NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti, 2080 & 2070 Gaming Performance – 50% Faster vs. Pascal, But is it Worth it?

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Aug 26, 2018

NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 20 series is soon gracing us with its, exceedingly opulent, presence next month, when the company’s GeForce RTX 2080 Ti and GeForce RTX 2080 graphics cards are set to hit shelves world-wide. With scarcity and exclusivity only fit to match their extravagant price tags no less.

If you’re reading this you probably already know most of what NVIDIA has revealed about its coveted new Turing graphics architecture and the RTX 20 series cards based on it. What we, you and everyone else is dying to know however is what we’re going to actually get for those many hard earned dollars we will need to put down to snag one of those shiny new RTX toys.

nvidia-geforce-rtx-20-series_2Related NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti 3DMark Score Allegedly Leaks, 35% Faster vs 1080 Ti

Well, good news. You’ve landed just the right place to answer that thousand dollar question. Well, actually $1,200, $800 & $600 questions to be precise. So, let’s dig in.

NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti, 2080 & 2070 Performance – 6X Pascal? More like 1.5X Pascal

If you’ve been following the news and paying close attention to NVIDIA’s Turing drumbeat you will have heard things like “Turing is 6X Pascal“. Those statements are in essence both technically and theoretically true. Although they’re accurate only in a very limited sense. That is Turing is six times faster than Pascal at NVIDIA’s in-house RTX ray tracing tech and only at that.

In the real-world however where not all games will have NVIDIA’s RTX ray tracing feature build-in, not even close actually, you will be looking at roughly a 50% performance improvement going from a Pascal card to its RTX 20 series Turing successor. That’s what we can actually realistically expect from Turing, several sources have told us over the past week.

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NVIDIA Turing – 2x Pascal’s Price, 1.5x Pascal’s Performance

If you do the math, you will quickly realize that the price premium for owning a Turing however is actually more than that 50% performance uplift. The 2080 Ti Founder’s Edition costs nearly twice what you can get a 1080 Ti for right now. It’s the exact same story with the RTX 2080 FE and the GTX 1080 and the RTX 2070 FE and GTX 1070.

You will have to pay very nearly double the price for a 50% uplift. The situation is only marginally better if you go by NVIDIA’s non Founder’s Edition MSRPs, but we simply couldn’t find a single RTX 20 series graphics card at its “official” starting price, or even close to it. So what exactly are you paying this hefty premium for?

Well, if you decide to pick up one of the eleven games that NVIDIA has announced will feature support for its ray tracing RTX tech down the road you will get to enjoy substantially better lighting and shadows. NVIDIA’s RTX ray tracing implementation is simply too slow to run on Pascal, which is why the company is banking on this as a selling point for Turing.

These 11 games are :

– Assetto Corsa Competizione
– Atomic Heart
– Battlefield V
– Control
– Enlisted
– Justice
– JX3
– MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries
– Metro Exodus
– ProjectDH
– Shadow of the Tomb Raider

The Turing Dilemma

But here’s the kicker, the feature is arguably also damned near too slow to enjoy on Turing. RTX ray tracing was demonstrated running on an RTX 2080 Ti in Shadow of the Tomb Raider at 1080p with a ~40 FPS average. The Metro Exodus developers have stated that they plan to target 1080p 60 fps for RTX ray tracing. Similarly, a Battlefield V producer expressed his excitement about ray tracing, but cautioned that the technology still needs a long time — a generation or two of consoles — to become the standard.

So in reality, you’re not only paying a premium to simply dip your toes in Turing’s selling point, ray tracing, but you will also have to pay a considerable performance premium just to experience it. And I can’t help but wonder if a 2080 Ti owner who has spent more than a thousand dollars on their graphics card and undoubtedly has a high-end, high refresh rate 4K or 1440p monitor is willing to make that sacrifice.

Pay twice as much and play at 1080p and not quite 60 FPS, for the sake of ray tracing. Is it worth it? This is the Turing dilemma.

The Turing Dilemma

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 20 Series Graphics Cards Official Specifications

Graphics Card Name NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti
GPU Architecture Turing GPU (TU106) Turing GPU (TU104) Turing GPU (TU102)
Process 12nm NFF 12nm NFF 12nm NFF
Die Size 445mm2 545mm2 754mm2
Transistors 10.6 Billion 13.6 Billion 18.6 Billion
CUDA Cores 2304 Cores 2944 Cores 4352 Cores
TMUs/ROPs 144/64 192/64 288/96
GigaRays 6 Giga Rays/s 8 Giga Rays/s 10 Giga Rays/s
Cache 4 MB L2 Cache 4 MB L2 Cache 6 MB L2 Cache
Base Clock 1410 MHz 1515 MHz 1350 MHz
Boost Clock 1620 MHz
1710 MHz OC
1710 MHz
1800 MHz OC
1545 MHz
1635 MHz OC
Compute 7.5 TFLOPs 10.1 TFLOPs 13.4 TFLOPs
Memory 8 GB GDDR6 8 GB GDDR6 11 GB GDDR6
Memory Speed 14.00 Gbps 14.00 Gbps 14.00 Gbps
Memory Interface 256-bit 256-bit 352-bit
Memory Bandwidth 448 GB/s 448 GB/s 616 GB/s
Power Connectors 8 Pin 8+8 Pin 8+8 Pin
TDP 185W (Founders)
175W (Reference)
225W (Founders)
215W (Reference)
260W (Founders)
250W (Reference)
Starting Price $499 US $699 US $999 US
Price (Founders Edition) $599 US $799 US $1,199 US
Launch September 2018 September 2018 September 2018