The Nvidia RTX 4080 vs AMD’s RX 7900 XT? Which GPU of the two is better, and why? We take a deeper look at both cards to tell you which is the best buy.
Graphics cards have been steadily rising in price this current generation, and with high-end cards now costing around $1000 or more, it can be tough to decide which GPU you’d actually want to put into your machine. But, we’ve taken a look at two high-end offerings, one from Nvidia, and another from AMD, to tell you where your money should, or should not be going.
The RTX 4080 made a great first impression on us with its potent performance. However, its relatively expensive $1199 price point gave us some pause ahead of AMD’s RDNA 3 GPU launch. Now that we’ve finally gotten our hands on the RX 7900 XT and have benchmarked both cards, we’re fairly certain which GPU you should be going for, and why.
While it’s difficult to make a direct comparison on a spec sheet between the RTX 4080 and RX 7900 XT, there are still some key differences between the two cards that you need to be aware of before purchasing either. But, remember, even though some numbers might be higher on either end, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s better.
|RX 7900 XT||RTX 4080|
|Stream processors / CUDA cores||5376||9728|
|VRAM||20GB GDDR6||16GB GDDR6X|
|Memory bus width||320-bit||256-bit|
|Memory bandwidth||800 GB/s||735 GB/s|
|Base clock||1500 MHz||2205 MHz|
|Boost clock||2400 MHz||2505 MHz|
The RX 7900 XT and RTX 4080 go toe to toe in many aspects, with the 4080 having a higher boost clock, while the RX 7900 XT appears to have higher memory bandwidth. However, Team Green also has the benefit of having almost 10,000 CUDA cores under its belt, allowing for the GPU to be incredibly quick when it comes to pure rasterization performance.
AMD’s GPU also uses slightly less power than the RTX 4080, but you can also cut the power target of the RTX 4080 while still retaining a lot of the chip’s power.
But, as we said before, specifications are not the whole story here, even though the RTX 4080 manages to reach a higher boost clock.
These two graphics cards are firmly wedged in the higher end of the GPU spectrum. The RX 7900 XT retails for around $899, while the RTX 4080 costs $300 more at $1199. However, the things that you need to take into consideration between these two graphics cards go deeper Than just what they cost and their baseline specifications, you should also take into consideration the GPUs software capabilities, too.
The RX 7900 XT comes with AMD Adrenalin Software, whereas the Nvidia GPUs will come with Nvidia GeForce Experience. Additionally, The RTX 4080 will also work with DLSS 3, while the RX 7900 XT is still reliant on the much more inferior FSR 2. For those not in the know, DLSS and FSR are both forms of AI-powered supersampling that can drastically improve performance.
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However, in our experience, DLSS wipes the floor with FSR at every turn, and its latest iteration, DLSS 3 even adds in AI-generated frames for eye-watering performance, even at higher resolutions.
You also just get much more mature driver support on the Nvidia side for new releases, while AMD’s drivers are slower, and may increase performance in the years to come. We prefer Nvidia’s approach of having support for the latest and greatest titles at launch, giving you value for money immediately, rather than over time with AMD.
You also get AV1 support on both GPUs, with the RX 7900 XT having slightly quicker rendering times in software packages like Handbrake than Nvidia’s RTX 4080.
Right now, we think that the RTX 4080 looks like the better buy on the software front.
When it comes to performance, the RTX 4080 appears to be slightly more well-rounded than the RX 7900 XT. Though the RX 7900 XT does come close to the RTX 4080’s performance in a number of titles such as Forza, Cyberpunk, Overwatch, and CS:GO. You can view our benchmarking data across both GPUs below.
|4K gaming benchmarks||RX 7900 XT||RTX 4080|
|Forza Horizon 5 (Ultra)||107 FPS||125 FPS|
|Cyberpunk 2077 (Ultra, RT Ultra, DLSS / FSR off)||16 FPS||29 FPS|
|Cyberpunk 2077 (Ultra, RT Ultra, FSR 2.1 Performance / DLSS Performance)||44 FPS||74 FPS|
|CS:GO (High, Dust 2)||340 FPS||399 FPS|
|Overwatch 2 (Ultra)||308 FPS||296 FPS|
|1440p gaming benchmarks|
|Forza Horizon 5 (Ultra)||121 FPS||132 FPS|
|Cyberpunk 2077 (Ultra, RT Ultra, DLSS / FSR off)||31 FPS||63 FPS|
|Cyberpunk 2077 (Ultra, RT Ultra, FSR 2.1 Performance / DLSS Performance)||60 FPS||116 FPS|
|CS:GO (High, Dust 2)||399 FPS||399 FPS|
|Overwatch 2 (Ultra)||406 FPS||432 FPS|
|Time Spy Extreme (GPU score)||12979||14028|
On average, we calculated that across all of our benchmarking data, that the RTX 4080 is faster than the RX 7900 XT by a factor of 23%. Compared to the 28% difference in price, you are actually getting a better performance per-dollar ratio with the RX 7900 XT.
Though, for $100 more, you can grab an RX 7900 XTX, which will inevitably be a bit quicker, too. There’s no clear-cut winner here. It’s all about your budget, and what you are looking for in a GPU. The RX 7900 XT has poorer ray-tracing performance, while the RTX 4080 has much better software and driver support, too. But, in terms of raw frames for your money, the RX 7900 XT is the better buy.