Upgrade from GTX1080 to RTX3080

With a birthday coming up, I'm considering upgrading from my GTX1080 to one of the new RTX3080 cards, whenever it comes out.

My current graphical setup is:
MSI Z170A Gaming Pro Carbon
Intel® Core™ i7-6700K Processor (4x 4.00GHz/8MB L3 Cache)-Intel® Core™ i7-6700K
16 GB [8 GB X2] DDR4-3000 Memory Module-ADATA XPG Z1
Asus ROG Strix NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080

Would a simple card swap work for the hardware I have now? Or would I really need to upgrade CPU and motherboard? I'd like to avoid that if I can.

There is nothing that would prevent that hardware from functioning with a 3080 when they come out.

However, you didn't list your power supply. Nvidia is recommending people use at least a 750W PSU for the 3080 and 3090. Graphics card manufacturers usually overstate these things because they know some people will be using garbage PSU's that, say, claim to make 650W and actually maybe only make 473W on a good day, but Ampere does look like it will be appropriately power-hungry. The Asus ROG Strix version of the 3080 for example, will require three 8-pin power connectors.

Getting back to the rest of your specs, your 6700k was king of the mountain for "consumer" gaming CPU's in its day but these days its 4 cores and 8 threads is more like the minimum for a gaming PC. AAA games are increasingly able to take advantage of more cores and threads and both of the new consoles, which will be the primary platform driving development for most games going forward, have 8 cores and 16 threads. Depending on what resolution and frame rate you want to play at you can expect the 6700k to become a bottleneck for the 3080 not too far down the line.

Sorry, it's a 850 Watt - EVGA SuperNOVA 850 - 80 PLUS Bronze-

I generally play at 2560x1440 on a 27" monitor. I do plan to upgrade the mobo and cpu at some point, but not soon nor at the same time as the gpu.

Your power supply is fine.

The GPU will still be an upgrade, especially at 1440p, but you will likely still end up CPU limited in some specific titles. There are already games that aren't happy on 4 core/8 thread CPU's in gneeral, and as Middcore noted that's only going to increase after the new consoles with 8 core/16 thread processors in them show up and become the development baseline in a couple months.

But the 3080 should still be an improvement overall. 1440p does still, at least for now, tend to make game more GPU limited than CPU, and that should be very easily and clearly noticeable going from a 1080 to a 3080.

That's good to know, thank you, both. A silly question probably, but I assume that were I to upgrade I could always just carry over the 3080 to a new motherboard+cpu at a later time, right? I've been out of the computer building game for a long time.

Yes, that is an easy item to transfer to a new system.

We won't know for sure until the cards actually ship, because it's possible that the gains in the new silicon may only, for instance, really benefit ray-traced games. But if we take NVidia's marketing claims as pure gold and not stretched or misleading in any way, a 3080 should be a major upgrade for your 1080 at that resolution. It should just plug and go and be a big boost.

However, as everyone is saying, that CPU is getting weakish, and you'll probably want to replace that next. Your 3080 will most likely not be delivering all it could with a faster main processor.

You'll also want to watch how the power connector situation evolves. At least one maker (ASUS) will be making 3080s that take 3 8-pin PCIe power connectors, and an awful lot of supplies out there only have two. You can buy converters from the flat 4-pin drive plugs if you're sure the PSU has enough juice, but it's something to be aware of.

Thank you for all the advice.

Oh cool, I was also wondering about this. Looks like I'd have to update my power supply as it's down in the 650 range.

Make sure your case can fit the card. I just watched some unboxing videos today and the 3080 is huge. Check out about 8:30 in this video: https://youtu.be/UV8WfnevkiI.