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4070 vs 4080: Which GPU is the Best Value for Gaming?

RTX 4070 vs RTX 4080Unsure on whether you should get the NVIDIA RTX 4070 or the RTX 4080? In this post, we’ve broken down the pros and cons of each option to help you choose the right GPU for your needs.

With every NVIDIA GPU generation, many PC gamers face the decision: should I opt for an XX70 card or an XX80 card? Now that the RTX 4070 is out, this question had returned once again, making it imperative for us to compare the 4070 vs 4080.

The RTX 4070, while certainly much cheaper than preceding 40-series graphics cards, is a high-end card just like the RTX 4080. But, given ongoing steep GPU prices, its $599 price tag and its level of performance pushes it close to midrange territory.

The RTX 4080, on the other hand, is a decidedly high-end card—no question about it. It’s not the best graphics card on the market, but it’s as high-end as you can get without dropping close to $2,000 on an RTX 4090.

Also Read: RTX 4070 Ti vs 4080: Which NVIDIA 40-Series GPU is Best?

The 4070 and 4080 are priced very differently, and how they perform correlates with this, too. As such, deciding which one is best is less about comparing which one is strictly better for the money, and more about figuring out which one will be of better value to you given your specific gaming requirements.

Buying Options

RTX 4070 Advantages

  • $600 cheaper
  • Fantastic 1080p and 1440p performance
  • Consumes less power
  • DLSS makes it great for 4K gaming

RTX 4080 Advantages

  • Smooth high refresh rate gameplay at any resolution
  • Over 50% better at 4K
  • About 50% better at ray tracing
  • Better memory configuration

What is the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070?

NVIDIA’s RTX 4070 launched in April 2023. It’s a high-end graphics card that uses the same AD104 GPU that’s used in the RTX 4070 Ti.

Based on NVIDIA’s ‘Ada Lovelace’ GPU architecture, the 4070 comes with all the new features of NVIDIA 40-series GPUs described below, including the wondrous frame generation of DLSS 3. While it’s great for 1080p and 1440p gaming, the 4070 is also fantastic at 4K once DLSS 3 is enabled.

What is the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080?

NVIDIA’s RTX 4080 launched in November 2022, and uses a higher-end GPU chip than the 4070: the AD103.

Also based on NVIDIA’s ‘Ada Lovelace’ architecture, the 4080 boasts new 40-series features and enough raw graphics processing chops to churn out high framerates even without DLSS enabled.

While the AMD RX 7900 XTX—its closest competitor—might win out in raw performance in some games, the 4080’s ray tracing and upscaling performance more than compensates for this and arguably makes it the fastest non-flagship GPU on the market right now.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 40-Series New Features

  • New Ray Tracing Cores
  • New Tensor Cores
  • Shader Execution Reordering (SER)
  • DLSS 3
  • Increased L2 cache
  • Dual AV1 encoding

All NVIDIA 40-series GPUs are packed with new features that improve gaming, productivity, and content creation performance.

The 4070’s and 4080’s increased L2 cache allows for better performance in games with high video memory requirements, without requiring an excessive amount of GPU VRAM.

New RT Cores and an implementation of SER tech allows for significantly improved ray tracing performance, and new Tensor Cores and DLSS 3 allow for much better upscaling performance. Crucially, combining these two things—ray tracing and upscaling—allows for very smooth ray traced gameplay in many games.

Finally, dual AV1 encoding should allow for more efficient encoding for content creators once online platforms fully support the format.

4080 vs 4070: Price Comparison

RTX 4070 RTX 4080
MSRP $599 $1,199
Cheapest retail prices $599-$699 $1,139-$1,299

The RTX 4080 costs $600 (100%) more than the 4070 at MSRP—it’s twice the cost.

While actual prices will depend on which model you opt for—whether a Founders Edition (FE) card or one of the many AIB alternatives—the cheapest models online currently retail for about the same as MSRP for both GPUs.

Alternative GPUs

If you’re considering an RTX 4070 or 4080, there are a few other GPUs that you might also consider.

First, there’s the RTX 4070 Ti. This graphics card costs $200 more than the 4070 and $400 less than the 4080. It uses the same GPU as the 4070 but performs about 20-25% better than the 4070 at 1440p and 4K. The 4080 performs about 20% better than the 4070 Ti at 1440p, and about 30% better at 4K.

You might also consider the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT. The 7900 XT costs $899, meaning it’s $300 more expensive than the 4070 and $300 cheaper than the 4080—smack-bang in the middle of the two. Previous benchmarks showed the 7900 XT to be a bad value proposition, but, according to LinusTechTips’ recent tests, driver updates seem to have put the 7900 XT almost on par with the 4080, making it stellar value.

Although these results aren’t included in Linus’s video, one can only assume the same is true for the $999 AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX. The 7900 XTX was already great value, performing only slightly worse than the 4080 for $200 less. If driver updates have increased its performance even more, it might now be an obvious choice instead of the 4080, providing you don’t mind the lack of DLSS and worse ray tracing performance.

Read More:

Graphics Card Specs

  RTX 4070 RTX 4080
Architecture Ada Lovelace Ada Lovelace
GPU AD104 AD103
CUDA Cores 5,888 9,728
Tensor Cores 184 304
RT Cores 46 76
Stream Multiprocessors 46 76
Memory 12GB GDDR6X 16GB GDDR6X
Memory speed 21GT/s 22.4GT/s
Memory bandwidth 504GB/s 716.8GB/s
Clock speed (base/boost) 1.9GHz / 2.5GHz 2.21GHz / 2.51GHz
Power connector (reference) 1x 16-pin or 1x 8-pin (depending on manufacturer) 1x 16-pin (12VHPWR adapter)
TDP (TBP) 200W 320W

The 4070 and 4080 are clearly two very different graphics cards. They use completely different GPUs, which allows the 4080 to host 65% more CUDA Cores, Tensor Cores, and RT Cores than the 4070.

The two GPUs also have different memory configurations. While both have lots of L2 cache—which should to some extent offset lower VRAM capacity and memory bus throughput—the 4080 does have 4GB extra VRAM and a wider memory bandwidth than the 4070, giving it extra longevity.

Dimensions

  RTX 4070 RTX 4080
Length 244mm 304mm
Width 112mm 137mm
Height 40mm 61mm

The RTX 4070 signals a return to previous-gen reasonable GPU sizes. The RTX 4080, on the other hand, is a behemoth of a card, sharing the design and physical footprint of the flagship RTX 4090.

If the size of your PC case is a concern and you’re not sure whether a 4080 will fit, unless you’re willing to upgrade your case, a smaller card like a 4070 might be a better option.

Power Draw and Thermal Performance

Both the 4070 and 4080 are power efficient compared to previous generation NVIDIA GPUs. But the 4070 is especially easy on the power consumption, with its 200W TDP making NVIDIA recommend only a 650W PSU, while a 750W PSU is recommended for the 4080.

Also Read: The Best Power Supplies

Perhaps surprisingly, several online tests show that the 4080 stays a little cooler than the 4070—when comparing FE cards, at least. While both cards should stay below 70c while gaming, the 4080 should stay closer to 60c than the 4070.

This isn’t too surprising, though, when we remember the 4080 shares the same cooler as the 4090, making it a much bigger card. For the 4070’s smaller profile, temperatures are sacrificed a little.

4070 vs 4080: Gaming Performance

We’ve calculated the 4070 vs 4080’s gaming performance by averaging game benchmark results from several online reviews, such as those from TomsHardware, TechPowerUp, and TechSpot, for 1080p, 1440p, and 4K resolutions.

Also Read: 1080p vs. 1440p vs. 4K: Which Resolution Is Best for Gaming?

We’ve presented these results as charts comparing average framerates at these resolutions, and we’ve also given you average framerate percentage differences, which are an average of the percentage differences given by each site. This should give an accurate picture of how these two GPUs perform on average across different PC setups.

1080p Benchmarks

4070 vs 4080 1080p avg framerates

Framerates averaged from multiple online benchmarks.

On average, the RTX 4080 performs about 33% better than the RTX 4070 at 1080p.

For 1080p gaming, opting for a 4070 instead of a 4080 will make sense for most gamers. An RTX 4070 should stay well above 120fps in most games on max settings at this resolution, and it should stay above 100fps even in the most demanding games, too.

For 120Hz and 144Hz monitors, then, the 4070 is more than enough for gaming on max settings at 1080p. The $600 saving will, for most gamers, be more than justified.

Even competitive gamers using ultra-high refresh rates will probably think twice before opting for an RTX 4080, too, because most competitive games aren’t too graphically demanding, meaning framerates should stay very high even with a 4070.

Only a very niche subset of gamers will likely want to opt for a 4080 instead of a 4070 for 1080p gaming then, this being those who want framerates to make the most of ultra-high refresh rate monitors in demanding games on max settings.

1440p Benchmarks

4070 vs 4080 1440p avg framerates

Framerates averaged from multiple online benchmarks.

On average, the RTX 4080 performs about 46% better than the RTX 4070 at 1440p.

For 1440p gaming, it makes sense to opt for an RTX 4080 if you’re using a 144Hz or 120Hz monitor and want to max out your settings in demanding titles.

Also Read: Is 1440P Worth it for Gaming?

While the 4070 can maintain a framerate higher than 100fps on max settings in most games, in more demanding games like Cyberpunk 2077, it will stay just shy of 100fps, while the 4080 should average around—or just above—120fps.

If you’re using a 60Hz or 75Hz monitor, the 4070 will suit you fine here, too, and be more than justified by its $600 saving. But if 120Hz or 144Hz gaming is your goal, and if you want to play the latest graphically intensive games on max settings, a 4080 will serve you much better.

Of course, DLSS can change this picture. Even DLSS 2 can almost double your framerate, and DLSS 2 is available in a great many games, these days. Throw DLSS 3 into the mix, and sub-120fps seems nigh-on impossible even for the 4070. If you’re happy enabling DLSS in all your games, then, the 4070 will still probably be better value for 1440p gaming.

4K Benchmarks

4070 vs 4080 4K avg framerates

Framerates averaged from multiple online benchmarks.

On average, the RTX 4080 performs about 57% better than the RTX 4070 at 4K.

If you plan on gaming primarily at 4K resolution, an RTX 4080 will be a better choice than an RTX 4070 for most gamers, even taking its $600 extra cost into account.

Also Read: Is 4K Worth it for Gaming? Why Most Gamers Don’t Need a 4K Monitor

While a 4070 can average 60fps in moderately demanding titles on ultra settings, this is only an average, and there will no doubt be game scenes in these titles that drop below 60fps. And this isn’t to mention super-demanding games, where the 4070 will struggle to hit 50fps or even 40fps sometimes on max settings.

The 4080, on the other hand, can average close to 100fps in most games at 4K resolution on maximum settings. And it should average higher than 60fps even in the most demanding titles like Cyberpunk 2077.

But just like with 1440p, DLSS can change a lot. Even enabling DLSS 2 and leaving DLSS 3 disabled can turn the 4070’s 40fps into 70fps, or its 60fps into over 100fps. It just depends on whether you’re willing to sacrifice true, unadulterated, native resolution graphical fidelity—DLSS looks great, but it’s not perfect.

Ray Tracing and Upscaling

4070 vs 4080 1440p relative ray tracing game performance

Results taken from TechPowerUp’s testing.

Based on TechPowerUp’s testing, at 1440p, the RTX 4080 performs about 45% better than the 4070 on average when ray tracing is enabled.

If you want a graphics card capable of seriously impressive ray tracing performance, an RTX 4080 might be worth its extra cost compared to an RTX 4070.

This is especially true when you combine its better ray tracing performance with its better pure rasterization performance. It’s not as damning for the 4070 at 1440p as it is at 4K, but it does make a difference.

4070 vs 4080 4K relative ray tracing game performance

Results taken from TechPowerUp’s testing.

Based on TechPowerUp’s testing, at 4K, the RTX 4080 performs about 56% better than the 4070 on average when ray tracing is enabled.

If the RTX 4070 struggles to maintain 60fps in some more demanding games at 4K on max settings, it will certainly struggle to remain playable when ray tracing is enabled.

The 4080, on the other hand, will struggle nowhere near as much. This is thanks to both its extra rasterization performance, but also its heap of extra RT Cores.

Again, though, all of this can be taken with a pinch of salt if you’re happy enabling DLSS. Both cards support DLSS 2 and DLSS 3, and while the 4080 has more Tensor cores, its relative performance gain by enabling DLSS isn’t that much greater than the 4070’s.

In fact, the 4070 has much more of a real-world performance gain by enabling DLSS, because by enabling it the 4070’s framerates will often go from choppy to smooth, because it has much lower baseline performance—noticeably so—at higher resolutions.

Game Performance Summary

As we might expect, thanks to it costing twice as much, the RTX 4080 performs significantly better than the RTX 4070 across all three mainstream resolutions. And as we also might expect, there is a bigger performance differential as we move up in resolution, because games become more GPU-dependent at 1440p and 4K.

At 1080p, most gamers will be fine with an RTX 4070, even for 120Hz or 144Hz gaming. At this resolution, the 4070 can maintain a framerate higher than 100fps even in really demanding titles.

At 1440p, whether to opt for a 4070 or 4080 depends on your refresh rate and whether you want to max out your settings in the most demanding titles. If you want to play Cyberpunk 2077 on ultra settings at 120Hz, a 4080 will get you there while a 4070 won’t. But if you’re fine lowering your settings a little or not playing the most demanding games, a 4070 will do well.

At 4K, a 4080 is a much better choice unless you’re happy playing on medium settings, or only playing less graphically demanding games. If you want framerates above 60fps in the most demanding titles on max settings, the 4080 can give you that while the 4070 can’t.

Like playing at 4K, playing with ray tracing enabled is a much better prospect for the 4080 than the 4070. While the 4070 can manage ray tracing at 1080p, it will make many games choppy at 4K, and will make some choppy at 1440p if settings are maxed out. The 4080, however, can handle 1440p ray tracing with ease, and can handle 4K ray tracing easily in all but the most demanding titles.

If you’re willing to enable DLSS in all supported games, however, all the above is somewhat redundant. Enabling DLSS 3—and even DLSS 2—can make games playable at 4K, with ray tracing enabled, even on a 4070. It will struggle only with the most demanding titles, and at 1440p it won’t even struggle with those.

More Performance Comparisons

Verdict: Is the 4070 or 4080 Best Value for Gaming?

NVIDIA’s RTX 4070 hopefully marks a turning point for 40-series GPUs. While it’s certainly not cheap, it shows that NVIDIA is finally ready to let go of 30-series GPUs as buffers to fill out the bottom-end of their current-gen line-up.

This being said, $599 is still mighty expensive, and gamers on a budget will be looking towards the upcoming RTX 4060 Ti, and potential future RTX 4060. In which case, we might ask, who is the 4070 targeted at?

The answer, I think, is that it’s targeted primarily at 120Hz and 144Hz 1440p gamers who don’t want to max out all settings in the latest and most demanding games. For such gamers, an RTX 4070 offers superb performance, plus all the features of current-gen NVIDIA graphics cards, making it great value.

The 4080, on the other hand, is for those gamers who want to max out games at 1440p on a 120Hz or 144Hz monitor or give 4K gaming a shot without dropping close to $2,000 on a GPU. If this describes you, the 4080 might be worth it, and might be more valuable than a $600 saving for a GPU that doesn’t quite fit your needs.

However, we shouldn’t end here without reiterating that recent benchmarks seem to show the RX 7900 XT performing almost as well as the 4080, while remaining $300—yes, $300—cheaper than it. If AMD drivers really have improved so much, the 7900 XT might be worth revisiting as a great value high-end GPU option for 1440p and even 4K gaming.

Jacob Fox

Jacob's been tinkering with computer hardware for over a decade, and he's written hardware articles for various PC gaming websites. Outside of the wonderful world of PC hardware, he's currently undertaking a PhD in philosophy, with a focus on topics surrounding the meaning of life.

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