The top-end graphics card market is ruled by NVIDIA’s RTX 2080 series, namely the 2080 Ti and the 2080 Super. However, the last-gen flagship, the GTX 1080 Ti isn’t that far behind. In fact, when I last checked it was even faster than the RTX 2080 in certain titles.
While officially the GTX 1080 Ti has been retired, you can still find some relatively new, second-hand parts online for as low as $400. As for the RTX 2080 Ti, it retails for a whopping $1,000+. The 2080 Super on the other hand, despite being just about ~15% slower is priced at $699. In this post, we compare the three most powerful graphics cards on the planet and see which is worth your cash.
NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti vs RTX 2080 Super vs GTX 1080 Ti: Specs
|GTX 1080 Ti||RTX 2080 Ti||RTX 2080 Super|
|Process||16nm||12nm FFN||12nm FFN|
|Memory||11GB GDDR5X||11GB GDDR6||8GB GDDR6|
On paper, the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti has a notable advantage over the RTX 2080 Super both in terms of shaders as well as memory size. The architectural superiority of Turing should easily bridge that gap though. Then there’s the RTX 2080 Ti. Based on the 12nm FinFet node, it has even more cores than the 1080 Ti and also comes with much faster GDDR6 memory. This results in a massive bandwidth of 616GB/s. The other two cards pale in comparison with a sub-500GB/s bandwidth.
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X (read the review here)
- Motherboard: ASRock Taichi X570
- Memory: Trident Z Royal 16GB @ 3600MHz
- PSU: Corsair HX1000i
- HDD: WD Black 4TB
NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti vs RTX 2080 Super vs GTX 1080 Ti: Gaming Benchmarks
All titles have been tested at 4K Ultra unless mentioned otherwise
Across seven modern titles, the RTX 2080 Ti is 20% faster than the RTX 2080 Super on average. The GTX 1080 Ti trots behind just a few percent. It is worth noting that in NVIDIA sponsored DirectX12 titles, the RTX 2070 and is almost on par with the GTX 1080 Ti but in Ashes, (an AMD sponsored game) that gap suddenly widens.
The same trend occurs when you compare the 1080 Ti to the 2080 Super, except it’s the other way around. In games like The Division 2 and Metro, there’s a rather sizeable delta between the two cards but in others (neutral titles), it’s much smaller. And then in Ashes, it becomes almost negligible.
Normally, I’d say that it’s the result of Async Compute and some other DX12 technologies being better utilized by the Turing cards but then why is Ashes showing a different result. It’s most likely because NVIDIA has deliberately limited DirectX 12 optimizations to the RTX 20 series cards and Ashes being an AMD partner title, the same couldn’t be achieved.
Only the Turing cards support real-time ray-tracing, so this benchmark is limited to three GPUs. Here the RTX 2070 Super and the 2080 Super perform almost identically while the 2080 Ti is ahead by a good >20%. This is one of the main advantages of the latter: 50+ FPS in RTX titles at 40K. The 2070 and 2080 Super barely cross 40.
Conclusion: Law of Diminishing Returns?
Looking at the price per frame, it’s clear that as you climb the GPU hierarchy, the value for money aspect goes down the drain. In the sub-$500 markets, both the RTX 2070 Super and the RX 5700 XT are quite competitive, with a PPF value of around $10. Moving to the 2080 Super (which is just 5 FPS or 10% faster at 4K), that goes up to $14 per frame. The 2080 Ti, on the other hand, delivers each frame for $16. If the latter were priced the same as the former, then perhaps it could have been somewhat justified as the result of diminishing returns. However, at $1,000+, unless you’ve got a money-minting press somewhere in your attic, the 2080 Ti is more than a little hard to recommend.