Nvidia has introduced the gaming graphics cards Geforce RTX 2080 Ti, 2080 and 2070. They offer real-time raytracing from 639 euros. Nvidia provide a list of all raytracing games.
The Geforce RTX series offers a new cooler in the Founders Edition with the RTX instead of GTX lettering. Pictured: Geforce RTX 2080 Ti.
We summarise the most important information about the release and prices of the new Nvidia graphics cards Geforce GTX 2080 Ti, 2080 and 2070. The co-founder of Nvidia, Jen-Hsun Huang, introduced the GPUs of the Turing generation on Monday evening in Cologne, Germany, just one day before Gamescom 2018. The gaming graphics cards are coming on 20th September 2018 and have been available for pre-order since the unveiling of the cards.
The first models are being introduced to the market directly from Nvidia as “Founders Editions”, just as with Pascal. The unique feature of these compared to the previous generation is that it has a new cooling system with two axial fans instead of one radial fan. This should be very quiet under load. Users will need to wait a little longer for custom graphics cards. These are already available at the typical IT stores, but there is still no information on availability.
Nvidia’s prices for the Geforce GTX series are very high for a new graphics card generation – more expensive than the previous generation in 2016, where the Nvidia Geforce GTX 1070 and 1080 already costed 499-799 dollars. The latter price tag grabbed the Geforce 1080 Ti about a year later, at the same time, the prices for the smaller variants were to fall. This time, three performance classes for the high-end gaming sector will be released on 20th September. The prices for the German market are:
- Geforce RTX 2070: 599 dollars
- Geforce RTX 2080: 799 dollars
- Geforce RTX 2080 Ti: 1199 dollars
The Geforce RTX 2070 is already sold out on www.nvidia.com. Nvidia only allows customers to order a maximum of two graphics cards and one “NVLink” bridge per customer. The plug-in connector for multiple graphics cards costs 79.99 dollars. By the way, with Pascal you need HB Bridges (High Bandwidth) which cost about 45 dollars. Before then, simple SLI cables were fine, as they attached to the motherboard case.
The prices for the RTX graphics cards are steep for long-time, constantly upgrading PC gamers. Nvidia promises that with real-time raytracing, they will receive nothing less than graphics which, according to Huang, would only be possible in about 10 years, based on Moore’s law. Nvidia comes to this conclusion after looking at the amount of data which needs to be processed for raytracing to work (which is in the petabyte range).
Real-time raytracing: a 10-year graphics jump
The CEO of Nvidia began the Geforce Gaming Celebration Event with a big theory part. Initially, it began with somewhat impressive viewing material and later on had scenes and trailers of upcoming games. The graphics cards were introduced at the end. The Geforce RTX series chip consists of real-time kernels and tensor cores for deep learning, which were introduced with the Volta generation (Geforce Titan V). These chip components help the graphics calculation with AI functions.
As opposed to the previous ‘rasterisation’, light rays are transmitted by the viewer into an environment that is physically predetermined by the designer. If the light beam hits an obstacle, the raytracing-enabled chip checks which light sources are present, whether it is in the shadow of other objects, how the impinging light must behave physically correctly on the surface of the obstacle (such as metal, wood and more), what kind of reflections exist and in turn emit light, and more. In With deep learning, the card then corrects the picture as needed and sends it to the output device.
To quantify the performance of this RTX kernel, Nvidia uses the scale of gigarays per second. The three turing chips Geforce RTX 2080 Ti, 2080 and 2070 uses 10, 8 and 6 gigarays per second, meaning that they send out 10, 8 or 6 billion light beams per second and calculate how every visible pixel must look to be physically correct. Along with this, depending on the card there are also 4,352, 2,944 and 2,304 shader cores used for classic 3D calculations.
One of the main advantages of raytracing lies in the significantly simplified development and the design of games graphics. Designers define a scene and assign various properties for the elements they contain – such as, game characters, vehicles, landscapes, isolated vegetation and much more. The developers use a light source – like the sun – and the illumination of the entire scene is akin to reality thanks to AI. Developers no longer have to, for example, work with rigid light cores as their source or fiddle with indirect lighting with “invisible” light sources in order to illuminate areas hidden in shadows to make them lifelike. This reduces expenses immensely – and at the same time provides a much more coherent picture in game.
RTX technology uses DirectX raytracing, so Microsoft’s Windows 10 offers full support, as well as some game manufacturers and other companies. Aside from its raytracing features, Nvidia also promises that the Geforce RTX 20xx cards are the first to show blockbuster games in 4k with 60 fps and HDR.
Geforce RTX: The technical data
Is it worth buying the Geforce RTX 2070, 2080 or 2080 Ti?
This question is actually easy to answer at this point: if you want to use real-time raytracing effects with high frame rates as soon as possible, there is probably no other way you will get it. RTX support has already been announced for a few but relevant games.
Among them are Battlefield 5 and Shadow of the Tomb Raider, which Nvidia presented with demos and/or trailers. The RTX cards are (according to Nvidia) up to six times faster with raytracing games than the Geforce 1080 Ti, which does, however, come without the AI-supported RT kernel. The new cards, according to Blog, play conventional games twice as fast. This however remains to be seen.
Along with upcoming blockbusters, Unreal Engine 4 will also offer support for raytracing. Titles such as Fortnite need it, but we are yet to hear information about an RTX patch for the battle royale shooter. Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), as well as a few other games, are still getting support for Nvidia’s Deep Learning-based Super Sampling (DLSS), which raises the resolution with AI and gives a sharper picture. The full list can be found later in the article.
For game developers, real-time raytracing is considered the holy grail of computer graphics. It is still too early to say how widespread it will be used. After all, AMD and therefore the rumoured manufacturer had to make sure their technology was compatible with Playstation 5 and Xbox One 2, so that developers could focus their efforts on raytracing. If technology is not an issue for the upcoming console generation, then real-time raytracing in games will not have it easy.
The current performance in classic rasterisation-based games is more interesting. It is yet to be seen whether the Geforce RTX range is capable of special performance jumps by a factor of 2 – as Nvidia claims. If you can be patient, it would not be a bad idea to wait until raytracing technology is more widely used in games. However, you should at least wait for independent tests and consider the points raised, such as the “rasterisation performance”, before you decide to buy it.
Raytracing games and DLSS games
Nvidia has made the following list of games which use real-time raytracing. Depending on the title, support may come in later patches. This is also the case for the second list of games, which use AI-based super sampling.
- Assetto Corsa Competizione
- Atomic Heart
- Battlefield 5
- MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries
- Metro Exodus
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider
The following games use DLSS:
- Ark: Survival Evolved
- Atomic Heart
- Final Fantasy XV
- Fractured Lands
- Hitman 2
- Islands of Nyne
- Mechwarrior 5: Mercenaries
- Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds
- Remnant: From the Ashes
- Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider
- The Forge ArenaWe Happy Few
Geforce RTX: complete event and game trailers available to stream
The complete Nvidia presentation from Monday evening is viewable on Ustream. Below, we show you the trailers for Battlefield 5 and Shadow of the Tomb Raider. In the former video, there are reflections in the foreground, whereas in Shadow of the Tomb Raider they are, fittingly, in the shadows. More trailers from the Nvidia event can be found on their official YouTube channel, Nvidia Geforce.
Battlefield V: Official GeForce RTX Trailer