RTX 3080

Article Last Updated: 3/13/2023

Graphics Card Release Year: 2020


RTX 3080

From Nvidia:

"GeForce RTX™ 30 Series GPUs deliver high performance for gamers and creators. They’re powered by Ampere—NVIDIA’s 2nd gen RTX architecture—with dedicated 2nd gen RT Cores and 3rd gen Tensor Cores, and streaming multiprocessors for ray-traced graphics and cutting-edge AI features.."

SurfThing Testing Methodology

Modern simulator software is almost completely dependent on the graphics card installed in the computer. Because of this, we do not concern our software testing with reviewing a wide range of processors as the simulator performance is not affected by a change in the processor model, as long as you are using one from the latest generation. (Processor power comes into play, in large part, when a golfer wants to incorporate other programs like swing capture software utilizing high speed cameras).

Our testing, therefore, will focus solely on the graphics card performance (Nvidia cards only, as many of the software publishers only certify for Nvidia cards). The rest of the system specifications for testing will always use an i9 processor from the latest generation at the time of software release, with at least 16GB of RAM and a solid state NVMe drive.

Our testing results are given in FPS (frames per second). The target goal for an immersive golfing experience is as close to 60 FPS as you can get (note, all golf software companies have capped the FPS to 60). Anything above 30 FPS is considered playable with occasional visual performance dips and graphical tearing, depending on how close to the 30 FPS mark you are at. Anything below 30 FPS begins to be noticeable, unenjoyable, and depending on how low, downright unplayable -- in some cases making the ball flight take twice as long as it normally would.

We test the software on each system in both standard HD (1080P) and Ultra HD (4K) resolutions, so you can select the proper computer for the display type you plan to use. The software is otherwise left in its default settings for the testing. Some software packages have the ability to reduce the visual fidelity in order to increase performance of the software. If a particular software has this capability, we will highlight this fact after the testing results.

We test each graphics card on a wide variety of courses and holes for each resolution. Because each course can have a variety of different foliage and 3D models, each course can bring with it different performance values. The average frames per second taken for each card is the spectrum average of all courses and holes sampled across that resolution.

RTX 3080 Performance Results

  • Virtual Golf 2

    1080P HD

    60 FPS


  • 4K UHD

    47 FPS

  • FSX Play

    1080P HD

    58 FPS


  • 4K UHD

    28 FPS

  • FSX 2020

    1080P HD

    60 FPS


  • 4K UHD

    60 FPS

  • GSPro

    1080P HD

    58 FPS


  • 4K UHD

    57 FPS

Test Conclusions and Recommendations

1080P HD:
There isn't much to discuss for the RTX 3080 running 1080p golf simulation software; it works! Even FSX Play gets close to the coveted 60 FPS. If you are looking for the most affordable card available today to guarantee a solid 1080p experience in all simulation software, you have found your card.

4K UHD:
This also the most logical starting point for 4K if you are trying to avoid breaking the bank. FSX Play is in a playable range with occasional noticeable performance dips with the average 28 FPS being below the targeted 30 FPS causing you to notice occasional slow downs in the game. If you want buttery smooth performance in FSX Play, check out the RTX 4080 and RTX 4090. Trackman's Virtual Golf 2 is in a very good playable spot at 47 FPS, while the others land around the coveted 60FPS mark.

Be sure to check out our other software test results to be able to select the best hardware for your system.

SurfThing Desktop Selection

Step 1: Identify the performance level you need.

Step 2: Pick the best video card for your performance level.

Step 3: Select a SurfThing PC that matches, and we'll install the software for you!

Choose your GPU

$1,995.00

RTX 4060

$1,795.00

RTX 4070

$2,295.00

RTX 4070

$3,295.00
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