Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti review: Changing the game

These graphics cards are built for the future. What does that mean today?

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GeForce RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti HDR performance

Hey! HDR PC monitors are a thing now. Nvidia’s early GeForce RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti marketing materials pushed 4K HDR performance, and the reviewers guide provided for the cards include a sizeable section on how to benchmark HDR performance. Nvidia’s previous GTX 10-series graphics cards lost a surprisingly decent chunk of performance when displaying HDR—much more so than comparable Radeon Vega GPUs. So we decided to test 4K HDR performance for the GeForce RTX 20-series and older GTX 10-series cards.

“The Turing GPU architecture improves High Dynamic Range (HDR) gaming performance and input latency using hardware-based compositing, tone mapping, and chroma filtering with HDR surfaces,” Nvidia says.

We retested the HDR-compatible games in our suite using both the 8-bit RGB and 10-bit YCbCr422 settings available on the Predator X27 at 120Hz, and the same graphics presets as our standard benchmarks. Here are the results for each, along with the performance for each game when you’re not using HDR (listed below as “SDR.”)

strange brigade hdr Brad Chacos/IDG
shadow of war hdr Brad Chacos/IDG
far cry 5 hdr Brad Chacos/IDG
f1 2018 hdr Brad Chacos/IDG

Zero in on the RTX 2080 and GTX 1080 Ti here, as the graphics cards trade blows in overall gaming performance. The RTX 2080 still loses some performance when you switch to HDR, but overall it loses less than the older GTX 1080 Ti, especially when using the YCbCr422 color space (which wrecks the look of onscreen text outside of games). In that worst-case YCbCr422 scenario, the RTX 2080 loses as average of 5.89 percent performance across all four HDR-enabled games; the GTX 1080 Ti loses an average of 10.38 percent. That’s a significant improvement, and those numbers will be even lower if you use the superior 8-bit RGB color space option instead.

The GeForce RTX 2080 Ti loses a bigger chunk of performance when it enables HDR, probably because it’s moving so many more pixels. It loses an average of 10.24 percent at 4K with YCbCr422 HDR enabled, though again, that loss narrows if you move to 8-bit RGB. Even with the HDR hit, the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti still blows away the competition.

Next page: Ray tracing and DLSS performance

At a Glance
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