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GTX vs RTX – Which is better?

Last Updated : 02 Jun, 2020
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Let’s say that you want to build a computer or you want to change the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) of your existing PC since it had been outdated, you go to the market in search of a new one and there are two variants in front of you – GTX and RTX. You don’t know what is meant by all this and make the wrong decision. This article aims to help you in a situation like that and would try to give a basic difference between these terms.
While there are many competitors in the market of GPUs (mainly Nvidia and AMD), we would only talk about the Nvidia processors as they are the most common, and the term GTX and RTX belong to them.

What is GTX?

GTX stands for Giga Texel Shader eXtreme and is a variant under the brand GeForce owned by Nvidia. They were first introduced in 2008 with series 200, codenamed Tesla. The first product in this series was GTX 260 and more expensive GTX 280. The introduction of these cards also affected the naming scheme and from the release of these cards onwards, Nvidia GPUs used a naming scheme that has GTX/GT as a prefix followed by their model number. With every other major release in the series, Nvidia changed its microarchitecture on which its cards are based on i.e. series 200 & 300 were based on Tesla architecture, series 400 & 500 were based on Fermi architecture and so on.
The latest GTX series 16, consist of GTX 1650, GTX 1660, GTX 1660Ti, and its Super counterparts. These are based on Turing architecture and were introduced in 2019.

What is RTX?

RTX stands for Ray Tracing Texel eXtreme and is also a variant under GeForce. The RTX cards were specially designed to support real-time ray tracing which made the video looked more beautiful. They were first announced in 2018 and uses Turing architecture. These RTX cards include RTX 2060, RTX 2070, RTX 2080, RTX 2080Ti, and Super counterparts of 2060 and 2070. These cards support the DXR extension in Microsoft’s DirectX12 and also DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling).

Difference between GTX and RTX

GeForce is a brand of GPUs designed by Nvidia and under it comes it’s variants like GTX and RTX but before the terms, GTX and RTX were used or existed, terms like GT and GS were popular among GPUs but nowadays they only provide entry-level graphics processing capability and for using more graphics-intensive application you should possess the GTX or RTX cards which are specially designed for graphic-intensive applications like games, graphic engines and much more.
The latest entry in the GTX series includes the 16XX series but for the sake of simplification and similarity, we would consider the differences between a GTX 1080Ti (introduced in 2016) and an RTX 2080 (introduced in 2019) as they are quite similar with a little difference.
GTX stands for Giga Texel Shader eXtreme and RTX stands for Ray Tracing Texel eXtreme, these are not a simple technology to understand by any means but the most basic difference between the two is that the RTX is specifically designed for performing Real-Time Ray Tracing. In simpler terms, it is used to plot the path of light in a video game as it interacts (reflect or refract) with the surroundings in real-time. It results in more beautiful and stunning looking environments, textures, and materials in the game.

As you can see in the picture RTX cards offer incredibly detailed lighting effects and rendering. But better looks does not guarantee better frame rates. And also there are not many games in the market that support ray tracing. So let us look into the differences between the GTX 1080Ti and the RTX 2080.

GTX 1080Ti vs RTX 2080

GTX 1080Ti RTX 2080
GPU architecture Pascal Turing
Frame Buffer 11 GB GDDR5X 8 GB GDDR6
Memory Speed 11 Gbps 14 Gbps
Boost Clock 1582 MHz 1710 MHz
Ray Tracing Not Supported Supported
DLSS Not Supported Supported
Price $1000 $700

These are some basic differences between the two cards. The RTX 2080 is capable of beating the GTX 1080Ti in 4K gaming. 2080 uses a faster GDDR6 memory which results in better resolutions. It also offers additional rendering improvements being a Turing architecture card and also supports Real-Time Ray Tracing and DLSS, plus its price is less when compared to its counterpart.

While these things may sound impressive, there is no real reason to use the RTX card if you don’t care much about the visuals. Since 4K monitors are very expensive and enabling ray tracing may reduce your frame rates, the GTX 1080Ti gives better performance in some games when compared to the RTX 2080.

Verdict: Nvidia’s GTX 1080Ti will give better performance in some games but it is not worth the extra amount it costs and since the RTX cards come with additional features of Ray tracing and DLSS it is a good choice for mid to high-end PCs and since more and more games are supporting ray tracing it is a good choice for the present as well as the future.


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