RTX 20-series. Sash's Thoughts. A mini Tech-Babble.
Updated: Mar 16, 2020
Okay so I wanted to make a post to basically summarise what I think of NVIDIA's 20 series, because it's somewhat... specific. And it's not all praise, so here is that post. This isn't really a tech-babble, and I'm not going into massive detail, and it's not going to be too long, so I will just keep this as a sort of "mini-tech babble" or "opinion bloggy post". :D
20-series isn't for everyone. The negative points.
I think this statement pretty much sums up the RTX 20-series. When I say "everyone"; I mean most people who buy a video card, and those looking to spend between 300 and 600 Pounds (or US dollar, they're basically the same these days lol). I have some thoughts on the cards in NVIDIA's lineup occupying this range, and they are:
RTX 2060 (vanilla) 6GB
RTX 2060 Super
RTX 2070 Super
Basically these three cards, now occupy positions that have very viable alternatives from AMD, with the launch of their RX 5700 series, based on the new Navi 10 silicon. (Even before that, Vega-based cards had some huge discounts, potentially being a better choice for normal games, than the 2070 vanilla, or 2060, but more on that in a moment...).
I don't want to go into too much detail, so short and sweet, I can summarise my feelings on Nvidia's lineup and say if you are not interested in Ray Tracing; you shouldn't really be looking at any of these three cards. That's my honest opinion. RX 5700 XT is priced the same as the RTX 2060 Super, and it offers consistently more performance in almost all games, and doesn't have a power efficiency disadvantage, that was once a characteristic of Radeon cards. It's just a straight up better choice for normal games than 2060 Super and 2070 Super, because it often matches the latter, while costing significantly less.
And, let's be honest, you would have to be an utter fool to buy the RTX 2060 non-Super over the 5700 non-XT for normal games, and even for Ray Tracing; its credentials are questionable. As a result I just recommend that no one buys the normal 2060, lol.
But wait, what about Ray Tracing?
This is where I will get flak. But I think it's a bit obvious, in all honesty. Let's pretend the RTX 2060 non-super doesn't exist. It's like the retarded bastard-child of the RTX 2070 and really I can't ever recommend that card for anything, especially now RX 5700 is available. But the RTX 2060 Super really does address that card's short-comings, especialy with regards to Ray Tracing. With 8GB now, the Super version is essentially a cheaper RTX 2070. This is nice because this card is capable of providing playable RTX performance at 1080p.
Yes, that's only 1080p. But just bear with me a moment before raging on me for defending buying a $399 card for 1080p. The Big selling point for these two cards (more on the 2080S and 2080 Ti in a moment...) is that they offer this brand-new graphics tech (for gaming, I mean. I know Ray Tracing isn't new, but for Real Time Gaming, it is). And they offer you the ability to experience that in their respective price brackets.
Looking at RTX 2060 Super, it is the same price as the RX 5700XT, and is almost always slower in normal games. But it's not that much slower. Before you bite my head off, think of it from my point of view. The difference between RTX 2060 Super and RX 5700XT, is almost never enough to be the difference between playable, and unplayable. You won't really notice it. But do you know what you really will notice? Ray Tracing.
You can check out my videos in Exodus, so far, to see this in action. I have somewhat mixed feelings on it, but I feel it is positive, and to me (yes, this is subjective), I feel that paying the same price for a bit lower average FPS in normal games, but having this cool new graphics technology, to me; that was worth it. That is why I purchased an RTX 2060 Super over the equal price, and faster RX 5700 XT.
That brings me back to saying 20-series isn't for everyone. If you don't care at all for Ray Tracing, don't bother. Just get a 5700 or 5700XT. They are great cards and provide a bit more performance for the same price. There's no reason not to get them, you don't want 20-series' big selling point...
The thing is, I think everyone interested in where gaming graphics is going, should be interested in Ray Tracing.
For once in my life, I can stand back and say, I don't want the highest possible FPS, but I want the ability to enhance my games and provide realism you just can't get without this technology. You can judge for yourself if the performance, or game portfolio is worth it for you, but for me it is. Just don't insult or attack me for my decision.
I will say that I will wait until I finished Metro Exodus, and have played the other games I want to play, such as Battlefield V, Control, Wolfenstein YoungBlood, and Doom Eternal, before I make a final judgement on the RTX 2060 Super as a product, but so far, in the very demanding Metro Exodus, I am happy with the performance.
People would hate me for saying this but honestly it's how I feel.
I would consider dropping the resolution to 1600x900, if my Frame Rate wasn't comfortable. Inb4 "spends 400 quid on a GPU to play at 900p". Yes, I get it. That seems like a reversal of the trend of getting more for your money, but you are also getting Ray Traced Visuals.
You're not a Computer Graphics / Gaming enthusiast if that doesn't excite you, just a bit :)
So what about the RTX 2080 Super and RTX 2080 Ti?
These two cards occupy a bit of a special status, in my opinion. So I will just offer my opinion on these cards real quickly. Right up here at the top end of the stack, performance/$ goes right out of the window. I think we can all agree on that. These two cards are the only 20-series I would think you should consider, even if you don't care for Ray Tracing. That is because, they offer performance levels that exceed any alternatives. Okay, that's a bit of a lie. We all know GTX 1080 Ti (What a champ) can reach 2080~ performance, and you get the 11 GB, too. But those aren't readily availabnle anymore, and Radeon VII is not only a bit slower than the 2080 Super, but it too, is not available anymore (RIP, Radeon VII. 2019-2019).
RTX 2080 Ti is so damn fast that even if you're not using RTX, it's the top gaming card. And until we get a bigger Navi-chip to compete with it (I'm hoping later this year, if the rumours are true). Then it is the Top Dog and for that alone, people who are looking for the best, well, they buy the best. Not that I specifically recommend the 2080 Ti at over a grand holy shit, but you can't argue with it being the fastest card available (Read: TITAN RTX doesn't exist to me, that price, just No.) But hey, if you change your mind, you can always try Ray Tracing on it. :)
▼ I like to put a conclusion here ▼
Okay so that's it. Summary is, if you really honestly do not care for Ray Tracing, the only two cards in 20-series worth buying are 2080 Super and 2080 Ti. Because they have no alternative right now. But honestly: I'd wait for bigger Navi toward the end of the year. (I wouldn't personally spend big money on a card that can't do Fast Ray Tracing, but that's my opinion, but I respect that people don't see it as a valuable feature right now).
My overal opinion is, that you really should care for Ray Tracing. It's going to be a huge hit, and it excites me a lot. But right now, you gotta decide for yourself what's worth it to you, because tech is immature, and you have to end up paying for that feature and not getting the best deal in other games because of it. But it has to start somewhere, and I guess this seperates the enthusiasts from the casuals* :)
*(That was a tounge-in-cheek joke, I appreciate that you can be an enthusiast and not be interested in Ray Tracing right now (due to performance limitations and cost) but don't hate on me because I am interested in it. I judge for myself what I deem acceptable performance).
Thanks for reading! ^-^