Nvidia's RTX march continues this week with the launch of its GeForce RTX 2070 graphics card. After the high-end RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti graphics processors last month, the 2070 is more affordable. At $ 500, it is at the very end of the nebulous definition of "mainstream." But it should be in conversation when it comes to building a powerful new PC today.
But should you get the RTX 2070 if your budget is there $ 500? Yes. Probably. With a small handful of exceptions that depend mainly on your monitor.
To be clear, I have not used the RTX 2070 yet. I base my conclusion on a mountain of benchmarks by testers at PC World, Gamers Nexus and elsewhere. Although I make no assumptions about its performance, I assume that the 2070 has no quirks that would bother me. All in all, I am confident that my reasoning here is sound.
Tech lust vs. value
The conclusion of the RTX 2070 is that it roughly equals the GTX 1
This is disappointing from the standpoint of technological progress. In the past, we expect a performance leap of up to 30 percent between two cards in the same price range from one generation to the next.
But if you buy a video card because you're in the state of the art, what are you doing in the $ 500 category? Nvidia will gladly sell you an RTX 2080 Ti for $ 1,200. This does not mean that the performance increase (or lack) of RTX 2070 is not disappointing. It is absolute. But the point is that disappointment should not interfere with your buying decision.
And I do not think many hardware reviews help people recognize that. Most RTX 2070 reviews I've read cover the map in terms of how relish it is compared to previous generations, as well as whether it's a good value. But they also merge these two concepts when I think they have to stay completely separate.
The RTX 2070 is your best bet from a value point at $ 500, and that has nothing to do with whether it's a disappointing jump GTX 1080.
It's not exciting, but it's new
So If you can get a GTX 1080 or Vega 64 for $ 475 to $ 500, why not just get one? Well, because these cards are old. The GTX 1080 came out in 2016, and the Vega cards came on the market in 2017. If you are building or upgrading a new computer today, I do not know why you would spend about the same amount on a two-year-old GPU
The RTX 2070 is by definition longer than it is today. Nvidia will support its drivers longer. When developers start implementing the raytracing technology that gives RTX its brand name, the 2070 can use the tensor cores. If we somehow come to a ray-tracing-only future in a few years, 2070 should survive.
We do not know if RTX or other Nvidia rendering technologies like deep learning need to use Super Sampling (DLSS). And I would not buy a ticket for one of these points, but it's much better to include them in your buying decision, as if the 2070 is relatively disappointing or not.
None of this is exciting. Exactly. I even agree that it's mentally difficult to lose $ 500 for something that's actually the same as the $ 500 card introduced two years ago. That stinks. But it does not mean that the GPU is worth the money and how it behaves when playing.
RTX 2070 Exemptions
Revenue and Power Consumption
I would never say that RTX 2070 is the right $ 500 card for all the time. A sale could come and drop the GTX 1080 to $ 350 or a 1080 Ti to $ 500. You may be concerned about the cost of power consumption, and the RTX 2070 is designed for a TDP of 185 watts compared to 1080s 180 watts. That's not a big difference (and I wonder if that's done with RTX), but still – maybe power where you live is expensive.
Some people may want to buy something needed to save money. The situation is a bit different for everyone, but I am quite nervous about the current state of the GPU market after leaving Cryptomining last year. You can probably find a lot of cheap and powerful cards that run for months at peak load around the clock, and you'd never see it at a glance.
Freesync vs. Gsync
But the one RTX 2070 One alternative that I think is feasible is the Vega 64 (or maybe a beefed up Vega 56). I'll write about it separately, but you should buy a video card based on your display. And if you're in the market for a new monitor, you can get a better price with AMD's FreeSync Adaptive Sync technology than with an equivalent panel with Nvidia's GSync. So, if you think about the graphics card and consider it as a package, which you should probably do, then the Vega 64 will be a much better value.
What if something better comes soon?
At last you could always just wait.
Maybe AMD will come back with a chance to compete in the high-end sector. Nvidia needs the competition. I also think AMD has to stay in the conversation. I love his Radeon RX 580. For 1080p60 gaming you do not need much more than that. But this card and AMD as a whole are easy to ignore. And that's because AMD can not harm the 2080 Ti. If you could start something similar, you would expect prices to fall
The problem is that it's a terrible time to wait. Customs fees apply to virtually all PC components made in China. And a $ 500 RTX 2070 could look like an excellent deal in a few months.
So, the RTX 2070 is a good deal right now. It makes a lot more sense than the RTX 2080 at $ 800. And it should have the long-term support and extra features that make it a better investment than a 1080 or Vega 64. So if you've been waiting to buy a new card, go ahead and jump on the RTX 2070. I would.