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Nvidia's RTX 2070 seems to be only slightly faster than a GTX 1080

With just a day to go until the launch of Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070, those eager to see what Nvidia’s new Turing GPU is capable of will no doubt have seen a flurry of reviews running through the internet halls this afternoon – and the early verdict seems to be it’s just a little bit faster than Nvidia’s current GTX 1080.

Unfortunately, I’m still waiting for my Zotac review sample to arrive, otherwise you’d be reading my own verdict on the card right now instead of the words in front of you. Despite our American friends all seemingly getting Founders Editions straight from Nvidia, the focus in the UK, I’m told, is only on the partner cards – hence why I’m waiting on Zotac’s version of the RTX 2070 instead of a Founders one from Nvidia like I had for my RTX 2080 review and RTX 2080Ti review – so apologies for the wait on that. Rest assured, though, I’ll get it to you as soon as I can.

In the mean time, let’s talk a little bit about those early results. While ‘slightly faster than a GTX 1080’ might not sound particularly brilliant, you may remember that I found the RTX 2080 was only a little bit faster than the GTX 1080Ti in my review, so it sort of makes sense that the RTX 2070 would only be a bit faster than the next card down.

What makes less sense is the price. The RTX 2070 is set to cost upwards of £459 in the UK and $499 in the US when it launches tomorrow (or £579 / $599 if you want a Founders Edition), while the GTX 1080 can currently be had for as little as £400 in the UK and (for the next six days, at least) $450 in the US.

You will, of course, miss out on all of Nvidia’s nifty Turing features by opting for a GTX 1080, such as its fancy light reflection ray-tracing tech and performance-boosting DLSS (deep-learning super sampling) gubbins, but from a sheer numbers perspective, the RTX 2070 certainly has a steep mountain to climb if it’s going to prove a worthwhile purchase over its GTX cousin.

I’ll reserve proper judgment until I’ve had a proper look at the card myself – after all, that performance gap may well get a lot more substantial once developers get their act together and actually add all their promised Turing features into their games (which still hasn’t happened yet for Final Fantasy or Shadow of the Tomb Raider, I might add). Right now, though, it’s looking like Nvidia’s previous generation cards are once again going to be better value for money than their shiny new RTX successors.

To remind yourself of what the GTX 1080 can do, why not have a read of my Shadow of the Tomb Raider graphics performance test, as well a how it compares to the RTX 2080.

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Who am I?

Katharine Castle

Hardware Editor

Katharine writes about all the bits that go inside your PC so you can carry on playing all those lovely games we like talking about so much. Very partial to JRPGs and the fetching of quests.

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