Since the official launch, many have been wondering if the real-time Ray Tracing feature of the newly announced Turing GPU architecture powered GeForce RTX 20 series cards is worth the upgrade. As of now, existing games that actually supports the real-time Ray Tracing feature are still very limited and it will only be available in the upcoming Windows 10 October 2018 Update.
While we wait for the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, let’s have a look at the raw performance of the Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2080 Gaming OC 8G we have here against its predecessor, the GeForce GTX 1080.
|GeForce RTX 2080
|1815 MHz – Gaming Mode
1830 MHz – OC Mode
1710 Mhz – Reference Card
|Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec)
|PCI-E 3.0 x 16
|Digital max resolution
|650W ( With One 8-Pin and One 6-Pin EXTERNAL POWER CONNECTOR)
|DisplayPort 1.4 x3, HDMI 2.0b x1, USB Type-C ™ (support VirtualLink™) x1
|2-way NVIDIA NVLINK™
Starting off with the box, we can see the highlighted features of the graphics card itself i.e the RGB fusion, Windforce fan design, factory overclocked and the slightly extended warranty period of 4 years.
Brand’s proprietary features aside, you’ll find these extras – especially for the GDDR6 and Ray Tracing, which is the new features of the RTX 20 series cards and the supposed game changer.
More details of the highlighted features can be found at the back of the box, such as the RGB lighting, Windforce cooling fan and heatsink design.
The content of the box is rather simple in our opinion – a drivers CD, user’s guide, product registration guide for that whopping 4 years worth of warranty and the Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2080 Gaming OC 8G.
The Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2080 GAMING OC 8G
Since all of the early releases are based on the reference PCB, you won’t be seeing any extra fancy design from the rest of the AIB partners. The RTX 2080 Gaming OC 8G here comes with a triple fan cooler that is equipped with a middle fan that spins in a reversed direction, or alternate spinning to achieve smoother airflow for better cooling performance.
From the side, you can see that the card is packed with a rather thick cooler with 3 segment of Aluminum fins, which makes it a 2.5 slot design as a whole. The cooling performance seems to be pretty promising at this point, especially with its heat pipe that is direct in contact with the GPU die. Though, SFF build enthusiasts might need to watch out for that extra clearance required for certain SFF chassis.
To power up the Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2080 Gaming OC 8G, you’ll need a 6-pin and 8-pin PCIe power connector. It’s no surprise for the power requirement, as it’s pulling around 250W at its peak performance.
At the back of the card, you’ll get a full cover metal backplate that helps to enhance the overall rigidity of the card. It’s not the best looking backplate around, but since it’s using NVIDIA’s reference PCB, you can swap it with one that comes with a custom water block if you’re planning on a custom water cooling setup.
And here’s the new NVLink fingers for multi-GPU setup, which requires NVLink bridge to enable this feature.
For the output, you’ll have the new type-C connection for the next generation VR headset, as well as the usual 3 x DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI 2.0b.
Test System Setup
For our games benchmark test, we’ve selected a number of AAA titles to run at its highest possible settings using the following setup under ambient temperature of 31°C:
|Intel Core i7 8700K @5GHz
|ASUS ROG Maximus X Apex
|G.Skill TridentZ RGB 16GB @3200MHz
|Gigabyte RTX 2080 Gaming OC 8G
|Cooler Master V1200
|Apacer Panther S340
|WD Black 6TB
|Raijintek Orcus 240
|Cooler Master Test Bench V1
The test is done separately for games that support both DirectX 11 and DirectX 12 at the resolution of 1920×1080, 2560×1440 and 3840×2160 using the RTX 2080 against its predecessor, the GTX 1080.
On side note, we did noticed that the beta driver provided by NVIDIA is performing better than the latest WHQL driver from GeForce Experience, but we’ll be using the WHQL driver just to see how well with both card perform.
Games Benchmark – DirectX 11
While majority of the games is in favor to the RTX 2080 on 1080p, we’ve noticed that there are games that doesn’t really performs well i.e Assassin’s Creed: Origins, HITMAN and Watch Dogs 2.
The numbers gets more favorable to the RTX 2080 as we shift the test to a higher resolution (1440p), but to our surprise, Tom Clancy’s The Division is the only one that performs 12.5% better on the GTX 1080 than the RTX 2080.
For our 4K benchmark, we run the games at its highest settings with anti-aliasing have been disabled. Based on the numbers, we can see that the RTX 2080 is leading the game at this resolution, but the performance gap isn’t that much for most of the games as of now.
Games Benchmark – DirectX 12
Moving on to the DirectX 12 benchmark, we have a few selected titles on hand to see how well the RTX 2080 does against the GTX 1080. At 1080p, the RTX 2080 is taking the lead on most of the AAA titles here by at least 13.3%. The only exception here is HITMAN, where the GTX 1080 outperforms the RTX 2080 by 12.35%.
Shifting our test to 1440p, we still have the RTX 2080 performing better than the GTX 1080 on majority of the selected titles. While we now have better results on HITMAN, Tom Clancy’s The Division now performs better on the GTX 1080 by the margin of 8.33%, similar to the result we have on the DirectX 11 test.
Unlike the result we have on DirectX 11, the performance difference on 4K resolution is much more significant with DirectX 12 enabled for the selected titles. With Tom Clancy’s The Division being the only exception, the RTX 2080 performs much better than the GTX 1080 by at least 28.8% on the rest of the selected titles.
As of now, we can’t really gauge what the RTX 2080 is truly capable of with just the raw performance alone. Without the DirectX Ray Tracing and Machine Learning add-on from the yet to be released Microsoft Windows 10 October 2018 update, there’s no way for anyone to actually see the actual implementation of real-time ray tracing, DLSS, mesh shading or variable rate shading and its impact to the overall performance.
Without the features from the big RTX package, all we can do now is to compare the current generation RTX 20 series cards against the previous generation GTX 10 series cards. For our test case here, it’s the RTX 2080 going up against the GTX 1080. Again, we did mentioned that the beta driver provided by NVIDIA does seems to allow the cards to perform slightly better than the WQHL driver update from GeForce Experience, but that doesn’t really closes much of the performance gap between these two cards. While you can really argue that the performance difference isn’t that great, but if you were to look at the result for the 4K benchmark, the numbers from the RTX 2080 is probably a good starting point for 4K resolution gaming to actually go mainstream.
Price wise, it’s still too early for anyone to say if the RM3,999 is justifiable without involving any of the RTX features. Other than just waiting for the arrival of the Microsoft Windows 10 October 2018 update, we’ll still have to wait for the upcoming RTX enabled games and game developers for existing games which will be adopting the RTX features. Features such as DLSS would require the game developers to provide NVIDIA with all the data that is necessary for the training with NVIDIA NGX. Not to mention that it will definitely take quite some time for training process to acquire a fully optimized and usable AI model, which can vary by games. And let’s not forget about the ongoing optimizations and driver update, since the RTX 2080 is still new.
So is the RTX 2080 a worthy upgrade? Well, not for those who aren’t really into fancy graphics, but it will be, eventually – when more game developers adopt any of the RTX features for their games.