ASUS ROG Strix OC RTX 3080 12GB Review
We've got two high end RTX 3080 12GB models for review today, and both of them are so similar that we could almost say the same thing about both. Perhaps the thing we think the most about the revised RTX 3080 isn't anything to do with either ASUS or MSI, but instead is to do with Nvidia themselves and where this card fits in the market. Forgive us, then, for using largely the same text in both our conclusions. We'll deal with the individual card near the end.
It can't have escaped your attention that the original RTX 3080 was around £750 MSRP but sold for significantly more thanks to stock issues combined with the world being largely trapped in their house with little else to do with their time. The RTX 3080 Ti followed up with a pretty hefty price tag, but one that seemed fair at the time given how close to the RTX 3090 it was in performance, but again the problems of the real world meant that they were not only almost entirely out of stock in every online store we ever looked at, but when one did exist the price premium to had to pay to obtain one.
With this new SKU Nvidia seem to have taken all the RTX 3080 Ti GPUs that didn't yield the same quality as they hoped, and bundle it up with a cooler and charge the real-world going rate for such cards. After all, if this was just a bunch of RTX 3080 GPUs on the 12GB RTX 3080 Ti PCB, you'd have the same number of CUDA Cores. Yet the 12GB model is a RTX 3080 Ti with a Compute Unit chopped off, giving an extra 2GB of GDDR6X and 256 CUDA Cores more than the original RTX 3080. Is that worthy of a near doubling of the price? We don't think so. Yeah sure you might actually be able to obtain one of these cards if they've finally solved their COVID distribution issues, but it's gouging the customer of the very highest order to take advantage of the shortages to hike that price sky high. It is all very distasteful.
As for the ASUS ROG Strix OC RTX 3080 12GB itself, it's everything that you would expect from such a product. It's got the identical cooler to the RTX 3080s we have reviewed. That doesn't surprise us at all as the PCB is the same and the ASUS Strix cooler is fantastic, both in terms of noise and cooling performance, as well as the excellent RGB light show on the side. With ours being the OC model it comes out of the box with a good amount of clock speed with the Performance BIOS, and not much reduction in frames per second when you switch it in to Quiet Mode.
As you saw from our results the extra 2GB of GDDR6X makes a bit of a difference, but not as much as the extra CUDA Cores, and even then a few of our benchmark games have had patches since we first tested the cards. What it all boils down to is how fair you think it is for Nvidia to treat consumers this way, and whether you feel that the near doubling of the price tag is a price worth paying to have on in your sweaty mitts. If you do, then the ASUS ROG Strix RTX 3080 12GB OC is every bit as good as all products under the Strix brand are, it is however the same price they wanted to charge you for the 3080 Ti Strix and even back then that was over £600 above the mythical MSRP price, to now have that price again for a slower card is a hard pill to swallow.