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NVIDIA GeForce RTX benchmarks — RTX 2080 is a tough sell but RTX 2080 Ti absolutely annihilates everything

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is the new king of the hill. (Source: NVIDIA)
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is the new king of the hill. (Source: NVIDIA)
The first benchmarks of the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 and the RTX 2080 Ti are here and seem to reflect what we've been expecting so far. While the RTX 2080 Ti posts some impressive performance numbers and is easily the most powerful GPU in this generation, the RTX 2080 is on par with the GTX 1080 Ti in performance while still costing US$200 dearer. While these numbers reflect non-RTX performance, it will still be sometime before the worth of these cards can be estimated on actual RTX-enabled games.

They're finally here. After a month of anxious waiting, speculations, and controversial buying advices, we finally have the first official benchmarks of the new NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti GPUs. The new GPUs were announced exactly a month ago and while we've seen some numbers here and there, this is the real dope so lets gets started without further ado. 

Before we go on, these are some of the important numbers from the YouTube channel Hardware Unboxed. We of course look forward to doing our own testing with these cards soon so until then, this should provide some semblance to what can be expected in terms of performance.

Game Benchmarks

In most games, the RTX 2080 Ti  scored approximately a 25%-28% lead over the RTX 2080 and the GTX 1080 Ti in 1440p and similar leads in 4K. In fact, the RTX 2080 Ti seemed to have scored more average fps than the frame time results of the other cards. However, folks will be disappointed with the performance of the RTX 2080 given the US$200 premium it commands over the GTX 1080 Ti. The performance of the RTX 2080 and the GTX 1080 Ti were almost the same in most games in 1440p and 4K. Needless to say both cards were clearly well ahead of the GTX 1080 and the AMD Radeon RX Vega 64.

In some of the older games such as GTA V, the performance seemed more CPU-bound at 1440p with even the GTX 1070 Ti coming close to RTX 2080 Ti territory. At 4K where the game becomes more GPU-bound, the RTX 2080 Ti scores an impressive 37% lead over the GTX 1080 Ti and the RTX 2080. Here again, the RTX 2080 and the GTX 1080 Ti are almost on par. 

Games that generally favor AMD cards such as Rainbow Six Siege were not at all a problem for the RTX 2080 Ti where it scored a whopping 67% higher score than the RX Vega 64 at 1440p. At 4K, perhaps for the first time, the RTX 2080 managed to beat the GTX 1080 Ti by 21% while the RTX 2080 Ti continued its domination by scoring an impressive 23% lead over the RTX 2080. 

Shadow of the Tomb Raider was one of the games showcased during the NVIDIA RTX launch event and it started debates on the internet when it could manage only 60 fps at 1080p with RTX enabled. However, the current game is without ray tracing, which will be added as a patch later. So without any RTX features, the RTX 2080 Ti leads the pack by scoring 24% more than the RTX 2080, which again is in close proximity to the GTX 1080 Ti. At 4K, the RTX 2080 Ti manages to inch close to the 60 fps mark — a commendable feat considering the heavy GPU requirements of the game. Increasing the GDDR6 memory frequency of the RTX 2080 Ti yielded a few more fps compared to stock clocks. 

The most impressive performance was seen in Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus wherein the RTX 2080 Ti scored a massive 273 average fps besting the RTX 2080 by 27% and the GTX 1080 Ti by 40% at 1440p. In 4K, the RTX 2080 Ti maintains a 54% lead over the GTX 1080 Ti with the RTX 2080 posting close to a 50% lead over the GTX 1080 as well. 


You can watch the whole video by Hardware Unboxing below but to sum it all up, this is what we seeing —

  • RTX 2080 Ti vs GTX 1080 Ti (Average fps)— 23% faster at 1440p; 31% faster at 4K
  • RTX 2080 Ti vs RTX 2080 (Average fps) — 21% faster at 1440p; 30% faster at 4K
  • RTX 2080 vs GTX 1080 (Average fps) — 29% faster at 1440p; 34% faster at 4K

These numbers are somewhat similar to the leaked Final Fantasy XV benchmark we saw the other day. One thing is clear, though. NVIDIA's claims of a 50% performance increase for the RTX 2080 over the GTX 1080 in non-RTX titles are yet to be realized and in all likelihood, those claims are a bit far fetched. 

Also, considering that these cards are best utilized when running games at 4K, the cost per frame of the RTX 2080 Ti (Founders Edition MSRP US$1200) stands at US$12.90, which puts it 34% dearer than the GTX 1080 Ti for a 31% performance boost. Given the RTX 2080 Ti's performance figures, enthusiasts would still find reasons to justify the high entry price. But the RTX 2080 (Founders Edition MSRP US$840) will disappoint many as it costs US$11.50 per frame, which is a 20% increase in cost for mostly the same performance as the GTX 1080 Ti.

Is that it?

But is that how we should be looking at these numbers? The RTX cards are supposed to bring in real-time ray tracing tech to mainstream gaming and that is where their real USP lies. While ray tracing improves the visual fidelity without doubt, it is still a niche feature for now. Not many games support real-time tracing yet and those that do, will be launching as non-RTX games initially. So if you are looking at plain numbers, the RTX 2080 might not make much sense if you are already rocking a GTX 1080 Ti.

However, do remember that RTX implies much more than just ray tracing. It also includes NVIDIA's AI-driven DLSS tech that will supposedly work best on the newer RTX cards. So while the RTX 2080 might not seem a compelling upgrade over the GTX 1080 Ti in these benchmarks, it will certainly make a difference in games that support DLSS, which will actually be supported by a larger number of games. 

So, what are your thoughts on the first gaming benchmarks of the NVIDIA GeForce RTX cards? Let us know in the comments below. 


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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2018 09 > NVIDIA GeForce RTX benchmarks — RTX 2080 is a tough sell but RTX 2080 Ti absolutely annihilates everything
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2018-09-19 (Update: 2018-09-19)