It doesn’t seem so long ago that Nvidia launched its GeForce GTX 900 series graphics cards, which were based on the company’s “Maxwell” architecture.
Back in late 2014, these were hailed as revolutionary by many, and particularly the GTX 970 offered such an incredible price to performance ratio over previous generation cards that it became an indispensable upgrade for many people.
Times have changed though, and in 2016 Nvidia began releasing its Pascal-based cards. These include the GTX 1080 Ti, a beast of a graphics card that still smokes all rivals and which competitor AMD’s best parts can’t quite catch up with yet.
But far from resting on its laurels, Canadian technology giant Nvidia is now gearing up to release its new GeForce RTX 2000 series cards, as reported on PC Gamer.
The flagship of these will be the RTX 2080 Ti, which replaces the GTX 1080 Ti as Nvidia’s top-end consumer graphics card, and which will be launching on September 20 priced at a whopping $999 US dollars. The other card launching on this date is the RTX 2080, which will be retailing for $699 US dollars, while the RTX 2070 (priced at $499) will be hitting shelves in October. All these cards also have a beefier “Founders Edition” variant, which costs $100 more.
What’s interesting about the new RTX cards (which are based on Nvidia’s new Turing architecture) is that they not only offer an increase in raw computing power, but bring several new interesting features to the table as well.
Amongst these features is full hardware support for a graphics rendering technique known as ray tracing. This has been used in computer animated movies such as Pixar’s cars over the years to great effect, so it’s exciting that video games on PC will soon start to support this feature to deliver even more realistic graphics. To get an idea of the sort of realism ray tracing can bring to computer graphics, take a look at the video below.
Upcoming games which will support the ray tracing capabilities of Nvidia’s new cards include Shadow of the Tomb Raider (sadly this wasn’t available at launch though) and Battlefield V, amongst others.
Of course, those looking for good, old fashioned computing power will likely find the new RTX cards can deliver this in spades. For instance, according to Nvidia’s specs, the RTX 2080 Ti can deliver more than 13 teraflops vs the 11 teraflops the GTX 1080 Ti’s can manage, while the RTX 2080 can put out 10 teraflops vs the GTX 1080’s 8.87 teraflops. Lower down the scale, the RTX 2070 can deliver about 7.5 teraflops of computing power vs the 4 teraflops the now defunct GTX 970 could manage.
By comparison, Sony’s PS4 Pro can pump out about 4 teraflops, while Microsoft’s Xbox One X can deliver a stunning 6 teraflops, and is now bested by Nvidia’s new graphics parts.
So, will Nvidia’s new RTX 2000 cards be a worthy upgrade for all? This depends on how quickly game developers take to the card’s new features such as ray tracing, and whether Sony and Microsoft decide to jump on the ray tracing bandwagon with their next-gen consoles due out sometime in 2020, otherwise this could just end up being a niche PC feature and nothing else.
Nvidia’s RTX cards are a bet for the future then, and it would be a great thing if this was the start of great things to come from the tech giant too.