NVIDIA's RTX cards are a gamble on the future of gaming – Engadget

NVIDIA’s RTX series of GPUs has been a long time coming. The company’s last meaningful hardware revision, the 10 series, came out back in May 2016. And real-time ray-tracing, the intensive rendering technique that RTX cards purportedly make a reality, has been dreamed about for decades. But, although it hasn’t dominated the headlines as much, the most important change RTX brings is the shift away from raw power and towards algorithms and AI.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself. First, let’s have a quick look at what exactly NVIDIA is trying to sell you. Next week, two cards, the $700 RTX 2080 and $1,000 RTX 2080 Ti, will be vying for your cash, followed in October by the RTX 2070, which at $500 is likely to be the best seller of the three.

Starting at the bottom, in terms of raw power, the RTX 2070 is roughly equivalent to the GTX 1080; the RTX 2080 goes toe to toe with the GTX 1080 Ti; the RTX 2080 Ti is in a league of its own. The 2070 and 2080 have 8GB of GDDR6 RAM; the 2080 Ti has 11GB. All three are based on the company’s new Turing architecture, which means they have cores dedicated to AI (Tensor) and ray-tracing (RT).

GTX 2080 Ti GTX 2080 GTX 2070 CUDA cores 4,352 2,944 2,304 Tensor cores 544 368 288 RT cores 68 46 36 Memory 11GB GDDR6 8GB GDDR6 8GB GDDR6 Memory bandwidth (GB/sec) 616 448 448 TFLOPS 13.4* 10* 7.5* Price $999* $699* $499* *The 2080 Ti Founders Edition costs $200 more, the 2070 and 2080

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