Unless you’re an enthusiast gamer chasing the latest graphics card, it pays to be patient. Now that Nvidia has announced its latest GeForce RTX 2080 flagship consumer graphics card at Gamescom, pricing for the current generation GeForce GTX 1080 cards are dropping, so if you don’t mind going with an “older” card — which is still today’s top-of-the-line graphics offering — you can save some money by going with the GTX series instead of jumping on the new RTX cards.
In addition to Nvidia’s improved performance claims, the highlight of the RTX series is a feature called ray tracing, which brings cinematic lighting effects to games. To take advantage of ray tracing, developers will need to build support into their games, and only a limited number of games with ray tracing will be available this year. For most, if not all, current games, a GTX 1080 card will more than serve most gamers’ needs.
While the flagship GTX 1080 Ti was priced close to $1,000 a few weeks ago, the pricing has dropped significantly since Nvidia’s announcement. Zotac’s GTX 1080 Ti is now priced at just $526.50 on Amazon. This is the AMP Edition with 11GB of video RAM. It was previously selling at $679. The standard non-Ti edition now sells for just $449, while the GTX 1070 with 8GB of RAM is now selling for $296.
In addition to standard games today, all these cards also come with support for virtual reality games. However, connecting to a VR headset requires getting multiple cables up and running. The new RTX card supports a newer VirtualLink interface over a USB-C connection. With VirtualLink, you’ll need just a single USB-C cable to drive power, display, and data, eliminating the need for a multi-cable VR setup. Keep in mind, however, that in order to take advantage of VirtualLink, you’ll need both Nvidia’s new RTX graphics card and a new VirtualLink-compatible VR headset to work.
The new RTX cards will be available next month, and we’ll likely see more discounts on GTX cards from other manufacturers in the weeks to come. If you prefer not to wait, Nvidia announced that the RTX cards start at $500, with the RTX 2080 Ti Founder’s Edition coming in at $1,199.
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