GTX 1080 vs. RTX 2070: Which Is Better?

Nvidia’s GTX 1080 and RTX 2070 are two of their best products to date. They’ve mastered the art of GPU creation by honing the capabilities of these two GPUs.

But since they look similar and cost about the same, most people get them mixed up. This begs the question, is a GTX 1080 better than an RTX 2070?

No, it does not. In almost every benchmark test, the RTX 2070 outperforms the GTX 1080, making it a worthy successor.

But GTX 1080 is still a good choice for many people in 2022. In this article, we’ll compare the two in depth so that you can make the right choice for yourself.

Let’s get started.

Quick Overview of GTX 1080 and RTX 2070

To easily choose between the GTX 1080 and the RTX 2070, you must first understand what their titles mean.

Nvidia GTX 1080

nvidia geforce gtx 1080

One of the last GPUs in the Nvidia 10 series is the GTX 1080. It was released in May of 2016 and has since remained one of the best graphics cards on the market.

This GPU used the Pascal architecture and was the best GPU available at the time.

Pros

  • In the low to mid-range price range
  • A highly power-efficient GPU
  • Big jump in performance from the last generation
  • High FPS in Triple-A games that need it
  • The design is sleek and sturdy

Cons

  • Doesn’t support RTX

Nvidia RTX 2070

geforce rtx 2070 founders edition

RTX 2070 is the successor to the GTX 1080 and one of the first RTX GPUs from Nvidia. These GPUs support real-time ray tracing, resulting in an incredibly realistic gaming experience.

It is a more recent GPU, having been released in 2019. Since then, the RTX 2070 has been one of the best graphics cards on the market.

Pros

  • Real-time RTX support
  • Made with high-quality materials
  • Considering the RTX support, the price is very reasonable
  • Has 4K support at 30 FPS
  • Top-of-the-line built-in shaders

Cons

  • a little power hungry
  • 4K may not be that great

Key Features of RTX 2070 and GTX 1080

Let’s take a look at the main differences between the RTX 2070 and the GTX 1080.

RTX Support

The RT in RTX stands for Ray Tracing, a modern graphics technique that allows games to simulate the movement of light in real life. It is the most important feature of the RTX 2070.

Every RTX series GPU includes hardware known as RT cores, which enable this technology. This means no more artificial lighting and shadows in games and a more realistic experience.

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Ray tracing is one of the graphics features in games that are getting the most attention right now. But it’s no wonder. If you’ve seen a game that uses ray tracing, it’s easy to be completely blown away and want to try it for yourself.

This new technology works with all of Nvidia’s RTX series graphics cards, which is good news. RTX 2070 is one of these. If you want to try out this cool new tech for yourself, you should get an RTX graphics card.

King of Performance in Every Way

Nvidia’s GTX series, on the other hand, has mastered how a GPU should work, despite the lack of fancy features like ray tracing or RT cores.

This is the series that paved the way for modern GPUs by laying the necessary groundwork for the current graphics card industry.

Technical Differences Between GTX 1080 and RTX 2070

Now that you have a better understanding of the GTX 1080 and RTX 2070, let’s get technical. The building architecture of both GPUs, as well as every minor detail, is listed in the table below.

StatsRTX 2070GTX 1080
ArchitectureTU106GP104
Process1216
Transistors (billion)10.87.2
Die size (mm^2)445314
SMs3620
CUDA cores23042560
Tensor cores288N/A
RT cores36N/A
Base clock (MHz)14101607
Boost clock (MHz)16201733
VRAM Speed (MT/s)1400010000
VRAM (GB)88
Bus width (bits)256256
ROPs6464
TMUs144160
GFLOPS (boost)74658873
Bandwidth (GB/s)448320
TDP (watts)185180
Place in Performance4248
Release date27th August 20186th May 2016
Launch Price$499$599
Core Clock Speed1620 MHz1607 MHz
Texture Fill Rate233.3277.3
Length229mm267mm
Maximum RAM8 GB8 GB
Memory clock speed14000 MHz10000 MHz
DirectX12 Ultimate12 (12_1)
Shader Model6.56.4
OpenGL4.64.6

As you can see, the RTX 2070 slightly outperforms the GTX 1080 in almost every comparison. However, it is also apparent that they share many similarities.

Both GPUs have 8 GB of RAM. This is the optimal VRAM capacity for a graphics card in 2022. If you want to learn more about how much GPU RAM your graphics card should have, you can read about it in detail here.

The GDDR6 memory on the RTX 2070 is slightly better and faster than the GDDR5 memory on the GTX 1080.

In terms of clock speeds, GTX 1080 is better than RTX 2070. It also comes with better CUDA cores.

But this isn’t enough for it to be the main attraction. The new Turing architecture in the RTX 2070 gives it better performance than the old Pascal architecture in the GTX 1080.

In-Depth Comparison Between GTX 1080 and RTX 2070

Let’s put these two beasts next to each other and see how well they do when tested with some of the most popular games on the market right now.

rtx 2070 vs gtx 1080 average fps on games
Image credit: PCGamer

There was almost no difference between the two GPUs when running some games at 1080p medium settings. But that slowly starts to change as we get into more specific games and higher resolutions.

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Performance

For Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, RTX 2070 performs 12% better at 1440p and 19% better at 4K as compared to GTX 1080. It’s safe to say one outperforms the other when you notice performance gaps are well into the double-digit numbers.

This is also true for other games on the table, including popular ones like Far Cry 5, Hitman 2, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and many more.

As you might expect, the RTX 2070 does better at higher resolutions than the GTX 1080. This is mostly because of how they are built. Since 2070 has multiple RT cores and active Ray Tracing technology, it can handle higher resolutions better. Without this, it’s hard for GTX to get good frame rates at higher resolutions.

Based on the benchmark tests, we think it’s safe to say that RTX 2070 is better than GTX 1080 for big-league games and super-high screen resolutions.

Ray Tracing in Real Time

Real-time ray tracing is available on the RTX 2070 but not on the GTX 1080.

If you look at the performance table more closely, you can see this for yourself. When it comes to high-resolution gaming at 1440p or 4K, the RTX 2070 is much better than the GTX 1080. This is because a lot of graphics processing needs to be done in these modes.

Thanks to the Ray Tracing tech in the RTX 2070, this is a breeze.

DLSS

Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) is a technique used to boost overall FPS counts in high-intensity games. This feature is available on the RTX 2070 due to its multiple Tensor cores, but it is not available on the GTX 1070.

It can literally change the game. When it’s turned on, you’ll notice a clearer and smoother video quality. It is disabled by default in some games because most GPUs don’t support it.

However, if you have an RTX 2070, you can enjoy DLSS and the highest frame rates possible!

Turing Architecture

The Turing architecture in games enables highly detailed shading while also increasing the overall frames per second (FPS) count. The RTX 2070 features a Turing architecture. But GTX 1080 doesn’t have it.

This is a fairly new piece of tech. Most modern GPUs have this feature now, and 2070 is one of them. This is a must-have feature for you if you want detailed shading and shader packs in your games.

Adaptability

Both GPUs can work with most computer systems pretty well. You’ll only need the essentials: a modern CPU, at least 4 or 8 GB of system RAM, and a reliable power supply. It’s fairly straightforward, and both the RTX 2070 and GTX 1080 can be connected to any computer.

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Future-Proofing

In terms of future-proofing, the RTX 2070 outperforms the GTX 1080. Many games today rely on ray tracing support to improve gameplay and overall performance. As RTX GPUs become more widely available, more games will begin to include this feature.

If your GPU doesn’t support RTX, it may be hard to play games that will come out in the future. GTX 1080 may encounter difficulties in the long run because of this.

However, the RTX 2070 will have no such issues. We believe it will continue to outperform other games on the market for many years to come. If you’re looking to buy a GPU right now and want it to last at least a couple of years, we recommend the RTX 2070.

Pricing and Availability

During their initial release, both GPUs were priced at $499. But now, the price of both of them has gone up, and a new GTX 1080 and RTX 2070 can be bought as renewed.

The recent shortage of silicon chips is why prices have gone up. You can read our article about the chip shortage here if you want to learn more.

But you can usually find both of these GPUs at prices that are close to each other. Which one should you pick then?

is gtx 1080 better than rtx 2070

So, is a GTX 1080 Better than an RTX 2070?

All things considered, the RTX 2070 is better than the GTX 1080 since it has more power. 2070 can handle most graphics-intensive tasks quickly, such as running games at high resolutions while still getting the best FPS counts.

But GTX 1080 can’t be completely ignored. It works about the same as the RTX 2070 when you put it through medium-intensity tasks, like playing games at 720p or 1080 resolutions and turning off all the fancy graphics settings.

However, if your budget allows it and you want the best gaming experience possible, the RTX 2070 is the card for you.

It is fully equipped to provide you with a premium gaming experience across all modern games, thanks to its new framework and modern features. It’s a worthy successor that won’t let you down, even if you want to go for 4K gaming.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Was it always this expensive to buy a graphics card?

They were not, for sure. Graphics cards have always been among the most expensive pieces of PC hardware. But, as this post says, the problem is much worse now because there aren’t enough silicon chips. GPU prices are going up like never before on the market today.

Will there ever be enough chips for everyone?

Of course, it’ll. But it’s likely to stick around for a while. The shortage of silicon chips started in the first place because we didn’t have any good ways to recycle them. It will undoubtedly take some time for the system to be restructured and things to return to normal.

Is it a good idea to buy a graphics card right now?

It is, without a doubt. We know why you’re asking about this problem: the price of graphics cards has gone up recently, which is why you’re asking about it. But there won’t be enough for long, and you can’t live without a graphics card forever. We’d say it’s better to do it now than never.

Can dual GTX graphics cards outperform RTX 2070?

Most likely, they can’t. Even though dual GTX graphics cards will give you twice as much power, they won’t have the RT cores and modern features that the RTX 2070 has. If you can afford it, it’s better to buy one good instead of two average ones.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you now understand whether a GTX 1080 is better compared to an RTX 2070. After reading this post, you should know how the GPUs are different and what their strengths are.

As a final note, we’d suggest getting a GTX 1080 if you can find a used one for cheap. Since the prices of both GPUs are about the same, the best way to save money is to buy a used one. However, if you really need the extra power, go for the RTX 2070.

Recommended graphics card list:

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Chris Martin is a professional tech writer. He's been covering tech tutorials, hardware reviews, and more as a professional writer for over seven years now and it doesn't look like he'll be stopping anytime soon! In addition to writing about the latest gadgets on the market, he also covers topics such as how to set up your home network or troubleshoot any computer problems you may have.

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