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NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti performs abysmally in Watch Dogs Legion demo: preview locked to 1080p/30 FPS with ray-tracing enabled

Watch Dog Legion’s RTX build is locked to 1080p/30 FPS on the RTX 2080 Ti (Image source: NVIDIA)
Watch Dog Legion’s RTX build is locked to 1080p/30 FPS on the RTX 2080 Ti (Image source: NVIDIA)
NVIDIA’s top-end Turing card, the US$1400 GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, couldn’t even run Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs Legion at 1080p/60 FPS with ray-tracing effects turned on. This leads to speculation that users might need Ampere or Big Navi cards to properly experience ray-tracing in next-generation titles.

In sobering news, a recent Watch Dogs Legion RTX technical preview delivered truly terrible performance on NVIDIA’s top-end GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. With ray-tracing effects enabled, the US$1400 card, targeted towards high-end 4K gaming, couldn’t even manage a steady 1080p/60 FPS.

Digital Foundry’s tech breakdown of the demo was apparently locked by Ubisoft to a pedestrian 1080p/30 FPS update, what we’d expect to see on the baseline PlayStation 4, and not on one of the fastest GPUs currently available on the market. In contrast, Watch Dogs 2 runs at over 60 FPS in 4K on the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. 

While it is understandable for pre-release code to run slower than a launch title, it’s important to remember here that Watch Dogs Legion is still very much an eighth-gen game that will be releasing on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Regardless of the optimisation work that may or may not be put in over the next couple months, it’s evident here that ray-tracing drops performance by a couple orders of magnitude. 

If this demo is anything to go by, things do not look good for RTX Turing cards as far as next-gen ray-tracing goes. Rumors indicated that Ampere cards like the purported GeForce RTX 3080 Ti might run ray-tracing workloads 3-4 times faster than their Turing predecessors. If this is the case, Turing’s ray-tracing chops might become obsolete very quickly. Cards like the GeForce RTX 2070 Super might simply not be able to hand in acceptable ray-tracing performance. We’ll have to wait and see. 

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 07 > NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti performs abysmally in Watch Dogs Legion demo: preview locked to 1080p/30 FPS with ray-tracing enabled
Arjun Krishna Lal, 2020-07-13 (Update: 2020-07-13)