But which one is better?
Looking at each card’s features, you’ll see that they don’t share many of the same core components.
Out-of-the-box, the 1080 Ti seems to hold the edge over the 2070, but when you dig deeper into the technology, you’ll find that the 2070 is powerful, affordable and can often outperform the 1080 Ti.
Breaking Down the RTX 2070
The RTX 2070 incorporates NVIDIA’s Turing GPU architecture. Turning allows the RTX to run advanced games thanks to:
- Real-time ray tracing
- Programmable shading
- Artificial intelligence
Ray tracing is vital because it offers a higher level of realism in games. Shadows, lighting and reflections are all more intense thanks to the ray tracing options available.
Turing is the first GPU on the market to offer real-time ray tracing.
- 8 GB of GDDR6 RAM
- 2304 CUDA Cores
- 256-bit memory bus
Processing speeds vary greatly, depending on if the unit is overclocked and the manufacturer. Support for our monitors is standard, and there are also options for virtual reality headsets.
Memory bandwidth is 448GB/s, which is slightly less than the 1080 Ti.
Breaking Down the GTX 1080 Ti
Extreme horsepower, the GTX 1080 Ti is designed to be the flagship graphics card from NVIDIA’s 10-series gaming GPU.
Performance is impeccable, with Pascal offering up to three times the performance of previous graphics cards.
VR Ready, this model does not come with real-time ray tracing, which gives the RTX 2070 an immediate advantage.
What this model does offer is:
- 11 GB GDDR5X RAM
- 3584 CUDA Cores
- 352-bit memory bus
Memory speed is 484GB/s.
Comparing the RTX 2070 to the GTX 1080 Ti
Pure power puts the GTX 1080 Ti ahead of the RTX 2070 because it offers an additional 1,280 CUDA cores, faster memory bus and more memory bandwidth. But the RTX 2070 does have the advanced, real-time ray tracing and a cheaper overall price.
One thing you’ll notice is that all manufacturers have a little different base and boost clocks.
However, VRAM, CUDA cores and other specs remain the same. If you want to compare the two, you should be choosing two specific models. For the purpose of this comparison, we’ll be choosing the following:
- MSI’s RTX 2070 Gaming Z
- NVIDIA’S GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition
Price wise, the 2070 is around 15% cheaper. Two metrics that are very important are:
- RTX 2070: 1,410 MHz base clock; 1,830 MHz boost clock
- GTX 1080 Ti: 1,480 MHz base block; 1,582 MHz boost clock
Boost the RTX 2070, and you’ll have an overall faster graphics card than the 1080 Ti.
Stock performance will almost always end with the 1080 Ti winning over the RTX 2070. Minimal differences exist, and even with real-time ray tracing, the 1080 Ti wins. But we’re running the MSI with Afterburner to allow us to easily boost this card’s performance.
Performance will be very game-depen
dent, and there are games that are not built around real-time ray tracing.
What performance can you expect?
- Heaven (4K) was ran at 43 FPS on both cards, on average.
- Assassin’s Creed: Origins (4K) ran better on stock RTX 2070 with 48 FPS average and 41 FPS at the minimum. The GTX 1080 Ti pushed 48 FPS average and 39 FPS at the minimum. Overclocked, the RTX 2070 offered 2 FPS more on average.
- PUBG performs at a maximum average of 110 FPS on the 2070 and 104 FPS on the Ti.
- The Witcher 3 ran at 94 FPS versus 114 FPS, with the TI winning out in this comparison. Keep in mind these are stock speeds for the RTX 2070, so we expect overclock results to match the Ti in this case.
You can save money on your graphics card with the RTX 2070 and it will offer a similar performance to the 1080 Ti. If you overclock the card, you’ll have even better performance in the majority of games.
The RTX series started out with the RTX 2080 and the RTX 2080 Ti, and the 2070 combined a lot of the great features of the 2080 and 2080 Ti at a more affordable price.
An interesting note is that the 2070 has features that will allow the card to offer better performance when the game utilizes certain technologies. I will give you an example:
- Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) has the potential to increase a game’s framerate drastically, but the game needs to support it. If the game does support it, you’re likely to see the RTX outpace the Ti at stock. Based off of this technology alone, benchmarks show that Final Fantasy 15 produced 40% better framerates with DLSS enabled. Why? DLSS requires half the energy to produce high resolution images.
- Real-time ray tracing enhances every game and scene. Enabling real-time ray tracing is recommended because it will make your shadows, highlights and lighting immersive. The problem with his technology is that it can be very heavy on performance. Overall, it’s better to have the crisper image than it is to have a dozen more frames per second. When combined with DLSS, the performance hit will often be mitigated.
In terms of pure performance, these graphics cards come very close.
At an investment standpoint, it’s hard not to love the RTX 2070. You’ll pay less for the RTX 2070 and it comes with ray tracing, making it the overall better choice.
The games you play most often will be something to consider, too. Newer games will start to take advantage of DLSS, and if this is the case, you can expect the 2070 to often perform better than the Ti.
It’s a battle between the RTX 2070 and the GTX 1080 Ti.
The RTX 2070 is the cheapest way to enjoy real-time ray tracing, and depending on the manufacturer, it performs better than the GTX 1080 Ti.