Nvidia RTX 20-series GPUs: Specs, price, and availability

Nvidia unveiled its long-awaited high-end consumer graphics cards, surprising everyone with three different models: the GeForce RTX 2070, GeForce RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti.

Credit: Nvidia

(Image credit: Nvidia)

Powered by the recently announced Turing architecture, these next-generation GPUs offer a massive leap in graphics performance according to Nvidia, particularly when it comes to producing realistic lighting and reflections.

As the top-of-the-line GPUs offered by Nvidia, the RTX 2070, RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti will be able to play the latest titles at the highest graphics settings. Here's everything you need to know about Nvidia's latest flagship GPUs, including performance, availability and pricing.

What are the RTX 2070, RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti GPUs?

The RTX 2070, RTX 2080, and RTX 2080 Ti are the latest high-end GPUs from graphics card manufacturer Nvidia. They are direct successors to the company's acclaimed 10-series GPUs, the GeForce GTX 1070, GTX 1080 and GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.

Credit: Nvidia

(Image credit: Nvidia)

The three cards are based on the company's recently announced Turing architecture. Nvidia calls Turing the "greatest leap since the invention of CUDA GPU in 2006." The architecture introduces several improvements compared to last year's products, in part, because of its  high-speed dedicated ray tracing (RT) cores and AI-processing tensor cores.

How much will the RTX 1070, RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti cost?

As expected, the new graphics cards are pricey. The most affordable option, the RTX 1070, starts at $499, while the RTX 2080 goes for $699. The RTX 2080 Ti starts at  $999. Asus, EVGA, MSI, PNY and others offer the new cards for pre-order today.

MORE: Here's Every RTX 2080 Optimized Game (So Far)

When will the RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti be available?

The three GPUs will be released in-stores on September 20. You can pre-order the RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti from Nvidia's website today, but you'll spend a bit more. The Founders Edition RTX 2080 Ti costs $1,199, while the RTX 2080 goes for $799. The $599 RTX 2070 Founders Edition can't be pre-ordered at the time of writing.

How powerful are the new graphics cards?

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RTX 2070 RTX 2080 RTX 2080 Ti
Memory8GB GDDR6 (14 Gbps)8GB GDDR6 (14 Gbps)11GB GDDR6 (14 Gbps)
Base clock141015151350
Boost clock162017101545
CUDA Cores230429444352

The new RTX-branded chips are significantly more powerful than their predecessors. The most affordable model, the RTX 2070, comes with 2,304 CUDA cores, a significant increase from the GTX 1070, which has 1920 cores. Both the RTX 2070 and GTX 1070 come with 8GB of memory, but the new model has the faster 14 Gbps GDDR6 variant.

Similarly, the RTX 2080 steps up the GTX 1080's 2560 cores to 2944 cores, a 15 percent increase.  It also comes with 8GB of GDDR6 memory.

The top-of-the-line RTX 2080 Ti introduces the largest performance gains, boasting 4,352 CUDA cores, a 21 percent increase from the GTX 1080. It also has 11GB of GDDR6 memory, a small bump up from the 11GB of GDDR5X on the GTX 1080 Ti.

For a deeper breakdown of how all models of the GeForce RTX stack up, check out our sister site Tom's Hardware.

What are the GPU's best features?

With the RTX 2070, RTX 2080, and RTX 2080 Ti, Nvidia focused on improvements to lighting, and one specific feature called real-time ray tracing.

Dubbed the "holy grail of computer graphics," Ray tracing is a technique that traces individual light rays as they bounce off surfaces to produce realistic reflections, translucency and shadows. Nvidia believes ray tracing will usher in a new era in graphical fidelity, with games that can reproduce photorealistic images. Nvidia showed off several trailers from games that support ray tracing, and the differences are noticeable. For example, in a clip of the upcoming first-person shooter, Battlefield V, you could see the reflection of a flamethrower against the shiny surface of a nearby car. Nvidia also impressed with clips from Metro Exodus and Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

The GPUs are also the first to have a dual-fan design. The company claims the audio levels of the new releases are one-fifth those of the 1080 Ti when overclocked.

Which gaming desktops will feature the RTX cards?

Acer Predator Orion 5000. Credit: Acer

(Image credit: Acer Predator Orion 5000. Credit: Acer)

Desktop manufacturers aren't wasting time, with several immediately releasing new products with the RTX graphics cards. Asus announced today support for the GPUs in its Predator Orion gaming desktops. The Orion 9000 will feature the RTX 2080 Ti GPU, while the mid-range Orion 5000 will include the RTX 2080 GPU. The entry-level Orion 3000 comes with the RTX 2070 GPU.

Alienware all but confirmed that the RTX-series cards would be coming to its Aurora and Area 51 desktops. The company announced that a refreshed version of the Aurora would be available in October with a starting price of $899. The Area 51 hasn't been giving pricing or availability. While Alienware hasn't officially said which GPUs would power those system, it did tweet a not-so-subtle hint that they would employ the RTX GPUs.

Phillip Tracy is the assistant managing editor at Laptop Mag where he reviews laptops, phones and other gadgets while covering the latest industry news. Previously, he was a Senior Writer at Tom's Guide and has also been a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News covering 5G and IoT. When he's not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, traveling or watching soccer.