Our Verdict
The GeForce RTX 2080 Ti takes down 4K and carries a ton of new features, but pricing is a substantial hurdle.

For
Fastest single GPU
Built for future years
4K and HDR become achievable
Against
Big price jump from 1080 Ti
Requires a beefy system
The king is dead, long live the king! The Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti may be the heavyweight champion of the graphics cards and has remained so because it was initially launched back at the tail end of 2018. Using Nvidia’s Turing architecture with support for real-time ray tracing, plus Tensor cores for deep learning applications, it’s still the innovative graphics chip around and currently powers the very best gaming PCs. But there’s one serious, almost inevitable problem: the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition can be the priciest consumer graphics card Nvidia has ever released.

The RTX 2080 Ti tips the scales at 18.6 billion transistors, which also helps it be the major consumer GPU Nvidia has ever created. It’s practically as large as the Volta GV100 in the $2,999 Titan V and Tesla V100, nonetheless it includes significant updates which make it faster and better. You could almost argue the purchase price is a wonderful deal for everything you get-but I will not, because $1,199 is equivalent to the Titan Xp, and Titan cards have always had a ludicrous price to performance ratio.

There are basically two reasons to get the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition. One is which you must have the very best / speediest graphics card, cost be damned. The other is you are convinced the real-time ray tracing and deep learning technologies are likely to revolutionize the gaming and graphics industry, and you’re ready to be an early on adopter. Rumors are that you could be going to feel the pain of the first adopter towards the finish of the entire year if the promises of Nvidia Ampere RTX performance should be believed…

There could be others, but realistically most PC gamers aren’t likely to choose the RTX 2080 Ti, because you can create a complete mainstream gaming PC for the same price. I’ve reviewed the GeForce RTX 2080 Founders Edition separately, and even that card is tough to recommend at $799.

Nvidia deserves credit for not simply coasting on Turing. It might have added some additional GPU cores and GDDR6 and called it a day. Nonetheless it didn’t, instead choosing to get significant resources into reworking the architecture, adding RT cores to create real-time ray tracing possible, and Tensor cores for denoising, DLSS, and other deep learning applications. Those additions could revolutionize games and graphics in the coming years, and without the updated DLSS 2.0 feature there’s a genuine cost to including them. Even then ray tracing performance could be prohibitive.

Nvidia invested significant resources in to the Turing architecture, adding RT cores for real-time ray tracing and Tensor cores for deep learning applications.

Have a look at the die size for a few perspective. The Turing TU102 and TU104 are both bigger than the Pascal GP102, despite the fact that the TU104 has 20 percent fewer cores and fewer memory channels.

GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Specs

GPU – Turing TU102
Lithography – TSMC 12nm FinFET
Transistor Count – 18.6 billion
Die Size- 754mm2
Streaming Multiprocessors – 68
CUDA Cores – 4,352
Tensor Cores – 544
RT Cores – 68
Video memory – 11GB GDDR6
Memory bus – 352-bit
Base Clock – 1350MHz
Boost Clock – 1635MHz
Memory Speed – 14 GT/s
Memory Bandwidth – 616GB/s
TDP – 260W
Price – $1,200

Larger die sizes mean lower yields, or at least the necessity to use harvested chips, and Nvidia nets fewer chips per wafer. That increases costs, as does the proceed to GDDR6, and there are a good amount of other R&D expenses. But Nvidia isn’t eating the bigger costs, and with effectively no competition to its speediest GPUs, it’s passing them to the client and we’re left with a fresh high-water mark on graphics card prices.

The upgrades to the RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition are interesting, especially with the cooling design. Nvidia has moved from its traditional blower-style cooling to dual axial fans, and the heatsink also includes a dual vapor chamber once and for all measure. The explained goal was to lessen fan noise and improve cooling, and noise levels are lower, though I’m not convinced the cards run cooler. Something I would like to see is the way the custom AIB cards equate to Nvidia’s Founders Edition, so look out for additional graphics card reviews in the coming weeks.

I’ve discussed pricing already, because it’s a significant sticking point. The 780 Ti cost $649, the 980 Ti also launched at $649, and the 1080 Ti bumped up to the $699 mark. $1,199 for the original Founders Edition is an enormous jump. There has been some amount of diminishing returns going from budget to midrange to high-end cards, and that is particularly true of the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti.

What would it try justify the trouble? Even if the RTX 2080 Ti were twice the performance of a GTX 1080 Ti, will there be really a dependence on it?

If you’re owning a 1080p monitor, no, and even at 1440p the huge benefits are debatable. You ought to be owning a 4K or at least ultrawide 3440×1440 display before upgrading to the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, or you ought to be gunning for high framerates on a 144Hz 1440p display. Ray tracing at 1080p with DLSS upscaling to 4K is another option, but again that will require a high-end display. We’ll need to revisit the ray tracing question once those games commence to arrive-a patch for Shadow of the Tomb Raider will probably come first, or simply Battlefield 5 could have it at launch-but here’s the way the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition performs in current games.

Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti performance
All testing was done using the testbed equipment displayed in the boxout to the proper. The Core i7-8700K is overclocked to 5.0GHz, because of NZXT’s Kraken X62 cooling, which does up to is currently possible to eliminate CPU bottlenecks from the equation.

The graphics cards used listed below are ‘reference’ models, aside from the R9 390 and the brand new GeForce RTX Founders Editions. That does skew things slightly more and only the newer cards, by about five percent. I’m going to be testing additional RTX cards in the coming weeks, and similar factory overclocks can be found on nearly every GPU. I’ll also be doing some manual overclocking tests soon, but was struggling to do so beforehand because of time constraints.

All of the games are running at ‘maximum’ quality, within reason-meaning, I didn’t use super-sampling or any resolution scaling. I did so allow all of the advanced graphics settings in GTA5, however, and HBAO+ beneath the post-processing settings in The Witcher 3. I’ve also tested with HDR output enabled in the five games that support it, though testing with HDR modes was limited by the RTX 2080 Ti for the present time (because of time constraints). Several games use a lot more than 8GB VRAM at the tested settings, that will seriously punish older cards with 4GB or less memory. I’ve included 1080p testing below, but it’s mainly as a spot of curiosity-as I discussed earlier, buying this type of graphics card for a 1080p display is overkill.

Image 1 of 13Image 2 of 13Image 3 of 13Image 4 of 13Image 5 of 13Image 6 of 13Image 7 of 13Image 8 of 13Image 9 of 13Image 10 of 13Image 11 of 13Image 12 of 13Image 13 of 13

Say what you would about the price, however the 4K performance of the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is obviously impressive. Minimum framerates tend to be equal to the common framerates of the RTX 2080 and GTX 1080 Ti, and efficiency is over thirty percent higher. Of the twelve games tested, only two neglect to average a lot more than 60fps, and both could easily hit that mark with a few minor tweaks to the settings-Deux Ex at high rather than ultra, for instance, and disable or ignore some of the advanced settings in GTA5. There is no question the RTX 2080 Ti may be the most effective GPU now, only whether you want one and may afford it.

Image 1 of 13Image 2 of 13Image 3 of 13Image 4 of 13Image 5 of 13Image 6 of 13Image 7 of 13Image 8 of 13Image 9 of 13Image 10 of 13Image 11 of 13Image 12 of 13Image 13 of 13

Despite having a beastly testbed, CPU bottlenecks commence to limit performance of the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti at 1440p. That’s unfortunate, since it means maxing out a 144Hz display isn’t always possible-in fact, only four of the games tested break 140fps averages. Rather than the 33 percent lead it had over the 1080 Ti at 4K, we’ve a 27 percent lead-and it drops a lot more at 1080p.

Image 1 of 26Image 2 of 26Image 3 of 26Image 4 of 26Image 5 of 26Image 6 of 26Image 7 of 26Image 8 of 26Image 9 of 26Image 10 of 26Image 11 of 26Image 12 of 26Image 13 of 26Image 14 of 26Image 15 of 26Image 16 of 26Image 17 of 26Image 18 of 26Image 19 of 26Image 20 of 26Image 21 of 26Image 22 of 26Image 23 of 26Image 24 of 26Image 25 of 26Image 26 of 26

The 1080p results aren’t particularly meaningful, though they do provide a hint of what we see with DLSS enabled games. Those can render at lower resolutions and upscale to 4K, with ‘similar’ quality to native 4K with TAA rendering. But if you are by using a 1080p display, you truly must upgrade that before investing in a GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition-the new Acer Predator X27 or Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ will be a great extreme enthusiast pairing for a 2080 Ti, since money is no object, right?

Much like the RTX 2080, I’m somewhat disappointed by the performance results from the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. It’s very quickly, but it is also packing 20 percent more CUDA cores compared to the 1080 Ti, and it even includes a clockspeed advantage. Nvidia’s claims of 50 percent better shaders don’t appear to carry up, unless Nvidia can be accounting for power efficiency-something I’m going to be investigating more in the coming weeks.

Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti value proposition
Image 1 of 6Image 2 of 6Image 3 of 6Image 4 of 6Image 5 of 6Image 6 of 6

Going for a different view of performance, here’s the way the current generation graphics cards match against the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. I’m including 1080p, 1440p, and 4K results when calculating fps/$, but regardless if I adhere to 4k performance the Turing cards don’t give a compelling value. The true question is this: How excited are you for games to add top quality real-time ray tracing?

If your response to that question is a nonchalant shrug, give it a pass for the present time. It’s doubtful the cards increase in cost over the coming months, and there’s a chance AMD will arrive with a fresh graphics card in 2019 that could push prices down on the GeForce RTX offerings. In any event, you’re saving cash and with the above GPUs, you can still get a good amount of enjoyment from games.

Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti: A Titan killer at a Titan price
Nvidia has graphics hardware sporting a great deal of bespoke features, and at least 25 games are slated to use a number of of the brand new rendering modes. Coupled with improvements from further driver tuning, the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti might improve the performance gap another ten percent or even more and ‘normal’ rasterization games. And for whatever uses ray tracing-whether that’s RTX, DXR, or Vulkan-the Turing cards should hold a commanding lead over any other option.

The problem is that pricing is merely too high for me personally to justify. As usual, owners of Titan cards (all three of you) will now have to look with envy at the RTX 2080 Ti performance, and await the inevitable Titan RTX variant. But nonetheless which has arrived, prices on the RTX 2080 Ti models still haven’t fallen to more ‘reasonable’ levels.

From the performance side, it’s awesome to visit a single graphics card that may constantly break 60fps at 4K. HDR modes don’t even cause the card to blink, aside from in Hitman where it causes a modest drop in performance, and the amount of games that can’t handle maxed out 4K is substantially smaller with this card-and 4K high manages the tiny number that fall just short.

You should be owning a 4K or at least ultrawide 3440×1440 display before upgrading to the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti.

Everything about the RTX 2080 Ti is extreme, from the look to the specs, the features to the purchase price. I cannot in good conscience recommend such a card for many people, but damn easily don’t want one. And if you’d bought one at launch, you should have had the most notable gaming GPU for about two years now. For all those with deep enough pockets, you should, your investment price and go nuts-it’s still the king of the graphics card playground this a long time on. If whatever you value is extreme performance, pay no heed to the person behind the curtain (ie, the score) and get your game on. Ordinary people will watch in envy.

The simple simple truth is that GeForce RTX 2080 Ti permits a new degree of gaming performance. By that token, I think it is more desirable compared to the less costly RTX 2080. It has more of everything, most critically performance. For the reason that sense it is the new ‘best’ graphics card. But gamers don’t actually need it, even in 2020.