Entertainment Asus GeForce RTX 3080 Noctua Edition review
Asus GeForce RTX 3080 Noctua Edition review
Asus GeForce RTX 3080 Noctua Edition: One Minute Review
The Asus GeForce RTX 3080 Noctua could very well be called the RTX 3080+ and it would be appropriate.
It takes the already fantastic RTX 3080 and slaps two massive 180mm fans on the side and blows up its heatsink like a bouncey castle of heat dissipation. Unsurprisingly, this makes it an increadibly cool graphics card under strain, helping it maintain its highest level of performance and all but eliminating the possibility of performance throttling in most cases. Not entirely, of course, but more than enough to make the RTX 3080 Noctua the best graphics card for overclockers out there.
There are some criticisms to make of this card, including the much higher price point, and the significantly larger footprint will keep it out of many gamers PC cases, especially if you have anything occupying a PCIe slot other than your graphics card.
There are also those who might not be too keen on the actual look of the graphics card, since most gamers with very specific design tastes in their gaming setups are going to find the brown and tan colorway of the RTX 3080 Noctua to be a nonstarter with their rigs. That said, the RTX 3080 Noctua – noctua is latin for owl – does bear a striking resemblance to its namesake. Whether you can truly appreciate that in a case is another matter, though.
Altogether, those looking for one of the best Nvidia GeForce graphics cards with fantastic thermals, quality design, and whisper quiet performance should look no further than the Asus GeForce RTX 3080 Noctua Edition.
Asus GeForce RTX 3080 Noctua Edition: Price and availability
- A hefty premium over the base RTX 3080
- Available now in the US, UK, and Australia
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 key specs
Stream multiprocessors: 68 (128 CUDA per SM)
CUDA Cores: 8,704
Tensor cores: 272
Ray tracing cores: 68
Power Draw (TGP): 320W
Boost clock: 1,710MHz
OC boost clock: 1,815MHz
VRAM: 10GB GDDR6X
Memory Speed: 19Gbps
Interface: PCIe 4.0 x16
Outputs: 1 x HDMI 2.1, 3 x DisplayPort 1.4
Power connector: 2 x 8-pin
The Asus GeForce RTX 3080 Noctua Edition is available now in the US, UK, and Australia for $950 (about £850 / AU$1,400). This is a healthy sized premium over the reference card, which debuted with an MSRP of $699 (£649, about AU$950).
At its core, the RTX 3080 Noctua is identical to any other RTX 3080, so if you want to read about the baseline performance, chipset, and features, you should check out our Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 review for those details.
Just know that what you’re really paying for here is the aesthetic and the super-quiet performance of the RTX 3080 Noctua. Whether you’re willing to pay a premium to enjoy the silence is up to you.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080: Design
- No 12-pin connector!
- Huge hooting fans
There’s no getting around the fact that the Asus GeForce RTX 3080 Noctua Edition is one thicc boi. Where the RTX 3080 Founders Edition has a L x H x D dimension of 11.2 x 4.4 x 1.6 inches (285 x 112 x 40mm), the RTX 3080 Noctua is a beastly 12.2 x 5.7 x 3.45 inches (310 x 144.8 x 87.5 mm).
At more than double the depth, there are going to be plenty of builds where this card simply won’t fit, so be sure to measure your free space and consider the issue of cable management before you buy this card.
All that extra room goes to the ginormous fans over an equally ginormous heat sink that cools the GPU. The colorway might not work for a lot of people, and those that do really won’t get the most out of the design if it is slotted into a standard PCIe, since the fans will be mostly hidden from view.
On the plus side, the RTX 3080 Noctua has a no-BIOS switch that can put the card into either performance mode or silent mode, which is nice for when you want that extra bit of power.
Asus GeForce RTX 3080 Noctua Edition: Performance
- Incredible thermal performance
- Slightly improved gaming performance
- More power draw
Test system specs
This is the system we used to test the Asus GeForce RTX 3080 Noctua Edition:
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D
CPU Cooler: Corsair iCue H150i Elite Capellix 360mm AIO
RAM: Corsair Vengeance LED DDR4-3200
Motherboard: Gigabyte Aorus Master X570 (BIOS F36c)
SSD: Samsung 980 Pro 1TB NVMe M.2 SSD
Power Supply: Corsair AX1000
Case: Praxis Wetbench
The Asus GeForce RTX 3080 Noctua Edition is an overclockable card, so you can expect to get better performance out of it than with the base RTX 3080 FE card from Nvidia, but beyond that, if you want to check out raw performance, we suggest you check out our Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 review.
For now, we’ll focus on the thermal performance here. The substantially larger fans and heatsink definitely improve the thermals of the RTX 3080 substantially. The RTX 3080 Founders Edition maxed out in our 3DMark Port Royal stress test at 75.5 degrees Celsius, drawing about 320W of power at max load, running on an open test bench at an average of about 47 decibels.
The RTX 3080 Noctua, meanwhile, topped out at a relatively chilly 58.7 degrees Celsius, though it did draw a noticeably higher 350W of power. Despite the much larger fans pushing much more air through the heat sink though, it only averaged about 48.5 decibels.
All of this produced marginally better performance in terms of both synthetic benchmarks and actual gaming performance. We’d chalk this up to the improved thermals slightly boosting performance and keeping throttling to a minimum.
Should you buy an Asus GeForce RTX 3080 Noctua Edition?
Buy it if…
Don’t buy it if…
Asus GeForce RTX 3080 Noctua Edition: Report Card
|Value||The Noctua Edition is definitely a premium item, and for the increased performance, it’s fair to ask if it’s worth the price.||3 / 5|
|Design||Some might not like the look of the Noctua, but we do, though this striking card is a beefy addition to your rig so make sure it’ll fit.||4 / 5|
|Performance||The thermals on the RTX 3080 Noctua Edition are so good that it noticeably, if marginally, improves performance with all other things being equal.||5 / 5|
|Total||All together, the Asus GeForce RTX 3080 Noctua Edition is a great graphics card if you’ve got the space in your case and budget for it.||4 / 5|
First reviewed August 2022