EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti FTW3 Ultra review: Pure souped-up power

The EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti FTW3 Ultra is an ultra-fast, power-chugging graphics card built to ride the bleeding-edge of performance—if you can afford it.

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Power draw, thermals, and noise

We test power draw by looping the F1 2020 benchmark at 4K for about 20 minutes after we’ve benchmarked everything else and noting the highest reading on our Watts Up Pro meter, which measures the power consumption of our entire test system. The initial part of the race, where all competing cars are onscreen simultaneously, tends to be the most demanding portion. 

This isn’t a worst-case test; this is a GPU-bound game running at a GPU-bound resolution to gauge performance when the graphics card is sweating hard. If you’re playing a game that also hammers the CPU, you could see higher overall system power draws. Consider yourself warned.

power Brad Chacos/IDG

The RTX 3080 Ti and 3090 Founders Edition models draw similar power levels, which makes sense, as the RTX 3080 Ti’s reference specs essentially make it a faster-clocked 3090 with half the GDDR6X memory. But putting the pedal to the metal to surpass the 3090 requires significantly more juice. The FTW3 Ultra consumes 100 watts more power under load than both of Nvidia’s cards. Oof. That said, if you’re investing in an ultra-fast, built-for-overclocking hot rod of a GPU like this, power levels probably aren’t your primary concern. EVGA was wise to throw efficiency concerns out the window in my opinion.

We test thermals by leaving GPU-Z open during the F1 2020 power draw test, noting the highest maximum temperature at the end.

temp Brad Chacos/IDG

Here’s the counterpoint to that: Sucking down a lot more power throws off a lot more heat too. EVGA’s massive, fantastic custom cooling solution keeps the FTW3 Ultra on a par with the RTX 3080 Ti Founders Edition in heat and noise even with its massive overclock. That means very good, but not great, results here. If you wanted a quieter, cooler custom RTX 3080 Ti, you could no doubt find one—but it wouldn’t push performance as hard as the FTW3 Ultra. Pick your poison.

Next page: Should you buy the EVGA RTX 3080 Ti FTW3 Ultra?

At a Glance
  • The EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti FTW3 Ultra is an ultra-fast, power-chugging graphics card built to ride the bleeding-edge of performance—if you can afford it. Overclocking enthusiasts and gamers who refuse to sacrifice a single frame will love it, but most people would be better off with a more affordable option.

    Pros

    • Excellent 4K and 1440p gaming
    • Huge factory overclock
    • As fast as RTX 3090, sometimes faster
    • 12GB of high-speed GDDR6X memory
    • Loaded with overclocking-friendly features
    • Fan and RGB headers, striking RGB lights
    • Precision X1 software is superb

    Cons

    • Staggering power draw
    • Massive size, 3x power pins limits some PC compatibility
    • EVGA's fantastic cooler delivers merely very good heat, noise results due to sky-high power draw
    • Very expensive (more so on the street), low availability
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