Overall and Final Verdict
So the gap between the last architecture launch and Turing has made me and everything else hungry. It is always exciting seeing the tech move forward and the CPU improvements this year and last year have really set the bar high, people want big improvements. That is why leading up to this launch there was backlash after backlash. Situations like the Toms article recommending to buy the 2080 Ti even before anyone had tested the card. Well, that isn’t a concern now right? Benchmarks are out. By this time (because I’ve been running late) you have already read multiple reviews and hopefully, you have at least peaked at the 78 different tests run across six different cards in our performance sections.
If you haven’t looked at the numbers yet, what you would find is that the RTX 2080 Ti is without a doubt the best performing card out there. In our synthetic tests and in-game benchmarks, it was around 20% faster than the GTX 1080 Ti in DX11. Getting into DX12 showed much bigger jumps in performance, at least in the synthetic tests with the gap being around 46/48%. With Nvidia bringing back asynchronous compute performance it really made a big difference. That is especially promising because DX12 is the future, like I’ve been saying in our previous AMD reviews where they have been focusing on DX12 as well. Overall in our gaming tests, the RTX 2080 Ti seems to be the sweet spot if you are looking to game at 4k. You can finally run 4k60Hz without any worries, not to mention 100/140Hz at 1440p being very doable as well.
The new Founders Edition design ended up looking amazing, I think this might be in my top two or three for cards. Part of the reason I like it so much is the all-metal construction, just like previous Founders Edition cards. It is a tank and is very heavy. But you know right away by holding the card that it is well constructed. The only downside to the design was them not giving the cards RGB right away. The clear logo has RGB lighting behind it from what Gamers Nexus has reported so maybe this will get fixed in the future. I do like the current clear logo better than the old green design, so if you do turn the lighting off it will blend in a little better. Speaking of, here is a look at the card lit up.
Cooling performance seems to be a big improvement over the past cards, but you do give up the blower design that was nice for SFF builds. They managed to keep that huge die with a 260-watt TDP cool in my testing. But there is room for improvement when it comes to noise from aftermarket cards. It will be interesting to see how they perform.
Now one of the biggest selling points for the new RTX lineup is the Ray Tracing performance as well as the addition of Tensor cores that allow AI and Deep Learning to be used in games and to help increase performance in the case of DLSS. Sadly though neither is really available yet. It is a chicken or the eggs situation right now so I am happy that Nvidia is pushing things along with the cards. Hopefully, the software will follow along. They do have a good-sized list of games that will be bringing support for ray tracing and a few are working on DLSS as well like Final Fantasy XV. But for the person buying today, you are spending a lot of extra money for performance that isn’t available yet.
The big issue with the RTX 2080 Ti is with its price. There are a lot of people upset because both of the new cards are priced up above the current lineup. This basically leaves room for the GTX 10 Series cards to stay right where they are price wise. It doesn’t help that there isn’t as much competition helping push those prices down. Even though the Vega 64 that I retested today is performing close to the 10 Series Nvidia cards, they are still harder to find on some of the models (though it is improving quickly). But the biggest kick in the pants of all is when you compare the performance increase with the price increase. Nvidia has never really been about value at the top end of their product line, and I don’t blame them for that. But at $1199, the RTX 208 Ti Founders Edition card costs as much as a good computer. I think you might even be able to build a GTX 1080 Ti-based system for about the same amount and currently in a lot of the games out today you see a 20% performance jump between the two cards.
Now anyone who isn’t worried about money isn’t going to have an issue with this card as an upgrade. When you ignore prices the RTX 2080 Ti is a monster. This is the fastest card out on the market. I also think you are going to see performance actually increase on this one for a long time. Historically asynchronous compute performance has helped with the longevity of cards performance wise and with it being key in DX12 and more DX12 games coming out it will help even more. Not to mention when games start taking advantage of ray tracing and DLSS. Those are two areas of the RTX 2080 Ti that aren’t even being used right now.
So should you buy one? Honestly, for most people, I think they will be waiting to see how the RTX 2070 performs or maybe even looking at GTX 1080 Ti’s on the market. But if you want that butter smooth 4k performance this is the only way to get it. Or if you want to get in on the Ray Tracing train early, again right now the 2080 and 2080 Ti are the only two ways to get that. You are spending more now, but with those benefits hopefully coming soon it might be more of an investment in the future.
Live Pricing: HERE