ASUS TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 4080 OC Edition GPU Review

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ASUS TUF GeForce RTX 4080 GPU
Editors Choice

The ASUS TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 4080 OC Edition GPU is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to performance graphics. Compared to the RTX 30 series, the RTX 4080 is a vast improvement. Though the RTX 30 series was good, the RTX 4080 is on another level. With this card, 4K and 8K gaming could actually become a reality for gamers. While I was initially skeptical, the NVIDIA Ada Lovelace architecture in the new 40-series delivers on the promise, and the ASUS TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 4080 16 GB GPU is an improvement on an already fantastic experience.

NVIDIA Ada Lovelace RTX 40 Series Evolved

Much like the new NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 GPU, the RTX 4080 is based on NVIDIA’s Ada Lovelace architecture, which uses the latest TSMC 4 nm node and allows for unprecedented efficiency. With 9,728 CUDA cores, 304 fourth-gen Tensor cores, and 76 third-gen RT cores, the NVIDIA Ada Lovelace-based 4080 packs a powerful punch. It includes a boost clock speed of 2,505MHz, which is slightly higher than the RTX 3080 Ti’s 1,665MHz clock.

Additionally, the RTX 4080 has 16 GB GDDR6x of VRAM, which is 2 GB more than the RTX 3080 and runs on PCI Express 4.0. With the ASUS TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 4080 being an OC variant of the card, when in performance mode, it will see higher clock speeds up to 2535 MHz, compared to the stock 2,505MHz, meaning more FPS in your favourite titles or a general increase in speeds for other GPU uses.

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But the question remains: what does Ada Lovelace’s increase in power and speed mean for gaming performance in 2022 and beyond? This is where the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 40 series GPUs shine, pushing what is possible with current games and giving the headroom to let developers go beyond what was possible even a few years ago, such as true real-time ray tracing and high refresh rates beyond what we have seen possible before. With titles such as Battlefield V, Cyberpunk 2077 and Metro: Exodus, NVIDIA is leading the way in these new features, and from the looks of things, we have only started to scratch the surface of the potential.

I was a fan of what NVIDIA delivered with the stock NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080, but I was very excited to see the partner cards from vendors like ASUS, who often push the designs of cards to expand the potential. Now I have the ASUS TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 4080 OC Edition review sample in my hands, and things look interesting. It not only deals with some of the more annoying aspects of the 4080 Founders Edition, it also delivers maximum performance to unlock the potential further than the stock 40-series GPUs allow.

ASUS TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 4080 OC Edition 16 GB Design

ASUS TUF is a unique brand, and while it started as a cheaper alternative to the ASUS ROG STRIX range, it has come into its own, and one I personally have enjoyed in recent years. Looking a bit different from what you would find with the ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 4080 OC, the design of the latest TUF Gaming GeForce 4080 is similar to the previous models but with a more box-like shape.

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The look of the cooling unit itself has not changed since past cards, but the size of the fans has. The new model has a 104 mm diameter, which is 4% larger than the 100 mm diameter of the RTX 3090 TI. The increased size of the fans allows for more air to be pushed through the heatsink, which translates into higher performance, lower noise levels, and lower temperatures.

The two side axial-tech fans spin clockwise while the centre fans spin counterclockwise to minimize turbulence and maximize air dispersion around the huge heatsink. Fans don’t start spinning until the card detects core temps above 55 degrees Celsius, keeping your system whisper-quiet when simply using your computer for office or productivity tasks.

Don’t let the looks of the ASUS TUF Gaming GeForce 4080 OC fool you. Even with the large and bulky heatsink, the graphics card still manages to fit in a Decimal Point Width (DPW) of 375 mm and takes up less space than its Founders Edition cousin. This allows maximum flexibility for multi-display configurations. The shroud’s ‘stealth’ design puts the cooling front of mind. The angular appearance with honed lines enhances its aggressive look and lets the heatsink do its job. The angular design is further enhanced by the asymmetrical placement of the dual ‘T’ and ASUS logos on the fans, all of which work to give a subtle feel.

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ASUS retained the dual-BIOS switch seen on previous cards with the ASUS TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 4080, allowing you to switch between Quiet Mode and Performance Mode whenever you want to. Even with this being an Overclocked variant of the RTX 4080, it still has a power consumption of 320W TDP and will still need the same minimum 750W PSU as the founder’s edition cards.

ASUS has taken the time and effort to consider all users when developing the ASUS TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 4080. Going above what you can find on other versions of the RTX 4080, the TUF variant of the 4080 features 3x Display Port 1.4a, and 2x HDMI 1.2a ports, giving you a range of options when hooking displays to this card. This is compared to the rather limited 3x Display Port 1.4a, and single HDMI 1.2a ports found on the founder edition, making the TUF version of the card that much more compelling at first glance.

As we did with our Founders Edition review, we slotted the ASUS TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 4080 into our be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 case with the 13th Gen Intel Core i9-13900K build with an MSI 850W PSU, 64 GB SK Hynix DDR5, and a PCIe Gen 4 2 TB Kingston Fury M.2 SSD. The card demonstrated how powerful the latest cards from NVIDIA really are.

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It consistently outperforms the competition at 1440p and 4K, even when ray tracing is involved. The build ensures there will be no CPU bottlenecks, allowing the RTX 4080 to show all the potential performance the card has to offer. It also allows us to see the card’s overall power efficiency and needs regarding gaming, creative workloads and day-to-day uses.

RTX 4080 Graphics Card Game Benchmarks

Considered one of the most highly-anticipated games of 2020, Cyberpunk 2077 is a dystopian, open-world, action-adventure RPG developed by CD Projekt Red. The game supports three Ray Tracing settings, uses both DLSS 3 and RT cores on both AMD and NVIDIA graphics cards and pushes a system even at 1440P. It is one of the most demanding games currently available for PC, and one of our favourite games to run all new hardware through. It is demanding, will push any system to its limits, and looks great while it does so.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is the newest game in the hugely popular Lara Croft Tomb Raider franchise. Developed by Eidos Montreal, Shadow of the Tomb Raider uses NVIDIA RTX to deliver amazing ray-traced results in-game and is one of the first to include NVIDIA DLSS support. So much as we did for the NVIDIA RTX 4080 FE card, we wanted to run the TUF Gaming GeForce 4080 through the same tests to see how it faired.

As the sequel to the 2019 reboot, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II is a first-person shooter developed by Activision and published by Infinity Ward. As one of the newer games on our list of benchmarks, it is a good test for the latest graphics cards while still scaling well to older options. With both a single-player and multiplayer section of the game, this is one of the most obvious uses for a new graphics card, so we had to throw it into the mix.

A list of benchmarks would not be complete without something from the Assassin’s Creed franchise, which is why we make sure to include Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. The game is visually stunning but also scales incredibly well based on the system configuration. The 2018 game uses some of the latest visual features, making it a great way to test any new CPU or GPU. It is also a great game to push the game settings as high as possible just to see what a new video card can do.

While getting older, Hitman 3 is still one of our go-to benchmarks and gives a good sense of how a GPU can fair against other GPUs currently out there. Despite the janky animations that occur (facial expressions, body movements), Hitman 3 is a very graphically impressive game in terms of graphic design. Due to the excellent lighting and the quality of the reflections in the richly detailed environments, the richly detailed environments seem extremely atmospheric.

“The benchmarks across the board are impressive, and while the ASUS TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 4080 OC Edition can’t take down an RTX 4090, it does a good job justifying its cost and usage in gaming and creative uses.”

Power Consumption, GPU Temps and Price

With benchmarking now done, and tests in, it is clear ASUS did a phenomenal job with the design for the ASUS TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 4080. The cooler can keep this incredibly powerful GPU cool, even when pushed to the limits on the latest games. The TUF 4080 remained cool and quiet even when pushed under load, with it never hitting above 65 degrees. The card is also shockingly silent, especially with the fans not even spinning up till it reaches 55 degrees. While I loved how silent the RTX 4080 Founders Edition was, the ASUS TUF 4080 blew it away.

 This brings us to the launch price, and as we found with the stock edition of the card, this OC graphics card hits with a $1399.99 MSRP, making it a very pricey option for a new graphics card—extra money on top of the already pricey stock RTX 4080 cards. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot to like, and the RTX 4080 TUF edition brings a lot to the table, but for casual PC builders or gamers, this may be too much to ask. This card also uses the new connection for power delivery, which is included in the box but is something to consider when deciding to invest in this GPU.

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ASUS has done what they needed to elevate an already fantastic GPU offering into something worth the extra investment. The benchmarks across the board are impressive, and while the ASUS TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 4080 OC Edition can’t take down an RTX 4090, it does a good job justifying its cost and usage in gaming and creative uses. With fantastic fan technology and better-than-expected thermals, ASUS has delivered in ways that count with this card.

The ASUS TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 4080 OC is a solid card with a great mix of performance, build quality, aesthetics, and price. If you are looking for an RTX 4080 that delivers on features that a next-gen GPU needs while avoiding the pitfalls of extensive superfluous extras, the ASUS TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 4080 OC is a card that should sit at the top of your computer build list.

Final Thoughts

REVIEW SCORE
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