NVIDIA’s Turing-based graphics cards provided a lot of innovative technologies which were never seen before, such as NVIDIA Ray Tracing, NVIDIA DLSS, etc. In fact, NVIDIA also included tensor cores in their 20-series graphics cards as well, which were not present in the 10-series and were only found in the professional GPUs like Titan V and some Quadro cards. NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti is the top dog from the RTX 20-series graphics cards and is capable of playing most of the titles at 60+ frame-rates along with the 4K resolution or 120+ frame-rates at 1440p resolution.
NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti succeeds the previous flagship GTX 1080 Ti from the Pascal-based previous generation. Apart from the Tensor and RT cores, NVIDIA has used GDDR6 in the RTX 2080 Ti, coming from the GDDR5X in the GTX 1080 Ti, leading to 27% faster memory performance. As for the compute-performance is concerned, NVIDIA has upped the number of SPUs from 3584 to 4352, 272 TMUs from 224, while the ROPs count remains the same. NVIDIA achieved all these enhancements with a TDP increase of only 40 watts from the GTX 1080 Ti, making a total of 260 watts, which is a pretty impressive job. Let’s have a look at some of the best RTX 2080 Ti graphics cards to buy in 2019.
1. ZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 2080 Ti AMP Extreme
Our Rating: 9.8/10
- One of the fastest RTX 2080 Ti out of the box
- Strong power delivery
- Bright RGB lighting
- Somewhat noisier than competitors
Boost Core Clock: 1815 MHz | GPU Cores: 4352 | Memory: 11GB GDDR6 | Memory Speed: 1800 MHz | Memory Bandwidth: 633.6 GB/s | Length: 12.75 Inches | No. of Fans: 3 | RGB Lighting: Yes | Graphics Outputs: 1 x Type-C, 1 x HDMI, 3 x DisplayPort | Power Connectors: 2 x 8-pin | Maximum Nominal Power Consumption: 300W
ZOTAC has been providing graphics cards with the fastest core clocks out of the box with their high-end variants like ZOTAC AMP Extreme. ZOTAC RTX 2080 Ti AMP Extreme is another successful iteration of their AMP Extreme series and is one of the only RTX 2080 Ti graphics cards providing 1815 MHz boost core clocks out of the box. The design of the graphics card is changed quite a lot from the previous two generations and now there are very wide RGB lighting zones on the front of the card and the right side as well while the design of the fans has been changed too. This bright RGB lighting looks really fascinating in the case and is a great achievement by ZOTAC in the aesthetics field. ZOTAC has still insisted on the use of ExoArmor for the graphics card, as it was hugely successful and provides the card with immense durability.
The power delivery of the graphics card is quite strong, with a 16+4 power phase system, providing enough juice to max out the overclocking potential of the graphics card. Meanwhile, the “PowerBoost” capacitor on the back of the graphics card focuses on providing a stable voltage to the chip, ensuring high core clocks. Speaking of the clock rates, both the core clocks and the memory clocks have been increased from 1545 MHz to 1815 MHz and 1750 MHz to 1800 MHz respectively, leading to around 20% difference.
The cooling solutions of the AMP Extreme variants have always been overkill and RTX 2080 Ti AMP Extreme is no exception. With ambient temperatures around 20-degrees, the graphics card ran at 35-degrees on idle while the temperatures rose as high as 72-degrees during the stress test.
There is not a lot of room when it comes to overclocking this graphics card, as the stocks clocks are already too high, however, we were able to see the graphics card with core clocks up to 2050 MHz with an offset of 50 MHz. The memory can be overclocked somewhat as well, leading to 16400 MHz effective clocks with an offset of 1000 MHz (2x due to DDR).
Overall, ZOTAC RTX 2080 Ti AMP Extreme is one of the best variants of RTX 2080 Ti when it comes to performance and value and covers all the deliverables you should expect from a graphics card of this level.
2. ASUS ROG STRIX GeForce RTX 2080 TI OC
Our Rating: 9.7/10
- Axial fans are very quiet
- Effective distribution of heat
- Comes with both performance and silent modes
- Overall design looks the same as the previous generation
Boost Core Clock: 1665 MHz | GPU Cores: 4352 | Memory: 11GB GDDR6 | Memory Speed: 1750 MHz | Memory Bandwidth: 616 GB/s | Length: 12 Inches | No. of Fans: 3 | RGB Lighting: Yes | Graphics Outputs: 1 x Type-C, 2 x HDMI, 2 x DisplayPort | Power Connectors: 2 x 8-pin | Maximum Nominal Power Consumption: 260W
ASUS ROG STRIX variants are one of the highest-selling variants and no wonder this variant deserves this. The design of the ROG STRIX variants has always been very pleasant and aesthetically amazing. The ASUS AURA RGB lighting enhances the feels further and one can synchronize the lighting with other components. The overall design might feel repetitive to the previous versions of ROG STRIX variants but at least ASUS has changed the fans and now these axial fans are extremely quiet. Moreover, the cooling capabilities are also somewhat better due to these fans.
The graphics card is clocked at 1665 MHz out of the box (boost clocks) while the memory clocks are at stock value. This leads to an overall 7% improvement, however, due to excellent cooling capabilities, the graphics card can easily be overclocked to 2000-2100 MHz with an offset of around 150 MHz. As for the memory, it can be overclocked up to 16,000 MHz effectively, with an offset of 1000 MHz.
When it comes to temperatures, ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2080 Ti has achieved even better thermals than the AMP Extreme variant, with maximum temperatures at 63 degrees. Moreover, the graphics card distributes the heat extremely effectively, which is why none of the components showed higher readings than 70-degrees during the thermal imaging test. Since the graphics card also hosts the “Silent” BIOS, it gets almost inaudible but at the expense of 10-degree increase in the temperatures.
Overall, ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2080 Ti is an excellent choice for those people who want to enjoy high levels of performance but do not want the noise of the graphics card to interfere.
3. EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti K|NGP|N GAMING
Our Rating: 9.4/10
- Highest overclocking potential
- Lowest temperatures
- 12 temperature sensors along with OLED display
- Extremely pricey
Boost Core Clock: 1770 MHz | GPU Cores: 4352 | Memory: 11GB GDDR6 | Memory Speed: 1750 MHz | Memory Bandwidth: 616 GB/s | Length: 11.45 Inches | No. of Fans: 1+2 | RGB Lighting: Yes | Graphics Outputs: 1 x Type-C, 1 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort, 2 x mini-DisplayPort | Power Connectors: 3 x 8-pin | Maximum Nominal Power Consumption: 360W
EVGA is known for reliability and great customer policies, which is why a lot of people tend to buy their graphics cards despite having lower performance/aesthetics. EVGA RTX 2080 Ti K|NGP|N is, however, not one of those variants which could be called low-end. We will say this simply, RTX 2080 Ti K|NGP|N is the best variant amongst all the variants when it comes to performance and potential. The reason we have not put it at the top of our list is the price for this monstrosity, a hefty $700 increase. The K|NGP|N editions have always been so expensive, however, the design and features of this variant leave the previous generation cards in the dust. You get OLED display for the card statistics, 12 temperature sensors, three different BIOS, and a hybrid cooling solution comprising of a copper heatsink along with a 240mm liquid cooling solution.
The boost core clocks of this graphics card are set at 1755 MHz but definitely, one doesn’t buy a K|NGP|N edition to not overclock. Out of the box, the graphics card runs at around 2050 MHz, however, after increasing power limits and voltage, the graphics card was able to run at 2200 MHz with an offset of 125 while the memory performance is also spectacular, with up to 16,920 MHz effective clocks with an offset of 1460 MHz. Moreover, the unofficial XOC BIOS can also be applied to completely remove power limits, which is only for the overclockers who want to test the potential of the graphics card with LN2.
As for the graphics cooling capabilities are concerned, the graphics card never crossed 50-degree mark even during the overclocking, thanks to the 240mm liquid cooling solution. The fan on the graphics card, on the other hand, is used for cooling the power delivery modules and it does the job effectively due to the copper heatsink.
Overall, EVGA RTX 2080 Ti K|NGP|N edition is a very special variant, providing extreme levels of performance but due to its high price, it is suitable only for overclockers and big shots out there.
4. GIGABYTE AORUS GeForce RTX 2080 Ti XTREME
Our Rating: 9.2/10
- Lots of I/O ports
- One of the most beautiful variants of RTX 2080 Ti
- Tri-slot form factor
- Somewhat loud
Boost Core Clock: 1770 MHz | GPU Cores: 4352 | Memory: 11GB GDDR6 | Memory Speed: 1767 MHz | Memory Bandwidth: 622 GB/s | Length: 11.42 Inches | No. of Fans: 3 | RGB Lighting: Yes | Graphics Outputs: 1 x Type-C, 3 x HDMI, 3 x DisplayPort | Power Connectors: 2 x 8-pin | Maximum Nominal Power Consumption: 300W
GIGABYTE AORUS RTX 2080 Ti XTREME is one of those variants from the 20-series graphics cards, which seem to have gone a complete redo in the visuals department. The design of the graphics card is not only different than the previous generation but extremely pleasing to the eyes. The mysterious-looking shroud, RGB lighting on the fans, on the top, and on the shroud all add up to the overall aesthetics. Like the ASUS AuraSync, GIGABYTE’s RGB Fusion lets you take control of the RGB lighting and synchronization completely. A great advantage of this variant is that it provides you with tons of I/O ports, which are not present in most of the other graphics card variants.
The core clocks of the graphics card are set at 1770 MHz, a decent setting out of the box, while the memory is slightly overclocked out of the box, at 1767 MHz instead of 1750 MHz. The 16+3 power phase system lets the user do some intense overclocking, leading to realtime core clocks around 2030-2100 MHz while the memory can be overclocked up to 1600 MHz effectively; a fine result we will say.
As for the cooling potential is concerned, Xtreme variants ran at very low temperatures in the past and the same case is with this variant. The graphics card barely crossed the 70-degree mark on full load while the idle temperatures stayed under 40 degrees. You can also reduce the fan speeds by a bit if you want to get rid of the noise, as this variant is slightly noisier than other variants, although this might lead to temperature increase by 4-5 degrees, nothing to worry about too much.
Overall, if you are one of those users who want to brag about the visuals as much the performance, no doubt AORUS RTX 2080 Ti Xtreme could be the best bet for you, although make sure to check the space in your case, as it is a hefty tri-slot graphics card.
5. MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Ti GAMING X TRIO
Our Rating: 9.0/10
- Mystic light software is easy to use
- As good as AOURUS and AMP Extreme variants in performance
- The smaller left-most fan looks odd
- The backplate could have been a bit airy
Boost Core Clock: 1755 MHz | GPU Cores: 4352 | Memory: 11GB GDDR6 | Memory Speed: 1750 MHz | Memory Bandwidth: 616 GB/s | Length: 12.87 Inches | No. of Fans: 3 | RGB Lighting: Yes | Graphics Outputs: 1 x Type-C, 1 x HDMI, 3 x DisplayPort | Power Connectors: 2 x 8-pin + 1 x 6-pin | Maximum Nominal Power Consumption: 300W
MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Ti GAMING X TRIO is the last one on our list but you should not get the wrong idea here. This graphics card is still much more powerful than most of the variants of RTX 2080 Ti in the market. The design of the GAMING X TRIO is slightly changed from the previous generation, with the left-most fan being the small one instead of the middle one, which looks a bit odd. Some other changes are the inclusion of RGB lighting on the front in a more aggressive way and there are slight changes in the design of the fan-shroud here and there. The RGB lighting is also present at the top and overall is very easy to customize, thanks to MSI Mystic Lights software.
The core clocks of the graphics card, out of the box, are set at 1755 MHz while the memory uses the stock values of 1750 MHz. The OC potential of the graphics card was quite the same as most of the high-end variants, leading to realtime core clocks around 2050 MHz with an offset of 130 MHz. However, the memory did not overclock very well and we could see an improvement of only 800 MHz, i.e. 15600 MHz effective memory clocks.
The temperatures of the graphics card were also similar to AORUS and AMP Extreme variant, going as high as 73 degrees during the stress test. We believe that the results could have been somewhat better if MSI would have used somewhat airy backplate, as the thermal readings of the backplate were quite higher than those of the other cards.
Overall, MSI RTX 2080 Ti GAMING X TRIO is a strong and attractive product, with performance quite similar to the other high-end variants, which is why you should definitely check it out and see if you like the design of the card more than the previous ones.
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