Nvidia: RTX 2080 Offers 50 Percent Performance Boost Over GTX 1080

Nvidia releases benchmarks for the RTX 2080 card, which compare it the GTX 1080 amid doubts over whether the new product is really worth its $699 price.

Nvidia has finally released some benchmarks for one of its new RTX cards, but take them with a grain of salt.

According to Nvidia, the upcoming RTX 2080 card will, on average, offer a 50 percent performance gain over the older GTX 1080 model when running games at 4K.

The benchmarks are presented in the vendor-provided slide below, which tested the cards on 10 different games. The company didn't specify how it graded performance gains, but the dark green bars show that the RTX 2080's hardware can run a game 30 to 60 percent faster over the GTX 1080 card, depending on the title.

Nvidia RTX vs GTX benchmark

However, Nvidia claims the RTX model can offer an even higher performance boost when the GPUs' new "deep learning super-sampling," or DLSS, feature is turned on. This technology uses AI-powered algorithms to essentially help the graphics card better smooth out rendered objects in games.

According to the benchmarks, this DLSS feature (depicted by the bright green bars) can at least double the performance gains offered by the RTX 2080 card. However, only 16 newer games currently support DLSS, so you won't be able to rely on it for every title.

To further highlight the RTX 2080, Nvidia also released a slide showing that the card can run several popular existing games at 4K resolution, and still achieve 60 frames per second.

Nvidia RTX GTX Comparison

The company released the benchmarks on Wednesday amid doubts over whether the new RTX graphics cards are really worth the price. The RTX 2080, for instance, will start selling next month at $699. The other model, the RTX 2080 Ti, will go for a whopping $999.

It hasn't helped that Nvidia initially refrained from releasing traditional benchmarking data for both cards. Instead, the company has been talking up its new "ray tracing" technology inside the RTX graphics cards, which promise to add realistic-looking lighting and shadow effects to virtual environments.

Unfortunately, ray tracing has a limitation like DLSS: it only fully works if a game has been built to support it. So far, only 11 upcoming games have decided to adopt the ray-tracing technology, diminishing its selling point.

Nevertheless, Nvidia has been promising that the RTX cards can at the very least offer a two-times performance increase over the older GTX 10 series. This was somewhat supported by the company's benchmarks released today, but the data also underscores some caveats.

Stay tuned for our review of the cards, which arrive on Sept. 20.

About Michael Kan