The GeForce GTX 1080 is the top-tier graphics card in the GeForce GTX ’10’ series. The RTX 3060, on the other hand, despite being the mid-tier graphics card in the RTX “30” series, outperforms previous generations’ high-end GPUs. Several GTX 1080 users who could not upgrade to the RTX ’20’ series of GPUs eagerly anticipated the RTX ’30’ Series. Given the price and performance differences, we believe comparing the GTX 1080 vs RTX 3060 would benefit many users looking to upgrade their GPUs.
This guide will look at the basic specifications of the GTX 1080 and RTX 3060. Following that, we will compare the gaming performance of the GTX 1080 and the RTX 3060.
We hope this guide will help you choose a better GPU for your next graphics card upgrade.
Brief Note on GTX 1080
In May 2016, Nvidia released the GeForce GTX 1080 for the first time. It is a high-end GPU based on the Turing microarchitecture suitable for high or ultra-setting gaming, 1440p gaming, and performance video rendering.
The GTX 1080’s graphics core is designated as GP104-400-A1 or GP104-410-A1. It has 2560 CUDA Cores and supports GDDR5X memory. In terms of memory, the GTX 1080 GPU could support up to 11 GB of GDDR5X video memory.
Nvidia chose the TSMC’s 16 nm process node for the GTX 1080, which significantly improved over the GeForce 900 Series GPUs’ 28 nm node. The GTX 1080 has a base core clock of 1607 MHz and a boost clock of 1733 MHz.
When all of these specs and numbers were added together, the GeForce GTX 1080 provided the best possible gaming experience at the time. The frame rate was higher. You could easily increase the screen resolution to 1440p without sacrificing performance. Video rendering was a piece of cake.
Overall, Nvidia’s GTX 1080 GPU was a huge success. Of course, this changed when they released the RTX 20 and 30 GPU series in the following years.
Brief Note on RTX 3060
The launch of Nvidia’s RTX 30 series of graphics cards was a disaster. In the beginning, it released the high-end RTX 3080 in September 2020. However, we had to wait until February 2021 to get our hands on the mid-range king, the RTX 3060. With an MSRP nearly half that of the GTX 1080, the RTX 3060 outperformed some top RTX 20 and GTX 10 series GPUs, including the GTX 1080.
The Ampere microarchitecture was improved for the RTX 3060. Nvidia chose Samsung as its primary foundry partner this time. Samsung used its 8 nm process node to manufacture all RTX 30 series GPUs, including the RTX 3060.
The graphics core of the RTX 3060 is GA106-300, GA106-302, and GA104-150. Coming to the core specifications, it had 3584 CUDA cores. The base core clock frequency is 1320 MHz, which can be boosted to 1777 MHz. The RTX 3060 supported GDDR6 memory configurations up to 12 GB.
Many gamers and PC builders were eager to get their hands on an RTX 30 Series GPU after missing out on the RTX 20 series. The RTX 3060 was popular for many “budget” PC builds due to its high performance-to-price ratio.
Specifications of GTX 1080 vs RTX 3060
The following table has some important specifications of GTX 1080 as well as RTX 3060.
|Spec||GTX 1080||RTX 3060|
|Base Core Clock||1607 MHz||1320 MHz|
|Boost Clock||1733 MHz||1777 MHz|
|Memory Configuration||11 GB||12 GB|
|Bus Interface||PCIe 3.0||PCIe 4.0|
|TDP||180 Watts||170 Watts|
|Max. Display Resolution||7680 × 4320 @ 60Hz||7680 × 4320 @ 60Hz|
|Display Connectors||HDMI 2.0b, Dual Link DVI, DisplayPort 1.4a||DisplayPort 1.4a, HDMI 2.1|
|DirectX 12 Support||Yes||Yes|
Comparison of GTX 1080 vs RTX 3060
Let’s start the GTX 1080 vs RTX 3060 comparison with the number of CUDA cores in each GPU. The RTX 3060 has 3584 CUDA cores compared to the GTX, the 1080s 2560.
This distinction will undoubtedly affect their performance in synthetic benchmarking, gaming, or rendering. The RTX 3060, for example, averaged around 12 TFLOPS, while the GTX 1080 averaged only 9 TFLOPS. There is also a distinction between the amount of video memory (RAM) and the variant. For example, all RTX 3060 graphics cards come with up to 12 GB of GDDR6 RAM.
However, the GTX 1080 can be configured with up to 11 GB of GDDR5X memory. Despite having the same video memory, the performance difference between GDDR5X and GDDR6 is obvious. Read More; Nvidia RTX 2080 Super vs 3070: Full Comparison
The GTX 1080’s base clock is significantly higher than the RTX 3060’s. When the clock frequencies are compared, the GTX 1080 has 1607 MHz while the RTX 3060 has only 1320 MHz. Both of these GPUs have similar boost clocks. The GTX 1080 has a boost clock of 1733 MHz, while the RTX 3060 has a boost clock of 1777 MHz.
Performance of GTX 1080 vs RTX 3060
We tested these two GPUs with some popular titles. Here are our observations.
1080p with High settings
|GTX 1080||RTX 3060|
|Far Cry 6||71||93|
|Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla||54||69|
1440p with High settings
|GTX 1080||RTX 3060|
|Far Cry 6||53||70|
|Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla||43||55|
4K with High settings
|GTX 1080||RTX 3060|
|Far Cry 6||33||40|
|Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla||26||35|
According to the numbers above, the RTX 3060 easily outperforms the GTX 1080 in all games and display settings. We had no reservations about the RTX 3060’s performance.
If you own a GTX 1080 and want to upgrade to a better RTX 30 Series graphics card, the mid-tier RTX 3060 is one of the best options. The RTX 3060 is the undisputed king of 1080p gaming. Read Also; RTX 3070 vs GTX 1080 Ti: Full Specs Comparison
The GTX 1080 is a high-end graphics card in Nvidia’s GTX 10 series, whereas the RTX 3060 is a mid-range graphics card in Nvidia’s RTX 30 Series. When it was released in 2016, the GTX 1080 was popular among gamers. However, despite being half the price of the GTX 1080, the RTX 3060 easily outperforms it in gaming and rendering.
In this guide, we looked at the basic specifications of the GTX 1080 and RTX 3060. They have various microarchitectures (GTX 1080 is Pascal, while RTX 3060 is Ampere). We also compared the GTX 1080 and the RTX 3060 side by side. Following that, we saw some performance figures for these two graphics cards.