With the launch of NVIDIA’s Ampere graphics cards upon us, the PC gaming space is undoubtedly in for a major uplift, both in terms of frame rates as well as resolution. We might for the first time see graphics cards capable of running games at 4K 120 FPS, with the 1440p segment breaking the 240 FPS barrier. However, before we welcome the next-gen generation hardware, let’s take this chance to have a look at the capabilities of existing parts at 4K resolution, with all the settings cranked up to ultra. We’ll be testing the fastest three graphics cards, namely the RTX 2070 Super, RTX 2080 Super and the RTX 2080 Ti across 13 titles at the highest graphics preset. Let’s begin.
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
- Motherboard: ASRock X570 Taichi
- Memory: Trident Royal Z 8GB x 2 @ 3733 MT/s CL16
- PSU: Corsair HX1000i
- A shout out to CapFrameX for providing the benchmarking tool.
- 1 Percentile: Only 1% of the frames are lower than this figure.
- 0.1 Percentile: Only 0.1% of the frames are lower than this figure.
NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti vs RTX 2080 S vs RTX 2070 S: 4K Benchmarks
As you can see, the RTX 2080 Ti is the only graphics card able to hit 50 FPS on average across every game tested. Borderlands 3 is an exception, but there you just need to reduce the fog resolution which nets you an additional 30-35% FPS, pushing you well over 60 frames per sec on average. The RTX 2080 Super also comes very close, but certain demanding titles like The Division 2, Metro Exodus and Deus Ex pull it down to the 40-45 FPS mark.
You can, however, still achieve a stable 60 FPS gameplay by tuning down certain graphics options like Screen-Space Reflections and/or Dynamic Shadows. Lastly, we have the RTX 2070 Super which chokes pretty hard, falling below 40 FPS in several games which is the lower limit for me. If a GPU can’t hit at least 40 FPS on average at ultra, it won’t deliver a reasonably smoother gameplay unless you turn down multiple graphics options. This may still work for some people, but not for me.
Next, have a look at the frame rate charts of two of the most taxing games, namely Borderlands 3 and Metro Exodus. In Metro Exodus, the RTX 2080 Ti stays above the 60 FPS mark for the first half of the benchmark, with a drop to the 50s and even 40s towards the end. The RTX 2080 Super are 10 and 15 FPS slower on average, but both deliver playable experiences at the very least.
Borderlands 3, even with the volumetric fog maxed out delivers a consistent 45-50 FPS at 4K on the RTX 2080 Ti. The RTX 2080 Super stays in the early 40s while the 2070 Super manages to stay just above the 30 FPS mark. Once again, as you can see, the RTX 2080 Ti is the only card that manages to deliver buttery-smooth frame rates without dropping the settings. The 2080 S can do the same, albeit with some minor tweaking.
As you can see, the RTX 2080 Ti is a pretty solid 4K card. Sure, the frame rates do drop below 50 during certain scenes but the overall experience is quite satisfying. The RTX 2080 Super is around 15-20% slower, but costs nearly half as much. Considering the price-performance ratio, it is a much better value for 4K gaming. The RTX 2070 Super, on the other hand, is best suited for 1440p gaming, with 4K 30 FPS not out of the question.
As for what the future holds, if we get an RTX 3080 or a Big Navi that is 30-40% faster than the RTX 2080 Super, all the while costing the same (or nearly the same), that would be a healthy generational upgrade in my opinion. With a 50-60% additional processing power, the RTX 3090/3080 Ti may even be good for 4K 75-120Hz gaming. Of course, considering the present scenario, both GPUs will likely cost well above $1,000, significantly limiting the target audience.