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GTX 1080 vs RTX 3060

The GTX 1080 is a top-of-the-line graphics card in the GeForce GTX ‘10’ series. On the other hand, the RTX 3060, despite being the mid-tier graphics card in the RTX “30” series, has a significant performance boost over the previous generations high-end GPUs. Several GTX 1080 users, who missed upgrading to the RTX ‘20’ series of GPU were very eager for the RTX ‘30’ Series. Considering the price and performance, we though comparing the GTX 1080 vs RTX 3060 would benefit a lot users who are planning to swap their GPUs.

In this guide, we will take a look at the basic specs of GTX 1080 and RTX 3060. After that, we will also compare the gaming performance of GTX 1080 vs RTX 3060.

We hope this guide will help you in choosing a better GPU for your next graphics card upgrade.

A Brief Note on GTX 1080

Nvidia first launched the GeForce GTX 1080 in May, 2016. It is a high-end GPU based on the Turing microarchitecture and is suitable for gaming in high or ultra-settings, 1440p gaming, as well as performance video rendering.


The GTX 1080 has a graphics core with code name GP104-400-A1 or GP104-410-A1. It has 2560 CUDA Cores and came with GDDR5X memory support. Coming to the memory configuration, the GTX 1080 GPU supported up to 11 GB or GDDR5X video memory.

Nvidia chose the TSMC’s 16 nm process node for GTX 1080, which is a significant improvement over the 28 nm node of the GeForce 900 Series GPUs. The base core clock of the GTX 1080 is 1607 MHz and the boost clock is 1733 MHz.

Combining all these specs and numbers, the GeForce GTX 1080 delivered the best possible gaming experience at that time. Frame rates were higher. You could easily bump the screen resolution to 1440p without any drop in performance. Video rendering was a breeze.

Overall, the GTX 1080 was a super successful GPU from Nvidia. Of course, this all changed when they launched the RTX 20 and 30 series of GPU in subsequent years.

A Brief Note on RTX 3060

The launch of the RTX 30 series of cards from Nvidia was a mess. Initially, it launched the high-end RTX 3080 in September 2020. But we had to wait till February of 2021 to get our hands on the mid-range master, the RTX 3060.

GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3060 GAMING Rev 2.0

Launched at an MSRP of nearly half that of the GTX 1080, the RTX 3060 outperformed even some top GPUs of the RTX 20 as well as the GTX 10 series, including the GTX 1080.

RTX 3060 was based on the improved Ampere microarchitecture. This time, Nvidia chose Samsung as its primary foundry partner. Samsung produced all the RTX 30 series GPUs including the RTX 3060 using its 8 nm process node.

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 is 1320 MHz while it boosted to 1777 MHz.

RTX 3060 supported GDDR6 Memory type with memory configurations up to 12 GB.

Many gamers and PC builders, who missed out on the RTX 20 series, were desperate to get their hands on a RTX 30 Series GPU. The RTX 3060 was a primary choice for many “budget” PC builds, as it has good performance to price numbers.

Ray Tracing, which got the buzz with the RTX 20 Series GPUs, was a superhit with the RTX 3060 (and other RTX 30 Series graphics cards). 1080p gaming in ultra-settings with Ray Tracing is a breeze to RTX 3060.

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
CUDA Cores 2560 3584
Base Core Clock 1607 MHz 1320 MHz
Boost Clock 1733 MHz 1777 MHz
Memory Standard GDDR5X GDDR6
Memory Configuration 11 GB 12 GB
Bus Interface PCIe 3.0 PCIe 4.0
Microarchitecture Pascal Ampere
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
Ray Tracing No Yes

Comparison of GTX 1080 vs RTX 3060

Let us start the comparison of GTX 1080 vs RTX 3060 with the number of CUDA cores in each GPU. The RTX 3060 has 3584 CUDA cores while the GTX 1080 has only 2560.

This difference will definitely impact their performance, be it synthetic benchmarking, gaming, or rendering. For instance, the RTX 3060 averaged about 12 TFLOPS while the GTX 1080 averaged only 9 TFLOPS.

There is also a difference in the amount of video memory (RAM) as well as the variant. For instance, all RTX 3060 graphics cards have up to 12 GB GDDR6 RAM.

But the GTX 1080 has up to 11 GB of GDDR5X of memory configuration. Even though the amount of video memory is similar, the performance difference between GDDR5X and GDDR6 is clear.

The base clock of GTX 1080 is significantly higher than the RTX 3060. If we compare the clock frequencies, then GTX 1080 has 1607 MHz whereas the RTX 3060 has only 1320 MHz.

Boost clocks are similar in both of these GPUs. The GTX 1080 has a 1733 MHz boost clock and the RTX 3060 has 1777 MHz.

Performance of GTX 1080 vs RTX 3060

Apart from the core clocks, the RTX 3060 has everything better than the GTX 1080, including performance.

We tested these two GPUs with some popular titles. Here are our observations.

1080p with High settings

Game Average FPS
GTX 1080 RTX 3060
Battlefield V 109 129
Far Cry 6 71 93
Cyberpunk 2077 43 63
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla 54 69

1440p with High settings

Game Average FPS
GTX 1080 RTX 3060
Battlefield V 85 98
Far Cry 6 53 70
Cyberpunk 2077 29 40
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla 43 55

4K with High settings

Game Average FPS
GTX 1080 RTX 3060
Battlefield V 50 58
Far Cry 6 33 40
Cyberpunk 2077 13 20
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla 26 35

From the above numbers, the RTX 3060 comfortably beats the GTX 1080 in all the games and display settings. We never had any doubts regarding the performance of RTX 3060.

For those who own a GTX 1080 and are looking to upgrade to a better RTX 30 Series graphics card, then the mid-tier RTX 3060 is one of the best choices. We can call the RTX 3060 as the king of 1080p gaming.


Nvidia’s GTX 1080 is a high-end graphics card in the GTX 10 series while the RTX 3060 is a mid-range graphics card in the RTX 30 Series. GTX 1080 was a popular choice for gamers when it was launched in 2016.

But the RTX 3060, despite being half the price of GTX 1080, easily out performs it in gaming as well as rendering.

In this guide, we saw the basic specs of GTX 1080 and RTX 3060. They have different microarchitectures (GTX 1080 is Pascal while RTX 3060 is Ampere).

We also made a side-by-side comparison of GTX 1080 vs RTX 3060. After that, we saw some performance numbers of these two graphic cards.

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