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GTX 1080 Ti Vs RTX 2080 Ti: Should You Upgrade?

We discuss the key differences between the GTX 1080 Ti and RTX 2080 Ti, list their Pros & Cons, and put them to test in Gaming Benchmarks.

The release of the RTX series of graphics cards brought with them some exciting features like DLSS and ray-tracing, but does the raw improvement in performance in the higher-end cards warrant an upgrade? In the GTX 1080 Ti vs RTX 2080 Ti comparison, I will test both GPUs in real-world gaming scenarios to help you make your upgrade decision.

Key Takeaways

  • The RTX 2080 Ti has 33% more performance than the GTX 1080 Ti in terms of average FPS.
  • These two GPUs have similar power draws, with the RTX 2080 Ti consuming 3% more power than the GTX 1080 Ti in the benchmark tests.
  • Thermal performance was about 5% better on the GTX 1080 Ti, though the temperatures on the RTX 2080 Ti were hardly alarming.

Basic Differences 

Comparison Table

Technical Specs GeForce RTX 2080 Ti GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
GPU Name TU102 GP102
Architecture Turing Pascal
Process Size 12 nm 16 nm
Transistors 18,600 million 11,800 million
Base Clock 1350 MHz 1481 MHz
Boost Clock 1545 MHz 1582 MHz
CUDA Cores 4352 3584
Tensor Cores 544 0
RT Cores 68 0
TMUs 272 224
ROPs 88 88
Memory Size 11 GB 11 GB
Memory Type GDDR6 GDDR5X
Memory Bus Width 352 bit 352 bit
Memory Bandwidth 616.0 GB/s 484.4 GB/s
TDP 250 W 250 W
Suggested PSU 600 W 600 W
MSRP 999 USD 699 USD

Architecture

The RTX 2080 Ti is based on a newer architecture that brought much-needed innovation to the stale GPU landscape. 

The Turing architecture introduced the world to DLSS and Ray Tracing. Though these features took baby steps in the RTX 2000 series GPUs, they would eventually wholly change the GPU market. Along with this, the Turing architecture substantially improved efficiency and performance.

Also Read: GTX 1080 Vs RTX 2080

When writing this article, the Pascal architecture the GTX 1080 Ti debuted with is 7 years old. This architecture had some fun features like SLI but nothing revolutionary in improving performance or visual fidelity. Overall this architecture was an incremental bump from the previous ones.

The AI-focused architecture of the 2080 Ti allows you to use DLSS, while you can only use AMD’s free super sampling software (FSR) on the GTX 1080 Ti. For a detailed comparison, check out our DLSS vs FSR article.

AI And Ray Tracing

The RTX 2080 Ti was among the first GPUs that introduced revolutionary Ray-Tracing, and AI features to the GPU market. It supported the first version of DLSS at launch.

This version, admittedly, could not hold a candle to even DLSS 2, which it eventually got support for. This, along with the first-generation implementation of Ray-Tracing, allowed Nvidia to make way for the most substantial change in GPU design ever. 

In contrast, the GTX 1080 Ti was one of the last GPUs made by Nvidia that did not have separate features dedicated to AI and Ray Tracing.

GTX 1080 Ti Vs RTX 2080 Ti: Gaming Benchmarks

In this section of the GTX 1080 Ti vs RTX 2080 Ti comparison, I will benchmark both these cards in modern, demanding titles. All of my tests for this comparison utilize the 1440p resolution. These tests were done in a controlled environment utilizing a test bench, the specifications of which are listed below:

  • OS – Windows 11
  • CPU Core i9-13900K
  • Motherboard – ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming
  • RAM – G.SKILL Trident Z5 RGB 32GB DDR5 6000MHz
  • CPU Cooler – MSI MAG CORELIQUID C360
  • SSD – 2xSAMSUNG 970 EVO M.2 2280 1TB
  • Power Supply – CORSAIR HX Series HX1200 1200W

Atomic Heart (Max Settings)

Atomic Heart Performance
Atomic Heart (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  • In the first game of our testing, the RTX 2080 Ti managed to get 78 FPS on average, whereas the GTX 1080 Ti managed to get 60 FPS. Though substantial, this first test proved that the raw performance jump between these two cards is not a generational difference.
  • The RTX 2080 Ti had smooth 1% lows of 65 FPS, whereas the RTX 1080 Ti gave a slightly stuttery performance with 1% lows of 40 FPS.
  • Surprisingly, Atomic Heart had the GTX 1080 Ti consuming more power than the newer card. The RTX 2080 Ti had a peak power consumption of 240 watts, whereas the GTX 1080 Ti consumed 249 watts.
  • The peak temperature was also slightly higher on the GTX card. The GTX 1080 Ti had a peak of 67°C, whereas the RTX 2080 Ti had a peak of 66°C.

Red Dead Redemption 2 (Ultra Settings)

Red Dead Redemption 2 Performance
Red Dead Redemption 2 (Image by Tech4Gamers)
  • Both cards gave respectable numbers in Red Dead Redemption 2. The GTX 1080 Ti managed an average of 59 FPS, whereas the RTX 2080 Ti had an average of around 78 FPS. Do note that the visuals were cranked all the way up in this title, and if we turn some unnoticeable settings down from Ultra to High, we could double the performance.
  • The 1% lows in this title were not bad either, with the GTX 1080 Ti having 1% lows of 50 FPS and the RTX 2080 Ti having lows of about 61 FPS.
  •  Despite the substantially different frame rates, both cards consumed the same power of 240 watts in this title. 
  • The temperatures were much cooler on the 1080 Ti in this test, peaking at 57°C compared to 61°C.

Also Read: RTX 2080 Ti vs RTX 3090 Ti

The Last Of Us Part 1 (Ultra Settings)

The Last Of Us Part 1 Performance
The Last Of Us Part 1 (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  • The Last of Us Part 1 did not run great on either of the cards. The GTX 1080 Ti achieved an average of 33 FPS, while the RTX 2080 Ti demonstrated a higher average of 46 FPS, providing smoother gameplay.
  • The 1% lows in this badly-optimized game were not incredible either. The RTX 2080 Ti had 1% lows of 27 FPS, whereas the GTX 1080 Ti had worse 1% lows of 21 FPS. For a third-person shooter, the performance of both these cards would be considered unplayable by most gamers.
  • Regarding power consumption, the RTX 2080 Ti drew more power with 252 watts compared to the GTX 1080 Ti’s 205 watts. This increase in power consumption correlates with the better performance of this card in this title.
  • Switching gears to temperatures, the GTX 1080 Ti operated at a peak temperature of 63°C, while the RTX 2080 Ti reached a slightly higher peak temperature of 67°C.

Cyberpunk 2077 (High Settings)

Cyberpunk 2077 Performance
Cyberpunk 2077 (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  • Like The Last Of Us, Cyberpunk 2077 also performed poorly with these graphics cards. The RTX 2080 Ti managed a frame rate of about 50 FPS, whereas the GTX 1080 Ti barely got 38 FPS on average.
  • The 1% lows were much closer to the average FPS in this title than the last one, which is always a good sign for smoothness. The RTX 2080 Ti had 1% lows at 41 FPS, while the GTX 1080 Ti had 30 FPS in this metric.
  • Despite the significant difference in performance, both cards consumed a similar amount of power, with the GTX 1080 Ti consuming 252 watts and the RTX 2080 Ti consuming 242 watts.
  • Regarding temperatures, both cards remained within safe temperature limits, with the GTX 1080 Ti peaking at 64°C and the RTX 2080 Ti peaking at 67°C.

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 (Ultra Settings)

Flight Sim 2020 Performance
Microsoft Flight Simulator (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  • Keeping the demanding game trend, Microsoft Flight Simulator performed better on these cards than the last two titles. On average, the GTX 1080 Ti got 40 FPS, whereas the RTX 2080 Ti got 54 FPS.
  •  The 1% lows are very competitive, considering the average FPS in this game. The GTX 1080 Ti got 1% lows of 35 FPS, whereas the RTX 2080 Ti got 1% lows of 42 FPS. This closeness of the averages and 1% lows indicate good optimization.
  • Power consumption in this game was substantially higher on the RTX 2080 Ti. It consumed 247 watts of power compared to 228 watts of the GTX 1080 Ti.
  • Flight Sim 2020 had quite a significant temperature disparity between the two graphics cards. The GTX 1080 Ti had a peak temperature of 62°C, whereas the RTX 2080 Ti stayed much warmer with a peak of 67°C.

Hitman 3 (Ultra Settings)

Hitman 3 Performance
Hitman 3 (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  • Switching things up to an older, much less demanding game, Hitman 3 ran like a dream on both these cards. The GTX 1080 Ti averaged 92 FPS, whereas the RTX 2080 Ti had an average framerate of around 113 FPS.
  • 1% lows were also respectable for both graphics cards in this game. The GTX 1080 Ti had 1% lows of 69 FPS, whereas the RTX 2080 Ti had 1% lows of 83 FPS.
  • Both cards consumed more or less the same amount of power in this title, with the GTX 1080 Ti consuming 253 watts and the RTX 2080 Ti having a power consumption of 249 watts.
  • Temperatures in this game were more or less the same, with the RTX 2080 Ti having a peak temperature of 67°C, whereas the GTX 1080 Ti was slightly hotter, with a peak of 68°C.

Also Check: RTX 3070 Ti vs RTX 2080 Ti

Forza Horizon 5 (Ultra Settings)

Forza Horizon 5 Performance
Forza Horizon 5 (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  • When playing Forza Horizon 5 at ultra settings and 1440p resolution, the GTX 1080 Ti and the RTX 2080 Ti delivered a respectable performance. The RTX 2080 Ti showcased an average of approximately 85 FPS, surpassing the GTX 1080 Ti’s average of 64 FPS.
  • Regarding 1% lows, the RTX 2080 Ti also outperformed the GTX 1080 Ti, with 75 FPS and 55 FPS, respectively. This indicates smoother gameplay and fewer frame drops on the RTX 2080 Ti.
  • Power consumption was noticeably higher for the RTX 2080 Ti at 222 watts, while the GTX 1080 Ti consumed 205 watts.
  • Regarding temperatures, the GTX 1080 Ti peaked at 60°C, while the RTX 2080 Ti reached a much higher peak temperature of 69°C.

Hogwarts Legacy (Ultra Settings)

Hogwarts Legacy Performance
Hogwarts Legacy (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  •  For the last game in the tests, the RTX 200 Ti had a higher frame rate of about 86 FPS, whereas the GTX 1080 Ti had an average of 56 FPS.
  • Regarding 1% lows, the RTX 2080 Ti also outperformed the GTX 1080 Ti, with 70 FPS compared to 46 FPS, respectively.
  • Power consumption was slightly higher for the GTX 1080 Ti at 244 watts, while the RTX 2080 Ti consumed 241 watts. Both cards consumed a similar amount of power, considering their performance levels.
  • Regarding temperatures, the GTX 1080 Ti peaked at 64°C, while the RTX 2080 Ti reached a slightly higher peak temperature of 67°C. Both cards maintained acceptable temperatures during gameplay.

Also Read: RTX 2080 Vs RTX 3080

Overall Gaming Performance

In this section of the GTX 1080 Ti vs RTX 2080 Ti comparison, I will evaluate the results of the gaming benchmarks in terms of framerate, power consumption, and temperature.

Frame Rate

1440p framerate performance
Average FPS and 1% Lows Across 8 Games (Image By Tech4Gamers)

The GTX 1080 Ti and RTX 2080 Ti performed worse than when launched. These cards were one of the first normalized 4k 60 FPS gaming at high settings, but they struggle to get stable framerates at 1440p at this moment in time. 

  • The GTX 1080 Ti had a 55 FPS average over 8 games in our testing. In contrast, the RTX 2080 Ti had an average of 74 FPS in the same 8 games. 
  • Switching gears to 1% lows, both the cards had sub-sixty scores on average. The 1080 Ti had 1% lows of 43 FPS, whereas the RTX 2080 Ti was almost there with 58 FPS.
  • Do note that these numbers were taken with most if not all, sliders to the right. You can quite easily get much better performance by dialing down a few settings that won’t affect the visual quality significantly. 
  • In the case of the RTX 2080 Ti, you can increase the FPS even further by just turning DLSS on without a noticeable dip in visual fidelity. Because of these reasons, the RTX 2080 Ti wins in raw FPS outputted.

If you wish to squeeze a little more performance out of these GPUs, read our article on overclocking.

Power

Power Consumption at 1440p
Average Power Consumption Across 8 Games (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  • Surprisingly, both these GPUs had similar numbers in terms of power consumption. The RTX 2080 Ti had an average power consumption of 242 watts, whereas the GTX 1080 Ti had a slightly lower power consumption of 235 watts.
  • This and the higher FPS counts allow the RTX 2080 Ti to reach a much higher performance per watt than the GTX 1080 Ti. The difference here was about 30% favoring the RTX 2080 Ti.

If you want to match your power supply to the power target of the rest of your computer, read our article on how many watts a gaming PC consumes.

Temperatures

Thermals at 1440p
Average Temperatures Across 8 Games (Image By Tech4Gamers)

The temperatures in these tests were nothing to worry about for either of these cards.

  • The GTX 1080 Ti had an average peak temperature of 63°C, whereas the RTX 2080 Ti had an average peak temperature of 66°C.
  • The temperature difference between these cards does not suggest any benefit or drawback.

Performance Per Dollar

Used Performance Per Dollar
Performance Per Dollar (Image By Tech4Gamers)

As you will learn in our price and availability section, the difference in price between these two GPUs is quite substantial, and the difference in performance does not scale proportionally to this. 

The RTX 2080 Ti has a performance per dollar of 0.18 frames/dollar, whereas the GTX 1080 Ti has a much better performance of 0.26 frames/dollar. The difference here comes out to about 42% favoring the 1080 Ti.

Similar Guides: RTX 2070 Vs RTX 2080

Price And Availability 

Because of the age of these cards, it would be very unwise to get them for anything but their aftermarket prices. The RTX 2080 Ti can be had for around $400 on average on eBay, whereas the GTX 1080 Ti can be snagged for $210 on the same site.

These cards probably won’t have any availability at giant retailers like Microcenter. However, you might be able to find them at any brick-and-mortar reseller because of their sheer popularity.

Which One Should You Go For?

Having discussed all the intricacies of the performance between the two cards, this section of the GTX 1080 Ti vs RTX 2080 Ti comparison will guide you on which graphics card best suits your needs and wants.

Firstly, let us talk about the merits of the more powerful card, the RTX 2080 Ti. Though It has a hefty price tag on average, you will likely find a great deal because of the age of this card. You will get buttery 1080p performance and enjoyable 1440p Ultra performance for this. This, along with its other bells and whistles like DLSS and Ray-Tracing support, makes it the more desirable card. 

On the other hand, the GTX 1080 Ti comes with its own set of merits and demerits. Though it is a noticeably slower GPU than the RTX 2080 Ti, with almost no modern creature comforts, it is still a great performer for the price. Because of the performance per dollar, this card would be an easy recommendation to anyone on a tighter budget looking to play high-end games.

Pros And Cons 

GTX 1080 Ti RTX 2080 Ti
Pros Cons  Pros Cons 
As an older generation graphics card, the GTX 1080 Ti is generally cheaper than the RTX 2080 Ti The GTX 1080 Ti does not support hardware-accelerated ray tracing The RTX 2080 Ti supports hardware-accelerated ray tracing, allowing for more realistic lighting and reflections in supported games The RTX 2080 Ti is a newer graphics card, and it typically comes with a higher price tag than the GTX 1080 Ti
Being a matured and widely adopted graphics card, the GTX 1080 Ti has a track record of reliable performance The GTX 1080 Ti lacks dedicated Tensor Cores, limiting its performance in AI-related tasks The RTX 2080 Ti includes Tensor Cores that deliver accelerated AI processing, enabling features like AI-based upscaling and improved performance in machine learning tasks The performance at 1440p was acceptable, so it is safe to assume that the RTX 2080 Ti struggles with 4k Ultra gaming

FAQs

Can the GTX 1080 Ti handle ray tracing?

The GTX 1080 Ti does not support hardware-accelerated ray tracing. Some games try to brute force their way with ray tracing using the CUDA cores on the 1080 Ti, which gives less than desired results.

Can the RTX 2080 Ti run games at 4K resolution?

It might not be able to play at 4k with all the settings turned up, but the RTX 2080 Ti is generally capable enough to play games at 4k 60 FPS.

Do these cards have frame generation technology?

No, DLSS 3 and the accompanying frame generation is locked to the RTX 40 series of cards.

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Abde Manaf
Abde Manaf
Abdemanaf has been a creative writer since 2011. He first dwelled in the tech world in early 2015 and has since compared many product offerings by different companies. Abdemanaf started working for Tech4Gamers in February 2022 as a blog and comparison writer.

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