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Best graphics card in 2022 for PC gamers (Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 10GB)

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Best graphics card in 2022 for PC gamers (Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 10GB)

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The RTX 3080 is the best graphics card out there today. Well, the 10GB one is, at its original MSRP. You might find it going for a little more than that today, and don’t forget the 12GB model that Nvidia later released, which is even more expensive still. Yet whichever model you go for the RTX 3080 represents a huge generational performance boost over the previous RTX 20-series. That’s impressive when put up against either the RTX 2080 or 2080 Super, but when you consider that this nominally $699 card can not just match but massively outperform the $1,200 RTX 2080 Ti, it really hits home.

The thing which really stands out from our testing is the difference it makes to ray-tracing performance. The first generation of ray tracing-capable cards required such a huge frame rate sacrifice that most people shied away from turning it on, but that’s no longer the case with this generation.

When you can now get ray-traced performance that exceeds the frame rates you’d get out of the top card of the RTX 20-series when running without it, you know that this is a whole different beast. And hey, the RTX 3080 can actually run Crysis(opens in new tab).

The RTX 3080 may need a fair chunk more power—you’ll want at least an 850W PSU—and be tricky to get hold of, but this is the most desirable graphics card around today. Which I guess is also why it’s so tricky to get hold of.

If there was one bit of advice for buying a GeForce RTX 3080 it would be that it’s worth trying to get your hands on the Founders Edition if at all possible. Pick your expletive, because the RTX 3080 Founders Edition is ****ing great. Far from just being the reference version of the ‘flagship’ Ampere graphics card, because of that cooler and redesigned PCB, it is the ultimate expression of the RTX 3080. And if you end up with another version of this fine-ass GPU then I’m afraid you’re likely to feel a little hard done by.

Chances are you’re going to have to make do. The Founders Edition cards are not produced in the same volumes as the third-party versions from the likes of Asus, MSI, Gigabyte, Palit, and Colorful, to name but a few. Given the stock shortages, you’re going to be happy with whatever RTX 3080 you can get your hands on. Especially if you can get one near to the MSRP. And besides, some of the cooling options on these third-party cards are impressive in their own right, so it’s not all bad by any stretch.

Regardless of which card you get your hands on, the performance uplift you get over the previous generation is huge and pretty much unprecedented. Maybe we’ve become used to more iterative generational deltas, especially considering the slight difference between the GTX 1080 Ti and RTX 2080, for example. But we’re going to continue beating the Ti drum because it bears repeating—the fact the $699 RTX 3080 absolutely smashes the $1,200 RTX 2080 Ti is still staggering.

Nvidia has gone big with the RTX 3080, and the result is an outstanding gaming card that sets a new benchmark for both high-end 4K gaming performance and for ray tracing. As I said at the top, it’s the 10GB model we love more for its blend of performance and price, but the 12GB model is still a viable option. Just that much less affordable.

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Subhajit