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NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Review: No Seriously, Just Buy It

By: Anthony Garreffa | NVIDIA GeForce GPU in Video Cards | Posted: Sep 19, 2018 1:00 pm
TweakTown Rating: 100%Manufacturer: NVIDIA

Should You 'Just Buy It'?

 

Should you buy the new GeForce RTX 2080 Ti? For the most part it's a resounding 'YES!!!' but there are a few things to note:

 

If money was out of the question: Absolutely yes. It costs the same as the TITAN Xp, and offers magnitudes more performance. Most enthusiasts who don't worry about the money aspect of buying hardware (there are plenty, we all know at least one person like that) will find an amazing product with the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. Unrivaled performance, that no other graphics card on the market comes close to.

 

nvidia-geforce-rtx-2080-ti-review-seriously-buy_401

 

1080p/1440p monitor owners: No. I think the new GeForce RTX 2080 Ti at $1199 (at least in Founders Edition form) is too expensive for 1080p monitor owners. 2560x1440 panels with 60Hz refresh rates won't benefit too much from the Turing GPU architecture, unless you cranked every single in-game visual detail up. You could use AA or DLSS (if it's supported) and enjoy massive frame rates at 1440p on the RTX 1080 Ti. I would be checking the performance of the games you play most on the new RTX 2080 Ti. If there's something you want me to test, let me know in the comments below.

 

DLSS: This is one of the key parts of the new Turing GPU architecture, Deep Learning Super Sampling. DLSS can really change everything for GeForce RTX series graphics card owners, as NVIDIA's own deep neural network will eventually improve DLSS-supported games so that they not only look better, but they have huge performance gains. NVIDIA is practising magic, I know it.

 

4K monitor/TV owners: Abso-effing-lutely. NVIDIA's new GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is almost magic, it is as close to magic in a graphics card we've ever had. 4K performance is out of this f***ing world, there's no other way to explain it. We're seeing 4K 60FPS and beyond with the RTX 2080 Ti, and that's without DLSS enabled. Some games are pushing 4K 120FPS with Ultra detail enabled, so if you knocked some of those down the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti can feed out 4K 120FPS right now. INCREDIBLE.

 

 

Upgrading to 4K 144Hz: This is the best use case of the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti... 4K 144Hz HDR G-Sync gaming monitors. They might cost $2000, but if you were spending that much money on a gaming display then outlaying $1199 on a new RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition is no problem, right? It's the only card on the market that offers beyond TITAN Xp performance (for the same price you're getting a HUGE performance increase).

 

RTX/real-time ray tracing games: OBVIOUSLY. This is the absolute pinnacle of the Turing GPU architecture: real-time ray tracing with RTX supported games. There are gigantic games with the likes of Battlefield V, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Metro Exodus and so many more that are adding RTX support. I expect that post-launch we'll see countless more games announced with RTX abilities.

 

3440x1440 monitor owners: This is another resolution that has really needed a new card. 3440x1440 is a great resolution, one of my personal favorites, except that it doesn't warrant dropping $1199 on the TITAN Xp for its performance jump over the GTX 1080 Ti. The new GeForce RTX 2080 Ti on the other hand, is worth dropping $1199 on a new 3440x1440 - especially if it can crank to 100-120Hz, which the RTX 2080 Ti can easily provide 120FPS for at 3440x1440.

 

 

Enthusiasts: I'm leaving enthusiasts until last. I'm an enthusiast, take my job away from TweakTown and I would've pre-ordered one of these cards on day one. If it was only 10-20% performance leap over the GTX 1080 Ti it would only be 5-10% faster than the TITAN Xp which is replaces in the price stack of cards from NVIDIA. But the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is something special. Overclocking headroom is awesome on the card, RTX features and AI/deep learning features are amazing, too.

 

Enthusiasts will feel more at home with the new Turing GPU and GDDR6 memory as there's so many new tricks, games, features, and unrivaled performance inside of the new RTX 20 series cards that we're simply too early to really take it all in. I think enthusiasts will have the most fun with Turing, as NVIDIA is wholly embracing overclocking with the RTX series, a first for the company. One-click OC? That's insane.

 

 

Final Thoughts 2.0

 

NVIDIA has raised the bar on the entire graphics card market with the new Turing GPU and GeForce RTX series of graphics cards. AMD can't just enter with a mid-range Navi GPU and not expect the entire world to ask 'so are you going to compete with NVIDIA's new GeForce RTX 2080 Ti graphics card?'. That will happen, and the response from AMD will be a decider on how 2019 will fare for the graphics card market.

 

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AMD's flagship Radeon RX Vega 64 still costs $580 on Amazon at the time of writing, in the form of an overclocked ASUS ROG STRIX Radeon RX Vega 64. AMD has nothing higher than that for gamers, so the new RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti sit alone in their beyond-enthusiast reach from AMD. If you have a 4K gaming monitor you're not hitting 60FPS with everything on Ultra in most games on Radeon, but now there's a card where you can: RTX 2080 Ti.

 

If you want the best gaming performance, period, then you will want to buy the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. If you were interested in buying the expensive new 4K 144Hz HDR G-Sync gaming monitor, until now there was nothing that could get close to feeding it 4K at 144FPS... but now there is. I've only had it for a few hours, but I used the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti on my 4K 144Hz HDR G-Sync monitor and played Overwatch at 4K on Ultra graphics (minus AA) and it was sublime.

 

I've never had a smoother Overwatch experience, especially at 4K than I did with the RTX 2080 Ti. Until the Turing GPU, I had the NVIDIA TITAN Xp in my 8700K gaming rig which was good for 100-120FPS average in Overwatch at 4K on Medium. I'm now running 4K Ultra and hitting 130-150FPS average, while at Medium on the RTX 2080 Ti it was running at 150FPS minimum so it was beyond liquid smooth.

 

At $1199, the new NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition is the most expensive GeForce ever, but is it all first adopter tax and price gouging because there's no competition? Well, think about it: we have a totally new GPU to manufacture (Turing in TU102 form) as well as 11GB of expensive, and super-fast GDDR6 memory. The GPU is made on the new 12nm process and with 18.6 billion transistors, it's not something that can be mass produced with millions of cards sold per month.

 

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We're walking into new territory right now, and people are going to think "is NVIDIA able to charge $1199 for the RTX 2080 Ti FE because Vega sucked?" and it is a very, very valid question. Yes, NVIDIA can and they should charge $1199. This is a new market, folks. The prices are being set this high because unfortunately NVIDIA can do whatever the hell it wants. They're the ones investing billions and billions into R&D into these new technologies, constantly pushing the envelope further and further.

 

NVIDIA should be commended with a standing ovation for not just the Turing GPU architecture, but the moves they've been making for the last few years. PC gamers have benefited in so many ways, and I don't think there's a way to even see all of what NVIDIA has done as a whole. It's not just new GPU technology that NVIDIA continues to break new ground in (seriously, a hat trick of GPU architectures in Maxwell, Pascal, Volta - and then it all starts again with Turing) - but it's everything else.

 

  • GeForce Experience
  • ShadowPlay (game recordings)
  • Ansel (game screenshots/more)
  • Self-driving car tech
  • AI/deep learning
  • BGFD TVs (4K 120Hz HDR G-Sync)
  • 4K 144Hz HDR G-Sync
  • SLI/NVLink
  • HairWorks
  • HBAO+

 

These are NVIDIA technologies just off the top of my head without Googling more, NVIDIA is pushing the boundaries and creating new products to fill new markets. 65-inch 4K 120Hz HDR G-Sync gaming displays? No one else does that. ShadowPlay is an amazing tool used by tens of millions of gamers. AMD isn't close on that, period. Self-driving car tech might not be heavily used now, but I want a company like NVIDIA doing it simply because they can.

 

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The gaming market for NVIDIA is its most important, with GeForce representing over half of NVIDIA's revenue each quarter. NVIDIA needs to dominate the gaming GPU market because it holds the highest percentage and it eats, breathes, and bleeds gaming as a company. AI is another market that NVIDIA is quickly becoming the king of, powered by its deep learning technology and deep neural networks. The company is firing on all cylinders and is a champion of so many of them. Sometimes, without competition at all... not even a whimper.

 

If AMD wants to compete in this market they're going to have to join a new price range offering performance at equal to Turing and the RTX 2080 Ti for let's say, $1000. I really can't see this happening as it would mean Navi is scaling from consoles (PS5) through to beyond Vega and into Turing territory. I can't see this happening either, so it could be Vega 20 on 7nm with GDDR6. Until now, Vega was meant to be locked to HBM2 technology - but if Vega 20 was made on 7nm and used GDDR6... we might see Turing level performance.

 

At that stage, the 7nm production and use of Vega 20 and HBM2 in games comes into play - is Navi the mid-range (1080p 60FPS and 4K 30FPS) while the new Vega 20 with GDDR6 could offer 4K 60FPS and above. No one knows at this point, but I expect an update from the RTG team after the launch of the GeForce RTX cards. I'm hoping it's something, and the tease can't be something they can't deliver - AMD need to either completely leave this new market to NVIDIA to dominate (admitting defeat of the high-end PC graphics card industry) or enter it, and compete or beat NVIDIA.

 

Vega sucked. We all know it did. AMD - you'll read this, and I want you to know it. You tried, and it failed. Vega can be great, and Vega 20 on 7nm will actually be exciting alongside the current domination with Ryzen/Threadripper, AMD is doing really well. Radeon on the other hand, I'm sorry - but as an enthusiast of over 20 years, Radeon is dead right now. RX Vega 64 doesn't impress me technologically, or in performance. But that doesn't mean Radeon is finished, there is a glimmer of hope from Vega 20 and Navi in 2019.

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