NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Founders Edition Review – RTX Off and DLSS Disabled For Now

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GeForce RTX 2080 Pricing and Availability

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Founders Edition is now available to order from NVIDIA’s site. The Founders Edition has an MSRP of $799 and comes with a 3-year standard warranty. Non-Founders Edition or reference cards from AIB partners are said to be priced starting at $699. But since most of the partner cards feature custom cooler design, expect prices to be similar or even higher than the Founders Edition. You can check out the latest pricing and availability of the GeForce RTX 2080 graphics cards below.

GeForce RTX 2080 latest pricing and availability:
For US: Available at Amazon.com here
For Canada: available at Amazon CA here
For UK: available at Amazon UK here

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Founders Edition Review: Conclusion

There you have it, now that we have reviewed both the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition, we have a better picture about their respective performance and their current standing. I’m sure many of you were quite disappointed when NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang didn’t present any performance numbers comparing the new RTX 20 series graphics card with the previous GTX 10 series graphics card. Instead, Jensen focused more on the features that these new cards would bring. Features like real-time ray tracing, AI, Deep Learning Super-Sampling, and many more. These are new features that are not available and will not be available on any current competing graphics card in the market and even on NVIDIA’s previous generation graphics cards.

While I don’t think there is anything wrong with his presentation, and I think he should focus on the new features because NVIDIA is bringing something really new on the table and not just more performance or more frames per second. I’m all for visual improvement and I hope that one day we will be able to play games with visual effects and graphics fidelity similar to what we see on a game’s cutscene movie (think Blizzard’s Diablo or StarCraft’s or Final Fantasy cutscenes).

Real time ray tracing is just a small step, but it is forward thinking. I think this (Turing and all its features) has to happen, otherwise we would be stuck playing games with old visual tricks to fool our eyes. While real-time ray tracing is not as easy to implement and still a very much new feature, DLSS is the killer feature on new RTX graphics card, thanks to the Tensor Cores. This is much easier to implement for game developers compared to real-time ray tracing; and it would bring the performance of these new RTX graphics cards to the next level.
It’s just unfortunate and disappointing to see that there are no real-time ray tracing and/or DLSS enabled games available at the time these new RTX 2080 Ti and RTX 2080 are released. But we will test and review the performance of these graphics cards again once real-time ray tracing and DLSS features are rolled out.

In terms of looks and aesthetics of the RTX 2080 Founders Edition, I like the almost all-metal cooler shroud that wraps around the entire PCB. The cooling performance the new full-length vapor chamber combined with two 13-blade axial fans is quite impressive as well. It’s definitely more silent and more effective compared to the previous blower type design; resulting in a more stable and higher sustained boost clock speeds. Speaking of boost clock speeds, NVIDIA also introduced GPU Boost 4.0, giving users more control when it comes to overclocking these new RTX graphics cards. We’ll post a separate article or guide for overclocking these new cards.

As for the performance, in my tests, I see around 20%+ up to 40%+ increase in gaming performance when the RTX 2080 Founders Edition is compared to a GTX 1080 (Zotac Mini variant). That’s actually not bad at all. The Founders Edition comes with a retail price of $800 USD, and I bet most custom cooled RTX 2080 from AIB partners will also be priced at $800 USD despite that $700 is the starting price. You can probably get an RTX 2080 at $700, but it’s going to be a blower type cooler with no bling. The most expensive or higher priced GTX 1080 I could find is around $600 USD, while the cheaper ones are priced at around $500 USD. $500-$600 USD to $700-$800 USD is roughly 33% to 40% increase; that’s also the performance increase you get from a GTX 1080 to an RTX 2080.

The GTX 1080 isn’t the problem here, in fact I would recommend that you get a GTX 1070 Ti and overclock it instead of a GTX 1080, since the GTX 1070 Ti has the better value between the two. The problem here is the GTX 1080 Ti. In my tests, you can see that the GTX 1080 Ti AMP Edition, or probably any factory overclocked GTX 1080 Ti, performs on par with the RTX 2080. Sometimes the RTX 2080 would take a lead but by a very small margin, almost negligible. Current, the most expensive GTX 1080 Ti I could find is the EVGA GTX 1080 Ti FTW3, a really good card, and it retails for around $820 to $850, depending on where you buy it. Most GTX 1080 Ti in the market currently starts at $700 USD. Price is also somewhat on par with the RTX 2080 (if you can find an RTX 2080 at MSRP). This leaves potential buyers a wild question, should you get a cheaper GTX 1080 Ti or the brand new RTX 2080? It’s not a very difficult question to answer and it somehow depends on your setup.

The way I look at it, the GTX 1080 Ti is still a very capable graphics card. You can play games from 1080p (high refresh) up to 1440p, and even on 4K provided that you sacrifice some graphics fidelity to achieve an average of 60 fps in 4K. If ever you spot a really good deal on a GTX 1080 Ti and you don’t care on any of those real-time ray tracing features and DLSS, then it might be good for you to get a GTX 1080 Ti instead.

However, the new GeForce RTX 2080 has a feature that isn’t available in the previous GTX 10 series graphics card. Aside from real-time ray tracing, it has DLSS or Deep Learning Super-Sampling. This would push the performance of the RTX 2080 further and expect that the performance difference between an RTX 2080 and GTX 1080 Ti on a DLSS-supported game would widen. If you plan to explore and try some real-time ray tracing-featured games and you plan to take advantage of the new technology such as DLSS, then the clear choice is the RTX 2080 (or RTX 2080 Ti).

Almost forgot to mention, if you have an HDR capable monitor, these new RTX 20 series cards are simply the way to go. There’s very little to no performance hit when using the RTX 2080 / RTX 2080 Ti cards with an HDR monitor. Unlike with the previous GTX 10 series cards, there is a performance hit.

Finally, while the GTX 1080 Ti may look more attractive compared to the RTX 2080; thanks to the almost same performance at a lower price, the GTX 1080 Ti isn’t built with features that the new RTX 2080 has. At some point in the near future, the performance gap between the two would only widen once DLSS is implemented. The RTX 2080 Ti has more raw power compared to the RTX 2080, but the huge $400 price difference (around 50% increase) is what makes the RTX 2080 Ti out of reach for most gamers. This makes the RTX 2080 a “more affordable” option compared to the RTX 2080 Ti, and could be a better option for you if you plan to experience real-time ray tracing and DLSS (very) soon. This review is somewhat incomplete since I wasn’t able to test the two main features of the RTX 20 series graphics card. But I’m more positive that it will only make the RTX 2080 better once they are rolled out.

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I love computers since I was a kid. I’m always fascinated with new technology, especially in the PC world. Many years ago, I was curious if the reviews I read were true and real. So, why not test them myself and share my first-hand experience? And thus, here we are. Thanks for reading!

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