I would've had this up sooner, so first I apologize -- I got deathly ill a few days ago and it has put me days behind. The NDA for the GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition unboxing came and passed, and I hadn't finished my article.
So here it is -- my full unboxing of NVIDIA's new GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition graphics card. The full review of the card is coming soon -- but the NDA was very sharp on only allowing reviewers "photography of the card, no disassembly, no plugging in, no installing, no powering on, no performance results or hints of any kind".
Thus, the full review and all of the juicy benchmarks will be here on September 14.
NVIDIA ships the GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition in some tweaked retail packaging, which is nice and simple -- but the card is placed inside of the packaging on an angle. So when you open it, the card is kinda placed perfectly for you to look at.
Note: some countries will not be receiving the Founders Edition version of the GeForce RTX 3080.
Underneath the GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition graphics card you'll find the 12-pin PCIe power adapter, which will convert two of your regular 8-pin PCIe power connectors into the new 12-pin PCIe power connector on the RTX 3080 Founders Edition.
You'll also find a Quick Start Guide, Support Guide, and a bunch of warnings -- like you need to read any of that stuff, well I don't -- but NVIDIA needs to include it in the packaging. I was too excited and ripped the card out, looked it over, and chucked it right into my test bed.
GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition in the flesh
NVIDIA has made its biggest design change to the Founders Edition of the GeForce RTX 3080 (and RTX 3090) in the history of not just FE cards, but reference cards. We have a fan not just on the front of the card, but on the back of the card -- yeah, on the back.
Once you've taken the card out of the box you can marvel at the design work NVIDIA has put into what is (at least in my opinion) the best-looking Founders Edition graphics card yet.
Every single inch of the card has been taken care of, from the single fan on the back -- and once again on the back, through to the unique placement of the PCIe power cable -- and again into the exclusive use of the new 12-pin PCIe power connector here on the GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition.
NVIDIA will be sucking in cold air from your case through the fan on the front of the GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition, and out of the back of the card through the fan on the back. This will pull the heat out of the back of your system, up and through the fan on the rear of your case.
The attention to detail on the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition graphics card is nothing short of incredible, with a tiny little 'RTX 3080' here on the card and it looks great if you can get the right colored light on it.
The V-shaped PCB is actually quite tiny... something that NVIDIA has put a lot of engineering hours into.
For display connectivity we have 3 x DisplayPort 1.4 and the new HDMI 2.1 connector that is very special here. The new HDMI 2.1 standard is the first appearance on a graphics card here with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition (and the rest of the RTX 30 series cards).
The new HDMI 2.1 port on NVIDIA's new GeForce RTX 30 series graphics cards will be capable of handling 4K 120Hz HDR and 8K 60Hz HDR. This is perfect if you've got a new gaming TV that can handle 4K 120Hz.
The new 12-pin PCIe power connector
NVIDIA is exclusively using a 12-pin PCIe power connector on its GeForce RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 Founders Edition graphics cards. A single 12-pin PCIe power cable on its own cable deliver 300W minimum, which is double that of an 8-pin cable (150W).
If you do not have a 12-pin PCIe power connector on your PSU, then you will be voiding your warranty to not use this dual 8-pin PCIe to 12-pin PCIe power cable that NVIDIA provides in the box of its GeForce RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 Founders Edition graphics cards.
Here's some hands-on with the new 12-pin PCIe power connector, which will convert 2 x 8-pin PCIe power connectors into the single 12-pin that plugs directly into the top of the GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition, and the GeForce RTX 3090 Founders Edition graphics cards.
You shouldn't need to buy a new PSU if you've already got a brand name 650W+ power supply, but there will be new PSUs rolling out in the coming months and into 2021 that will have a proper 12-pin PCIe power connector so you won't need to use the adapter (that NVIDIA provides in the box).
Get AMPED for the full review on September 14
NVIDIA is about to open up an entire new can of whoop ass on the graphics card market, and while I can't tell you just how good it is exactly -- I can tell you that it will be one of the best reads you'll have on TweakTown all year.
We have the biggest change in design from an NVIDIA-made graphics card yet, with second-gen RTX technologies spooling around inside of the Ampere GPU architecture. Mix into that the 10GB of ultra-fast GDDR6X memory at 19.5Gbps and you have a potent, RTX 2080 Ti destoyer.
My full review will be live on September 14, with some articles in the days after covering overclocking, 8K benchmarks, a deeper look into RTX and DLSS technologyes, and so much more. I'm also working on some 4K 120FPS guides for games on these cards, since 4K 120FPS gaming is now actually possible on a single card.
I can't wait to share the results! It has been an unbelievable last few days, where I have been benchmarking, swapping out graphics cards left, right and center -- and I haven't even written a word of the review yet.