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Redshift 3.0 - NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070, 3080 & 3090 Performance

Written on October 29, 2020 by William George

TL;DR: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series Performance in Redshift 3.0

The rendering performance of the new GeForce RTX 30 Series cards is amazing! Both the RTX 3070 and 3080 offer roughly equal price:performance, but the 3080's 25% increased onboard memory makes it a better overall value. For those wanting the fastest rendering times, though, the GeForce RTX 3090 offers the top performance - and its 24GB of VRAM will be much better for dealing with more complex scenes.

Excerpt from "Labs Open Office Hour: Labs Lads Discuss the New RTX 3070" live stream on 10/30/2020


NVIDIA has launched their new GeForce RTX 30 Series video cards in a set of rolling releases during the fall of 2020, and has touted major advancements in performance and efficiency with this "Ampere" architecture. While gaming is almost always the media's focus during these kinds of launches, professional applications like Maxon's Redshift should see significant per-card improvements as well. Now that all three of the initial cards - the GeForce RTX 3070, 3080, and 3090 - are available, we can test them against each other and a wide range of previous-gen models to see how they perform.

Redshift 3.0 GPU Rendering Performance Review for NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 8GB, 3080 10GB & 3090 24GB

If you want to see the full specs for the new GeForce RTX 3070, 3080, and 3090 cards, we recommend checking out NVIDIA's page for the new RTX 30 Series. But at a glance, here are what we consider to be the most important specs:

VRAM CUDA Cores Boost Clock Power MSRP
RTX 2070 Super 8GB 2,560 1.77 GHz 215W $499
RTX 3070 8GB 5,888 1.70 GHz 220W $499
RTX 2080 Super 8GB 3,072 1.65 GHz 250W $699
RTX 3080 10GB 8,704 1.71 GHz 320W $699
RTX 2080 Ti 11GB 4,352 1.55 GHz 250W $1,199
RTX 3090 24GB 10,496 1.73 GHz 350W $1,499
Titan RTX 24GB 4,608 1.77 GHz 280W $2,499

While specs don't always line up with real-world performance, it is a great sign that NVIDIA has roughly doubled the number of CUDA cores compared to the GeForce RTX 20 Series cards at similar price points. At the top-end of the new line, NVIDIA appears to have also combined the roles of the previous-gen RTX 2080 Ti and Titan RTX into the new RTX 3090. It has as much VRAM as the Titan did, but for $1,000 less - putting it in the same ballpark as the 2080 Ti, but with more than double the memory and CUDA cores.

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Test Setup

Listed below are the specifications of the system we used for our Redshift testing:

To test each video card, we used the latest demo version of Redshift: 3.0.28. We also tried the older 2.6.41 demo that we have used in previous reviews, but it looks like the new RTX 30 Series cards do not work properly in versions of Redshift prior to 3.0. That release also added RTX support to Redshift, so the benchmark included in this new demo version should show improved performance on 20 Series cards as well.

If you wish to compare performance to your existing system, you can download the demo version of Redshift directly from their website (free account required).

Benchmark Results

Here are charts showing the performance of the new GeForce RTX 30 Series (in dark green) compared to the other cards we tested:

Redshift 3.0.28 Demo Benchmark Performance on GeForce RTX 3070, 3080 & 3090

Performance Analysis

The raw performance of the new GeForce RTX 30 Series is amazing in Redshift! Lets break it down for each card:

NVIDIA's RTX 3070 matches the performance of the RTX 2080 Ti and Titan RTX, albeit with a lot less onboard memory. If you don't work with complex scenes, though, the value this card provides with a $499 MSRP is amazing!

NVIDIA's RTX 3080 is faster than any RTX 20 Series card was, and almost twice as fast as the RTX 2080 Super for the same price. Combined with a 25% increase in VRAM over the 2080 Super, that increase in rendering speed makes it a fantastic value.

NVIDIA's RTX 3090 is 60% faster than the RTX Titan, which was the top consumer video card from last generation, while costing $1000 less and maintaining the same amount of VRAM. Moreover, the RTX Titan was only available from NVIDIA with their dual-fan cooling solution, meaning it could not be used effectively in multi-GPU configurations. The Founders Edition RTX 3090 that we tested for this article may not be ideal for that either, but Gigabyte has released a blower-style variant of the 3090 which should work in that type of configuration. At 350W of draw per card, though, current power supplies may not be able to run a full set of four.

When comparing these new cards to each other there are many trade-offs to consider. The RTX 3090 is about 15% faster for rendering in Redshift than the 3080, which is not bad, but considering it also costs more than twice as much that isn't fantastic either. However, the 24GB of VRAM on the RTX 3090 is more than double what the 3080 offers (10GB) and the 3090 is also the only 30 Series card announced so far which supports NVLink. The RTX 3070 puts in a good showing, but for only $200 the 3080's ~30% faster speed and 25% additional memory make it less appealing. So for raw price:performance the RTX 3080 wins, but in terms of maximum performance, features, and support for rendering more complex scenes the GeForce RTX 3090 is clearly superior.

Are the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070, 3080 & 3090 Good for Redshift?

Yes, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series are fantastic cards for rendering in Maxon Redshift! Which one is right for you will depend on several factors:

  • RTX 3070 8GB - A fantastic budget entry, the RTX 3070 provides solid price:performance but is rather limited in terms of what it can handle by the 8GB of onboard memory. This card only makes sense if you cannot afford the $200 jump up to the 3080.
  • RTX 3080 10GB - This card is more affordable than the 3090 ($699 vs $1499) and thus offers better rendering performance per dollar. However, its lower amount of VRAM may limit the complexity of scenes you can render (though Redshift does support out-of-core memory). Overall, this is the "sweet spot" for value right now when it comes to rendering.
  • RTX 3090 24GB - This card is about 15% faster for rendering than the 3080, with 140% more onboard memory and support for NVLink. That means it will be much better suited to working with large scenes and detailed geometry. Moreover, Gigabyte has made a dual-slot, single-fan version of this card which should allow multiple GPUs in a single system for increased performance.

As always, please keep in mind that these results are strictly for GPU-based rendering in Redshift. If you have performance concerns for other applications in your workflow, we highly recommend checking out our Hardware Articles (you can filter by "Video Card") for the latest information on how a wide range of programs perform with various GPUs, CPUs, and other hardware.

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Tags: Hardware Acceleration, NVIDIA, RTX 2060 SUPER, RTX 2070 SUPER, RTX 2080 SUPER, RTX 2080 Ti, Titan RTX, RTX 3080, GPU Acceleration, GPU, Render, Rendering, Video Card, GTX 1080 Ti, Redshift, Maxon, RTX 3090, RTX 3070