nVidia is the undeniable leader in graphics card technology, despite the valiant attempts by AMD in recent years to close the gap. The 10-series cards that were released in 2016 are still sought after by gamers, despite the shortages caused by the crypto mining craze, with the GTX1070ti seen as the best “bang for your buck card” when it comes to price vs performance. Of course we all wanted the GTX1080ti, two if we’re honest, but the 1070 cards enabled us to game at high resolutions, generally 1440p, while maxing out framerates at over 60FPS, even reaching excesses of 100FPS with some minor tweaking.
While the 10-series cards are still in high demand, supply is short, and they are not at the bleeding edge anymore. That distinction belongs to nVidia’s new RTX20-series cards. The “R” in “RTX” denotes the new party trick – real-time raytracing. This technology allows developers to create games that render reflections in real-time instead of using rasterisation techniques. What this means is that even when an item is out of direct line of sight, the reflection in a pool of water or off a window looks just like the object been reflected. This is an amazing advancement for immersion and realism, but does it come at a cost?
Let’s get the elephant in the room seen to first – yes RTX cards are expensive, but they are not the same price as they were late last year when they were first released. This card comes in at around R 7000. A similarly specced ASUS card costs around R12 500 so immediately you get better bang for your buck. Now I can already hear our console cousins shouting, “For that price, you can pick up a PS4 Pro!”. Well yes, we could, but the Pro can’t do ray tracing, can it? It is also likely to be replaced by the PS5 in the next eighteen months. The RTX cards will let you game for at least five more years, maybe even longer.
With that out the way, let’s get to the performance. At the heart of any test are benchmarks and for this battery; I ran 3DMark’s TimeSpy with all settings at Ultra as well as their new Port Royale RTX test. To tax the card, I also benchmarked the card using Heaven with all setting at Ultra.
In Heaven, the card exceeded all expectations with an average FPS of around 130FPS.
Testing the game on the same graphical setting but enabling DirectX12 did result in a performance hit – to an average of between 70 and 80FPS!
Grumpy Old Man who still collects toys (THEY. ARE. NOT. DOLLS), PC Gamer lured to the Dark Side of console gaming, comic book reader and fan of all things pop culture.
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1 February 2019
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