ASUS RTX 3080 OC TUF Review
Any time we use the word simple, or utilitarian, or anything along those lines, there's a tendency to read it in a pejorative manner. We definitely don't mean it that way with the ASUS RTX Strix TUF. There is a lot to be said for a product which follows the Ronseal ethos of doing precisely what it says on the tin. It's a meat and potatoes type graphics card, and that's nothing to get snooty about. For many people, cards like this are, even with the massive price cut Nvidia has implemented relative to its performance, right at the peak of their budget. If you can save a few quid by eschewing frippery but still get excellent cooling and gaming performance, then we're all in on that idea.
The ASUS RTX 3080 OC TUF falls into the category of hardware which brings you all the performance, with no cooling compromises either, and yet doesn't bust the budget to achieve that. If this particular OC model is a tiny bit out of reach, then the vanilla one is forty quid cheaper and is the one we would suggest buying.
Much like the conclusion you read earlier this week for the Nvidia Founders Edition the same applies to the ASUS RTX 3080 OC TUF. The performance is attention-grabbing, but that's all down to the 3080 core. No matter what we threw at it, the average frames per second were tremendous. This was true with every scenario, every game. You have to get into the insane realms of 8K Gears 5 to drag things down, even remotely, and given how it was only the RTX 2080 Ti that first made 4K 60FPS playable at high detail settings, it shows how obscenely powerful the Ampere range of cards is. Special credit has to go to Nvidia's reworked DLSS 2.0 AI upscaling solution, which not only makes the image look better in many scenarios but dramatically increases the frame rates too. It's a win-win scenario, and as anyone who has been involved in the hardware world - or just the world in general - will know, those things in combination are rarer than a politician with integrity.
As for the ASUS itself, there is a reason that the TUF cards sell so well. That price, for a manufacturer card, is excellent and as you can see from our temperature graph, those three fans work beautifully, keeping the card cool even after the most tortuous test we can devise. Remember too that we run our graphics cards in a sealed case rather than an open testbed, so your results will be very similar. If you're not running the lunacy of an AMD Ryzen 9 3950X as your CPU, you might even have lower temperatures. The clock speeds bear this excellent thermal performance out too, boosting far beyond the clock speed ASUS list our OC model as having. Indeed we'd be tempted to save the forty quid and go with the regular model, because the Nvidia GPU Boost works so well, and clearly the cooler can handle some serious horsepower.
The TUF is a well priced RTX 3080, but we think in reality the £649 card would be a better option and then just hit the Nvidia OC scanner button and get that performance for free.