Overall and Final Verdict
So now that the dust has settled and I have finished testing I finally have a better idea of where the RTX 2080 sits. Like the RTX 2080 Ti, the RTX 2080 Founders Edition has that same new dual-fan cooler design. I know it is polarizing, but I really do like the clean look that Nvidia has went with. Not to mention, like with past Founders Edition cards, both cards are extremely well constructed. It is really heavy from the all-metal construction and without a plastic window to break I really think you could drop this one around a few times without having to worry about it. I wouldn’t recommend that though, I bet it would do some damage to your floor. The new cooler seems to be an even better match for the RTX 2080 because of the lower TDP, it ran as cool as the aftermarket cards and when I cranked the fan up to 100% there was still a lot of headroom left in the cooling. The only downside to the cooler design to me was still not having an RGB logo. The new clear branding is nicer and there are rumors that the hardware might actually support RGB but it's not turned on. But right now, in late 2018 not having color options to match your PC on your video card is crazy. Especially when the only color is a bright green. I love the color, but there aren’t that many people building all green builds.
But right now I don’t think the cooler is the big focus right? People are wondering if the RTX 2080 Founders Edition has good performance and then they are also wondering if it is enough to justify the price of the card. Well, when it comes to DX11 performance and in current day games. The RTX 2080 FE trades blows with the GTX 1080 Ti. The 1080 Ti was faster in 3DMark and the 2080 was faster by about 18% in our in-game tests. I don’t think anyone expected the RTX 2080 to be running with the new year and a half old GTX 1080 Ti. That doesn’t tell all of the story, but given the Memes and outrage around the internet, that is what most people are seeing. To me, ignoring the pricing for a second, the fact that we have never had an X80 card launch alongside the Ti before makes me wonder if it would be less upsetting if this was the RTX 2070 and the 2080 Ti was the RTX 2080. With the 1080 Ti, 980 Ti, and 780 Ti, the Ti model came 6 months to a year later. Of course, the pricing of both RTX cards really eliminates this issue. Even if it was the RTX 2070, at this price people would still be upset.
As far as performance goes though, I do think the RTX 2080 is leaving a lot on the table. DX12 performance offers a much bigger gap between the 1080 Ti and the 2080, but it is going to take time before we see that come into play. Not to mention the RT and Tensor cores are basically completely unused right now. We have a chicken or the egg situation where no games are going to support DLSS or Ray Tracing unless people own video cards that will support it. Nvidia did have a nice sized list of games that are working on ray tracing support, it will be interesting to revisit the performance of the RTX 2080 at that time.
The other issue and really the main holdup with the RTX 2080 Founders Edition is with the pricing. With an MSRP of $799 for the Founders Edition, this is an expensive video card. The RTX 2080 Ti obviously ends up being a lot more. But almost $800 when the GTX 1080 Ti is performance isn’t far off and it can be picked up for $100 less, that is the pickle everyone is in. If the RTX 2080 was priced the same as the 1080 Ti, it would be a no-brainer. It is slightly faster not to mention the potential for future performance in DX12 and with DSLL and ray tracing. I suspect that once the dust settles, that is what we will see happen. Right now though I think it is only going to be people who want to buy in now on that performance later that will be going this direction. The RTX 2080 Ti will get the money is no object buyers leaving the RTX 2080 in a tough spot until the games catch up a little and the pricing is worked out. In other words, the RTX 2080 FE is a maybe soon, but not yet for me. Until then the GTX 1080 Ti for high end and the RTX 2080 Ti for the crazy high end.
Live Pricing: HERE