The Galax GeForce RTX 3080 Ti SG – the SG is for “Serious Gamer”, if you’re wondering – seems to be competing with the best graphics cards by offering a unique extra: a fourth clip-on fan to improve cooling performance. that is double the fans of Nvidia’s reference GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Founders Edition, if you keep track. The 3080 Ti is currently the second fastest GPU overall in our GPU benchmarks hierarchy, just a few percent behind the RTX 3090and less than a percent ahead of AMD’s competing RX 6900 XT – although those results do not include ray tracing, DLSS or FSR performance comparisons. How does Galax stack up against the competition, and more importantly, can you find one in stock anywhere? Unfortunately, the answer to the latter is generally no, although readers in Europe may have better luck.
Galax products are also sold abroad under the KFA2 brand, but other than minor differences in the box art, the cards are the same. The parent company of both brands is Palit, which is one of the largest graphics card companies in the world by volume. Despite the name, the Serious Gamer Edition is basically the same as Nvidia’s reference model. Out of the box, it has a boost clock of 1695 MHz, just 30 MHz higher than the Founders Edition. Installing Galax’s Xtreme Tuner Plus software and using the 1-Click OC option gives you an almost meaningless boost to a 1710MHz boost clock – that’s less than a 1% difference. Still, we used the factory overclock for testing, and we’ll use that for the specs table below.
|Galax RTX 3080 Ti SG||RTX 3080 Ti Founders Edition||Zotac RTX 3080 Ti Holo Black|
|Process technology||Samsung 8N||Samsung 8N||Samsung 8N|
|Die size (mm^2)||628.4||628.4||628.4|
|Texting / CUs||80||80||80|
|Boost Clock (MHz)||1710||1665||1710|
|VRAM Speed (Gbps)||19||19||19|
|VRAM bus width||384||384||384|
|TFLOPS FP32 (Boost)||35||34.1||35|
|TFLOPS FP16 (Tensor)||140 (280)||136 (273)||140 (280)|
We’ve now tested three different RTX 3080 Ti cards, with the two custom cards having identical specs. But specs don’t tell the whole shop, as card design and cooling can also play a part in the equation. The Zotac Amp Holo is the largest of the three cards, at least according to certain stats. It measures 317.8mm x 131.8mm x 64.6mm and weighs just over 1500g. The Galax SG card measures 317mm x 113mm x 61mm in comparison, so it’s slightly longer, but not as tall or as thick.
However, the Galax card also includes a support bracket that adds 12mm to the length and 17mm to the height of the card, and then there’s the extra clip-on fan. That’s 25mm thick, although it’s only at the end of the card and sits on the back. The Galax RTX 3080 Ti SG weighs 1424 g, including the extra fan, but not the support bracket. In other words, it’s a pretty big card and definitely not something you’d want to cram into a smaller case.
In terms of clock speeds, even compared to the reference 1665MHz, the theoretical difference in performance is only 2.7%. In practice everything is Nvidia Ampere GPUs we tested tend to run well above official boost clocks, and it’s not uncommon for cards with lower official boost clocks to run at faster speeds in practice. As with the Zotac 3080 Ti, most of the differences between the GPUs can be attributed to the margin of error in testing, or differences between driver revisions and/or game patches.
The biggest issues with all RTX 3080 Ti cards are price and availability. Given current demand, you could argue that the RTX 3080’s official launch price of $699 was just way too low. That’s mainly because cryptocurrency mining profitability actually quadrupled after the GPU launched, meaning every miner and their dog wanted to buy as many 3080 cards as possible. But absent cryptomining (see best mining GPUs) and component shortages, $699 was still the right price. Asking $1,199 for the RTX 3080 Ti for an extra 5-10% performance was too much, and third-party cards go even further. Galax informed us that there is a lot of price variability at the moment, but that it expects the retail price for the RTX 3080 Ti SG to be around $1,500 – or £1,150 or €1,350. That is too high in our book, but unfortunately there are apparently still enough people willing to pay such prices, such as the GPU price index indicates:I
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