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Possible Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti spotted running over 30% faster than 2080 Ti

Considering there's still some time to go before an Ampere release, these benchmarks look promising

Nvidia Ampere or Hopper?

Nvidia Ampere GPUs are approaching, and they’re shaping up to be some of the best graphics cards for gaming. We’ve seen possible RTX 30-series designs and have heard about rumoured specs for the top end of the lineup. Now, we also have benchmarks supposedly comparing an Nvidia Ampere GPU to some current-gen high-end GPUs.

Twitter user Rogame of HardwareLeaks has given an “exclusive first look at Nvidia’s Ampere gaming performance”, showing us a potential RTX 3080 Ti’s apparent specs and 3DMark Time Spy score. To cut a long story short, if these benchmarks are legit, then whatever this Ampere GPU is should perform over 30% better than a reference RTX 2080 Ti.

The GPU’s reported specs are somewhat more dubious, however, since the memory clock is listed as 6,000MHz, which sits well outside the realms of what we would expect. However, as Rogame points out, in their experience “these types of weird reported clocks are either the result of an early/internal driver, or a new type of memory that is still unknown to the 3DMark detection software”. In other words, it’s not too strange that 3DMark wouldn’t pick up the correct memory specifications of a completely new GPU.

And, if you had any further doubts, Rogame also says that they were “able to 100% verify that this test was done by an Nvidia employee whose name shall remain anonymous for obvious reasons”. Previous rumours suggested Nvidia’s RTX 3080 Ti would boost to above 2.2GHz, exceeding 21 TFLOPS of performance. These specs shown in 3DMark don’t quite match that, but then, we’re not looking at a final product, here.

Onto the real meat and bones of the new rumour. According to these 3DMark results, the new “unknown Nvidia Ampere GPU” (read: probably an RTX 3080 Ti) achieves a 3DMark Time Spy graphics score of 18,257, where the RTX 2080 Ti FE scores 13,939. This is over a 30% increase above the stock RTX 2080 Ti. To put this into a little more context, however, the reported Ampere GPU is still about 2% slower than EVGA’s overclocked RTX 2080 Ti XC.

Analysis: The best Ampere improvements will likely be in ray tracing capability

The benchmark results do seem convincing, though. Compared to some previous leaks and rumours, these ones are smack-bang between ‘this is too good to be true’ and ‘well, that’s a disappointment’. A 30% increase in performance is typical for a generational increase, which means, if these benchmarks are correct, we can expect a pretty standard increase in performance when switching from the current Turing generation to the upcoming Ampere generation of GPUs.

However, apart from these benchmark results seemingly coming from a pre-released GPU, raw Time Spy benchmark performance doesn’t tell the whole story when it comes to Ampere GPUs. If the hype is to be believed, then the next generation of Nvidia graphics cards will be much, much more optimised for ray tracing than the current generation.

This might make for games that utilise truly next-gen graphics tech without the massive hit on performance that currently occurs even when using an RTX 2080 Ti. This, combined with advancements in AI and DLSS, for example, should be where the real impressive Ampere improvements lie.