When Nvidia launched its RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti last week, it held back on the 2070. That GPU will be available to pre-order on October 17, at a list price of $500 for reference cards, while the Founders Edition GPUs from Nvidia will be available for $600 — at least in theory.
Performance on the RTX 2070 isn’t yet known, but we can predict it. The 2070 has a bit more than 75 percent the cores of a 2080 and runs at about 93 percent the clock, while memory bandwidth between the 2070 and 2080 is identical. This is more-or-less the same configuration ratio that Nvidia used for the GTX 1070 / 1080 split, which means performance should be break equivalently between the two card families. The tricky thing, in this case, is that Nvidia has also significantly increased the price on the RTX 2070. The 1070 debuted at $380, the 2070 is a $500 GPU.
For the 2080 and 2080 Ti, the question has been whether or not it makes sense to pay an enormous price premium for GPUs based on features like DLSS and ray tracing that are currently useless. The 2070 is part of that debate as well — except in this case, we also know that the level of available performance in ray-traced and DLSS scenarios is likely to be much lower. Feedback from Nvidia’s launch event and the demos released during last week’s launch also indicated that only the 2080 Ti is likely to hit 60fps while using features like ray tracing — and that’s at 1080p.
Now, it’s certainly possible that the low level of performance that reviewers saw at Nvidia’s launch event was caused by early drivers and software versions. We may find that final games and drivers offer much better performance than what we saw back in August. But such gains are not yet guaranteed and based on how much the 2080 Ti struggled to deliver RTRT at 1080p, it’s possible that the feature won’t work well on the 2070 at all. Even according to Nvidia’s arbitrary, made-up, and useless RTX-Ops metric, the 2070 offers just 75 percent of the performance of the 2080 and 57 percent the performance of the 2080 Ti. Even if we assume the 2080 Ti will be able to hold a rock-solid 60 FPS at 1080p with ray tracing enabled, the 2070 will be stuck with a fraction of that performance, while its conventional gaming frame rates should fall between the 1080 and 1080 Ti.
The RTX 2070 features the same amount of RAM as the GTX 1070 but removes support for SLI. Games don’t support SLI as well as they used to, and the feature appears to be phasing out across both Nvidia and AMD cards, but this won’t please gamers who still wanted to use it in older DX11 games or the handful of DX12 titles that support it. But with the RTX 2070’s ability to offer acceptable ray tracing and DLSS performance in doubt, and its debut price pushing up to around $550 presumably, based on the movement of the 2080 thus far, it’s not clear the new GPU will offer anything to recommend it over the GTX 1080 — which is now down to $449 at Newegg, and not as a sale price.
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