The floodgates are now open. The GeForce RTX 2080 Ti and GeForce RTX 2080 are making their way into gamers’ hands. We’re inundated with reviews and benchmarks, detailing precisely how these new graphics cards perform. Sort of. There aren’t many Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) benchmarks available, and no actual gameplay whatsoever, while RTX ray tracing is completely non-existent until games actually start supporting it.
The first game to support ray tracing is likely going to be Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Lara’s latest launched last week and Eidos Montreal has promised there’ll be a patch soon. Then there’s Battlefield V, which was delayed to November 20th. Aside from that though, there aren’t really and headline-grabbing examples of how the full potential of the RTX 20 Series graphics cards can be used.
For now, we’re going to have to be satisfied with the raw performance gains over the previous generation. On that front, the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti impresses. It’s the fastest graphics card in the world right now by a fair margin, outstripping the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti by about 35% in 4K gaming benchmarks. It’s exactly what you’d hope for when splashing out $1199 on a GPU though.
Perhaps a little more disappointing is the $799 GeForce RTX 2080. This new GPU does exactly what we’d expect, running neck and neck with the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. The only problem is the RTX 2080 is $100-150 more expensive than the GTX 1080 Ti. It does have the potential benefits of DLSS and ray tracing, but these are all still relative unknowns, so it’s fairly hefty price premium for a hope and a promise, rather than anything concrete.
Finally, for Nvidia, we have the current GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. More than a year old now, Nvidia’s previous flagship still offers performance that rivals the GeForce RTX 2080, only at a slightly more affordable price tag. Shop around for a refurb or second-hand model and you could find yourself with a bargain. The downside, naturally, is that it will never support DLSS or ray-tracing. For all we know, its performance could be left in the dust once DLSS support is widespread.
Last but not least, we have AMD’s only competitor in this area, the Radeon RX Vega 64. In fairness, this GPU is actually on par with a GeForce GTX 1080 rather than a 1080 Ti, so it’s undoubtedly the weakest of the bunch. It’s not exactly cheap itself, but it does come equipped with HBM2 memory and can compete with Nvidia in certain benchmarks, Vulkan in particular. There’s little denying that AMD has ceded the top end to Nvidia for now though, and those seeking the absolute best in performance are being forced to head to Team Green.
Four top-end graphics cards then, and one decision - which enthusiast GPU is the best buy in 2018? Should you stick to AMD? Does the GTX 1080 Ti sound like a bargain compared to the RTX 20 Series? Get voting and let us know why below!