Nvidia Ge­force GTX 1080 Ti vs. RTX 2080 Ti


PCWorld (USA) - - Contents - BY BRAD CHACOS

Def­i­nitely maybe. We’ll help you de­cide.

Two and a half long years after the launch of the Ge­force GTX 10-se­ries, Nvidia’s next gen­er­a­tion of graph­ics cards is fi­nally here, and the Ge­force RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti top our per­for­mance charts. But should you up­grade to the Ge­force RTX 2080 Ti ($1,200 at Best Buy [ go.pc­world.com/tibb] or Ge­force.com [ go.pc­world.com/tgfc]) if you al­ready own a Ge­force GTX 1080 Ti? As al­ways, the an­swer is, “it de­pends.”

It’s eas­ier to ex­plain than the de­ci­sion to buy a Ge­force RTX 2080 or GTX 1080 Ti ( go.pc­world.com/bti), though, since those graph­ics cards of­fer vir­tu­ally iden­ti­cal per­for­mance. Let’s dig in.


In our per­for­mance tests across a suite of var­i­ous games, the Ge­force RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edi­tion out­punched an over­clocked PNY GTX 1080 Ti XLR8 by an av­er­age of 33 per­cent, and a whop­ping 45 per­cent in Mid­dle-earth: Shadow of War and Rain­bow Six Siege. Nvidia’s new flag­ship cleared 60 frames per sec­ond at 4K res­o­lu­tion with graph­ics op­tions cranked to Ul­tra set­tings in ev­ery game but Ghost Recon Wild­lands, whose top-end set­tings were de­signed to ut­terly melt GPUS. If you ditch anti-alias­ing and drop the graph­ics set­tings in games down to High—a com­mon visual con­fig­u­ra­tion for pixel-packed 4K mon­i­tors—the Ge­force RTX 2080 Ti clears 80 fps in all the games in our test suite.

But here’s the thing: Most of the 4K mon­i­tors avail­able to­day top out at 60Hz, a speed that the GTX 1080 Ti still meets across the board if

you drop some visual set­tings down to High in games. Heck, the GTX 1080 achieves or al­most achieves 4K/60 with ev­ery­thing cranked to Ul­tra in many of the games in our test­ing suite. If you al­ready own a 4K, 60Hz mon­i­tor, you won’t see any of the Ge­force RTX 2080 Ti’s per­for­mance gains, be­cause your dis­play sim­ply won’t be able to keep up with it. The GTX 1080 Ti al­ready pushes it hard enough.

There are some cases where up­grad­ing from a GTX 1080 Ti to the Ge­force RTX 2080 Ti can give you a tan­gi­bly bet­ter ex­pe­ri­ence, how­ever (though I leave it up to you to de­cide whether in­vest­ing $1,200 or more in a graph­ics card for 33 per­cent more per­for­mance is truly worth­while).

This sum­mer, the first 4K, 144Hz G-sync HDR dis­plays, such as the Acer Preda­tor X27 ( go.pc­world.com/px27), made their de­but. They are ut­terly glo­ri­ous—fast, pixel-packed, and blaz­ing at a ro­bust 1,000 nits. The

Ge­force RTX 2080 Ti is the first graph­ics card ca­pa­ble of push­ing well past 4K/60 and feed­ing these won­der­ful dis­plays at ul­tra-fast frame rates. If you’ve al­ready in­vested in a G-sync HDR mon­i­tor and want the best

gam­ing ex­pe­ri­ence pos­si­ble, no mat­ter the price, the Ge­force RTX 2080 Ti is call­ing your name. Cheaper—well, “cheaper”—4k, 144Hz G-sync mon­i­tors are com­ing from Acer ( go. pc­world.com/144) later this year for $1,300.

Like­wise, if you have a nice 1440p, 144Hz gam­ing mon­i­tor and aren’t happy with how the GTX 1080 Ti is feed­ing it, the Ge­force RTX 2080 Ti could give you bet­ter per­for­mance. Note, how­ever, that the RTX 2080 Ti’s per­for­mance ad­van­tage dips slightly at 1440p res­o­lu­tion, where it’s 27.9 per­cent faster than the GTX 1080 Ti. That’s still a very no­tice­able boost, though again, I leave it to you to de­cide whether it’s big enough to in­vest an­other $1,200 in your gam­ing rig. (The GTX 1080 Ti cost $700 at launch.)

The Ge­force RTX 2080 Ti could pull ahead even fur­ther if Deep Learn­ing Super Sam­pling (DLSS), an Ai-en­hanced anti-alias­ing tech­nique that de­liv­ers visual fidelity sim­i­lar to tem­po­ral anti-alias­ing (TAA) but 39 per­cent faster, takes off with de­vel­op­ers. Twenty-five games al­ready pledged sup­port for real-time ray trac­ing or DLSS ( go.pc­world.com/dls), though you won’t find ei­ther tech­nol­ogy ac­tive in any games just yet. The Ge­force RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti in­clude ded­i­cated RT and ten­sor core hard­ware that en­able these cut­ting-edge fea­tures. The GTX 1080 Ti doesn’t.

That said, new gam­ing tech­nolo­gies have a spotty track record for ac­tu­ally gain­ing sup­port from de­vel­op­ers, es­pe­cially near-term. The ones we’ve talked to are pumped about ray trac­ing and DLSS, but we wouldn’t rec­om­mend tak­ing the prom­ise of ray trac­ing and Ai-en­hanced

Like­wise, if you have a nice 1440p, 144Hz gam­ing mon­i­tor and aren’t happy with how the GTX 1080 Ti is feed­ing it, the Ge­force RTX 2080 Ti could give you bet­ter per­for­mance.

graph­ics into ac­count if you’re de­cid­ing whether to buy a Ge­force RTX 2080 Ti to­day. If you want to read more about how ray trac­ing and DLSS work on a tech­ni­cal level, check out our deep-dive into the Tur­ing GPU ( go.pc­world. com/tgpu) in­side the Ge­force RTX 2080 Ti.


Bot­tom line: Only con­sider up­grad­ing from the Ge­force GTX 1080 Ti to the RTX 2080 Ti if you have a high re­fresh-rate 1440p or 4K mon­i­tor. And, uh, a lot of dis­pos­able in­come. If you have a 4K/60 mon­i­tor al­ready, sit tight with the GTX 1080 Ti.

The Ge­force RTX 2080 Ti launches on Septem­ber 27. You can pre­order Nvidia’s own Ge­force RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edi­tion for $1,200 at Best Buy ( go.pc­world.com/febb) and Ge­force.com ( go.pc­world.com/fegf), and sev­eral cus­tom, over­clocked ver­sions can be found on Newegg.com ( go.pc­world.com/ocl) for prices rang­ing from $1,169 ( go.pc­world. com/rf11) to $1,299 ( go.pc­world.com/ fr12)— though they’re all cur­rently sold out. If you want more in­for­ma­tion while you’re wait­ing for them to get back in stock, be sure to read Pc­world’s com­pre­hen­sive Ge­force RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti re­view ( go.pc­world.com/cge).

The Ge­force RTX 2080 Ti, catch­ing some rays and cast­ing some shad­ows.

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