Out of the box, EVGA’s custom GeForce RTX 3080 FTW3 Ultra Gaming (10G-P5-3897-KR) is already one of the higher powered and faster running RTX 3080 cards you can buy (well, can’t buy). But if you happen to own one and fancy yourself an “extreme overclocking user,” there is a beta BIOS available that will could possibly facility even higher clocks.
The beta BIOS jacks up the maximum power target to 450W, which is a 50W increase over the card’s stock 400W power limit. Nvidia’s Founders Edition variant is configured at 320W, and as noted by Videocardz, most of the custom models that go higher top out at 340W.
That is not the case with all of them, however, and the increase to 450W on EVGA’s FTW3 Ultra matches the Asus ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3080 OC Edition. That card is capable of boosting to 1,935MHz in OC mode (and 1,905MHz in Gaming mode), versus 1,800MHz for EVGA’s card (and 1,710MHz for the Founders Edition model).
By enabling a higher max power limit, the FTW3 Ultra could potentially close the gap with the ROG Strix, or maybe even surpass it. That said, EVGA is not guaranteeing any overclocked settings beyond how the card ships, or any performance increase whatsoever with the 450W BIOS replacement. Instead, EVGA made it available “due to many user requests” (and deserves a hat tip for doing so).
EVGA’s forum post provides step-by-step instructions on how to update the BIOS on its FTW3 Ultra card. As always, proceed with caution (it’s always a good idea to have your PC plugged into a battery backup when updating firmware of any kind, in case there is a power outage). EVGA also says to ensure you have “adequate cooling,” and recommends at least an 850W power supply that is 80 Plus Gold certified.