Some Benchmarks (Kind Of) From Nvidia's RTX 2080

When Nvidia launched their RTX 20 series cards prior to Gamescom kicking off, there was a notable element missing: benchmarks. Specifically video game benchmarks, a reliable go-to for people assessing the worthiness of a new GPU.

Following a closed-door session with the press, the GPU maker released some more figures about how their cards perform in the real world. Sort of.

As was the case with the Pascal launch a couple of years ago, Nvidia held a closed-door editors day to dive more deeply into the Turing architecture and the RTX feature set.

The majority of that content is under embargo, although press were allowed to report on small snippets. And partially to alleviate concerns about not having anything to report for a long period, Nvidia emailed around some presentation slides from the day, as well as two performance-specific slides for the new RTX 2080 (not the 2080 Ti).

Most of the livestream on Monday evening was theoretical or technique related, and so avoided discussion of real-world frame rates in existing titles that regular gamers would typically use to gauge the worthiness of a new GPU. Two of the slides provided by Nvidia go some way to addressing that void, by comparing the performance of an RTX 2080 to a GTX 1080 across multiple games, running at 4K resolution and with the deep learning super-sampling AA technique enabled (if possible).

Image: Nvidia
Image: Nvidia

As you can quickly see, though, there's some caveats here.

Firstly, it's not known what settings were used for the tests. Some extrapolation can be done from the first slide to get some kind of idea as to how the GTX 1080 performed - if the RTX 2080 is hitting 60 FPS at 4K in HDR, and it's more than 2x the performance of the GTX 1080, then the logical conclusion is that the GTX 1080 isn't playable on whatever settings the test ran at.

The general gist of this is that the RTX 2080 - again, not the 2080 Ti - is about 50 percent faster than the GTX 1080 in these particular games. Typically more details about tests are provided in the footnotes, but the performance images were provided separately and as thus the information is a little murky.

But it does help colour a few things in, at least. Mass Effect: Andromeda, for instance, isn't a game that will take advantage of any of the new RTX technology. It supports HDR, but it's not likely to get DLSS support or special RTX features anytime soon. And as a result, it's useful here to illustrate what users could get out of the RTX 2080 versus the previous generation.

Remember, only 21 games in the near future will have some kind of support for the RTX feature set, the DLSS advanced anti-aliasing, or both. (And if you're looking for a game that does support both, only five titles, Shadow of the Tomb Raider included, do.)

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But it's still helpful for framing expectations. And if you're about to drop $1899 on a Founders Edition RTX 2080 Ti, or even the $1200 for the RTX 2080 FE model, it's the kind of info that's handy to have.

The author travelled to Gamescom as a guest of Nvidia.

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