Demand for new generation Nvidia graphics cards is to be expected, but Nvidia’s newest flagship graphics cards boasting Turing GPU architecture may actually deserve the hype. They're known as the 20-series, and the most powerful is the Geforce RTX 2080 Ti. Here's what we know about these graphics cards, so far, and information on where you can buy them. While the 2080 Ti is available now (you're limited to two orders per customer), you can pre-order the 2080 now and it'll be shipped later in the year. There's no firm release date for the 2070 card.
It's worth noting that with the more powerful 2080 Ti now available to buy, and the collapse of certain Crypto currencies, the lower-spec (but still monstrous) 10-series cards will drop in price. Grabbing a 1080 Ti, for example, was a costly experience 3-6 months ago, but they're now more affordable. Sure, you miss out on the Turning-specific features listed below, but you could easily grab a bargain. Here is our guide to the best graphics cards for PC gaming. And below is our look at all we know about the 20-series.
Nvidia GeForce 2080 Ti performance
Claiming a revolution in gaming realism and performance, the new series of Nvidia consumer-level graphics cards are equipped with AI-enhanced graphics. Unlike previous generations, the GeForce RTX platform is capable of combining the power of real-time ray tracing and programmable shading under AI control - resulting in a highly efficient and intelligent technology. So much so, that Nvidia was forced to create an entirely new performance metric (RTX-OPS) to specifically measure workloads that use ray tracing and machine learning AI; older architectures just can’t compare to the new generation of graphics card technology.
The 20-series cards, especially the Founder’s Editions which have a 90MHz higher boost clock, all promise to deliver a noticeable improvement in experience thanks to the Turing GPU. The advanced architecture combined with the Samsung GDDR6 memory is being hailed as a major leap forward in technology designed for the premium PC consumer.
You may have never heard of ray tracing, but you have certainly seen it in action. Ray tracing is a rendering technique that has been used in movies for years to give a photo-realistic quality to lavish digital effects, helping to blur the lines between reality and after-effects. But ray tracing has been difficult to apply in real-time applications like video games, because incredibly realistic images come at an incredibly high computing cost. Video games employ some clever tricks to create realistic graphics, but players have been mostly limited to the effects of rasterization. While rasterization techniques can be quite good, they simply don’t compare to what ray tracing can offer.
With ray tracing built in to every one of the latest the latest generation of NVIDIA graphics cards, the real leap forward is that they have established this technology as a PC computing standard.
Programmable shaders are also a critical reason why the new NVIDIA graphics cards are set to outperform their predecessors. The new mesh shaders and ‘meshlets’ allow for ultra efficient level-of-detail techniques and procedural generation, backed by the fluidity of ray tracing and a powerful memory. Some of this RTX-based shadow shading can be seen in Shadow of the Tomb Raider.
Combined with the incredibly fast Samsung GDDR6, some say the world’s FASTEST memory, the Turing GPU is designed to easily handle video game settings and frame rates cranked to the max. For most consumers, this will be the most notable impact of the new 20-series graphics cards , which should have no trouble pushing 60fps at 4K. For comparison, the GeForce RTX 2080 is estimated to be about 50 percent faster than the GTX 1080 and, with an impressive performance benchmark now leaked, the allure of a visually flawless gaming experience seems justify the admittedly hefty pricing.
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- You'll need one of the best gaming monitors too, to show off all that 4K
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti graphics card
Simply, the most powerful consumer graphics card in the world
Architecture: Turing GPU Architecture | Memory: 11 GB GDDR6 | Maximum resolution: 7680 x 4320 (60 Hz) | Dimensions: 114 x 269 x 42 mm (H x W x D)
You can buy the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti right now, and if you look VERY hard you may still be able to track down a Founder's Edition card, which offers slightly improved performance over the standard model. Right now you should expect to pay at least $1100 for a 2080 Ti, with upwards of $1200 for a Founders Edition. In the UK, you'd be lucky to find one for less than £1000. What you're getting over the regular 2080 is 11GB of GDDR6 instead of 8GB, which will make a difference for high-end games in the next couple of years. Right now, you probably don't strictly need a Ti, but... if you're looking to future-proof your PC build for a good few years, it's definitely the one to buy. Keep in mind that, realistically, you'll need a PSU that can handle 650W if you want to install this one.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 graphics card
Incredible performance at a high price
Architecture: Turing GPU Architecture | Memory: 8GB GDDR6 | Maximum resolution: 7680 x 4320 | Dimensions: 115 x 266 x 42 mm (H x W x D)
So, perhaps you just can't afford a 2080 Ti? That's understandable - there is easily a $200-400 difference in price, depending on how lucky you are finding a good deal. What you're getting with the regular 2080 is still an insanely powerful graphics card, which will last you for many years if you're looking to run the biggest PC games at a steady 4K, 60fps. What you're getting is slightly less GDDR6, so you're only treated to 8GB with this model. How much of a difference that makes... is debatable at this point. And it's worth noting that this model is only currently available for pre-order, and is likely to release later in 2018.
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