Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition Review: A Titan V Killer

Deep Learning Super-Sampling: Our First Taste of Quality and Performance

Before we get into the performance of GeForce RTX 2080 Ti across our benchmark suite, let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room: there are no games with real-time ray tracing to test. In fact, Windows 10 doesn’t even support this functionality yet unless you're in developer mode. Per Nvidia, “DirectX Ray Tracing and Windows ML will be made available to customers as part of the upcoming Windows 10 October 2018 Update.”

We do, however, have access to a demo of Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition with DLSS support. Details of the implementation are somewhat light, aside from a note that DLSS allows Turing-based GPUs to use half the number of input samples for rendering. The architecture’s Tensor cores fill in the rest to create a final image.

Nvidia says the demo runs at 4K and maximum graphics fidelity no matter what but doesn’t provide any way to see what the quality settings include. The HUD simply shows Resolution: 3840x2160, Graphics: Custom, and a score that increases as the demo runs.

Performance through the demo is most definitely improved by DLSS. The GeForce RTX 2080 Ti picks up a 39% speed-up with DLSS active compared to applying TAA at 4K. GeForce RTX 2080 is 37% faster with DLSS enabled. Otherwise, it’d be roughly as fast as a GeForce GTX 1080 Ti if both cards relied on TAA to combat aliasing artifacts.

Until DLSS really proves itself, we anticipate gamers distrusting the idea that input samples can be removed to save on rendering budget and then filled in using AI. We pored over the demo, running both versions over and over to identify any differences that stood out.

In the clip below, we make two observations. First, Noct’s textured shirt is affected by banding/shimmering due to DLSS. In the TAA version, his chest does not exhibit the same effect. Second, as Noct casts his fishing rod, there’s a pronounced ghosting artifact that remains on-screen with TAA active. DLSS does away with this entirely. Neither solution is perfect. Of course, we do like that DLSS adds hugely to the RTX cards’ performance results (a GeForce RTX 2080 Ti with DLSS is no less than 73% faster than a GeForce GTX 1080 Ti using TAA).

Final Fantasy XV DLSS Vs. TAA Comparison

Might the Final Fantasy’s DLSS implementation improve over time? According to Nvidia, the model for DLSS is trained on a set of data that eventually reaches a point where the quality of its inferred results flattens out. So, in a sense, the DLSS model does mature. But the company’s supercomputing cluster is constantly training with new data on new games, so improvements may roll out as time goes on. If there are areas that demonstrate an issue of some sort, the DLSS model can be reviewed and tweaked. This may involve providing additional “correct” data to train with.

More than anything, it’s good to get our hands on a DLSS-enabled demo we can scrutinize. As more DLSS-enabled titles become available, you can be sure we’ll spend time adjusting their anti-aliasing settings to compare performance and quality.

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156 comments
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  • A Stoner
    Conclusion, let them hold onto these card until they can lower the price to about $700
  • JimmiG
    Waste of time to write a review. "Just buy it".
  • pontiac1979
    "Waste of time to write a review. "Just buy it"."

    Oh yeah, god forbid Tom's does an in-depth review of the latest and greatest. Keyword greatest. If you desire 4K gaming and have the funds available, why wouldn't you?
  • max0x7ba
    Quit benchmarking Battlefield with DX12, it is unplayable.
  • ubercake
    I'm probably going to buy one... Though it's not my fault... I feel like the Russians are compelling me to do this by way of Facebook. I'm a victim in this whole Nvidia marketing scam. Don't judge.

    That being said, I like high-quality, high-speed graphics performance. This may also be influencing my decision.

    Great review!
  • AnimeMania
    How much of the performance increase is due to using GDDR6 memory? I know this makes the cards perform better the higher the resolution is, how does it effect other aspects of the video cards.
  • teknobug
    "Just buy it" they said...

    If you're in Canada, you might not want to pay the price of these.
  • chaosmassive
    While I appreciate this very detailed and nicely written review, its kinda redundant
    because I think Avram has already reviewed this card with his opinion on late august
    with the conclusion was "just buy it"
  • uglyduckling81
    JUST BUY IT!!!
  • wiyosaya
    SMH I don't understand the reasoning for comparing a $3k known non-gaming card with a $1.2k gaming card. Are there really gamers our there ignorant enough, other than those with deep pockets who want bragging rights, to purchase the $3K card for gaming when they know it is not meant for gaming? Or is this to differentiate Tom's from the other tech sites in order to inspire confidence in Tom's readers?

    Personally, I would have rather seen the 2080 Ti compared against 1080 Ti even if it Tom's comes to the same conclusions as the other tech web sites.

    The comparison in this article does not make me want to rush out and buy it because it is $1.8k cheaper than a non-gaming card. I really hate to say it, but with the premise of this review being somewhat along the lines of "lookie hereee kiddies. Heree's a gaming card for $1.2k that beets a $3k non-gaming card" turned this review into a TL;DR review for me.
  • NewbieGeek
    Too pricey for me now, maybe in a few months if prices go down. With the AI based anti aliasing, does the pc have to be connected to the internet for this to work or no? Do the Tensor cores handle all the AI stuff?
  • Crashman
    2776158 said:
    "Waste of time to write a review. "Just buy it"." Oh yeah, god forbid Tom's does an in-depth review of the latest and greatest. Keyword greatest. If you desire 4K gaming and have the funds available, why wouldn't you?

    We (people who use this stuff) should always appreciate the early adopters for shouldering much of the development cost for new products. I would personally not want to discourage them from helping us. So maybe I go 4k next year...all because they chose to go 4k today :)

    56305 said:
    SMH I don't understand the reasoning for comparing a $3k known non-gaming card with a $1.2k gaming card. Are there really gamers our there ignorant enough, other than those with deep pockets who want bragging rights, to purchase the $3K card for gaming when they know it is not meant for gaming? Or is this to differentiate Tom's from the other tech sites in order to inspire confidence in Tom's readers? Personally, I would have rather seen the 2080 Ti compared against 1080 Ti even if it Tom's comes to the same conclusions as the other tech web sites. The comparison in this article does not make me want to rush out and buy it because it is $1.8k cheaper than a non-gaming card. I really hate to say it, but with the premise of this review being somewhat along the lines of "lookie hereee kiddies. Heree's a gaming card for $1.2k that beets a $3k non-gaming card" turned this review into a TL;DR review for me.
    So this is a complaint about the title? Or would you have preferred both a change in title and the removal of the Titan V from the charts? I only ask this because the 1080 TI is also in the charts.

    I think this little quote sums up the reviewer's feelings nicely:
    "But we fancy ourselves advocates for enthusiasts, and we still can't recommend placing $1200 on the altar of progress to create an audience for game developers to target. If you choose to buy GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, do so for its performance today, not based on the potential of its halo feature. "
  • jimmysmitty
    56305 said:
    SMH I don't understand the reasoning for comparing a $3k known non-gaming card with a $1.2k gaming card. Are there really gamers our there ignorant enough, other than those with deep pockets who want bragging rights, to purchase the $3K card for gaming when they know it is not meant for gaming? Or is this to differentiate Tom's from the other tech sites in order to inspire confidence in Tom's readers? Personally, I would have rather seen the 2080 Ti compared against 1080 Ti even if it Tom's comes to the same conclusions as the other tech web sites. The comparison in this article does not make me want to rush out and buy it because it is $1.8k cheaper than a non-gaming card. I really hate to say it, but with the premise of this review being somewhat along the lines of "lookie hereee kiddies. Heree's a gaming card for $1.2k that beets a $3k non-gaming card" turned this review into a TL;DR review for me.


    https://www.originpc.com/landing/2017/nvidia-titan-v/

    Just because the GPU is not really geared towards gaming only doesn't mean people don't buy it for gaming. You can build a PC with it from most OEMs and plenty of people have bought it for a workstation and use it for both.

    Its interesting to compare it since the Titan V was the king of the hill for gaming even with the insane price tag and this just dethroned it. And the 1080 Ti was in there for plenty of comparison.

    2097118 said:
    Too pricey for me now, maybe in a few months if prices go down. With the AI based anti aliasing, does the pc have to be connected to the internet for this to work or no? Do the Tensor cores handle all the AI stuff?


    Tensor cores handle the DLSS and Ray Tracing. Not sure on the internet part.

    Chris, great review. I can tell a lot of work went into it.
  • Afrospinach
    2776158 said:
    "Waste of time to write a review. "Just buy it"." Oh yeah, god forbid Tom's does an in-depth review of the latest and greatest. Keyword greatest. If you desire 4K gaming and have the funds available, why wouldn't you?


    I think you must have missed the hooplah some people had over an opinion piece Tom's posted a couple of weeks ago.
  • Brian_R170
    Just can't get past the sticker shock and I'm obviously not alone. What percentage of gamers can actually afford the 2080 and 2080Ti? It sure looks like gaming at 4K will continue to be out of reach for the vast majority of gamers for at least another couple of years.
  • Crazyjay53
    If nvidia were smart ,they should add a card with RTX chip like sli pci to run with 1080ti ,if possible, just saying
  • jimmysmitty
    891249 said:
    2776158 said:
    "Waste of time to write a review. "Just buy it"." Oh yeah, god forbid Tom's does an in-depth review of the latest and greatest. Keyword greatest. If you desire 4K gaming and have the funds available, why wouldn't you?
    I think you must have missed the hooplah some people had over an opinion piece Tom's posted a couple of weeks ago.


    That was an opinion piece by the EiC. While I didn't like the article, I think Toms is better than those kinds of articles, it was the opinion of one man.

    Chris has never been in that group. He always does an in depth review with as much information as possible to make a proper assessment. This and the one he posted previously are the articles we needed not the others.

    The "Just Buy It" has no relevance to this article.
  • redgarl
    AdoredTV was bang on... the RTX 2080 is 5-8% over a 1080 TI. Way worth the extra 250$ huh... what a joke.

    Nvidia marketing schemes were as bad as ever.
  • rantoc
    Yeah, TAA is a blurry mess. Shame you didn't show a picture where there were real motion to show its true ugly face.
  • saunupe1911
    This is what I need...but this isn't what I can afford. I will stick with 2K Ultra Setting gaming on my 1070 or crank down a few settings for 4K until a 2080Ti can get at least below $1k
  • bloodroses
    It's a shame they didn't make the cooler shroud gold plated. It would match the insane asking price.

    I suppose if someone has already spent tons of money to have 4k resolution, $1200 probably isn't that much more for them to be able to achieve it. For the average consumer, the real excitement will probably happen once the 2060 and 2070 has been released.
  • redgarl
    In average, the 2080 TI is around 25-30% average faster than a 1080 TI... for double the cost...

    There is no bad products, only bad prices.
  • jdiaz1677
    a smart person would buy 2 1080 ti for the price of one 2080 ti and get much more performance
  • ubercake
    1069610 said:
    It's a shame they didn't make the cooler shroud gold plated. It would match the insane asking price. I suppose if someone has already spent tons of money to have 4k resolution, $1200 probably isn't that much more for them to be able to achieve it. For the average consumer, the real excitement will probably happen once the 2060 and 2070 has been released.

    The real excitement will take place if AMD can produce something close to the 2080 Ti in performance. Look at what the Ryzen processor did to Intel prices and product offerings!?

    For consumers, competition is king. Right now, there is none.