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Comparing the 2080 Ti & 1080 Ti

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Introduction

With the launch of the RTX-series graphics cards, NVIDIA has cemented itself as the premier GPU manufacturer in PC gaming. The RTX 2080 Ti is the most powerful GPU in gaming, boasting unprecedented performance utilizing NVIDIA’s new Turing architecture and ray tracing technology. Gamers around the world are spending big money to upgrade their systems to include NVIDIA’s latest and greatest GPU, but how does it compare to the king of old – the NVIDIA GTX 1080 Ti? In this article, we will discuss the differences between the two cards, and explore whether it is an absolute necessity to upgrade.

Specifications

When it was released back in 2017, the NVIDIA GTX 1080 Ti was an absolute game changer. At the time, the 1080 Ti provided gamers with the biggest performance jump between Ti cards ever seen, with some estimating an increase of up to 35% over the previous generation’s 980 Ti. Such an absurd performance increase makes it easy to understand why the 1080 Ti was (and continues to be) such a beloved GPU among gamers.

With this in mind, consider how insane it would sound if you told a gamer back in 2017 that an even more powerful card – capable of performing 30% than the reigning king of GPUs – was merely a year away. The release of the RTX 2080 Ti was met with even greater enthusiasm than the 1080 Ti, and currently dominates the PC gaming market. So how do these cards compare? Let’s take a look at the chart below.

As you can tell from the chart, the RTX 2080 Ti boasts improvements in nearly every specification over the 1080 Ti. CUDA cores have increased by nearly 1,000 cores from 3,584 to 4,352. This increase is astounding in its own right, but even more impressive is the addition of new RT and Tensor cores to the 2080 Ti. The new RT cores help to push the boundaries of the GPU’s graphical capabilities, and allows for the card to render images using highly anticipated ray tracing technology. The Tensor cores work to more efficiently process anti-aliasing (smoothing) of images using artificial intelligence (AI).

In terms of clock speed, the 1080 Ti actually has a higher base clock compared to the RTX 2080 Ti (1,481 MHz vs 1,350 MHz respectively) but the real difference is in the boost clock.  And let’s be honest, no one is buying these card to run them at base speed anyway. Moving on, the 1080 Ti has a 1,582 MHz boost clock which is excellent and still measures up alongside many of the newer models of GPUs. Despite the impressive boost clock of the 1080 Ti, NVIDIA’s RTX 2080 Ti speeds past it. Thanks to a 90MHz factory overclock, the 2080 Ti reaches a max boost clock frequency of 1,635 MHz!

The 2080 Ti also comes packed with 11GB of GDDR6 video memory compared to the 1080 Ti’s 11GB of GDDR5X. The GDDR6 has lower power consumption and draws slightly less power than the GDDR5X. The memory speed for the 2080 Ti is also considerably higher at 14 Gbps (gigabytes per second) versus 11 Gbps for the 1080 Ti.

Performance

Performance-wise, the 2080 Ti leaves the 1080 Ti in its dust. This is not a slight against the 1080 Ti (which remains a considerably powerful card) but more a testament to just how powerful the 2080 Ti truly is. The 2080 Ti passes the 4K/60 fps test when games are played on ultra settings, with some games reaching 100+ fps! Furthermore, the 2080 Ti also draws less power than its 1080 Ti counterpart, although it does reach higher operating temperatures.

Setting the RTX 2080 Ti aside, the 1080 Ti is still an extremely high-performing GPU. Many have compared the 1080 Ti’s performance to the non-Ti RTX 2080 model, and they do perform very closely. However, the 1080 Ti runs on NVIDIA’s old Pascal architecture while the RTX 2080 utilizes the new Turing architecture. This allows the 2080 to perform tasks faster, and also provides higher processing capabilities.

Looking at the Furmark scores posted above, one can see the significant performance gap between NVIDIA’s two GPUs. Some have claimed that running two 1080 Ti cards in SLI can produce similar (some say better) performance than the 2080 Ti, but that is mostly untrue. First of all, many games do not support SLI. Secondly, there are scaling issues with running SLI between two cards that often affects performance. In most cases, it is better to run a one card setup, and as the RTX 2080 Ti is the most powerful single card money can buy it is your best option.

Price

NVIDIA’s RTX 2080 Ti may very well be the most powerful GPU on the market, but it does come with a hefty price tag. The Founders Edition 2080 Ti (900-1G150-2530-000) that we looked at earlier retails for around $1,199 and some 2080 Ti models retail for upwards of $2,000! The 2080 Ti comes at a steep price, but how does it compare to 1080 Ti cards currently? To get your hands on a new 1080 Ti, you’ll still be shelling out around $1,000. Availability for new 1080 Ti cards has become increasingly limited ever since the launch of the RTX cards while popularity for the cards hasn’t diminished. This has contributed to the static pricing of the 1080 Ti model cards. You can find used 1080 Ti’s for ~$600, but even then a new RTX 2080 card of comparable specs can be purchased for nearly the same price. And as we discussed above, the RTX cards run on the new Turing architecture which allows for the ray tracing features to be utilized – something that the 1080 Ti cannot do, and something which can help you future proof your new PC.

Conclusion

So what have we learned? While the RTX 2080 Ti has proven to be a drastic improvement over its predecessor, the 1080 Ti continues to display enduring success and has continued to be a favorite GPU among PC gamers around the world. The 1080 Ti was an industry-leading game changer when it first arrived on the scene, and has set the standard for what graphics cards are capable of doing. Its high-performance, sleek design, and overall quality has solidified its place at the forefront of PC gaming. Pricing continues to be high for a new 1080 Ti card, and graphics cards of similar performance, namely the RTX 2080, are significantly cheaper.

The 1080 Ti will always have its place in PC gaming history as one of the cards that changed the game, but even still, the RTX 2080 Ti is such a vast improvement. If you are looking to upgrade your GPU but are frightened by the price tag on the 2080 Ti , but do not want to compromise your performance, we would recommend take a look at getting yourself a 1080 Ti.

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The Rise of eSports

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How did eSports become the behemoth it is today?

eSports, the newest form of sports entertainment is breaking out big in 2019. Generating tons of interest, with millions of viewers, this latest medium for competition is now a billion dollar industry with a projected global economy of $2.3 billion by 2022. As the popularity of eSports has spiked the prize pools have grown to match. Epic Games alone is giving out $100 million dollars in prize money this year to draw the best competitors for its inaugural Fortnite World Cup.

Fortnite’s World Cup hosted open online qualifiers from April 8th to June 16th this year, with a weekly prize pool of $1 million dollars. Each Saturday they allowed competitors a three hour time frame to play 10 qualifying games. Players were scored based on their placement and number of eliminations, with the top 3,000 players qualifying for Sunday’s action. On Sundays the scores reset and the top players ran it back for a cash prize and an invite to the Fortnite World Cup Finals. After the qualifiers drew to an end the Fortnite World Cup took place between June 26th-28th. The tournament pitted the top 50 duo teams and the top 100 solo players against each other in a savage competition to determine the world’s best player.

Description: The crowd at KeyArena watching The International 2014.
Date: 18 July 2014, 15:39:27
Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jakobwells/14515407230/in/set-72157645379601078/
Author: Jakob Wells

The Fornite World Cup Finals were hosted in New York City’s Arthur Ashe Stadium, which seats 22,547 and is coincidentally the same stadium where the 2016 US Open was held. Day one featured two events, the NYC Celebrity Pro-AM and the Creative Finals. Airwaks + RLGRIME beat out the competition taking first place in the celebrity Pro-AM splitting $1 million. Fish Fam consisting of cizzorz, TylerH, Suezhoo and zand took home the $1.345 million prize for the Creative Finals, a trial of five different events based on community creations. On day two Nyhrox and Aqua’s teamwork helped them prevail to be the Duos Winners claiming $3 million. Finally on day three the grand prize went to Kyle ‘Bugha’ Giersdorf, age sixteen, who took home a cool $3 million USD for winning the Solo tournament. In the end each of the competitors left with at least $50,000.

Now let’s take a step back and compare that to the world’s first video game tournament, which occurred on October 19th in 1972 at Stanford University. The tournament featured players competing to win at Spacewar, a simple 2D game which had them fighting gravity and each other until only one winner remained. Many pilots competed and many ships were wrecked, until eventually one champion emerged, Bruce Baumgart. Bruce outmaneuvered all others in the five-man-free-for-all winning the world’s first video game tournament, his grand prize: a year’s subscription of Rolling Stone. Not exactly life-changing. Clearly the world of eSports has taken a huge stride forward between these two tournaments and in this article we will seek to illuminate the path we have taken to get to where we are today.

Spacewar Screenshot
Fortnite Screenshot

History of eSports

The 1950's: The Birth of the Computer

To understand how truly far eSports has come, we must go back to the birth of computerized gaming in the 1950’s. Not surprisingly, the first game for PC was a copy of an already existing game. Dubbed “XOX” it was created by Alexander Shafto Douglas, a computer scientist working on his PhD at Cambridge, who programmed a PC to play “Tic-Tac-Toe”. While extremely simple this game allowed humans and machines to compete for the first time ever and served as a small step forward in the history of video games. 

Then in 1958, a big shift occurred when we received the world’s first ever multiplayer game, “Tennis for Two”. This game allowed players to simulate, you guessed it, a game of tennis. Using an early version of today’s joystick, players could hit a virtual ball across a virtual net until one player emerged victorious. Definitely not the best game of all time, but it was a start. Most importantly it allowed players to compete against one another, the basis for any eSport popular today. 

The 1960's & 70's: Arcades and Tournaments

After the commercial success of “Tennis for Two” the video game industry continued to grow quickly. In 1962 Spacewar was released, and even with its simple concept the game was a huge hit. In fact, it even made the New York Times list of top ten games of all time in 2007. As discussed earlier, this game placed its players in separate spaceships in 2D space with a limited supply of fuel and ammo. The opponents would then battle to the death all while fighting the gravitational field of the nearby planet. Ten years after its release Spacewar was the first game to host a competitive tournament, and as mentioned above Bruce Baumgart won, ushering in a new era of competitive gaming.

As the 1960’s rolled on into the 1970’s interest in video games continued to grow. Amusement halls across the country became arcades, and home consoles were born. People flocked to arcades to play the newest hit games like Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and Space Invaders and arcades became a popular American pastime. Even more so when, in 1979, people could immortalize themselves in the new permanent highscore lists on both Asteroids and Starfire. Additionally when the “Magnavox Odyssey” came out in 1972 you could now directly hook up a console to your TV at home and game for hours.

The 1980's & 1990's: Gaming Goes National

In the 1980’s video game tournaments took off with an influx of investment from gaming companies. Atari kicked this off by hosting the world’s first national video game tournament in 1980. The “Space Invaders Championships” featured 10,000 gamers competing to win a version of “Asteroids”. William Salvador Heineman was crowned the winner on October 10th 1980, becoming the first ever winner of a national video game competition. eSports continued to grow as early leaders in the industry like Walter Day emerged. He founded both “Twin Galaxies National Scoreboard (TGNS)” and “U.S. National Video Team”, the first professional gaming team in the world. TGNS helped to grow gaming by keeping a national scoreboard which only the best could hope to land on and the team gave hope to people that gaming could one day become a profession like any other.

Next in the 1990’s Nintendo jumped on the eSports bandwagon, organizing the “Nintendo World Championships” in the USA which pitted competitors against each other in Nintendo’s best games. The Finals occurred December 7th–9th, 1990  with three World Champion titles given out to Jeff Hansen winner in the 11 and under category, Thor Aackerlund winner of the 12–17 category, and Robert Whiteman who won the 18 and older category. Not only was the tournament more competitive the prizes were better as each winner was awarded with a new 1990 Geo Metro Convertible, a $10,000 U.S. savings bond, a 40″ Rear-projection television, and a gold painted Mario trophy.

These console based companies helped push us in the right direction but it became clear soon their time was almost up. Why? Because later into the 1990’s more people gained access to the internet and increasing innovations continued to drive down the price of PC hardware resulting in a PC boom. Players flocked to PC where they could compete online with friends in games like Doom, Quake, and Counter-Strike all from the comfort of their own home. As these games and their player bases quickly grew PC gaming started being approached more professionally and the the first leagues were formed. For example, the Electronic Sports League which was founded in 1998 and the Korean e-Sports Association in 2000.

2000-Present: The Age of Cyber Sports

In the following years video game tournaments continued their assent to where they are today. In 2000, the first World Cyber Games were held in Seoul, South Korea. Next came the 2003 Electronic Sports World Cup in Poitiers, France. Then the Cyberathlete Professional League(CPL) World Tour in 2005, the first million dollar tournament, which was a huge success. The CPL finale was even live broadcast by MTV, marking eSports emergence into the mainstream. As these tournaments grew and spawned more tournaments around the world, eSports entertainment value grew rapidly. Now, as more and more people compete to be the best at their favorite game, the industry continues to expand. Whether your game of choice is Halo, Counter-Strike, or Fortnite, you can compete for entry into these tournaments with the professionals and win extremely large cash prizes for playing video games. Isn’t it crazy how things can change?

Counter-Strike
Doom Screenshot
Future of Esports

Even crazier, eSports is poised to have an even bigger year in 2020. The sport has fully emerged into public view, with huge cash tournaments and streaming deals on platforms like Twitch and Youtube. eSports is even headed to the Olympics, as it will be added to the 2024 program. Additionally, they were to be included in the 2018 Asian Games! In the coming years you can expect to see even more players and games. It is an exciting time for eSports and we can’t wait to see what comes next!

Exploring the Hype Behind AMD’s 3000-Series CPUs

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Introduction

Last month, AMD announced the launch of its third generation of Ryzen CPUs. The Ryzen 3000s (a lineup consisting of 5 different CPU models across various price-points) were announced with a massive amount of hype, and gamers around the world were waiting anxiously with anticipation for their eventual release.

The time came arrived and AMD did not disappoint: The Ryzen 3000 CPUs might be their biggest success yet.

Boasting improvements in nearly every performance category compared to the massively successful Ryzen 2000 CPUs, The Ryzen 3000 is here to usher in the future of PC gaming.

The Lineup

The AMD Ryzen 3000 series consists of five CPU models: the 3600, 3600x, 3700x, 3800x, and the 3900x. All of the CPUs operate on AMD’s Zen-2 architecture, the successor to the Zen and Zen Plus architectures from previous generations of Ryzen CPUs. We’ll discuss the Zen-2 architecture later on, but for now let’s focus on the different CPU models.

The Ryzen 5 3600 is the cheapest model (retailing for around $200). It offers 6 cores and 12 threads, with a base clock of 3.6 GHz, and a boost clock of 4.2 GHz. The upgraded version of the 3600, the Ryzen 5 3600x, has the same number of cores/threads but slightly higher base and boost clock speeds, clocking in around 3.8 GHz and 4.4 GHz respectively. This model retails for ~$250.

The Ryzen 7 3700x retails for ~$330, and has a slightly lower base clock (3.5 GHz) but its boost clock reaches 4.4 GHz. The main difference is in the cores/threads. The 3700x has 8 cores and 16 threads compared to the 6/12 configuration for the 3600 and 3600x. This gives the 3700x a significant boost in processing power, speeding up the execution of applications.

Next we have the Ryzen 9 3800x. These CPUs retail for ~$400, and will offer performance upgrades over the 3700x, with a base clock of 3.6 GHz and a boost clock of 4.5 GHz. The 3800x also has a significantly higher TDP than the 3700x, pulling 105w compared to the 65w for the 3700x.

Lastly, we have the CPU to rule them all – the Ryzen 9 3900x. The impressive 3900x is the first mainstream consumer CPU to have 12 cores (12!) and 24 threads. It boasts a base clock of 3.8 GHz and a boost clock of 4.6 GHz. The 3900x is being hailed as the “best mainstream CPU on the market” and rightfully so. The CPU can be purchased for $500, and is a direct competitor with Intel’s new i9-9900k.

Zen-2 Architecture

As mentioned previously, the next Ryzen 3000 CPUs are manufactured with AMD’s new Zen-2 architecture. Built upon 7nm and 12nm process nodes, the Zen-2 processors increase instructions per clock (IPC) by a significant margin over previous versions of the Zen architecture. The chipset for the new 3000 CPUs is the x570, and they are based on the same AM4 socket utilized in the last two generations of Zen.

A massively significant improvement with the Ryzen 3000 CPU architecture is the inclusion of PCIe 4.0. With the capability to nearly double the bandwidth of PCIExpress 3.0, PCIe 4.0 will allow for ridiculous speed and amazing graphics. SSD performance will reach nearly 30% better performance with PCIe 4.0.

It’s been rumored that AMD already has plans for Zen-3 in the works, but for now Zen-2 stands as an incredibly impressive CPU architecture.

Conclusion

Having researched many of the new CPUs hitting the market in the last few months, the AMD Ryzen 9 3900x is head and shoulders above the rest of the field. Offering ridiculous processing capabilities with its multi-thread cores, PCIe 4.0, and increased IPC, the AMD Ryzen 9 3900x is sure to give you unprecedented PC gaming performance.

The 3000 CPUs are already extremely popular, and initial stock sold out very quickly. People all over the world lined up for a chance to get their hands on the new CPUs, and many went home empty handed. Availability is currently very limited with no real updates from AMD. If you want to get your hands on one, you’ll have to get lucky finding one!

AMD vs NVIDIA: Which one is right for your new build?

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Introduction:

For years the two giants of the PC gaming world of graphics cards, AMD and NVIDIA, have enjoyed competition with their continuous innovation and cutting edge design. Comparisons of these companies and the GPU’s they produce are guaranteed to bring any observer to conclude this though, NVIDIA is on another level. Their top tier GPUs, the RTX Titan, the 2080 Ti and the 2080 simply put are better. NVIDIA’s GPUs produce higher frame rates, draw less power, produce less heat and come with better optimized software. However, this does not mean that AMD should be dismissed, they produce some excellent GPUs at a more affordable price killing it in the mid and low tier of cards. Priced at $449.99, AMD’s new 5700’s (pictured in the image below) are a great deal and are quite capable of rendering some quality frames.

AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT 50th Anniversary
Price vs Performance:

Diving deeper into this comparison, we begin to consider just how much bang for your buck the respective GPUs provide. NVIDIA’s best performing GPU, the RTX Titan blows all the competition out of the water, these GPUs boast 4608 NVIDIA CUDA cores running at 1770 MegaHertZ boost clock on NVIDIA Turing architecture featuring 72 RT cores for ray tracing, 576 Tensor Cores for AI acceleration and 24 GB of GDDR6 memory running at 14 Gigabits per second for up to 672 GB/s of memory bandwidth. All at the insane price tag of $2,499.99. For comparison the best AMD consumer GPU you can buy is the RX 5700 which costs a whopping $449.99 if you opt for the AMD Radeon™ RX 5700 XT 50th Anniversary and can be purchased for as low as $349.99 if you go with the standard 5700 edition. This card still boasts a boost frequency
up to 1980 MHz running on 2560 stream processors  and 8GB of GDDR6 256-bit memory and works great for 2K gaming.

Software:

While AMD software is catching up with NVIDIA, launching competing versions of most software NVIDIA offers, AMD’s software is a little behind the ball. NVIDIA software just works better, for example let’s compare their different software products for adaptive sync and video streaming.

G Sync vs. Free Sync

Both products are a version of adaptive sync designed to reduce screen tearing and improve video quality. G Sync is NVIDIA’s stellar program for this and it is a better product. Better optimized designed with better quality control, it does have one draw back. Same as always with NVIDIA, its just plain more expensive, because it only works with their own specialized monitors designed for this software and specially equipped to handle it. These monitors are not surprisingly more expensive than most but they seem to boast some of the best graphics we can render currently. AMD’s software has the distinct advantage of working with any monitors, it is just not as well optimized and does not seem to work as well, once again it comes down to a question of how much of your hard earned paycheck you are willing to drop on your new rig.

ShadowPlay VS ReLive

Not too much to say about these two products, once again NVIDIA is on top, as their streaming software again takes the cake. Both are capable of streaming your gaming sessions using your GPU without a capture card, but ShadowPlay has better video quality and a higher bit rate, ranging from 1-18mbps vs AMD’s ReLive which can only run at a bit rate between 1-10 mbps. Both are capped at 60 FPS and 1080p though so you may want a capture card for serious 4K streaming.

Power vs Optimization:

By now I’m sure that you’ve heard about AMD’s GPUs and their problem with high temperatures, and while this is true, the simple explanation for this is a difference in the architecture of the cards. NVIDIA’s Turing architecture is better designed and uses less power more efficiently in order to push out more frames. Meanwhile AMD GPUs are juiced up and need the extra power to make up for the lack of efficiency in their cards due to poor architecture. It’s as simple as that, it doesn’t make one necessarily better but when it comes to computing lower temperatures are generally preferred as heat and computers do not mix well. Funny enough it is a fact that, when your PC over heats it freezes, and that is something we all hope to avoid.

MSI RTX 2080 Ti LIGHTNING Z
Conclusion:

In the end, it comes down to your personal preference and price range when determining which GPU to choose. Whether you choose the RTX 2080 Ti which will provide the best performance that money can buy, or an AMD 5700 which will give you exceptional performance without breaking the bank, you’re sure to enjoy endless hours of high-performance pc gaming.

Preview: The NVIDIA RTX Super Series

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Introduction

Last week, NVIDIA shook up the PC gaming world once again with the announcement of its brand new line of graphics cards – the RTX SUPER series. Due to hit shelves a mere nine months after the launch of the massively successful Geforce 20-series, the RTX SUPER gpus arrive boasting high performance, sleek design, and low cost. In this article, I will discuss what sets the SUPER cards apart from the rest of the field.

Performance

You might be wondering what kind of performance boost a RTX SUPER graphics card will give you vs a regular RTX gpu. The answer, in short, is a big boost. Referencing the chart below depicting some recent scores from Furmark tests we ran, let’s take a look at the performance between the RTX 2060 SUPER and the original RTX 2060.

The RTX 2060 SUPER is an upgrade over the RTX 2060 in seemingly every specification category including processing cores (2,176 vs 1,920), base clock (1,470 MHz vs 1,365 MHz), video memory (8GB vs 6GB), memory interface (256-bit vs 192-bit), and more. In fact, the RTX 2060 SUPER shares many similarities performance/spec-wise with the original RTX 2070 and scores very closely. Similarly, the RTX 2070 SUPER is on par (slightly lower performance) with the original RTX 2080. In addition to the performance boost, the SUPER gpus all run NVIDIA’s Turing architecture which means that they’ll all be capable or real-time ray tracing and support other advanced gaming features like NVIDIA adaptive shading, mesh shading, deep learning super sampling, and more.

While the RTX 2080 Ti still reigns king over the growing field of pc gaming gpus, the RTX SUPER series cards serve to fill in the gaps between the current tiers of performance. If you’re looking to get a little more out of your current gpu, upgrading to a SUPER series graphics card could provide you with a significant boost.

Price

When AMD announced its new NAVI 5700 gpus, it seemed like they were in a real position to secure the low-mid level pricing tier of graphics cards. Within days, NVIDIA announced the pricing for the RTX SUPER cards and all of a sudden, AMD was worried. In fact, the pricing on these new SUPER gpus was so competitive for the performance that AMD had to lower the prices on their new NAVI cards. So what will it cost you to get your hands on one of the new SUPER cards?

Available July 9th, pricing for the RTX 2060 SUPER starts at $399.99 (vs $349.99 for the regular 2060), and the RTX 2070 SUPER starts at $499.99. Later in the month on July 23rd, the RTX 2080 SUPER will be available starting at $699.99. That means that you can get a RTX 2070 SUPER and a RTX 2080 SUPER for the same price as their regular RTX counterparts!

AMD 5700 vs NVIDIA SUPER

So how do the NVIDIA SUPER cards compare to the AMD 5700 cards? We already discussed price (and the fact that AMD had to lower their pricing to compete NVIDIA’s own aggressive pricing model) in which AMD has a slight edge over NVIDIA, but is the performance worth the price?

Taking a look back at the graph of Furmark scores we referenced earlier, we can see that the RX 5700 outperforms the 2060, and that for the same price of $399.99, the RX 5700 XT outperforms the RTX 2060 SUPER. So if you’re looking for a card in that $300-$400 range, the AMD cards are very nice pickups if your looking to buy or finance a graphics card with solid performance. However, if you take a the leap and spend that extra $100, the RTX 2070 SUPER provides a significant performance leap over both AMD cards. If we go to the RTX 2080 SUPER tier, none of the other cards even come close.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the NVIDIA RTX SUPER series cards package considerable pc gaming performance at a very reasonable cost. If you’re one of our members who recently leased a RTX 2060, 2070, or 2080 – don’t worry – we’ll have the SUPERS soon and you can upgrade at any time!

The RTX 2080 Ti vs the GTX 1080 Ti

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Take a look at these furmark comparison scores and let us know what you think of these cards in the comments below. Thank you!

The ASUS RTX 2080 Ti ROG STRIX Overclocked Edition vs the ASUS GTX 1080 Ti STRIX OC
ASUS RTX 2080 Ti ROG STRIX Overclocked Edition ROG-STRIX-RTX2080TI-O11G-GAMING
ASUS GTX 1080 Ti STRIX OC STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING

The EVGA RTX 2080 Ti FTW3 ULTRA HYBRID vs the EVGA GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 HYBRID
EVGA RTX 2080 Ti FTW3 ULTRA HYBRID 11G-P4-2484-KR
EVGA GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 HYBRID 11G-P4-6698-KR

The MSI RTX 2080 Ti LIGHTNING Z vs the MSI GTX 1080 Ti LIGHTNING X
MSI RTX 2080 Ti LIGHTNING Z RTX 2080 Ti LIGHTNING Z
MSI GTX 1080 Ti LIGHTNING X GTX 1080 Ti LIGHTNING X

The PC vs Console Gaming Debate

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Introduction

Over the course of the video gaming industry’s nearly four decade history, video games – and the companies that produce them – have diversified in their uniqueness and creativity. As the popularity of video games has grown, so has the number of mediums on which they are played. Today, gamers have a wide range of choices to consider when selecting the best platform most suitable for enjoying their favorite games: Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo, & more. In addition to theses well-known, more traditional home-entertainment consoles, PC gaming has grown significantly in recent years. The growing selection of gaming platforms has led to a schism among gamers centered around one integral question – which is better: console or PC gaming? Some extremely passionate debate has spread throughout the gaming community regarding this topic, and in this article I will discuss some of the similarities and differences that makes PC and console gaming truly unique experiences.

Graphics

Graphics in video games have come a long way over the years. Gone are the days of block-y pixelated landscapes and textures, and in are the hyper-realistic real world simulations. Most modern gaming platforms are capable of outputting amazing graphics, but what sets them apart? While the Nintendo Switch can produce some good-looking games, it prioritizes quality games and playability over graphics. Leading the consoles in terms of graphics output is Microsoft’s Xbox One X and Sony’s Playstation 4 Pro. Of the the three main home-entertainment consoles, these are the most powerful machines. Both consoles are capable of producing producing high quality textures and details at high resolutions while also possessing the capability of outputting in 4K. Of the two, the Xbox One X is the more powerful machine. It doesn’t suffer from dynamic scaling issues that the PS4 Pro has been known to suffer from, and it often runs the same games at higher resolutions. So to recap, Microsoft’s Xbox One X is the most graphically capable gaming console, but how does it compare to a PC with a high-end graphics card?

Some of our members who’ve been able to lease one of our new RTX 2080 Ti graphics cards will tell you that nothing can compare graphically to NVIDIA’s new series of ultra powerful GPU’s. With this new line of GPUs, video game graphics have reached never before seen heights. Real-time ray tracing has paved the way for the most realistic simulations of light in video games to date. DLSS ( an edge-smoothing technology that uses AI to boost performance and output the highest possible resolutions) support has taken graphics even further. Gaming seamlessly in 4K, gaming on a PC with a high-end graphics card edges out what the big three consoles can do in terms of graphics output.

Price

Probably the most significant factor impacting a gamer’s platform decision is price. In terms of price, Nintendo has always been the most affordable option. The Nintendo Switch has a huge selection of great titles available on its platform, and you can pick up a Switch for only $300. Compared to Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony’s consoles are a bit more expensive. The Xbox One X retails for $499.99 and the Playstation 4 Pro will cost you $399.99.

But how does the PC stack up price-wise against the other home entertainment platforms? Simply put, not good. While PC gaming has many advantages, it is often the most costly option for playing your favorite games. Graphics cards alone can cost upwards of $2,000 – and that’s without the entire rest of your PC build! Many PC enthusiasts turn to services like ours here Cutting Edge Gamer to lease a GPU, essentially financing a graphics card with monthly payments. So if you’re looking to game affordably without having to finance a graphics card, the Nintendo Switch is the platform for you!

Customization

There’s plenty of reasons to prefer one gaming platform over the others. Maybe you like  Xbox over Playstation because of your controller preference. Maybe you like the Switch for its affordability and portability. Maybe you prefer Playstation’s exclusive game titles over the others. With PC, you have the ability to bridge many of these preferences. You can use a wide array of different controllers (including Xbox and Playstation), keyboard and mouse, joystick, etc. You can play games available on Steam, Origin, Epic, etc. Not to mention you can customize the hardware within the PC itself far more than the consoles. Simply put, gaming on a PC offers more diversity and customization. Of course there are console exclusives that aren’t available on the PC too, however. At the end of the day, like all things, your gaming selection will come down to comfort and preference.

Ray Tracing: The Power Behind NVIDIA’s 20-Series GPUs

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What Is Ray Tracing?

Remember in August of last year when NVIDIA announced the launch of the brand new RTX 20 series graphics cards  and the internet exploded with speculation and mass hysteria? I do. That’s because the announcement of a new line of graphics cards – the successor to the incredibly popular Geforce 10 series – from NVIDIA was and still is a big deal.

Boasting unprecedented graphics capabilities and pc gaming performance,  the anticipation for the RTX 20 series cards was so high that NVIDIA faced extreme difficulty fulfilling initial orders for the cards during the immediate months proceeding the launch. Feeding into the anticipation was the announcement that the new RTX cards would have the computing capability to perform ray tracing in real time. Now if you’re like me, you probably asked yourself, “Well, what the hell is ray tracing?” I wouldn’t blame you for not understanding, especially after NVIDIA’s meme-able RTX ON/RTX OFF video. Dubbed “the holy grail of gaming graphics” by NVIDIA, ray tracing – simply put – is a rendering technique that “traces” a path or paths of light in a digital image to create a realistic simulation of the interaction between the light and a virtual object. Still sounds confusing, right? Let’s look at the example below.

RTX ON/RTX OFF

Here we have two screenshots from EA’s Battlefield V running on our testing rig using an EVGA RTX 2080 Ti FTW3 GAMING card. Both images have impressive graphics, but there are subtle differences that set the RTX cards apart from previous graphics cards. In the first image, you can see the explosion near my character, but notice how the foreground of the scene remains dark. Now look at the second image. Notice how the light from the fire illuminates the gun my character is holding and how it reflects of the puddles of water on the ground? That’s the effect ray tracing produces. Any way I decide to have my character move throughout the scene, the light from the fire will reflect off of surfaces that it normally would in real life, and adjust accordingly in real time. In contrast, in the first image you can see the fire, but you cannot see how the light from the fire illuminates and reflects off the metal on my character’s gun or the water puddles. The comparison below further illustrates the effects of ray tracing on virtual objects.

Enabling Ray Tracing

Alright now that you know what ray tracing is, you’ll need to know how to turn it on. Unfortunately, activating ray tracing isn’t as simple as slapping a RTX gpu in your system and playing a ray tracing enabled game. You’ll have to make sure you’ve completed a couple of steps first:

  1. Make sure that the GPU drivers are up to date.
  2. Update Windows 10 to at least version 1089 (You may have to manually download this update).
  3. Go to the video settings in your ray tracing enabled game (Battlefield V is under “Advanced” video settings) and enable DX12.
  4. You’ll have to then restart the game for the changes to take effect.

Once you’ve completed these steps, you’ll be able to experience ray tracing in all its glory!

Conclusion

Look, I know what you’re thinking. Improved lighting effects and renderings? Really? It might seem like a trivial upgrade, but real-time ray tracing is a big deal and an enormous step forward in terms of what pc gaming graphics are capable of. It uses cutting edge technology to visualize lighting in a way never before possible in real time. While there aren’t many games currently available that utilize NVIDIA’s ray tracing feature (Battlefield V, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Metro Exodues, etc.), you will find yourself playing one that does soon, when you do remember to turn ray tracing on!

Troubleshooting Tips

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General Tips

Graphics card won’t post? Artifacting issues? Over heating? Computer Crashes? Loud Fan Sounds? Driver Crashes? Sound familiar? We have seen it all during our last nine years in business. Graphics cards have issues, break or plain stop working, that’s why are here to help. Check out our guide below and hopefully some of these tips can resolve your card issues without need for an RMA!

 

Here are some troubleshooting tips to help isolate the issue to the graphics card:

1) First, try re-seating the graphics card and ensure the power and video cables are installed properly.
2) If a second PCI-E slot is available, try installing the graphics card in another PCI-E slot and re-test.
3) Check your video cables to make sure they are not faulty and that they are the same video standard as the graphics card (DisplayPort 1.4 / 1.4a versus 1.2, HDMI 2.0 versus 1.4, etc.).
4) Check your monitor’s video input standards to make sure they are the same as the graphics card.
5) Install a known good graphics card in your system to insure that there is nothing else wrong (or install the potentially bad graphics card in another known good system to see if the issues replicate).
6) Sweep all old drivers and install new ones.
7) If that does not help, re-image entire system.
8) Other items that will cause artifacting: bad PSU, bad memory, bad video cable and/or video adapter.

No Display - Updating BIOS on Your Nvidia GPU

Here are some steps for flashing the BIOS of your NVIDIA GPU:

Tools that you will need:

-**GPU-Z** found here: http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads/1709/TechPowerUp_GPU-Z_v0.3.8.html

-**NiBiTor** found here:  https://www.guru3d.com/files-details/nvidia-bios-editor-download-nibitor.html

-**nvflash** found here:  https://www.techpowerup.com/download/nvidia-nvflash/

**Once you have these tools downloaded, follow this guide for flashing the BIOS:** http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/threads/guide-for-flashing-bios-of-nvidia-gpu.119955/

It’s very important to save a copy of your current BIOS (Step 1) in case anything happens during the flashing process.

No Video - Run Display Driver Uninstaller W10 (AMD)

1) Please run Display Driver Uninstaller: http://www.guru3d.com/files-details/display-driver-uninstaller-download.html

2) Run it in Safe Mode. To put Windows 10 into Safe Mode: http://www.digitalcitizen.life/4-ways-boot-safe-mode-windows-10

3) After clearing drivers, re-install the AMD graphics card into system and download the AMD driver for W10 64-bit: https://www.amd.com/en/support

4) Reboot system.

No Video - Run Display Driver Uninstaller W10 (NVIDIA)

1) Please run Display Driver Uninstaller:
http://www.guru3d.com/files-details/display-driver-uninstaller-download.html

2) Run it in Safe Mode. To put Windows 10 into Safe Mode:
http://www.digitalcitizen.life/4-ways-boot-safe-mode-windows-10

3) After clearing drivers, re-install the NVIDIA graphics card into system and download the NVIDIA driver for Windows 10:
http://www.geforce.com/drivers

4) Reboot system.

 

Hopefully one of those tips was able to solve your issue. If not you can always reach out to us via our Support Tickets and we can help you with our 3-5 day RMA service.

RTX Launch Issues

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The Problem with RTX 2080 Ti's Launch Cards:

After the release of the RTX 2080  we started hearing a lot of mixed reviews, and eventually some problems have come to light. It seems the expensive new Turing architecture RTX cards capable of ray-tracing may have been a little rushed.

Many users had issues with the NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition cards glitching and it seems a culprit has been found and the issue resolved. The new cards now ship with new memory cards as they replaced the original GDDR6 memory from Micron with new Samsung memory which seems to have fixed these issues. It seems this poor memory along with bad screw connections on the cooler and cold solder joints were causing the issues. We certainly had our share of defective cards but they seem to have resolved the issue now and our new cards are running great!

Grab a new EVGA RTX 2080 Ti FTW3 ULTRA GAMING (with Samsung memory) today!