GeForce RTX 2080 vs GeForce GTX 1080 Ti – What To Buy?

NVIDIA, last month, dropped their new GeForce RTX 2080 Ti and RTX 2080 graphics cards. Thanks to the GeForce RTX 20 series’ new Turing architecture, built with Tensor Cores and RT Cores, these cards are able to perform and do something that no other graphics cards can do. You guess it – it is real-time ray tracing! It has some cool AI features as well that can enhance or improve the games performance significantly; a.k.a DLSS or Deep Learning Super Sampling. While, the RTX 2080 Ti is undeniably and currently the best and fastest gaming graphics card available; it’s somewhat expensive and out of reach to many gamers. Meanwhile, the RTX 2080 is cheaper but it is still priced (a little) higher from the GTX 1080 Ti. Most of you might be asking, which one should you get – the RTX 2080 or the GTX 1080 Ti? Which is the better buy between the two? Well, we tested both cards and the results were surprising. Like really surprising! I personally did not expect these results.

GeForce RTX 2080 vs GTX 1080 Ti – Features and Specs Comparison

Now may be a really good time to build a gaming PC. NVIDIA has released the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti and RTX 2080, and Intel has released the world’s best gaming processor, which is the Intel Core i9-9900K. Pair these two, get a good Z390 motherboard, some NVMe SSD and a good 1440p / 4K UHSD G-Sync monitor (with HDR perhaps) and you get a very nice gaming PC.

The GeForce RTX 20 series cards are based on the new Turing architecture and it’s using a new 12nm fabrication processor. The RTX 2080, in particular, is using a cut down version of the TU104 GPU chip. It has 46 Streaming Multiprocessor and features 2944 CUDA cores. On the other hand, the GTX 1080 Ti is using a 16nm fab process, has only 28 streaming multiprocessor but has 3584 CUDA cores. Does more CUDA cores means faster performance? We’ll see… Remember, Turing is a new architecture with new set of features and cores.

Despite having more CUDA cores, the GTX 1080 Ti doesn’t have any Tensor cores and RT cores. Meanwhile, the RTX 2080 has 368 Tensor cores and 46 RT cores. These unique cores are responsible for the real-time ray tracing and DLSS features; two main features that are not available in its predecessors.

I’m not going to waste your time by throwing more words highlighting their respective features. You can check out the specifications table below for more comparison. After that, let’s immediately jump to the gaming performance comparison.

 RTX 2080 TiRTX 2080GTX 1080 TiGTX 1080
Steaming Multiprocessors68462820
CUDA Cores4352294435842560
Tensor Cores544368--
Tensor FLOPS11485--
RT Cores6846--
Texture Units272184224160
Giga Rays10 GR/s8 GR/s1.1 GR/s0.877 GR/s
RTX OPS78 Trillion60 Trillion11.3 Trillion8.9 Trillion
Base Clock1350 MHz1515 MHz1480 MHz1607 MHz
Boost Clock1545 MHz~1635 MHz1710 MHz~1800 MHz1582 MHz1733 MHz
Memory Size / Type11GB GDDR68GB GDDR611GB GDDR5X8GB GDDR5X
Memory Clock7000 MHz7000 MHz5505 MHz5005 MHz
Memory Interface352-bit256-bit352-bit256-bit
Memory Bandwidth616 GB/s448 GB/s484 Gb/s320 GB/s
Power Connectors8+8 pin8+8 pin6+8 pin8 pin
Graphics Card Power (TDP)~260W~225W250W180W
Recommended PSU650W650W600W500W

GeForce RTX 2080 vs GTX 1080 Ti – Benchmark Comparison

We tested the RTX 2080 vs GTX 1080 Ti using 6 games and a few synthetic benchmarks. For the synthetic benchmarks, we used 3D Mark’s Fire Strike, Fire Strike Extreme, Fire Strike Ultra, Time Spy and Time Spy Extreme. For the game benchmarks, we used the following games: Battlefield 1, Ghost Recon Wildlands, Shadow of War, Monster Hunter World, Shadow of the Tomb Raider and The Witcher 3.

We are also using an MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon motherboard, powered with an Intel Core i7-8700K overclocked to 4.9GHz. The CPU is paired with a 16GB DDR4-3200Mhz from Corsair. Below are the results we got.

Above, you can only see the average of the 6 games. This is just a quick and not so detailed comparison to give you an overview. As you can see, they were right! The RTX 2080 is a bit faster than the GTX 1080 Ti, but not by a significant margin. I was surprised because they perform very closely. You can’t tell if it’s an RTX 2080 or a GTX 1080 Ti running on the system (without looking of course).

However, remember that this is using the traditional TAA. The good news is, once DLSS is turned on or applied, expect that the performance of the RTX 2080 will increase; hopefully significantly. The bad news is, at this time there are no games yet that features DLSS. And games that will feature real-time ray tracing, like Battlefield V, aren’t released yet. Well, Shadow of the Tomb Raider will feature real-time ray tracing, but the patch for that isn’t released yet as well.

GeForce RTX 2080 vs GTX 1080 Ti – Conclusion?

Current, the cheapest GeForce RTX 2080 we see on Amazon is around $790 USD; meanwhile, the cheapest GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is around $680. That’s a hundred and ten dollars more. So depending on what model you choose on either cards, the price difference is around $100 and more.

The question now is, should you but the newer but more expensive RTX 2080, or the older but cheaper GTX 1080 Ti? The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is still a very capable graphics card. You can play games and get 60 fps above on 1080p and 1440p. But at 4K UHD, you will have to sacrifice some graphics quality to achieve 60 fps average. If ever you spot a really good deal, and you do not have any plans on playing games with real-time ray tracing or at least take advantage of the AI features like DLSS; then you might want to put your money on the GTX 1080 Ti.

Latest pricing and availability of GeForce GTX 1080 Ti see on Amazon here

However, real-time ray tracing games and DLSS featured games are coming. The DLSS is what will really make the RTX 2080 go faster; as the real-time ray tracing comes with a huge performance penalty just to render those very nice and realistic lighting and reflections. If you are planning to play and experience real-time ray tracing games in the near future and you want to take advantage of the DLSS feature; you definitely need to get an RTX 2080 for that.

Latest pricing and availability of GeForce RTX 2080 see on Amazon here

Personally, I’ll go with the RTX 2080. If I have the money, I’ll go with the RTX 2080 Ti since I am already using a 4K monitor. DLSS sounds like a really cool feature and I’m looking forward to it as more and more game developers implement this feature on their game. As for real-time ray tracing, yes it is a cool feature, like what we saw on the demos. I’m still pretty much excited about it as well. Too bad it’s not as easy to implement compared to DLSS.

So what do you think guys? Between the RTX 2080 vs GTX 1080 Ti, which one will you get or which one is your bet? Let me know in the comment’s section below. And please do share this article with your friends if you find it useful.

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