Early Blender benchmarks suggest that two NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 cards would outperform a single GeForce RTX 3090 had NVIDIA included NVLink support
The GeForce RTX 3090 may not cut an impressive figure in early gaming benchmarks. Still, NVIDIA's new flagship card seems to hold a more substantial advantage over the RTX 3080 in professional applications. To recap, TecLab demonstrated that the RTX 3080 comes within 5% of the RTX 3090 in some games, despite costing a fraction of the price of an RTX 3090.
However, Videocardz has uncovered that the RTX 3090 achieves between 15.3-23.5% faster render times in Blender. All results have been achieved using version 2.90 of Blender, for reference. So, the RTX 3090 could be the card for content creators who want the fastest possible render times, albeit for substantially more money than NVIDIA charges for the RTX 3080.
A 20% gap in professional applications does distinguish the RTX 3090 from the RTX 3080 somewhat, although perhaps not for the additional US$800 that NVIDIA charges for the RTX 3090. Theoretically, two RTX 3080 cards would outperform a single RTX 3090 though, while costing US$101 less. However, NVIDIA has restricted its NVLink GPU interconnect to just the RTX 3090, nixing that idea. The RTX 3090 Founders Edition will formally arrive on September 24, so we should get a better idea of its performance advantage over the RTX 3080 in professional and gaming applications, then.