Graphics, graphics, graphics! If it wasn’t for the humble graphics card and the pursuit of improved gaming visuals, we probably would be playing board games. Instead, since the concept and initial applications of a graphical interface and “moving pictures” in electronic games began, the consumers demanded more, and in general the engineers in the respective hardware and software companies have tried to deliver. Fast forward to 2019 and finally in consumer game titles and graphics hardware, here is a mainstream attempt at Ray Tracing, long-standing visual effects promise that’s just about to come true.
Nvidia have developed a consumer grade implementation of a technology first technically presented in the early 1980s, with a caveat. Ray Tracing in graphics is “a rendering technique for generating an image by tracing the path of light as pixels in an image plane and simulating the effects of its encounters with virtual objects.”
Nvidia’s RTX is a partial implementation of Ray Tracing and needs Microsoft’s DirectX Ray Tracing (DXR) API to work currently. Rather than a full Ray Tracing implementation, it implements a rasterization technology with Ray Tracing where applicable. I think a lot of people were upset by this, expecting a full Ray Tracing capability from Nvidia, and Nvidia’s marketing is partly to blame here as well, but to have a 100% Ray Traced game would have required more than a graphics hardware vendor to introduce capable hardware, and it would still be outside of the consumer market price range, but we’re getting there now.
What Nvidia have really done, like it or not, is start on the path which has always been promised. What we need now, is AMD to get on with it and produce a competitive market, moving both vendors forward in a Ray Tracing war!
|Asus RTX 2080 DUAL OC 8GB||Nvidia RTX 2080|
|Core Clock Base||1515 MHz||1515 MHz|
|Core Clock Boost||1860 MHz||1710 MHz|
|Video RAM||8GB GDDR6||8GB GDDR6|
|Memory Frequency||14 Gbps||14 Gbps|
|Memory Bus Width||256-bit||256-bit|
|Transistor Count||13.6 Billion||13.6 Billion|
|Manufacturing Process||TSMC 12nm||TSMC 12nm|
|Length||299 mm / 11.80 inches||267 mm / 10.5 inches|
|Launch Date||Sept 2018||Sept 2018|
Anyway, the Asus GeForce RTX 2080 DUAL OC 8GB graphics card is what we are reviewing today, a binned and slightly overclocked TU104 graphics chip on what appears to be, reference design PCB. We didn’t strip the PCB down for this reason, though if we learn of suspect this is non a reference PCB, we will and update this article in the future.
What’s not a reference design, is the large dual fan and double slot heatsink design. Full dimensions are 11.8 ” x 5.13 ” x 2.13 ” inches /29.97 x 13.04 x5.41 centimetres which makes the Asus RTX 2080 DUAL OC a large and chunky 2.7 slot card and heavy at nearly 1.4 kg.