Friday, December 24, 2021

BaByliss 9000 Cordless Hot Brush

One-minute review

Having one of the best hair dryers can go some way to creating a salon-worthy style at home. However, there’s nothing more frustrating than spending hours perfecting your hair only to head outside and have the weather ruin your style. 

Whether it's rain, humidity, or wind, the elements can very quickly turn fab into drab, so it’s no surprise there’s been a surge in the number of cordless hair stylers making their way onto the market. Powered by a rechargeable battery, they’re small enough and lightweight enough to be slipped in your bag, ensuring you can re-create your style in minutes – if the weather does plan havoc with it. 

For creating sleek and smooth tresses, both the Dyson Corrale and the GHD Unplugged are some of the best-performing cordless straighteners on the market – but what if you want bouncy locks on the go? This is where the BaByliss 9000 Cordless Hot Brush comes in. 

This cordless hot brush uses heat to style hair, working in the same way as a hair dryer and barrel brush, creating body at the roots, while ensuring the strands are smooth. The hot brush has a 30mm barrel and offers three different temperature settings. 

BaByliss says the battery will last up to 40 minutes between charges, and it takes around three at the roots. The hot brush also comes with a heat-protective glove and mat, so you can protect hands and surfaces when using the hot brush. 

At £180, this is one of the most expensive hot brushes on the market. However, for those who want the flexibility that such a cordless model provides, it’s worth the investment.  

The BaByliss 900 cordless hot brush being held ready to use

(Image credit: TechRadar)

BaByliss 9000 Cordless Hot Brush price and availability

  •  RRP: £180 

The BaByliss 9000 Cordless Hot Brush is priced at £180 and is available direct from BaByliss in the UK, as well as through retailers such as John Lewis, Argos, and Currently, it isn’t available in the US or Australia. 

It’s the most expensive hot brush available in BaByliss’s range of products; however, this is in part down to the rechargeable battery, which pushes up the price compared to mains-powered styling appliances. If you’re on a tight budget, consider the BaByliss Sheer Volume Hot Brush, which is mains-powered and costs only £60.  

The BaByliss 900 cordless hot brush with all its accessories

(Image credit: TechRadar)


  • 30mm barrel
  • Three temperature settings
  • Includes heat-protecting mat and glove

The BaByliss 9000 Cordless Hot Brush is relatively slim for a hot brush, measuring 34.5 x 6 x 4.5cm (h x w x d), although it’s one of the longer cordless hair styling appliances we’ve tested. Since it’s powered by a rechargeable battery, it’s slightly heavier than mains-powered heated stylers, too, weighing in at 441g. 

The device comprises a glossy black handle with rose gold accents, while the top of the hot brush is a 30mm ceramic barrel covered in plastic bristles. In use, the appliance mimics the effects created when using a hair dryer and barrel brush to style your hair. Offering three different temperature settings – 160 C, 170 C and 180 C – it’s suitable for fine as well as thick hair. You select the desired level of heat by pressing the power button once the styler is switched on.  An LED ring around the power button glows either green, yellow, or orange to indicate battery level. 

On the bottom of the hot brush, you’ll find a port for the charging cable. BaByliss says the battery will last for up to 40 minutes before it runs out of juice, taking around three hours to recharge. The BaByliss 9000 Cordless Hot Brush comes with a case, for those occasions you want to take it on-the-go, along with a heat-resistant glove and mat for protection for your hands and surfaces. 

BaByliss 900 cordless hot brush switche don, indicated by the green LED

(Image credit: TechRadar)


  • Quick to reach temperature
  • Left hair looking bouncy and shiny
  • Unwieldy length

The BaByliss 9000 Cordless Hot Brush is extremely simple to use. Just press the power button for two seconds, and you’ll hear a tone to indicate it’s been switched on. It will start heating to 160ºC; to select a hotter temperature, simply press the power button once, or twice, for the other two options. 

The LED ring surrounding the power button will illuminate green when the hot brush is powered on, while three smaller LEDs above this indicate the temperature selected. The relevant LED for the temperature selected will flash white while the hot brush is heating and glow solid when the desired temperature has been reached. During testing, we found it took 43 seconds to reach 160ºC; 50 seconds to reach 170ºC, and 55 seconds to hit the top temperature of 180 degrees. 

We used the BaByliss 9000 Cordless Hot Brush on our fine, slightly longer than shoulder-length hair to test performance. We were able to style it in around three minutes, sectioning hair as we would when blow-drying. The hot brush passed through our hair smoothly and created a sleek finish, with very few flyaway strands. Hair was left looking shiny and healthy. Unfortunately, the style didn’t last the day, but that’s more a reflection of fine hair rather than the hot brush’s performance. 

While the hot brush felt balanced and was easy to use in both left and right hands, we did find the appliance a little long. This made it slightly unwieldy in use, and also meant the device wouldn’t lay flat in the bottom of our handbag. 

We were impressed with the inclusion in the box of a heat resistant glove and mat to protect your hands and surfaces during use. 

The charging port on the bottom of the BaByliss 900 cordless hot brush

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Battery life

  • Battery lasts for up to 40 minutes between charges
  • Takes around three hours to fully recharge
  • Lacks a clear battery level

BaByliss claims the battery in the 9000 Cordless Hot Brush lasts 40 minutes between charges. We used the hot brush heavily throughout the testing period and found we were able to style hair four times and perform several touch-ups before needing to be recharged. 

The battery took around three hours to fully recharge. Note this hot brush also includes a handy auto-off feature, which ensures that if you don’t use the hot brush for five minutes, it will enter sleep mode and lower the temperature to 120ºC to preserve battery life; simply press the power button to wake the styler from sleep mode. However, we were disappointed there wasn’t a clear battery life indicator. Instead, we had to rely on the LED surrounding the power button flashing red, yellow or green to gauge the level of battery life remaining. 

Should I buy the BaByliss 9000 Cordless Hot Brush?

Buy it if...

You want a hot brush to use on-the-go
Powered by a rechargeable battery, the BaByliss 9000 Cordless Hot Brush is ideal for those who want a hot brush to slip in their bag for style touch-ups throughout the day.  

You struggle to blow-dry your hair with a brush
If you get in a tangle trying to blow-dry your hair with a barrel brush, using this hot brush once hair is dry delivers the same effect, while being simpler to master.  

You want a stylish device
The glossy black handle and rose gold accent of the BaByliss 9000 Cordless Hot Brush means it is one of the most stylish hair care appliances we’ve seen.  

Don't buy it if...

You’re on a tight budget
At £180, the BaByliss 9000 Cordless Hot Brush with its rechargeable battery is one of the most expensive hot brushes we’ve tested. Those looking for a cheaper hair styler should consider a mains-powered unit such as the BaByliss Sheer Volume, which is priced at £60. 

You want a hot brush that can dry your hair
While the BaByliss 9000 Cordless Hot Brush is great for styling, it can’t dry hair. If you’re looking for a 2-in-1 device, then you’ll have to look elsewhere.   

You want to know exactly how much battery is left
With no clear battery level indicator, just some coloured LEDs to go on, this is best avoided if you’d like to more easily monitor exactly how much battery remains. 

First reviewed: December 2021

Samsung The Frame TV (2021) review

With TVs growing ever bigger, it’s increasingly important that our television sets blend into their surroundings. Samsung has been leading the charge with its The Frame TV sets for several years now, but its 2021 edition finally sees the range measuring up to the best that Samsung has to offer.

Displaying works of art in standby mode and with a customizable frame that makes it ideal for wall hanging, The Frame TV for 2021 is functionally as good to watch at as it is fashionable to have around your home.

Starting at 32 inches (in a 1080p configuration) and going up to 75 inches in size, we’ve been testing the 4K 43-inch QLED model for this review.

Samsung The Frame TV 2021

(Image credit: Future)

Price and availability

The Frame TV range for 2021 is available now. Aside from the 1080p 32-inch model, all other options are at 4K resolution. Starting at $599 / £499 for the 32-inch model, there are also 43-inch, 50-inch, 55-inch, 65-inch and 75-inch options available, with prices starting at £1,099 / $999 and going up to £2,599 / $2,999 for the largest models.

Though the spec sheet here is worthy, it’s not quite flagship level, and so you’re paying the premium on the interior-design-friendly look of The Frame TV. It’s still a little bit pricey then but, as we’ll discuss, improvements in picture quality make it a much better package this time around.


We normally separate our discussions around design and TV software interface in our reviews, but The Frame is a slightly different beast, as the two work hand in hand. So you’ll find some info here not only on the industrial design, but some of the software features that complement that exterior as well.

Where many TVs exist as a black hole in your living room when powered down, The Frame TV is instead designed to be ornamental. While the out-of-the-box set isn’t anything to write home about with its simple black frame, Samsung offers a range of sold-separately clip-on bezel pieces that can be used to help the set fit into a range of decors, from bold color finishes to wood-like frames. 

Samsung The Frame TV 2021

(Image credit: Future)

When wall-mounted, those bezels help to further the impression that you have a picture hanging on your wall, rather than a TV. This works in tandem with Samsung’s Art Mode app – a monthly subscription ($5 a month in the US, £3.99 a month in the UK) gives you access to thousands of works of art that can be displayed on the screen when it's in standby, with collections drawn from galleries including the Louvre and Van Gogh Museum, and artists from contemporaries like Sutianto to classic masters like Monet. (A handful of free designs are also included for those that don’t fancy the subscription, while the ‘My Collection’ section lets you upload as many as 16GB / 1,200 images of your own). 

Samsung The Frame TV 2021

(Image credit: Future)

These can then be set on a selection of matte ‘mounts’ adding again to the feeling that it’s a painting – not a gadget – hanging on the wall. And with the screen’s effective anti-reflective coating and ambient and motion sensors automatically adjusting brightness and contrast, as well as switching the TV on into its Art Mode as you approach it, it truly is wonderful at appearing as though there's a paint-and-paper image on your wall.

Samsung The Frame TV 2021

(Image credit: Future)

It’s also one of the simplest TVs to set up that we’ve ever tested. When not wall-mounted (it’ll sit flush on a wall thanks to its relatively thin, flat design) it sits on two separate feet, which can be set at two different heights to accommodate a soundbar beneath the screen. These simply slot and click into place either end of the TV on the back of the screen, no screws required. A sold-separately tripod-like Studio mount can also be purchased.

One Connect Cable

(Image credit: Samsung)

Making the setup even simpler is the inclusion of Samsung’s fantastic One Connect box. This breakaway box connects to the screen with a single clear fiber optic cable, and houses all of the connections you’ll need for external devices. There are four HDMI ports (one eArc compatible, another HDMI 2.1 compatible for 120Hz and VRR gaming play – though the 43-inch screen we tested maxes out at 60Hz), as well as a digital optical output, Ethernet connection, a CI card slot and two USB ports on the box. Terrestrial and satellite tuners are supported, as is dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for wireless devices including headphones, keyboards and mice. We’re huge fans of the One Connect box at TechRadar, letting you tidily hide away the majority of cables away from your TV for easy access, and always appreciate Samsung adding it to its sets.

Samsung The Frame TV 2021

(Image credit: Future)

Rounding off the package is a pair of remotes. Each has shortcut buttons for Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Samsung TV Plus (the company’s free TV streaming service). But while one has a full array of rubbery volume, playback and channel select options (among other controls) the other is a stripped-back remote with only the most commonly used functions having dedicated buttons. It’s simple to use, but its best feature is hidden on the back – a solar panel that means it’ll never need its batteries replaced.

Samsung The Frame TV 2021

(Image credit: Future)

Smart TV (Tizen)

That Art Mode, and the rest of The Frame’s interface, is based on Samsung’s Tizen operating system, which is put to good use in the set.

First, the basics – there’s a healthy selection of streaming apps available to download and use straight from The Frame TV, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, Disney Plus, and local providers such as BBC iPlayer and Sky’s Now TV. There’s also a selection of free streaming channels collated in the Samsung TV Plus app.

Samsung The Frame TV 2021

(Image credit: Future)

Scroll down and you get a mix of curated and algorithmically recommended content from your installed TV streaming apps on horizontal rails. Live TV from your apps is displayed in the “On Now” section while trending content from the likes of Netflix and Disney Plus sit below. It’s easy to navigate The Frame’s interface, well-stocked with relevant content suggestions and snappy to move around.

Samsung The Frame TV 2021

(Image credit: Future)

Samsung’s The Frame TV smart credentials go well beyond its streaming capabilities though. Alongside the Art Mode is Samsung’s long-featured Ambient Mode, found on other sets in Samsung’s range, which can be used as a screensaver of sorts when the TV isn’t being actively used, offering up headlines, weather reports or simply photo gallery slideshows. The screen can also be used as a SmartThings hub – that’s the Samsung-branded smart home controller, letting you access connected devices on your network ranging from smart lights to security systems and everything in between.

Samsung The Frame TV 2021

(Image credit: Future)

The Frame also does well when it comes to mirroring your other devices on its display. Download the PC On TV app to your computer, and you’ll be able to pop your desktop up on the big screen, complete with keyboard and mouse support. The SmartThings app for Android phones lets you mirror your smartphone’s screen on the TV, while Apple’s AirPlay content beaming standard is also supported. If you have a Samsung Galaxy phone you can tap the device on the side of the screen to have its content shared and mirrored by The Frame. Finally, the screen also offers a picture-in-picture and side-by-side Multi-View option – ideal for checking your form via your phone’s camera when exercising, or for keeping an eye on a pal in a video call during a heated sporting match.

Wrapping up the smart credentials is access to voice controls through a selection of smart assistants. The long-suffering Bixby, Samsung’s voice assistant, is rolled out once again, but is best ignored. Instead, you’ll be better served by the supported Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, which when combined with an appropriate smart speaker, can be used to control your TV hands-free with a selection of voice commands. 

Picture and sound quality

Samsung’s Frame TV sets have always impressed from a design standpoint, but have sometimes struggled when it comes to the actual picture department. Thankfully, the 2021 model has no such issues – this QLED set is at the very least a match for what Samsung puts out in the upper end of its mid-range lineup.

As we’ve come to expect from QLED technology, you can expect wonderfully rich colors from The Frame TV, with Samsung making use of a Dual LED backlight system, bringing together two color temperatures to eke the best possible image out of its Quantum Dot filter array. While it won’t trouble OLED screens, black levels are deep and believable, with good performance from the backlight ensuring no one spot on the display appears washed out with light leak. The Quantum Processor 4K impresses too – motion is handled with aplomb, and 4K content is pin-sharp. Best of all is how the screen handles lower-resolution content. Standard definition content can appear a little soupy, but remains watchable, and 1080p content scales incredibly well and looks detailed and punchy on The Frame TV.

Samsung The Frame TV 2021

(Image credit: Future)

HDR support includes HLG and HDR10+, but as with the rest of Samsung’s range, points are lost for the lack of Dolby Vision, which is increasingly becoming the HDR standard, and is now even supported by the Xbox Series X. Still, HDR performance is impressive, with a noticeably vibrant pop to highlights in our HDR10+ test content.

We were also pleased to see Filmmaker Mode set alongside Dynamic, Standard, Natural and Movie image preset options in the settings menu. Designed as a reference setting set out by Hollywood’s film colorists and editors, it gives a cinematic option right out of the box, requiring minimal tweaking, excellent for sitting down to watch a film with. For most other content, we’d stick with the Standard option – Natural may be brighter, but can make skin tones look garish and, somewhat ironically, unnatural by comparison. 

Samsung The Frame TV 2021

(Image credit: Future)

The TV also supports an Intelligent Mode that is designed to offer the best image quality based on the content you’re viewing, as well as improving the audio based on the content and the ambient sounds being picked up in the room. We found the option too inconsistent to rely upon though – for instance, while it regularly presented a good image for broadcast TV content, it could be too aggressive with motion smoothing for films, and seemingly taking different approaches to individual streaming apps. 

It did, however, give a boost to audio quality, pushing dialogue to the fore in a way that improved clarity significantly. What it couldn’t do however was improve the overall sonic presentation, which remains weak. The 40W output definitely has power when it comes to volume, but there’s a distinct lack of bass when it comes to giving any sense of cinematic depth to proceedings. It’s a problem that The Frame TV forgivingly shares still with the majority of flatscreen TVs, but it still rankles a bit. Prepare to invest in an external soundbar or speaker system if you’re looking to be completely enveloped in what you’re viewing – and try to make sure it’s compatible with Dolby Atmos, as the screen can decode the immersive surround sound format.

Though we’ve been testing the 4K/60Hz 43-inch model, the range starts at a 1080p/60Hz 32-inch baseline, and any size above the 43-inch version gets the full 4K/120Hz treatment from the HDMI 2.1 port onboard. Regardless, it’s a solid set for gamers, with input lag minimal from our testing with an Xbox Series X and Nvidia Shield Android set-top box.

Should I buy Samsung The Frame TV (2021)?

Buy it if…

Style is important to you
With its Art Mode and colorful bezel framing options, The Frame TV is as much a statement piece of interior design as it is a standard television.

You want a bedroom TV, sparing no expense
Though it’s available in large sizes of a similar caliber, The Frame TV is the perfect second-room TV thanks to its combination of great picture quality and ability to blend in with its surroundings where a large TV screen might otherwise be unsightly. 

You want to hide unsightly cables
The One Connect box remains an excellent TV innovation, and is perfect for hiding away all the connections your TV needs while retaining the functionality of multiple usable ports.

Don’t buy it if…

You want the ultimate bang for your buck
The Frame TV offers genuinely great image quality, especially compared to its predecessors. But you’re paying a premium for the design here, rather than the absolute heights of image and sound quality that a similar price tag might get you elsewhere, even within Samsung’s non-Frame range.

You want a Dolby Vision/Atmos all-in-one combo
It’s not impossible to find a TV within this price range which includes an Atmos sound system and Dolby Vision – the UK’s Sky Glass screen for instance, is a credible alternative in terms of both industrial design and screen tech, at similar price points.

  • The best TV: how does The Frame measure up to the best of the best?

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080

Where to buy RTX 3080

At the moment, it’s still impossible to find the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080. Even the major retailers are out of stock of the card due to the ongoing shortage. We’re here to keep you in the loop, however, of any restocking that might happen in the near future. Be sure to check out and bookmark our Where to Buy the RTX 3080 page for updates.

When the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 was first released, it had to significantly improve upon the top graphics cards of the company’s previous generation. Thankfully, just like the rest of the 3000 series, it’s been more than up to the challenge, bringing 4K gaming to the masses.

In fact, the improvements of the RTX 3080 over the cards it’s replaced seems to be the biggest generation leap in power we’ve seen in a long time. It performs 20-30% better than the RTX 2080 Ti and, more impressively, 50-80% better than RTX 2080. What makes this GPU all the more attractive is that performance bump comes with a much more reasonable retail price. It’s almost half the cost of the previous generation GPU.

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 makes high-end gaming much more attainable for the average gamer, running the best PC games with faster refresh rates and higher resolutions for less money. And, if that wasn’t compelling enough, it’s been confirmed that a RTX 3080 12GB version is on the way and its performance and speed is even better than expected

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 on a coffee table

(Image credit: Future)

Price and availability

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 is available on September 17, starting at $699 (£649, about AU$950) for the Founders Edition. However, as with any major graphics card launch, there will be dozens of aftermarket graphics cards from companies like MSI, Asus, Zotac and more.

Just be aware that some of these aftermarket card designs may see steep price increases over this Founders Edition, based on things like exotic cooling solutions and factory-tuned overclocks. But every RTX 3080 should more or less be in the ballpark of performance as the one Nvidia itself launches. 

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 on a coffee table next to its box

(Image credit: Future)

Features and chipset

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 is based on the new Nvidia Ampere graphics architecture, which brings huge improvements to both raw performance and power efficiency. The fact that Nvidia has increased the power budget so much over the RTX 2080 while boosting power efficiency means that the overall performance profile is far above what any Nvidia Turing graphics card was capable of. 

There have been obvious improvements to the RT and Tensor cores – we're on the second and third generation, respectively – but perhaps the biggest improvement has been to the rasterization engine. 

Through some clever optimization, Nvidia was able to double the amount of CUDA cores present on each Streaming Multiprocessor (SM) by making both data paths on each SM able to handle Floating Point 32 (FP32) workloads – a vast improvement over Turing, where one data path was dedicated entirely to integer workloads. This effectively doubles raw FP32 throughput core for core, though this won't directly translate into double the frame-rate in your favorite PC games – at least, not for many of them.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 on a coffee table next to its box

(Image credit: Future)

What this means is that, while the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 only has 46% more SMs than the RTX 2080 at 68, it more than doubles the CUDA core count, from 2,944 to 8,704. This translates to nearly three times the theoretical FP32 throughput from around 10 TFLOPs to 29.7 TFLOPs – an absolutely massive generational leap. 

When you pair the uplift in CUDA cores, with massive boosts to Cache, Texture Units and Memory Bandwidth – thanks to the move to faster GDDR6X memory on a 320-bit bus – gaming performance gets one of the biggest generational jumps in years, even if it does fall a bit short of that '2x performance' target that we're sure some folks were hoping for. But more on that later. 

Nvidia RT cores are also back – that's why Nvidia has the RTX name, after all – and they also see massive improvements. Nvidia Ampere graphics cards, including the RTX 3080, include second-generation RT cores, which will function similarly to the first generation RT cores, but will be twice as efficient.

When ray tracing, the SM will cast a light ray in a scene that's being rendered, and the RT core will take over from there, where it will do all the calculations necessary to find out where that light ray bounces, and will report that information back to the SM. This means that the SM is left alone to render the rest of the scene. But, we're still not at a point where turning on ray tracing doesn't have any impact on performance. Maybe some day. 

Tensor cores are also twice as powerful this time around, which has led Nvidia to only include 4 in each SM rather than the 8 you would find in a Turing SM. Coupled with the fact that there are now more SMs in general, DLSS performance also gets a massive boost. 

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 on a coffee table

(Image credit: Future)

This generation of graphics cards isn't all about gaming, however, and Nvidia has brought a couple of new features to the table that will make life better for pretty much everyone with an RTX card.  

For instance, we were already big fans of RTX Voice, and Nvidia has finally brought it out of beta and worked it into a fully-featured broadcasting app. While RTX Voice filtered background noise out of your microphone, you can set up Broadcaster to filter backgrounds out of your webcam – or even just apply a blur. 

The video section is still in beta, and we did see some glitches, but it's way better than any other solution out there for blocking out your background without a green screen. 

One of the features we're most excited to see implemented, however, is Nvidia RTX I/O, which is an API that will work in tandem with Microsoft's DirectStorage API, to route data straight from your SSD to your graphics card. In next-generation games, this should not only massively reduce loading times, but also mirror the groundbreaking I/O performance that has been teased with next-generation consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series X. Far more than high frame rates or pretty graphics, this technology is critically important to future gaming tech. 

Unfortunately, this is a technology that needs to be implemented by game developers in their games, and we weren't actually able to see what kind of real-world difference it will make. Though it is something we will be actively testing once the technology is widely implemented – and because the consoles are going to be using similar tech, we expect it will have a faster turnaround than ray tracing did. 

For the actual Founders Edition graphics card, Nvidia went with an all-new cooler design, which is way more practical than anything it's ever done with a reference design before. The company used a shorter, multi-layered PCB in order to have the back end of the card just be all heatsink. By doing this, Nvidia was able to mount a fan on the back of the graphics card that will suck cool air through the heatsink, and expel it up and out of the case. 


Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 at close-up

(Image credit: Future)

We were a bit worried when we first saw this fan design that it would affect CPU and RAM temperatures, as it's blowing hot air directly over these components, but even in our personal rig, where we have a Noctua NH-12UA air cooler on an AMD Ryzen 9 3900X, we didn't observe any difference in performance. We guess it helps that most PC games don't really stress both the GPU and CPU to the same extreme – not yet at least. 

As far as power delivery goes, that new 12-pin power connector is definitely there, and we have some mixed feelings about it. It's clear that the new PCB design of the Founders Edition card needs this smaller connector to make this new cooler work, we just wish that the 2 x 8-pin PCIe to 1 x 12-pin dongle Nvidia includes was a bit longer. As it stands, it's kind of hard to tie it out of the way to not be immediately visible, but at least aftermarket cards won't be using it right away. It's worth noting, though, that Nvidia is making the 12-pin power connector design available to any manufacturer – even AMD – that wants to use it. 

The Founders Edition also has three DisplayPort and one HDMI 2.1 output for displays, which is good. However, we don't like that Nvidia got rid of the USB-C output here, as creators will definitely still want to use this incredibly powerful card, and many pro-grade monitors out there are, in fact, USB-C monitors

Despite our little issues with the Founders Edition – and despite thinking it was ugly when it was first shown off – it's an attractive piece of hardware in person. All black with silver accents, the RTX 3080 looks like a professional-grade piece of hardware. 

The only lighting is the 'GeForce RTX' logo on the side of the graphics card in white, which will surely please any anti-RGB users out there. Plus, gamers that really want to go all-out with rainbow lighting will have that option with third-party cards.

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3DMark Time Spy Extreme (Higher is better)

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3DMark Fire Strike Ultra (Higher is better)

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3DMark Port Royal (Higher is better)

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Metro Exodus Ultra Settings @ 1080p

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Metro Exodus Ultra Settings at 1440p

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Metro Exodus Ultra Settings at 4K

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Metro Exodus Ultra Settings w/ ray tracing at 1080p

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Metro Exodus Ultra Settings w/ ray tracing at 1440p

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Metro Exodus Ultra Settings w/ ray tracing at 4K

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Total War: Three Kingdoms at Ultra Settings at 1080p

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Total War: Three Kingdoms at Ultra Settings at 1440p

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Total War: Three Kingdoms at Ultra Settings at 4K

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Grand Theft Auto V Max Settings at 1080p

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Grand Theft Auto V Max Settings at 1440p

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Grand Theft Auto V Max Settings at 4K

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Horizon Zero Dawn Ultimate Quality at 1080p

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Horizon Zero Dawn Ultimate Quality at 1440p

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Horizon Zero Dawn Ultimate Quality at 4K

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Red Dead Redemption 2 Max Settings (no MSAA) at 1080p

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Red Dead Redemption 2 Max Settings (no MSAA) at 1440p

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Red Dead Redemption 2 Max Settings (no MSAA) at 4K

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Final Fantasy XV canned benchmark, High settings at 1080p

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Final Fantasy XV canned benchmark, High settings at 1440p

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Final Fantasy XV canned benchmark, High settings at 4K

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Assassin's Creed Odyssey Ultra Settings at 1080p

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Assassin's Creed Odyssey Ultra Settings at 1440p

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Assassin's Creed Odyssey Ultra Settings at 4K

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Far Cry 5 Ultra Settings at 1080p

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Far Cry 5 Ultra Settings at 1440p

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(Image credit: Infogram; Future)

Far Cry 5 Ultra Settings at 4K

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(Image credit: Infogram; Future)

Minimum power consumption

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(Image credit: Infogram; Future)

Maximum power consumption

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(Image credit: Infogram; Future)

Minimum temperature

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(Image credit: Infogram; Future)

Maximum temperature


Test system specs

This is the system we used to test the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition:

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3950X (16-core, up to 4.7GHz)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Masterliquid 360P Silver Edition
RAM: 64GB Corsair Dominator Platinum @ 3,600MHz
Motherboard: X570 Aorus Master
Power Supply: Phanteks RevoltX 1200
Case: Praxis Wetbench

Just from Nvidia's own (overblown) marketing, we were already expecting the RTX 3080 to be a fast graphics card, but calling it "fast" is a bit of an understatement. From the moment we opened the box, it's been in our personal machine, running everything from Final Fantasy XIV to Control, only coming out of our personal rig to be plugged into our test bench for actual benchmarking. 

Before the 3080, we had an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti in that machine, and the difference was immediately apparent before we even start measuring performance in a quantifiable way. For instance, one of the games we play the most is Final Fantasy XIV – it's a problem – and in that game, particularly in the latest expansion, there were moments where the RTX 2080 Ti would drop below 60 fps at 4K. That doesn't happen with the RTX 3080. In fact, the game is typically running anywhere from 75-100 fps at 4K with Maximum graphics settings, where the RTX 2080 Ti typically chilled around the 60 fps mark – a massive jump in performance at around half the price. 

This story just kept repeating itself over and over no matter what game we played. Metro Exodus maxed out with Ray Tracing and DLSS? Smooth locked 60 fps at 4K. Control with the myriad ray tracing effects? Silky smooth. Even Final Fantasy XV with all the weird optional graphics effects sits pretty at a steady 60 fps at 4K. Accessible 4K60 gameplay is here – even if we are using the term "accessible" very loosely here.

While the thermals in our benchmarks aren't too exciting, you should keep in mind that those were recorded on an open-air test bench. In our closed tower, with two 240mm fans serving as intake, temperatures peaked around 60°C – way cooler than the mid-80°C temperatures we would typically see with the RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition. 

When looking at the actual benchmark results, it's clear that the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 is in a class of its own, standing head and shoulders above even the RTX 2080 Ti. Right off the bat in 3DMark Time Spy Extreme, the RTX 3080 is a whopping 63% faster than the RTX 2080 and 26% faster than the 2080 Ti – a massive generational leap when you consider that the RTX 2080 was only 40% faster than the GTX 1080 when we reviewed it back in 2018. 

But Time Spy Extreme isn't even even the best-case scenario for the RTX 3080's gains. In Red Dead Redemption 2, where we basically maxed out every single option that wasn't MSAA – multi-sample anti aliasing is very expensive and not worth it – we saw a massive 87% improvement gen-on-gen.

This falls short of that 2x performance leap that was teased at the RTX 3080 reveal, but it's definitely closer than we thought it would actually get. The RTX 3080, all told, is between 50-80% faster than the RTX 2080, while only falling below that in Fire Strike Ultra, where it only managed a 29% lead – but that's still a meaty advantage. 

That wide gap in performance is only really present at 4K, however, when the graphics card is free of bottlenecks. There are many titles in our testing suite where even the AMD Ryzen 9 3950X, paired with 64GB of RAM at 3,600MHz, held back the RTX 3080. This is why, for instance, the RTX 2080 Ti and the RTX 3080 are virtually identical at 1080p in Metro Exodus, but opens up to a 19% performance advantage at 4K. 

For this reason, we really don't recommend anyone actually buy the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 unless they're going to be playing at 4K, or possibly 3,400 x 1,440 Ultrawide. The gains are just not going to be there at lower resolutions, so you're better off just waiting for the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070. 

The performance on offer with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 even further widens the gap that exists between Nvidia and AMD on the high end, more than doubling the performance of AMD's most powerful consumer graphics card, the Radeon RX 5700 XT in many tests. AMD Big Navi is going to have a big fight on its hands if it wants to try to claim the 4K crown that the RTX 3080 just won. 

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 on a coffee table next to its box

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if...

You want the best 4K performance
4K gaming is incredibly difficult to run, but the RTX 3080 is the best graphics card yet for handling it. You'll be able to max out every game under the sun at this resolution at or very near 60 fps. 

You want next-gen ready performance
With the next generation of games on the horizon, performance requirements are about to skyrocket. The RTX 3080 is significantly more powerful (at least on paper) than the GPUs in either the PS5 or Xbox Series X. 

You have an older graphics card
Because the generational gains between Nvidia Pascal and Nvidia Turing graphics cards were pretty minor, many folks held on to their 10-series cards. If you have one of these older cards, however, you'll get absolutely massive gains with the RTX 3080.

(Image credit: Future)

Don't buy it if...

You play games at a lower resolution
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 is a 4K graphics card, and as such, you really shouldn't pick this graphics card up for gaming at a lower resolution, you'll run into bottlenecks with even the most powerful CPUs on the market. 

You're on a budget
When Nvidia Turing launched, the RTX 2080 saw a significant price increase over the GTX 1080. And, while Nvidia didn't raise the price, it didn't lower the price back to pre-Turing levels. If you want to get your hands on the RTX 3080, you're going to be paying a high price – even if it is worth it.

Originally published in September 2020 


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