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Nvidia RTX 2080 vs 2080 Ti
Now that video card prices are returning to their MSRP levels, it’s an excellent time to upgrade your system.
If you’re a serious gamer, then you’re likely growing tired of 1080p, so why not take the plunge into 1440p or 4K next?
When you get to these resolutions, something like a GTX 1060 simply won’t cut it anymore. That’s where Nvidia’s new RTX series is the perfect place to go.
While some of the more affordable RTX cards are simple GPUs ideal for 1080p at 60 fps with ray tracing functionality. Some of them are far more powerful than that.
When you get to the high end of the RTX lineup of cards, you’ll come across two models that are similarly named: the RTX 2080 and the RTX 2080 Ti. (We have a found a guide on the best 2080 Ti card here)
If you’re an Nvidia user, then you’re likely aware of what that added “Ti” means. But if you’re coming over from AMD or if you’re new to gaming, it designates a more powerful model.
Similarities Between the Two Cards
These two cards are similar in more than just name. So, let’s start by discussing how they are alike.
Both of these cards feature Nvidia’s new Turing architecture, which was designed to support ray tracing and DLSS, which stands for Deep Learning Super Sampling.
In addition, the RTX series heralds a new generation of GPUs, but many believe that these cards have arrived too early.
Like many early adopters, people who have purchased these cards have found that they couldn’t take full advantage of their immense capabilities simply because no games supported them.
Up until recently, you were better off sticking with Pascal architecture. But as things move forward, the RTX series is finally starting to shine.
Both the 2080 and the 2080 Ti use the new Turing architecture so you will be able take advantage of this new technology.
Another similarity between both of the cards is that they both support a maximum resolution of 4K, but that’s to be expected.
The connectors also haven’t changed between either of these options, and they support a choice of DisplayPort, HDMI, or USB Type-C.
One other thing to consider is that the cards look nearly identical. This is especially true if you opt for the Founders Edition from Nvidia.
The real differences between these cards lie under the hood, and that’s why they share such similar names.
How Do These Cards Differ?
There are a few surprising differences between these cards, and the 2080 Ti isn’t superior in every category.
However, due to being better in one of them, it features universally better performance.
While most buyers will look at a GPUs clock speed, that stat would be misleading when comparing these two cards.
The RTX 2080 actually features a higher boost and base clock than the Ti variant, sitting at 1800 and 1515 MHz over the Ti’s 1635 and 1350 MHz.
However, this comparison is the best way to learn that clock speed isn’t everything in a video card, as the Ti features nearly 30% more CUDA cores.
More CUDA cores mean that a video card can run a larger number of calculations at the same time. Therefore, improving its speed without requiring a higher clock.
This is where the main advantage of the Ti model lies. But it isn’t the only domain in which it is superior to the regular 2080.
If you typically install high-res texture packs in your games, then you likely know the importance of improved Video RAM. More VRAM allows for more detailed textures, and the Ti features 3 more GB over the model that it’s based on, bringing it up to a total of 11 GB.
Of course, none of this would be possible without a little bit of extra power, and the Ti variant does draw a bit more from the PSU.
As a result, you can expect a 35W bump over the base model. In total, it draws 260W which is relatively high for Nvidia’s cards, which have a reputation for low power draw.
Which One Do I Choose?
Now that we’ve outlined the differences between both cards, it’s time to choose the best one for your needs.
Despite being named so similarly, these cards have pretty different uses. Especially for gamers who care more about smooth frame rates than just the resolution.
If you care about maintaining 60 fps (or even 144) at your chosen resolution, then your choice is going to vary based on the quality of your monitor.
For customers with a 1440p display, the base 2080 is going to provide you with all of the performance that you need to maintain stable frame rates.
In addition, the regular 2080 is an excellent choice if you want to game at 4K and you don’t mind playing at 30 fps. It may even be capable of around 60 with some lowered settings.
On the other hand, if you want to play at 4K without having to worry about your graphics settings affecting your performance, then you’ll need to get your hands on the Ti variant.
Keep in mind that you’ll also have to account for your budget. And the difference in price is more than you would expect.
The regular 2080 features an MSRP of 800 dollars, but the Ti variant is priced 400 dollars higher.
In reality, things are even bleaker for those who want to buy a Ti.
The high demand for the Ti model has pushed its prices up to just under twice the cost of the standard 2080.
So, if you’re looking for the best 4K graphics card, you’re going to have to find a great deal, or you’ll need to be willing to pay the price that’s been inflated by the laws of supply and demand.
In the end, you’re the only one who knows which card will work best for you.
We hope that our guide has helped you make the right choice. If you’re looking for advice, we’d recommend waiting for Nvidia’s next generation of Ray Tracing cards, particularly if your current GPU is still capable.