Well, they’re here. Nvidia’s lineup of RTX branded graphics cards – specifically the RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti. But, are these are even worth buying? Maybe, maybe not; that’s exactly what we’re going to look at in this article.
First, let’s take a look at each card’s listed specs. These are reference specs and some are subject to change based on the specific model of card you’re looking at.
RTX 2080 specs:
– 8GB 256-bit GDDR6 VRAM @ 448GB/s bandwidth
– 2944 CUDA cores
– 1515MHz base clock (reference)
– 1710MHz boost clock (reference)
– 8 “Giga Rays/s”
– 57T RTX-OPS (reference)
– $699 MSRP
RTX 2080 Ti specs:
– 11GB 352-bit GDDR6 VRAM @ 616 GB/s bandwidth
– 4352 CUDA cores
– 1350MHz base clock (reference)
– 1545MHz boost clock (reference)
– 10 “Giga Rays/s”
– 76T RTX-OPS (reference)
– $999 MSRP
Specs aside, how do these cards perform in real-world scenarios? Well, after spending my entire morning watching basically every benchmark and review that’s been released, I can say not too bad… Depending on which card you’re looking at, that is.
The RTX 2080 is roughly on par with a GTX 1080 Ti. Considering the ~$200 price variance between those 2 cards, well, that makes the GTX 1080 Ti a much better choice in practically all scenarios.
On the other hand, the RTX 2080 Ti shows a much more reasonable performance gain over all of the previous gen cards. On average, the RTX 2080 Ti was about 30-35% faster than the GTX 1080 Ti in 4K on ultra settings – that’s the difference between a consistent 60fps+ with a 2080 Ti and <60fps with a 1080 Ti. In 1440p, there has been an average of 22% higher frames from the RTX 2080 Ti when compared vs the GTX 1080 Ti. In 1080p, the gap drops significantly to around a 10% difference between the 2 cards.
But… then you have to consider the RTX 2080 Ti’s MSRP of $999 which is pretty darn high… However, if you’re aiming for flawless 4K 60fps gaming, then the RTX 2080 Ti is really the only way to get that.
As of right now, there are no games that support either the DLSS of RTX features of these new cards. There are some demos that show DLSS off, one being the Final Fantasy XV benchmark that seems to perform about 30% better when compared to TAA. On the RTX side, again there are just a couple of demos. This is a little disappointing considering they’re arguably the 2 biggest features that the RTX cards have.
The value proposition of buying a new graphics card generally comes down to price vs performance. That being said, the argument of price vs performance completely eliminates the RTX 2080 before we even start. It’s simply priced too high in comparison to last-gen cards that offer similar (sometimes better) performance – like the GTX 1080 Ti which can be bought for up to $200 less than a 2080.
Even the RTX 2080 Ti’s price vs performance is a hard argument to make. Titans aside, it’s one of the lowest value cards in terms of what you’re getting. But, as I mentioned in the performance segment, if you’re aiming for 4K 60fps on ultra settings, then the 2080 Ti is your only option right now.
This puts the 2080 Ti in a weird position where it’s not really worth the cost, but at the same time, it’s kind of worth the cost if you won’t settle for less than flawless 4K 60fps gaming. I mean, if you consider the fact that it outperforms a $2999 Titan V, the $999 MSRP of an RTX 2080 Ti seems a little more palatable. But, it’s still $1000 for an xx80 Ti card, and some people just won’t stand for that.
I think Linus over at Linus Tech Tips summed up the release of the RTX 20-series cards perfectly when he said, “I think it’s that Nvidia, and more accurately RTX, isn’t ready yet.”
There are no RTX-enabled games nor are there games that support DLSS. So, how can anyone reeeaaaallly use these cards to their full potential? Simply put, you can’t. The only real value with the 2 currently released RTX cards are found in the RTX 2080 Ti – if you NEED 4K 60fps gaming – or sometime in the future when games support DLSS and/or Raytracing.
The RTX 2080 has little to offer at this stage, and the RTX 2070 hasn’t been released yet. IF you absolutely cannot settle for anything less than a consistent 4K 60fps gaming experience, then your only option, as of right now, is an RTX 2080 Ti. But, for anything less than that, a GTX 1080 Ti is going to work juuuust fine.
In a year, that might all change. We could very well see the RTX 2080 (and even the 2070) be highly competitive cards and putting up great performance. Or, we might not. The point is, no one really knows right now. Without games that support DLSS and Raytracing, it’s difficult, if not altogether impossible, to fully explore the pros and cons of RTX cards.