V-Ray GPU Rendering - NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070, 3080 & 3090 PerformanceWritten on October 29, 2020 by William George
TL;DR: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series Performance in V-Ray
The new GeForce RTX 30 Series video cards provide fantastic rendering speeds! The RTX 3070 and 3080 offer comparable performance for their respective prices, but the 3080's additional 25% of onboard VRAM makes it a better choice for most users. Those wanting the fastest rendering times, or working with complex scenes, will appreciate the GeForce RTX 3090's top performance, its massive 24GB of memory, and better support for multi-GPU configurations (via NVLink and variants with rear-exhaust coolers).
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 Chaos Group's V-Ray 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.
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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Listed below are the specifications of the system we used for our V-Ray testing:
|CPU||AMD TR 3970X 32 Core|
|CPU Cooler||Noctua NH-U14S TR4-SP3|
|Motherboard||Gigabyte TRX40 AORUS PRO WIFI|
|RAM||4x DDR4-2933 16GB (64GB total)|
|Video Card||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 24GB
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 10GB
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 8GB
NVIDIA Titan RTX 24GB
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11GB
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER 8GB
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER 8GB
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER 8GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB
|Hard Drive||Samsung 960 Pro 1TB|
|Software||Windows 10 Pro 64-bit (Ver. 2004)
V-Ray Benchmark 1.0.8
V-Ray Next Benchmark 4.10.06
To test each video card, we used two versions of Chaos Group's V-Ray benchmark: the older V-Ray Benchmark 1.0.8 and the newer V-Ray Next Benchmark 4.10.06. These tests were run twice on each GPU, with the best result being included in the graphs below.
If you wish to compare performance to your existing system, you can download the V-Ray Next Benchmark directly from Chaos Group (free account required). They also maintain a database of results that you can reference and contribute to.
Here are charts showing the performance of the new GeForce RTX 30 Series (in dark green) compared to the other cards we tested:
The raw performance of the new GeForce RTX 30 Series cards is amazing in V-Ray! Lets break it down for each card:
NVIDIA's RTX 3070 is faster than any RTX 20 Series card was, for a fantastic price. It handily beats cards that were two to five times more expensive from the previous generation. The 8GB of onboard memory and lack of NVLink are limiting factors, though.
NVIDIA's RTX 3080 is another 30%+ faster, and more than twice as fast as the RTX 2080 Super was for the same price. Combined with a 25% increase in VRAM over the 2080 Super (and the new RTX 3070), that increase in rendering speed makes it a fantastic value.
NVIDIA's RTX 3090 is twice as fast as 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 probably won't be ideal for that either, but Gigabyte has released a blower-style version 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; I suspect that two in NVLink or a three individual cards will be the practical maximum in most systems.
When comparing these new cards to each other there are many trade-offs to consider. The RTX 3090 is about 20% faster for rendering in V-Ray 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. 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 the way to go.
Are the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070, 3080 & 3090 Good for V-Ray?
Yes, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 and 3090 are fantastic cards for GPU based rendering in V-Ray and V-Ray Next! Which one is right for you will depend on several factors:
- RTX 3070 8GB - As a budget option this card is quite impressive, beating all previous-gen cards, but for the additional $200 the RTX 3080 is definitely more appealing with ~30% faster rendering and 20% more VRAM... unless it just doesn't fit in your budget.
- RTX 3080 10GB - This card is more affordable and offers better rendering performance-per-dollar if you consider the card alone. However, its lower amount of VRAM (compared to the RTX 3090) may limit the complexity of scenes you can render and it lacks NVLink support as well.
- RTX 3090 24GB - This card is about 20% faster for rendering than the RTX 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 released a dual-slot, single-fan version of this card which allows multiple GPUs in a single system for even more performance.
As always, please keep in mind that these results are strictly for GPU-based rendering in V-Ray. 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.
GPU Rendering Workstations
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