Sound Testing, Pricing, and Availability

In moving from a blower-style cooler to a dual axial design, sound is an essential consideration with these new Founders Edition GPUs.

With this new cooler design, the RTX 2080 can produce similar performance levels (at similar power requirements) than the GTX 1080 Ti, at a sound level of 3 dBA lower, a noticeable difference.

Similarly, the RTX 2080 Ti provides substantially higher performance levels while staying 1 dBA quieter than the GTX 1080 Ti with the blower-style Founders Edition cooler.

Pricing and Availability

With a launch date of tomorrow, September 20th, the RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti Founders Editions will be available for $799 and $1199 respectively.

While NVIDIA announced the RTX 2080 as having a starting price of $699 and the RTX 2080 Ti starting at $1000, we have yet to see any third-party cards come close to this pricing, with most products matching the pricing structure of NVIDIA's Founders Edition.

Do note that while we expect partner RTX 2080 Ti cards to be available tomorrow, there has been some news about the Founders Editions products being pushed back a few days, with preorders arriving "between September 20th and September 27th."

Overall, the RTX 20-series launch is a bit conflicting. While we see massive performance gains of 30-40% for the RTX 2080 Ti when comparing it to NVIDIA's previous flagship GTX 1080 Ti card, the RTX 2080 is a different story.

Struggling in most scenarios to beat the GTX 1080 Ti (and failing in some cases), the RTX 2080 doesn't provide the same sort of performance leap we saw coming from the GTX 980 Ti to the GTX 1080. We had previously measured a roughly 20% performance increase going from the previous generation Ti product to the mainstream "80" GPU with the 900-series to 1000-series transition, but now we have to move to the 2080 Ti to see that same sort of performance increase within the RTX lineup. This very well could explain why NVIDIA decided to lead with their RTX 2080 Ti this time, instead of waiting the traditional 6-9 months.

Even worse, the RTX 2080 Founders Edition combines this similar level of performance with a $100 price hike in MSRP compared to the GTX 1080 Ti.

Some might say we are missing the point of the RTX 2080, namely the new deep learning and ray tracing features, but the fact remains that at this moment there is no software to take advantage of this new hardware capability.

Until we see substantial software adoption of features like DLSS and real-time ray tracing in PC games, or the GTX 1080 Ti disappears from the retail channel, it would be impossible for me to recommend the RTX 2080 over the GTX 1080 Ti.

NVIDIA is doing its best to push and promote upcoming gaming titles that will support these features. Here is the list as provided by NVIDIA, though the timing of these releases isn't quite known (might be with the game's launch or after it).

Games that will feature real-time ray tracing:

  • Assetto Corsa Competizione from Kunos Simulazioni/505 Games
  • Atomic Heart from Mundfish
  • Battlefield V from EA/DICE
  • Control from Remedy Entertainment/505 Games
  • Enlisted from Gaijin Entertainment/Darkflow Software
  • Justice from NetEase
  • JX3 from Kingsoft
  • MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries from Piranha Games
  • Metro Exodus from 4A Games
  • ProjectDH from Nexon’s devCAT Studio
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider from Square Enix/Eidos-Montréal/Crystal Dynamics/Nixxes

Games that will use DLSS:

  • Ark: Survival Evolved from Studio Wildcard
  • Atomic Heart from Mundfish
  • Darksiders III
  • Dauntless from Phoenix Labs
  • Deliver Us The Moon: Fortuna
  • Fear The Wolves
  • Final Fantasy XV from Square Enix
  • Fractured Lands from Unbroken Studios
  • Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
  • Hitman 2 from IO Interactive/Warner Bros.
  • Islands of Nyne from Define Human Studios
  • Justice from NetEase
  • JX3 from Kingsoft
  • Mechwarrior 5: Mercenaries from Piranha Games
  • Outpost Zero
  • Overkill's The Walking Dead
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds from PUBG Corp.
  • Remnant: From the Ashes from Arc Games
  • SCUM
  • Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass from Croteam/Devolver Digital
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider from Square Enix/Eidos-Montréal/Crystal Dynamics/Nixxes
  • Stormdivers
  • The Forge Arena from Freezing Raccoon Studios
  • We Happy Few from Compulsion Games / Gearbox

That is a hefty list, though even with that much support planned, we did not have any real-world gaming tests to evaluate either capability on day one.

These innovative new features increase the die size of the RTX GPUs, which in turn increase their cost to produce, but it's a difficult tradeoff to justify without knowing exactly what the software ecosystem will look like over the next 12-18 months.

NVIDIA's provided performance numbers show substantially higher performance gains for the RTX 2080 in titles with HDR-enabled, which we plan to test in the coming days, but that's mostly a moot point for today's consumer. With high-quality HDR displays for the desktop next to non-existent, or $2000, it would be difficult to base a purchasing decision on these panels, even if you are planning on keeping this GPU for 2-3 years.

For a release we've been waiting quite a bit for, the lack of a substantial performance increase in traditional gaming scenarios for the RTX 2080 is disappointing at best.

On the other hand, at $1200 the RTX 2080 Ti has great performance, but is a difficult sell to anyone but the most die-hard of PC gaming enthusiasts. It's not NVIDIA's first $1200 GPU (that honor goes to the GTX TITAN X), but this upward price trend is not something we like to see.

Still, for those gamers looking for the highest possible level of performance for application such 4K 144Hz and beyond, the RTX 2080 Ti is an excellent option.

The GPU market is in an interesting place right now. The experience we went through last year with months upon months of GPU shortages due to mining demand combined with a fear of upcoming product releases likely means there is a lot of pent-up demand from people who held off on buying a GTX 10-series products.

Combined with the relative lack of competition in the high-end GPU space, I'm sure these new RTX products will sell reasonably well, but personally, I think there's never been a better time to buy a GTX 10-series GPU on a discount, and enjoy your PC games.

For being the fastest available consumer graphics card, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti receives the PC Perspective Gold Award. While this GPU is quite pricey at it's $1200 price tag, the performance benefits over the RTX 2080, and previous GTX 10-series GPUs should provide an excellent PC gaming experience for years to come.

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