GeForce RTX, new possibilities for gamers?

Riley Saye, Computer Expert

New graphics cards were revealed by Nvidia Aug. 20, 2018. They are available for preorder at an increased price and were officially available Sept. 20, 2018. They were revealed as: RTX 2070, RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti. Unfortunately many people have the question, is it worth all the hype?

Graphics cards are computer components that drive the graphics output of a computer. They usually consist of two main parts: GPU and memory. Together they allow users to play games at really high resolutions and graphics settings. Also, they are good for photo and video editing to get the best looking picture possible.  

Nvidia claims that these new cards are up to six times faster than their predecessors. They also feature Nvidia’s new Turing architecture which is an upgrade from their older Pascal architecture.

“Ray-tracing is going to have a huge impact on the way games look,” said Keegan Saye, software consultant.

Ray tracing is when rays of light are traced through and off of surfaces of a computer generated image to create a realistic looking picture. This was once reserved for movies that had the time to do it because just one scene could take hours or even days to trace all of the rays of light. Although Nvidia promises real-time ray-tracing for video and photo editing as well as video games that support it. This process is aided by new ray tracing and Tensor cores alongside more Cuda cores.

These cores are responsible for processing all of the graphics for a computer. These new cores are specialized for ray tracing and more Cuda cores will allow for higher resolution processing at higher speeds, such as 4K at 120 frames per second.

Ray tracing is something that can play a big role in video editing when dealing with computer generated images (CGI). If one wants a photo realistic video then ray tracing is the way to go. It brings in key lighting effects such as reflections and higher quality shadows. These cards bring ray tracing to the mainstream market.

“The ray tracing is more usable for 3D modeling,” said Michael Wood, computer science teacher.

Wood believes that classes at Athens Drive could benefit from this new technology. These cards could allow students who work with 3D modeling to also work with enhanced lighting effects.  Students could get experience with cinematic lighting effects which could help if they want to pursue a career in cinematic lighting.

Unfortunately, other than ray tracing there is not a lot of information that has been given. Nvidia has revealed the boost clock speeds of these new graphics cards, and they are not pleasing to most people. The speeds are lower than their GTX 10-series predecessors, however the Founders Edition of the cards have a higher boost clock but not by much. This is not what many consumers had hoped to see from Nvidia.

“There is a serious price perspective to consider,” said Saye.

These new cards come at a high price. The RTX 2070 is a 50 dollar increase over its predecessor the GTX 1070, the RTX 2080 is a 100 dollar increase over the GTX 1080 and the RTX 2080 Ti is a 300 dollar increase over the GTX 1080 Ti. The starting MSRP of these cards are 500 dollars, 700 dollars and 1000 dollars respectively. If one pre ordered these they would be $600, $800 and $1200 respectively. Nvidia increased the prices for pre ordering to combat limited stock when they  are released.

“I don’t think you will notice a difference,” said Wood.

In the end it is up to one if one of these cards is worth the money. They have strong performance when gaming, also if one is interested in video editing or 3D modeling these could be the cards for them. Also, if this will be the first card one buys they might want to look here as well. However, for those people that already have a GTX 1070 or higher they might want to wait for the next generation.