The absolute king of the Turing generation, the RTX 2080 Ti is a performance-focused, enthusiast-class graphics card that is still one of the fastest cards money can buy. Built on the same 12 nm process as the other RTX 2000 series cards, the RTX 2080 Ti used the fastest GPU core out of the bunch, which was the TU102 graphics processor in its TU102-300A-K1-A1 variant. This GPU had a die area of a whopping 754 mm2 and packed 18,600 million transistors in it, which was above and beyond any consumer gaming graphics card at the time. Pair such a GPU with 11 GB of GDDR6 VRAM, and you have a recipe for one of the best graphics cards to come out in a long time.
Being such a powerful card, the RTX 2080 Ti was certainly a bit tricky to handle. The official TDP rating for the card was 250 W which is quite a lot even by today’s standards. The GPU was known to produce a lot of heat and thus needed beefy cooling solutions to handle it. Being such an expensive enthusiast-grade graphics card, it is completely justifiable to spend a little extra to purchase the premium variants for the RTX 2080 Ti just so you can have that extra peace of mind down the line.
Our picks for the Best RTX 2080 Ti
If you are in the market for the RTX 2080 Ti in 2021, these are the best AIB variants of the RTX 2080 Ti currently available to buy.
1. Gigabyte AORUS Xtreme RTX 2080 Ti
A Really Premium Option
- Impressive Thermal Performance
- High Overclocking Headroom
- Aggressive Styling
- Lots of RGB
- Very Expensive
CUDA Cores: 4352 | Base/Boost Clocks: 1350/1770 MHz | Memory: 11GB GDDR6 | Memory Bandwidth: 14 Gbps | Power Connectors: 2x PCIe 8-pin | Outputs: 3x HDMI, 3x DisplayPort, 1x USB-C
The AORUS lineup is the high-end graphics card lineup from Gigabyte and it includes some of their best offerings to date. The Gigabyte AORUS Xtreme GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is another premium from Gigabyte that should definitely be on the priority list for any enthusiasts looking for an RTX 2080 Ti in 2021. The Aorus Xtreme variant just about checks all the boxes for enthusiasts.
The Gigabyte AORUS Xtreme GeForce RTX 2080 Ti offers excellent thermal performance as well, which should come as no surprise for a card at this price point. Gigabyte has not cut any corners with the heatsink array of this card, and the hefty cooler has no problems keeping temperatures in check. The 3 fans in the shroud use the Windforce stacked 3x cooling system for efficient airflow over the heatsink itself, which provides really good results. Not only are the fans really quiet, but they are also among the best-performing fans in any variant of the RTX 2080 Ti in terms of airflow.
As far as looks go, the AORUS Xtreme GeForce RTX 2080 Ti really stands out from the crowd. It features a really aggressive design that is definitely marketed towards the gaming crowd, and that is blatantly obvious as soon as you look at the card. The AORUS Xtreme RTX 2080 Ti also has beautiful RGB implementation on the sides of the fan shroud as well as in the form of rings around the fans themselves. Mounting this graphics card vertically should be the preferred practice due to its unique design and impressive RGB lighting.
Overall, the AORUS Xtreme GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is one of the most premium options on our list and is one that is definitely worth considering if you can afford it. This is a card focused squarely on the enthusiast crowd, but it comes at a hefty price premium.
2. Zotac RTX 2080 Ti AMP Extreme
For RGB Aficionados
CUDA Cores: 4352 | Base/Boost Clocks: 1350/1815 MHz | Memory: 11GB GDDR6 | Memory Bandwidth: 14 Gbps | Power Connectors: 2x PCIe 8-pin | Outputs: 1x HDMI, 3x DisplayPort, 1x USB-C
The Zotac RTX 2080 Ti AMP Extreme is a variant that resides at the top of the Zotac pyramid when it comes to the 2080 Ti variants. It is an extremely premium variant with some great features, and a price tag to match. One of its standout features is its incredibly high factory overclock which pushes the boost clock of this card to a whopping 1815 MHz out of the box.
Under the beautiful fan shroud, Zotac has installed a sizeable heatsink intertwined with several heatpipes that carry the heat away from the heat-generating components. The overall thermal performance of the card is top-notch, as Zotac has installed some premium components in the cooling system. The fans are also reasonably high-quality, and they stay quiet even under moderate to heavy loads. There is certainly nothing to complain about when it comes to the cooling and acoustic performance of the Zotac AMP Extreme RTX 2080 Ti.
Aesthetically, the Zotac AMP Extreme variant certainly stands out from the crowd. The marquee feature of this card is definitely its incredibly beautiful RGB implementation, which gives this card a distinct look. Two large bars of RGB lighting are seen flanking the fans on either side, and that looks very attractive when the lights are turned on. This card is a prime candidate for vertical mounting, as that orientation will display the RGB lighting in its full glory.
All in all, the Zotac AMP Extreme RTX 2080 Ti is another high-end option that has a unique trick up its sleeve. As well as being a really well-built card, the AMP Extreme looks distinct and exotic which should be a great selling point for RGB aficionados.
3. ASUS ROG Strix RTX 2080 Ti OC
Top ASUS Offering
CUDA Cores: 4352 | Base/Boost Clocks: 1350/1650 MHz | Memory: 11GB GDDR6 | Memory Bandwidth: 14 Gbps | Power Connectors: 2x PCIe 8-pin | Outputs: 2x HDMI, 2x DisplayPort, 1x USB-C
The ROG Strix line has always offered some of the more premium variants for graphics cards in every generation. The ASUS ROG Strix variant for the RTX 2080 Ti cuts no corners when it comes to the cooling elements or the overall build quality of the card. It is clear that the Strix is definitely one of the best variants of the RTX 2080 Ti one can buy.
Inside the ROG Strix RTX 2080 Ti, we find a sizeable cooling solution with a massive heatsink design interleaved with several nickel-plated copper heatpipes. The ROG Strix features a triple-slot design that is perfect for a card such as the RTX 2080 Ti with a rated TDP of 250 W since it can generate a lot of heat. The heat-generating components such as the GPU itself, the VRM components, and the memory modules make direct contact with a base plate via thermal interface materials.
The ROG Strix RTX 2080 Ti is also one of the more acoustically impressive cards on the market as one might expect from such a high-end variant. The active cooling element features 3 fans with ASUS’s impressive Axial Tech design which are optimized to provide focused airflow through the heatsink of the Strix. The card also features the 0dB technology which allows the fans to stop spinning when the GPU is idle or under relatively light load, thus improving acoustic performance and the longevity of the fans.
In terms of aesthetics, the ASUS ROG Strix RTX 2080 Ti is one of the best-looking graphics cards on the market. It features a slightly aggressive industrial design that is not quite over-the-top but still looks quite appealing. The RGB lighting is tasteful with thin slivers of lighting flanking the sides of fans when it comes to the fan shroud with a touch of lighting on the side as well.
The ROG Strix RTX 2080 Ti is a really well-built card with premium components and an attractive design that would be ideal for an expensive, high-end gaming build. While it does have issues with pricing, the Strix still holds its place as one of the best RTX 2080 Ti variants on the market.
4. MSI Gaming X Trio RTX 2080 Ti
Another Excellent Alternative
- Excellent Thermal Performance
- Impressive Acoustics
- Beautiful RGB Implementation
- High Price
- Extra Power Connectors Needed
CUDA Cores: 4352 | Base/Boost Clocks: 1350/1755 MHz | Memory: 11GB GDDR6 | Memory Bandwidth: 14 Gbps | Power Connectors: 2x PCIe 8-pin, 1x PCIe 6-pin | Outputs: 1x HDMI, 3x DisplayPort, 1x USB-C
MSI’s high-end variant for the RTX 2080 Ti is the MSI Gaming X Trio RTX 2080 Ti, and it is also one of the best variants for this particular GPU on the market. Not only does it have great build quality and some excellent internal components, but it is also a little bit cheaper than the other premium variants.
The MSI Gaming X Trio does not disappoint when it comes to thermals as it has a massive heatsink under the shroud. The fins of the heatsink are uniquely curved which increases the surface area of the metal exponentially, and thus helps in heat dissipation. Several heatpipes help to carry the heat away from the heat-generating components such as the GPU, the VRM components, and the memory modules. The 3 included Torx fans ensure excellent cooling while operating quietly even under load.
As far as design goes, MSI has opted for a really aggressive design language with the Gaming X RTX 2080 Ti, and this concept really shines through. The fan shroud possesses several angular lines which make the card look very exotic and attractive. Plenty of RGB lighting is also present on the card which is a plus point in the current age of personalization. Vertically mounting the Gaming X Trio RTX 2080 Ti would elevate the looks of the card to a new level.
If you are looking for a high-end variant of the RTX 2080 Ti but are not quite willing to part with a large price premium such as that demanded by the ROG Strix or the Aorus Xtreme variants, then the MSI Gaming X might be the card for you. It is still a pricy option, but not quite as unreasonable as the ones that demand the top dollars.
5. EVGA RTX 2080 Ti Black Edition
Just The Basics
- Satisfactory Thermal Performance
- Low Price Premium
- Plain Look
- No RGB
- Low Boost Clocks
CUDA Cores: 4352 | Base/Boost Clocks: 1350/1525 MHz | Memory: 11GB GDDR6 | Memory Bandwidth: 14 Gbps | Power Connectors: 2x PCIe 8-pin | Outputs: 1x HDMI, 3x DisplayPort, 1x USB-C
EVGA often gets criticized for launching numerous variants in a tight price bracket for every single card and they certainly did the same for the RTX 2080 Ti as well. Out of all the EVGA variants, our budget pick is the base variant which is the EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti BLACK Edition. The EVGA RTX 2080 Ti Black Edition is a barebones option for a really high-end graphics card.
Although the EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti BLACK Edition is a budget-oriented variant, it still possesses an above-average cooling system. While it does not come close to any of the cards mentioned in the list already, the thermal performance it offers is certainly adequate enough to manage an RTX 2080 Ti at stock settings. The inclusion of two fans is a letdown, but they are also reasonably quiet in low-load situations. However, they do have a tendency to get a little noisier in intensive situations.
Aesthetically, the card is as basic as they come. The shroud features a mostly black, see-through design that looks quite cheap from some angles. The card does feature a backplate which is nice, although it should be standard in a card of this price point. Despite its plain appearances, it might appeal to those who are looking for a cheap variant of a high-end graphics card to put into gaming builds with a blackout theme.
The EVGA Black Edition RTX 2080 Ti is a card that is targeted at or near MSRP pricing. Keeping that in mind, it offers satisfactory thermal performance and has all the features one might expect from a normal RTX 2080 Ti, which makes it a decent budget pick if you don’t have a lot of extra cash to spend on a premium variant.
Best RTX 2080 Ti - FAQs
The RTX 2080 Ti is an enthusiast-grade graphics card that is ideal for 1440p and 4K gaming. It would be considered overkill for 1080p gaming.
Upgrading to the RTX 2080 Ti makes sense if you are coming from a mid-range GPU from either the Pascal-based GTX 1000 generation from Nvidia, or from the RX 500/ RX Vega series from AMD.
The TITAN RTX is a semi-professional graphics card that has a slightly different purpose than the RTX 2080 Ti. Keeping professional applications aside, the RTX TITAN is only very slightly faster than the RTX 2080 Ti when it comes to gaming.
While the RTX 3070 performs quite similarly to the RTX 2080 Ti at a cheaper price tag, that does not make the RTX 2080 Ti obsolete. The Turing card still has more VRAM than the RTX 3070, and is more readily available in the used market, at least in 2021.