RTX 3080 Specifications

Once again I am attempting to stretch the X58 platforms to its limits. For those who don’t know I started this “X58 craze” back in 2013 and got a lot of enthusiast interested in the platform again. For many years, well after the X58 released, I have showed how well the X58 performed against Intel’s latest and greatest. During that era the top of the line was Intel’s Sandy-Bridge-E & Ivy-Bridge-E. Now in 2021 I will provide more information about this legacy platform against the modern platforms.

For this special occasion I have decided to push my CPU overclock to 4.6Ghz and tightened my DDR3-1600Mhz timings to 8-9-8-20. I know this doesn’t sound like much, but we will see how well these settings perform along with Nvidia’s latest and greatest flagship. I have separated the overclocked results from the stock results as well to prevent confusion with some of my benchmarks. This article will shed more light on the X58 performance, CPU and PCIe bottlenecks as well as the RTX 3080 performance. The main focus is 4K since most people will purchase this GPU for high resolutions.

So this RTX 3080 review is somewhat “unique” in its own way because I am running a nearly 13 year old X58 platform with Nvidia’s current flashship GPU in 2021. I have high hopes for the X58 platform since it has been nothing short of amazing over the past 13 years. The fact that it is still a viable solution for gaming is great since it only has PCIe 2.0 tech. So theoretically I should be able to push 16GB\s through the PCIe bus, but due to overhead and the encoding (8b\10b) I should be able to push anywhere from 8GB\s to 12GB\s easily. This should be plenty of bandwidth depending on the engine and API used.

I have come a long way from my old GTX 670 SLI last decade. I am now running the "EVGA RTX 3080 XC3 'Black' Gaming" for this review. Right out of the box this GPU boosts up to approximately 1845Mhz which is +135Mhz over the stock Nvidia RTX 3080 Founders Edition (1710Mhz). I was able to push it a bit further and you’ll see how far later in this article in the overclocking section.

EVGA uses their patented iCX3 cooling to keep this GPU cool. It is a triple-fan GPU and the fans can be controlled independently. This not only helps keep certain parts of the GPU cooler when needed, but also helps cut down noise and power draw. The EVGA RTX 3080 XC3 also has a 0dm mode and it appears the fans will not become active until around 64c and turn off at around 55c. However, I would recommend setting up a custom fan profile since you’ll probably want the fans kicking in around 35c-40c instead. Even if you use low RPMs at the very least you’ll want to prevent the heat from building up.

The iXC3 tech along with my XC3 Black Gaming does not exhaust heat from the rear of the case, but instead from the inside of the case. I thought this would be a problem for my old X58 chipset, but so far I am not having any heat issues. With good airflow this shouldn’t be a problem for many users. There are also tiny and large cuts in the PCB that helps dissipate heat even more. It’s kind of cool seeing the heatsink and heatpipes through the larger cuts in the PCB.

Another reason I wanted this particular model was due to clearance issues. Most of the RTX 3080 GPUs are very large and use multiple PCIe slots (2.2, 2.3,2.5, 2.7 slot designs). The RTX 3080 AIBs definitely have some fancy cooling in place to tame this RTX 3080 beastly GPU. The EVGA RTX 3080 XC3 ‘Black' Gaming is a 2.2 slot design which means it is “possible” to use another PCIe slot. Luckily I was able to use my second PCIe slot beneath my EVGA RTX 3080 GPU. Newer motherboards have different setups, but my old X58 has the PCIe slots exactly 2 lots away from each other so I truly lucked out and I’m glad that EVGA decided to go this route for this GPU.

The EVGA RTX 3080 XC3 'Black' Gaming only uses two 8-pin connectors for a total of 320Watts. The EVGA FTW models uses three and I’m perfectly fine with using only two 8-Pins. There is a pretty nice LED EVGA Logo that is ARGB and adjustable. The display interface contains x3 Display Ports and x1 HDMI which should be more than enough. Another cool feature is that there is a fuse on the board to prevent damage from a power surge\spike or other electrical issues.

Real Time Benchmarks™

Real Time Benchmarks™ is something I came up with to differentiate my actual "in-game" benchmarks from the "built-"in" or "internal" standalone benchmarks tools that games offer. Sometimes in-game - Internal benchmark tools doesn't provide enough information. I gather data and I use several methods to ensure the frame rates are correct for comparison. This way of benchmarking takes a while, but it is worth it in the end. This is the least I can do for the gaming community and users who are wondering if the X58 and current GPU hardware can still handle newly released titles. I have been performing Real-Time Benchmarks™ for about 7 years now and I plan to continue providing additional data instead of depending solely on the Internal Benchmark Tools or synthetic benchmarks apps.

-What is FPS Min Caliber?-

You’ll notice something named “FPS Min Caliber”. Basically FPS Min Caliber is something I came up to differentiate between FPS absolute minimum which could simply be a point during gameplay when data is loading, saving, uploading, DRM etc. The FPS Min Caliber™ is basically my way of letting you know lowest FPS average you can expect to see during gameplay. The minimum fps [FPS min] can be very misleading. FPS min is what you'll encounter only 0.1% during your playtime and most times you won’t even notice it. Obviously the average FPS and Frame Time is what you'll encounter 99% of your playtime.

-What is FPS Max Caliber?-

FPS Max Caliber uses the same type of thinking when explaining the MAX FPS. Instead of focusing on the highest max frame that you'll only see 0.1% of the time, I have included the FPS max Caliber you can expect to see during actual gameplay.

With that being said I will still include both the Minimum FPS and the Max FPS. Pay attention to the charts since some will list 0.1% (usually for synthetic benchmarks), but normally I use 1% lows for nearly all of my benchmarks. In the past I used the 97th percentile results, but now I just use the 1% most of the time. I just thought I would let you enthusiast know what to expect while reading my benchmark numbers.