RTX 3070 vs 3080 Gaming Laptop – Worth Paying More For 3080?

Is it worth paying more moneyfor an RTX 3080 gaming laptop,or should you instead save the cashand stick to a cheaper RTX 3070? Ivecompared both in 17 different gamesat 2 resolutions as well as thermals,power draw, battery life, content creatorworkloads and more to help you decide! These are the differences in specs between thesetwo laptop GPUs. The higher tier RTX 3080 has 20%more CUDA cores and the same memory speed, andwhile both can have 8 gigs of GDDR6 memory,the 3080 also has a higher 16 gig option.The 3080 has a higher boost clock speed,though this would be due to the highermaximum power limit thats possible,which will of course vary dependingon the specific laptop its in.

To do this testing Im using the XMG Neo 15 fromXMG in Europe for both laptops, also known as theEluktronics Mech-15 G3 in the US market. Bothlaptops have an 8 core Ryzen processor, howeverthe 3080 is paired with a higher tier 5900HX, butIll explain shortly why this doesnt matter much. Both laptops have a MUX switch to disableoptimus and get the best performance,so all testing has beendone with optimus disabled. Both were also tested with the exactsame physical kit of memory installed,16 gigs of DDR4-3200 CL22x8 memory in dual channel. Both laptops also run their GPUs upto the highest power limits specifiedby Nvidia.

So 125 watts for the RTX 3070with up to 140 watts with dynamic boost,while the 3080 runs up to 150 wattsand up to 165 with dynamic boost. Of course expect smaller differencesbetween a 3070 and 3080 if they havesay the same 80 or 100 watt powerlimit. The goal of this comparison isto compare best case 3070s and 3080s,well, a better case 3080 lets say,because thicker laptops might be ableto boost it even higher than this one.

Right now the price of the3070 model is about 2200 Euro,while the 3080 upgrade is a 397 Euro upgrade, or18% more money, and this is about $450 USD more. There might be some small differencesbetween these two laptops due to theCPU change, but as Ive shown in this video here,generally the differences between the Ryzen7 5800H and Ryzen 9 5900HX arent that big.

With this particular laptop chassis, wereseeing about the same CPU clock speed on bothlaptops when under a combined CPU plus GPUstress test anyway, as per the darker bars,while the 3080 GPU was 110MHz higher than the3070 in this test, as per the lighter bars.

The CPU temperatures were the same, andI believe actually thermal throttlinghere despite the fans being maxed out,granted this is a worst case stress test,most games wont max out both components likethis. The 3080 was a little warmer than the 3070,just a couple of degrees underNvidias thermal throttle limit. Higher temperatures on the GPU areexpected given the 3080 is usingmore power. Interestingly the CPU TDPof the 5900HX in the 3080 laptop waslower compared to the 5800H in the 3070laptop, which I believe is owing to itbeing a better binned part, as both wereotherwise reaching the same clock speed.

If we stop the CPU stress test though and just runa GPU only stress test, we can see that both GPUsare able to boost higher with dynamic boost. Againthis results in the 3080 GPU running slightlywarmer than the 3070, and also reaching a slightlyhigher clock speed in this particular test. The CPU difference shouldnt matter toomuch because games have been tested withhigh setting presets which are generally moreGPU bound. Plus in addition to 1080p were alsolooking at the more demanding 1440p resolutionbecause both of these laptops have 1440p screens. So lets compare both GPUs in 17 gamesat 2 resolutions.

Then after the gameswell look at things like power draw,battery life, content creator workloadsand finally cost per frame to find out ifthe 3080 is worth spending more money for. Cyberpunk 2077 was tested in the same part ofthe game on both laptops.

Ive got the 1080presults below and 1440p results above, withthe lower tier RTX 3070 below and the highertier RTX 3080 on top. At 1080p the 3080 laptopwas reaching a 10% higher average frame rate,and a slightly larger 12% improvement atthe higher 1440p resolution. This game hasDLSS support, and by turning this on itspossible to get fairly decent performanceboosts with both laptops.

At 1080p theyreboth above 100 FPS now at high settings. I was curious about Watch Dogs Legion, becausethe games benchmark warns that 8 gigs of VRAM isborderline enough at max settings, so I thoughtperhaps the 3080 would do better here owing toit having double the VRAM capacity.

At 1080p the3080 was about 7% faster, a below average result,however at 1440p the 3080 was now reaching 16%higher average FPS, but the 1% low was also 39%higher with the 3080, and I believe this isstarting to show the limits of the 8 gigsavailable to the 3070. This game alsohas DLSS support, and while the 1080pframe rates hardly change, were seeing biggerimprovements at the higher 1440p resolution. Call of Duty Warzone had some of the largestimprovements with the 3080 out of all 17 gamestested.

At 1080p were looking at a 14% higheraverage frame rate with the 3080, while at 1440pthe 3080 was 18% ahead of the 3070, the biggestdifference at this resolution out of all games,though the 3070 was absolutely still playableat 100 FPS.

This game also has DLSS support,so its possible to boost the performance ofboth laptops even higher by turning this on. The Red Dead Redemption 2 results are kindof weird, we triple checked this and it wasreproducible, the 3080 was slightly worseat 1080p for some reason. This is the onlygame out of 17 where the 3080 was behind,and I suspect that it might be due to theCPU power limit. When under heavy CPU plus GPUworkloads, the 5900HX would run at 30 watts,and xmg said this is because the 230 watt powerbrick cant otherwise run the GPU at 150 watts,and for most games the GPU power matters more toperformance, but Im guessing in this game thatsnot the case.

I tried lowering the GPU power limitand increasing the CPU power limit for this test,but it didnt help. 1440p was slightly ahead onthe 3080, presumably as the CPU matters less,and even with DLSS enabled werenot seeing this change anything,though both laptops were able to geta little performance increase with it. Ive compared Control with ray tracing andDLSS, but lets start off with neither,so just stock standard gameplay.

Thisgame is typically quite GPU heavy, thoughat both resolutions the performance differencebetween both GPUs was below the 17 game average.At 1080p were looking at an 8% higher averageframe rate on the 3080 and 12% higher at 1440p.

This is yet another game with DLSSsupport, and this was able to givea fairly big performance boost to both. Even the3070 is above 100 FPS at max settings 1440p now,an excellent result. Ive also tested both withray tracing on, and while enabling DLSS would ofcourse increase performance here, I wanted to seethe differences in just straight up ray tracing.At 1080p theres now a larger 12% higheraverage frame rate with the 3080, compared to 8%with ray tracing off, so it would seemthat RT does a bit better on the 3080. Assassins Creed Valhalla was tested with thegames benchmark, and had some of the biggestdifferences.

At 1080p for instance, the 3080 was15% ahead of the 3070, the biggest difference outof all 17 games tested at this resolution, while1440p was close to 18% higher FPS on the 3080. The differences in Microsoft Flight Simulatoron the other hand were below average. The 3070was still around 60 FPS at high settings 1440p,so definitely not bad at all. The 3080 was 9%higher in terms of average FPS, though aswe can see this equates to like 5 frames,granted there is a larger 12% boostseen in the 1% lows on the 3080. As an eSports title, you could argue that higherframe rate is more important in Fortnite comparedto most other games that Ive covered.

The 1%lows at 1080p hardly saw a difference at all,while the average FPS was just 7%higher on the 3080, with a larger 12%boost at the higher 1440p resolution. Thisgame gets fairly big gains by turning on DLSS,but again theres not really that bigof a difference between the two GPUs. Borderlands 3 was tested with the gamesbenchmark, and had above average gains withthe 3080 graphics. Again the 3070 is by nomeans unplayable with above 60 FPS at 1440pon ultra settings, but the 3080 was doingbetter with a 14% higher average frame rate.

Instead of talking through the rest ofthe 8 games individually in depth, Illjust blast through them so we can get into theaverage differences as thats more interesting,even if all of this testing didtake many hours to complete.

Alarger selection of games is importantto help get a better rounded average.Feel free to pause the video if you wanta closer look at these additional games. On average over all 17 games tested at1080p, the RTX 3080 laptop was reaching9% higher average FPS compared to the3070 laptop. The 3080 was ahead in allgames with the exception of the weird RedDead Redemption 2 outlier, which may be dueto the CPU power limit difference. Best casethough were seeing a 15% boost with the 3080.

Stepping up to the higher 1440p resolution whichis also the native resolution for this laptopand the 3080 is now ahead regardless of the gamein use, averaging almost 13% better than the 3070once everything is taken into consideration.

Bestcase now were almost seeing an 18% higher averageframe rate with the 3080, and keep in mind thatthe 3080 configuration costs about 18% more money. Generally speaking, for the most part I thinkthe 8 gigs of VRAM available to the RTX 3070is probably plenty for most people. Butin some titles at max settings 1440pwe did start to see the 16 gigsin the 3080 get an advantage,such as the 1% lows in Watch Dogs Legionfor instance. So based on this I wouldexpect smaller differences between a 3070 and3080 if the 3080 also had 8 gigs of VRAM, butin todays games for the most part I dontthink its going to be that big of a deal.

While the 3080 graphics clearly perform betterin most instances, in the case of XMGs Neo 15,as we saw earlier were looking at a400 Euro or $450 USD price increaseto upgrade from the 3070 to 3080. Thismakes the 3080 worse in terms of value,which isnt too surprising once we getto the top of Nvidias product stack,theres usually diminishing returns there, soyou end up paying more money for smaller gains. In terms of total system power draw from the wall,in Control at 4K max settings the 3080 laptop wasdrawing 21% more power. In this particulargame the 3080 was reaching about 12% higheraverage FPS, though if we apply it to the bestcase games we do start getting closer to 18%,but in general it would seem the3070 is more power efficient.

Ive also been able to somewhatfairly compare battery life,as both laptops have the same size battery.

The 3070 laptop was lasting longer in a game,I suppose because as we just saw, its morepower efficient, though keep in mind the3080 laptop also has the more efficient5900HX CPU. Generally I dont recommendgaming on battery anyway as you get worseperformance, but if you are going to loadup the Nvidia graphics on battery at least nowyou know theres not that big of a difference.

Its not all about gaming though,lets see how both laptops also comparein some content creator workloads. The 3080 was only completing the shorterBlender BMW test a second faster, whilethe longer Classroom test shown by the darkerpurple bars was about 8% faster with the 3080. V-Ray was scoring close to 15% higherin the CUDA test with the 3080,which makes more sense to me considering the 20%higher CUDA core count, while the raytracing test was just 5% higher on the 3080.

SPECviewperf tests out variousprofessional 3D workloads,and the 3080, shown here by the redbars, was ahead in all of these tests,though the margins could vary from basicallynothing to up to 51% in the 3D Studio Max test. Cool so obviously the 3080is doing better as expected,but is it worth paying 18% more money for? It might be if youve got the money and youwant more performance.

I mean in games wewere seeing a similar performance increase atthe best case relative to the cost increase,which is also what we saw in the 3060 and 3070comparison, so not super unreasonable. That said,clearly the 3070 does offer better valuewhile also being able to handle all thegames I threw at it even at 1440phigher setting levels just fine.

I suppose if you really want the 16 gigsof VRAM or otherwise require it for someother creator workload the 3080 is the onlyoption, but yeah personally as mentioned Ithink the 8 gigs in the 3070 or even 8 gigsin a 3080 is probably going to be fine formore people for a few years yet, so yeah whilethe 3080 obviously offers better performance,unless youve got money to burn I thinkmost people should just go for the 3070.

That said for most people I think the RTX 3060is a better sweet spot compared to the 3070,as it can still handle all modern gamesquite well. Though in some titles the 6gigs of VRAM can be a little more of alimitation. You can check out how theRTX 3060 and 3070 compare in a laptop in thisvideo next, so Ill see you over in that one!.

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