Not sure whether you should get the NVIDIA RTX 4070 Ti or the RTX 4080? In this guide, we’ve broken down the main advantages of both GPU to help you determine which is best for your needs and budget.
AMD’s Radeon RX 7900 XT and NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 4080 are two of the best graphics cards on the market right now. They’re not the fastest cards out of the respective AMD and NVIDIA lineups, but they offer high-end performance for a lower price than the companies’ flagship GPUs.
Accurately comparing the 7900 XT vs 4080 ultimately comes down to comparing the two cards’ price-performance ratios. The RTX 4080 is undoubtedly a faster card, but it also costs a few hundred more dollars, so the question is whether its extra price makes it a good value offering in comparison.
Both cards perform well at 1080p, 1440P, and 4K resolutions, but for some use cases a 4080 might be overkill, and for others a 7900 XT might not be powerful enough. Only by looking at these gray areas can we accurately assess how the two cards stack up.
In this guide, we’ve analyzed multiple online benchmarks to help you decide whether an RX 7900 XT or RTX 4080 is the best GPU for you.
- Best RTX 4080 Graphics Cards
- Best RX 7900 XT Graphics Cards
- Best RTX 4080 Prebuilt Gaming PCs
- Best RTX 4080 Laptops
What is the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT?
The AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT is one of AMD’s two current-gen graphics cards. Of this ‘RDNA 3’ GPU generation, AMD has currently only released the 7900 XT and 7900 XTX, both of which launched on the same day in December 2022.
The RX 7900 XT is a high-end card, but it’s not as powerful (or as expensive) as the RX 7900 XTX or NVIDIA’s RTX 4080. It is, however, more powerful than NVIDIA’s RTX 4070 Ti. And what it lacks in ray tracing and upscaling performance compared to current-gen NVIDIA GPUs, it makes up for in rasterization performance for the price.
What is the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080?
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 is one of NVIDIA’s three current-gen graphics cards. Of this ‘Ada Lovelace’ GPU generation, NVIDIA has released the RTX 4070 Ti, RTX 4080, and RTX 4090. The 4080 launched in November, after the 4090 and before the 4070 Ti.
The RTX 4080 is a high-end card and sits between the RTX 4090 and 4070 Ti in terms of performance. It costs a fair amount more than the 4070 Ti and 7900 XT, but it offers near-flagship ray tracing, upscaling, and rasterization performance. It’s a great (if expensive) high-end all-rounder.
NVIDIA vs AMD Features
Current-gen NVIDIA and AMD GPUs all offer improved AI and ray tracing hardware and AV1 encoding support, but there are some NVIDIA- and AMD-specific features that might sway your purchasing decision.
First, while NVIDIA 40-series GPUs can use DLSS 3 upscaling, AMD 7000-series GPUs are still limited to FSR 2 upscaling, which lacks frame generation capability. However, AMD will release FSR 3 sometime in 2023 and it should include frame generation capability, so this might even things out or even edge things in AMD’s favor.
Second, both NVIDIA and AMD GPUs support some input lag reduction technology (NVIDIA NULL and AMD Anti-Lag), but only NVIDIA offers the best of the bunch, this being NVIDIA Reflex. However, Reflex isn’t available on all games, and faster systems won’t see a benefit from enabling it because system latency will already be low.
Finally, while AMD 7000-series GPUs support the adaptive sync technologies of FreeSync and GSync Compatible monitors, NVIDIA 40-series GPUs support GSync monitors as well as these. This gives NVIDIA an edge on paper, but in practice a good FreeSync or GSync Compatible monitor is usually just as good at adaptively syncing its refresh rate to your framerate as a GSync monitor is.
7900 XT vs 4080: Price Comparison
The AMD RX 7900 XT has an MSRP of $899 and the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 has an MSRP of $1,199. This means the 4080 is $300 (33%) more expensive than the 7900 XT at recommended pricing.
Online, you can currently find the 7900 XT going for $799-$1,400 and the 4080 going for $1,199-$1,709. So, considering both cards’ cheaper AIB models, a 4080 might cost you $400 (50%) more than a 7900 XT right now.
Probably the best alternative to the 7900 XT and 4080 at the moment is the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX, the 7900 XT’s more powerful sibling. This card has an MSRP of $999, meaning it costs $100 more than the XT and $200 less than the 4080. It performs about the same as the 4080 but drops off slightly at higher resolutions and has worse ray tracing and upscaling performance.
Another alterative is the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 Ti. This GPU performs a little worse than the 7900 XT (except when it comes to ray tracing and upscaling), but costs $100 less at MSRP and has better upscaling and ray tracing performance. It has less VRAM, though, which means it won’t be as futureproof for 4K gaming.
- 7900 XT vs 7900 XTX: Which AMD GPU is Better Value?
- RTX 4080 vs RX 7900 XTX: Which AMD or NVIDIA GPU is Better?
Graphics Card Specs
|RX 7900 XT||RTX 4080|
|Architecture||RDNA 3||Ada Lovelace|
|CUDA Cores / Stream Processors||5,376||9,728|
|Tensor Cores / AI Accelerators||168||304|
|RT Cores / Ray Accelerators||84||76|
|Stream Multiprocessors / Compute Units||84||76|
|Memory||20GB GDDR6||16GB GDDR6X|
|Clock speed (base/boost)||1.5GHz / 2.4GHz||2.21GHz / 2.51GHz|
|Power connector (reference)||2x 8-pin||1x 16-pin (12VHPWR adapter)|
While the RTX 4080 is more powerful than the RX 7900 XT, one of its drawbacks compared to the 7900 XT is its 4GB video memory deficit. While this shouldn’t be an issue right now, it might become one in the future as more games use more memory capacity at higher resolutions.
Already some games push towards 16GB VRAM usage at 4K resolution, so in future the 7900 XT might fare better in this respect.
However, the RTX 4080’s 16GB memory is faster than the RX 7900 XT’s 20GB memory, and the 4080 performs better than the 7900 XT at 4K overall, anyway. It’s hard to make an argument for the 7900 XT over the 4080 for 4K gaming just because of its 4GB extra VRAM.
One other thing to note is that the 7900 XT supports higher 4K refresh rates because it supports DP 2.1, while the 4080 only supports DP 1.4. An RTX 4080 can only do 120Hz at 4K, while the 7900 XT can do up to 480Hz. The reference (MBA) 7900 XT also has a USB-C pass-through port, which could help futureproof your system for future VR headsets.
|RX 7900 XT||RTX 4080|
|Height||51mm (2.5 slots)||61mm (3 slots)|
All of this generation’s graphics cards are a little on the enormous side, but AMD seems to do a slightly better job of keeping its cards’ dimensions down.
While the 7900 XT isn’t a small card, the few centimeters that it saves might make all the difference between a tight squeeze and an easy install. Just make sure to compare whichever GPU you buy to your PC case and component dimensions.
Power Draw and Thermal Performance
What’s particularly impressive about the RTX 4080 is its power consumption compared to the RX 7900 XT. The NVIDIA card is more powerful and yet its TDP is only 5W higher than the AMD one, and both companies recommend a 750W for their respective GPUs.
Also Read: The Best Power Supplies Right Now
Thermally, things are more in the 7900 XT’s favor—but there’s not much in it. Online reviews show that the (reference) 7900 XT should stay a little cooler than the (reference) 4080. However, the difference isn’t great, and both GPUs should stay below 70c while gaming.
RX 7900 XT vs RTX 4080: Gaming Performance
To give you an accurate picture of how well these two cards compare, we’ve looked through several online reviews and comparisons, such as those from TechSpot, TechPowerUp, and PCGamer to average out benchmark results across different resolutions.
We’ve presented our collated average framerates side-by-side in graphs for each resolution, and underneath this we’ve given you the average framerate difference as a percentage.
The percentage number doesn’t translate precisely to the graphed framerate differentials because the percentages account for individual game performances. Both metrics are accurate enough to reflect the performance difference between the 7900 XT and 4080.
Framerates averaged from multiple online benchmarks.
On average, the RTX 4080 performs about 6.7% better than the RX 7900 XT at 1080p.
Considering the price difference between the 4080 and 7900 XT, it makes little sense to opt for the NVIDIA card for 1080p gaming unless you have your heart set on ray tracing and DLSS.
At 1080p, games are so CPU-bound that the difference between the performance of these two GPUs is very slim. Both should net you well over 100fps in pretty much any game on max settings at this resolution. Even in demanding games, both GPUs should average framerates high enough to make the most of a 120Hz or 144Hz monitor.
If there wasn’t a $300 difference between the two cards, the 4080’s 6-7% framerate increase might justify purchasing it over an RX 7900 XT, especially considering it’s better at ray tracing and upscaling. Those few percentage points might make the difference between, say, 115fps and 140fps, in those few super-demanding games that also favor NVIDIA cards.
But, unless you know you’ll be playing a lot of NVIDIA-favoring games and few AMD-favoring ones, the 4080’s performance benefit probably isn’t worth its much higher price tag if you’ll be pairing it with a 1080p monitor.
Framerates averaged from multiple online benchmarks.
On average, the RTX 4080 performs about 13.6% better than the RX 7900 XT at 1440p.
While the 4080 outpaces the 7900 XT at 1440p more than it does at 1080p, unless money is of little concern, most gamers will probably find that it’s still not worth opting for it over a 7900 XT for gaming at this resolution.
Also Read: Is 1440P Worth it for Gaming?
This is because both GPUs should still achieve well over 100fps on average in most games—even more demanding ones—on max settings at 1440p. Only in extremely graphically intensive games should the 7900 XT drop below this threshold.
However, if you’re using a 120Hz or 144Hz monitor and like to play the latest demanding triple-A games, the 4080 might be worth its cost. In more demanding games, the 7900 XT will often sit somewhere between 100fps and 120fps, while the 4080 will often sit between 120fps and 140fps.
And, of course, if DLSS 3 or stellar ray tracing performance is a necessity for you, the 4080 fares better here, too. But for most gamers, the 7900 XT’s lower cost will more than justify its worse performance at 1440p, considering it still achieves very smooth framerates in almost every game.
Framerates averaged from multiple online benchmarks.
On average, the RTX 4080 performs about 19.6% better than the RX 7900 XT at 4K.
Things look more decidedly in the 4080’s favor at 4K resolution, even considering the 4080’s extra cost. While the 7900 XT is very capable of 4K gaming, a 4080 is capable of smoother framerates whether you’re using a 144Hz, 120Hz, or even 60Hz monitor.
There aren’t many games that will cause a 7900 XT-powered PC to fall below 60fps, but for those very few that will, the 4080 comes out on top as it should be able to stay above 60fps even in these demanding titles.
Similarly, for those of you with 120Hz or 144Hz monitors, moderately demanding games should run at closer to 120fps or 144fps with a 4080 than with a 7900 XT. It might be the difference between, say, 60fps and 80fps, or 80fps and 100fps, for example.
However, one thing to remember is that the 4080, unlike the 7900 XT, doesn’t support 4K gaming at refresh rates higher than 120Hz. And while the 7900 XT won’t hit higher than 120fps in most modern games at 4K resolution on max settings, if you want to play less-demanding games on a 144Hz 4K monitor, a 7900 XT might be a better bet.
Ray Tracing and Upscaling
Score taken from PCGamer’s testing (1440p charts).
Based on PCGamer’s 3DMark Port Royal testing, the RTX 4080 does ray tracing about 29% better than the RX 7900 XT at 1440p.
NVIDIA’s latest GPUs all do ray tracing better than AMD’s latest GPUs, and it’s not even close. While the RTX 4090 beats all other GPUs by a mile, the RTX 4080 is still substantially ahead of even AMD’s current best GPU, the 7900 XTX.
This isn’t to say that the 7900 XT is bad at ray tracing though—far from it. Its ray tracing performance is about the same as, if not slightly better than, NVIDIA’s high-end 30-series GPUs. NVIDIA’s current-gen GPUs are just a much better upgrade over previous-gen ray tracing tech.
Similarly, DLSS 3, which all NVIDIA 40-series GPUs support, outperforms the upscaling that the 7900 XT has available to it, this being AMD’s FSR 2.
However, AMD should release FSR 3, which will allow for frame generation like DLSS 3, sometime later this year. The 7900 XT should be able to use FSR 3 when it’s out, so perhaps it’s best to wait until then before judging its upscaling capabilities too harshly.
Game Performance Summary
At 1080p, the 4080 only performs about 6.7% better than the 7900 XT. Because it costs $300 (33%) more than the 7900 XT at MSRP, it’s probably not worth this extra cost for most gamers looking to play at this resolution.
At 1440p, the 4080 performs about 13.6% better than the 7900 XT. If you want to get as close as possible to 120fps or 144fps in the most demanding modern titles at this resolution, opting for a 4080 might make sense. But if you’re willing to drop your settings just a little in these games, a 7900 XT is probably better value.
At 4K, the 4080 performs about 19.6% better than the 7900 XT. While the 7900 XT can average over 60fps in most games and close to 100fps in many more on max settings at this resolution, a 4080 will guarantee over 60fps even in most very demanding titles, and will push closer to 120fps in many more. The 4080 doesn’t support 4K refresh rates above 120Hz, though, while the 7900 XT does.
The 4080 ray traces about 29% faster than the 7900 XT, so if this is very important to you, an RTX 4080 is probably worth the extra $300. It also supports DLSS 3 which, thanks to frame generation, significantly outperforms AMD’s FSR 2. But FSR 3 is just around the corner, which will let the 7900 XT work some frame generation magic, too.
More Performance Comparisons
- RTX 4070 Ti vs RTX 4080
- RTX 4070 vs RTX 4080
- RX 7900 XT vs RTX 4090
- RTX 4070 Ti vs RX 7900 XT
- RTX 4070 vs RX 7900 XT
Verdict: Is the 7900 XT or 4080 Better Value?
While the 7900 XT and 4080 are both high-end cards capable of averaging smooth framerates at any mainstream resolution, the 4080 performs substantially better at higher resolutions.
Not only that, but it’s more power efficient. Both GPUs have similar TDPs, and yet the 4080 can perform significantly better at 1440p and 4K and has much better ray tracing capabilities to boot.
On the other hand, the 7900 XT has more VRAM, which should better futureproof it for 4K gaming. It also runs a little cooler on average—though not by much—and supports higher 4K refresh rates than the 4080.
Of course, the 7900 XT’s chief advantage is its lower cost. For $300 less than the 4080, you’re getting a GPU that’s capable of buttery smooth gameplay at 1080p and 1440p, and almost-buttery-smooth gameplay at 4K (in most games, at least).
The elephant in the room, however, is the 7900 XTX. While this guide isn’t about the 7900 XTX, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention it. For just $100 more than the 7900 XT and $200 less than the 4080, the RX 7900 XTX averages framerates within a few percentage points of the 4080 across all resolutions.
As perhaps a strange conclusion to this guide, then, if you’re considering either the 7900 XT or 4080, we’d recommend you check out the 7900 XTX. With it offering ‘almost 4080’ performance for an ‘almost 7900 XT’ cost, it might just be the card you’re looking for.