Nvidia RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti Review
Published: 19th September 2018 | Source: nVidia | Price: £749 and £1099 Respectively |
The day has finally arrived.
Whenever word gets around that there is a new flagship graphics card in the offing, everyone gets a bit excited. Sure we all like a faster processor, and a motherboard with a few extra bells and whistles is nice, but there is nothing quite like the smell of a freshly minted graphics card to whet your appetite and leave your mouth watering at the juicy possibilities it will lay before you.
We've often said that, assuming the basics like an SSD and decent CPU are catered for, far and away the biggest bang for your buck that you can get is upgrading your graphics card, at least for gaming. Nothing else gets close. Even a small increase in budget can reward you tenfold, and the delights of just putting all the settings on Ultra and forgetting about it cannot be overstated. Anyone who has spent an age tinkering with this setting or that setting (usually shadows and AA) to get a few extra frames knows what an arduous process it can be. Spend a bit more in the first place and get on and enjoy your gaming. With the latest nVidia GPU the concept of "spending a bit more" is stretched towards its breaking point, but it's a flagship GPU, and they've never come cheap.
Rather than go down the road of gradually bumping up the clock speed and shader unit counts for incremental performance improvements, nVidia has gone all in on redesigning their GPU and bringing lots of new toys to the party. So revolutionary do they consider this new range of graphics cards to be they have eschewed the number increase to a GTX 1180, as would fit their form, and instead changed most things so that we have the RTX 2080 and 2080Ti. RTX, obviously, standing for Ray Tracing, the headline feature of this new set of cards. Our job is to discover if these new toys are something that will revolutionise the industry. After all, lighting and shadows have always been the area of visuals that provide the biggest improvement, with poor quality images pulling us out of the immersive moment. If the new Turing architecture can really bring photo quality gaming to our desktops, then we want to be first in the queue to experience them.
Sit down, find your beverage of choice, and let's go on a journey of discovery to find out if the efforts in implementing tomorrows technology bring benefits to the games of today.
We have two flavours of nVidia RTX card on test today, the RTX 2080 and its bigger brother the RTX 2080Ti. The RTX 2080 is coming it at around the price point of high-end GTX 1080Ti GPUs, whilst the 2080Ti hits the eye-watering heights of the GTX Titan series. On price alone these have big shoes to fill. Comparisons between the specification tables of the older cards and these new Turing ones isn't as clear cut as you might hope, with the new cards being totally redesigned with new features both inside and outside of traditional shading. On top of nVidia's the familiar CUDA Cores, we have Tensor Cores, which are designed to handle the AI side of things, promising to bring higher quality supersampling without the performance hit of old, as well as a few other features, while the RT Cores handle real-time Ray Tracing.
Although not quite Real time, Ray Tracing is the stuff of dreams for decades. If it weren't beneficial, then it would take 90 minutes to render Toy Story. Obviously it doesn't, and the visual splendour of that 1996 movie proves how we beneficial ray tracing can be when generating realistic computer graphics.
With Turing Nvidia wants to create a hybrid rendering ecosystem, a combination of traditional rasterisation and Ray Tracing that can bridge the gap between both standards while still produce far more lifelike images than were possible previously. The RTX 2080 Founders Editon is priced at £749, whilst the RTX 2080Ti Founders Edition is £1099.
|RTX 2080||RTX 2080Ti|
|Rays cast per second||8 Giga Rays/s||10 Giga Rays/s|
|RTX Operations||60 Trillion RTX Ops||78 Trillion RTX Ops|
|GPU Boost Clock||1800 MHz||1635 MHz|
|Memory Clock||7000 MHz||7000 MHz|
|Total Memory||8GB GDDR6||11GB GDDR6|
|Memory Bandwidth||448 GB/s||616 GB/s|