for me is:

Is there a game that will be released before October 2021 that I will want 2x performance of 5700XT? If there is, I will buy a Nvidia RTX 3080, if not I'll buy a 6800XT most likely.

Games that may make me want to upgrade:
  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Vampire the Masquerades: Bloodlines 2 (not looking good)
  • Starfield
  • New Elder scrolls game
  • Avowed

I bought a 5700 XT too and what you described was my experience as well. It was very disappointing. If AMD was as prompt as NVIDIA on drivers, I don't think ANYONE would buy an NVIDIA GPU on Linux at all.
Breeze 18 Sep, 2020
Quoting: bisbyxFor $700 in 1.5 months, AMD is not going to go roll out something noticeably faster than the 3080.

That is pretty true for the most part. NVIDIA sets pricing, AMD prices their stuff accordingly. There is one generation that I can remember (cant remember which one) that AMD has caused NVIDIA to lower their prices. If 6800XT is performs worse than 3080, then it will cost less, if it performs better, it will cost more. They are always within like $50 for price per performance. At $700, I don't care about +/- $50.
The_Aquabat 18 Sep, 2020
Now the review Linus Tech Tips is honest the title is something along "I feel dissapointed". If you make such a bold claim like twice performance, you have to prove it... and you know what? maybe I just should throw to the trash my Navi card... some hardware reviewers went as far as calling people buying GPUS before Ampere stupid (Im looking at you JayZTwoCents).
According to hardware unboxed, after testing dozens of games, it is 31% faster on average compared to 2080ti and 47% to the 2080. It does really good in Ray Tracing and DLSS but that's somehow expected since it's a very recent technology (JayZtwocent really emphasized on DLSS and RayTracing to make it right after calling everyone on AMD Navi stupid and Big Navi "dead on arrival"). Also it is really fast on blender and compute task, but that's also expected because they added a lot of CUDA cores). But if you take those two peculiar strong points appart this is just another 30ish performance increase like every other release.
Linus Tech Tips also showed some computing benchmarks with the 5700xt lagging behind by some small margin. So I expect Big Navi to score some wins at least on compute tasks, and maybe on some games optimized for AMD, and it is definitely not even close to "dead on arrival".
( also though ...What looks really interesting is the full gpu passthrough for virtual machines SR-IOV. )

Last edited by The_Aquabat on 18 September 2020 at 1:49 am UTC
Shmerl 18 Sep, 2020
Quoting: The_AquabatIf you make such a bold claim like twice performance, you have to prove it.

I knew from the start that 2x improvement claim was just marketing. It simply sounded unrealistic.

Quoting: The_AquabatSo I expect Big Navi to score some wins at least on compute tasks, and maybe some games optimized for AMD, and it is definitely not even close to "dead on arrival"

Regarding AMD, they gave projected improvements in their RDNA 2 slides and I don't expect it to be far off:

That's for performance per watt. What's not known yet, is how powerful their highest end card will be using that improvement and whatever amount of compute units they'll put in it. It could be quite a leap from 5700XT.

Last edited by Shmerl on 18 September 2020 at 1:46 am UTC
The_Aquabat 18 Sep, 2020
Also I feel like the 3080 is like the TI version and the 3090 is the Super... because with the power it already sucks how much more can you increase clocks and ram speed just by feeding more power into it? maybe they are hitting a limit here in TDP, I mean they already had to make a custom PCIE power connector to feed this.

Last edited by The_Aquabat on 18 September 2020 at 2:00 am UTC
prosoor 18 Sep, 2020
I own 1080 and play in 2K, I really don't need 3080, why? I don't care about raytracing. Raytracing is not mature technology yet. And in most games not used.
Thetargos 18 Sep, 2020
Having put together a few Ryzen APUs recently and seeing how they perform on Linux, makes me want to attempt AMD graphics again on a personal computer. My last serious experience was waaaaay back when Radeon was still a brand of ATi and fglrx was still a thing. I did have a laptop with some X12xx or the like, not actually game worthy (and by then the open drivers were actually serviceable for every day tasks and desktop use). Other than that I had only tangentially touched ATi and then AMD cards on laptops of friends until recently.

There are a couple of areas where I do care about having pieces that seem to not work all that great on Linux still (like video encode/decode), but pretty much a moot point with current heavily threaded CPUs and Ryzen is a blessing for such workloads, even older ones, though still nice to have little taxation on the CPU when encoding video and recording the screen, which I often do (not gaming, though).

Last round I wasn't compelled to get an RTX card, on the principle of the price pint they got and the fact that RTX was an unproven technology (still is for the most part) and what actually made use of those tensor cores (for consumers that is) had little to do with Ray Tracing at all (DLSS). Plus I game exclusively on Linux (and have been for the better part of the last 20 years now), and seems like Ray Tracing is only going to become to Linux if more vendors support it (be it AMD or Intel).

I do not feel compelled to get a 30 series card just yet, and this time around I am truly intrigued for what AMD has up their sleeve. I'm only hoping it won't be another Radon VII fiasco, but from what scarce tid bits that have been surfacing in the rumour mill, it will be very interesting to see.

Price aside, what intrigues me the most are the Linux numbers we can expect. We already know that (if Windows numbers are anything to go by) Ampere's performance on Linux for both native and Steam Play titles will be amazing and quite on par to the Windows numbers (if not even better on some titles) and overall performance on other tasks such as Blender/DaVinci Resolve most likely will follow suit. AMD on the other hand, depends on so many moving parts that I only hope all is in place or as close as possible to release date (speaking solely about Open Drivers, I'm sure they'll have their proprietary driver ready for select supported distros). Another thing that makes me curious is the performance delta we'll get in comparison to Windows and open drivers, IIRC last time phoronix had something like that it was quite narrow, and even in some tasks Linux performance pulled ahead (though I do not seem able find the article, seems Michael never released a RADV+ACO Vs Win10 comparison for Navi).

Typically we had to wait for some time for good support (was it Southern Islands cards or even older which went almost a year before proper support was in place?), like it was the case for some bits of the R5700XT. Though, being all in the open, we know issues will be ironed out. And even many (most?) tech outlets even use the open drivers to speculate what features will be implemented in the hardware ahead of release (or simply what hardware is in the pipeline like PCI ids, and other info). It certainly has been a fun time watching all the speculation around this release, only not much as to what to expect.

At any rate, this time around I am truy curious of how will Big Navi fare against current Navi plus nVidia, it is about time someone gave nVidia a run for their money!
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