Best RTX 2080 Graphics Cards For 2022 – GPU Buying Guide

Taking a look at the best RTX 2080 graphics card models available.

best RTX 2080
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Today is the day we get to sit down with Nvidia’s new Turing GPU’s which were released back in Sept of 2018. To be more specific we are going to compare the top aftermarket iterations of the long awaited RTX 2080 which boasts some very handsome new technologies including AI enhanced graphics and Real-time ray tracing which will be touched upon shortly.

So you might be asking yourself, why did they change from GTX, to RTX, and it’s very simple, RTX stands for ray tracing technology and is, in a nutshell, the future of graphics and gaming. It’s a new way in which picture and light is written by the graphics card giving a much more realistic final product. A long side the new processing cores, Nvidia have equipped the RTX range with the latest GDDR6 memory making the RTX much faster than its counterpart, the GTX, and much more efficient. All in all the new RTX range seems very appealing but lets find out which aftermarket card is best, how it stands up to the 1080 ti and whether or not it’s time to invest.

Our Top Picks

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WePC Awards Best In Class
The Best RTX 2080
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Another Great RTX 2080
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An honorable mention from MSI's RTX 2080

How We Choose

Regularly we’re asked the question of how we choose which GPU is the absolute best option for each category, the answer is always the same. Our team of hard-working, gaming/PC enthusiasts spend hours of endless research looking across the latest and most up-to-date technology in the quest to give informed and accurate recommendations in our guide pages.

Further to research, the team set strict goals and criteria which each product must meet before it goes into what we like to call, the final contender’s list:

  • Brand must be trustworthy and established
  • Hardware must be reliable and built for longevity
  • We must always try to provide maximum value for money

For the categories just mentioned above, we chose the most meaningful criteria to filter out the best possible choices. The following are the categories we eventually select for each card, hopefully resulting in a product for every type of consumer:

  • Top Performance – Performance is something we take very seriously here at WEPC because ultimately it’s what we all want, the best performing hardware components available in our budget range. It’s one of our main priorities here and across the board.
  • Top All-Rounder – The top all-rounder must do pretty much what it says on the tin, it must have good, everything basically. Good performance levels, good cooling, well priced, and aesthetically pleasing.
  • Best Budget – The budget pick is designed for people looking to get the most out of their money. The products we recommend aren’t just cheap however, they must also live up to the 3 main priorities in any best-of guide: Value for money, reliable and performance.
  • Best Balanced – A “balanced” pick, balancing things like performance and cooling to make a good middle-road pick for those who want a well-balanced graphics card.

Things To Consider

How will these cards perform?

So, as mentioned above, the RTX 20series have been powered by Nvidia’s new Turing architecture which brings newly enhanced AI graphics and real-time ray tracing to the table. Nvidia claims this gives the new range of GPUs up to 6x more performance than previous-generation GPUs and brings incredible new levels of realism and immersion to your gaming. This all sounds very attractive, however at present, there are only a handful of games that utilize features such as ray tracing and DLSS, so justifying a purchase right now might seem fairly difficult.

Despite there not being a massive product base to test the new technology of RTX on, there are still many scenarios we can test this card on to see how it performs against the competition. We sampled the 2080 across a number of different games and platforms in several different graphics settings and resolutions and found the card handled itself very well. FPS across the board was extremely good, 4k at 60FPS was easily achievable as was 100+ for lower resolutions. The temp of the cards obviously reflects the quality of the fans and the heatsink but across the board, all cards were pretty quiet and very efficient. Most did not exceed 75°C when being put through relative stress tests and gaming scenarios which is reassuring considering many of them are being overclocked as well. All the RTX cards have been equipped with the Type-C adaptor, which if you don’t know is the connection needed for VR. The RTX range also makes use of the world’s fastest GDDR6 memory which in turn provides the 2080 with the power it needs to push everything else aside.

All in all the 2080 is a top-of-the-range graphics card with all the mod cons you would need to future-proof you for the next couple of years. If you plan ahead, the 2080 is years ahead of its rivals.

How does it compare to the GTX 1080?

Many people will probably be wondering at this stage how the RTX 2080 compares with the people’s champion, the GTX 1080 ti. The 1080 was widely considered to be the pinnacle of all GPU’s so we were very interested to see how the 2080 would compare. To our surprise, the results were very similar, if not slightly edging towards the 2080 which in honesty we didn’t expect. The first thing which was tested was FPS across several different games and the 2080 leveled or beat the 1080 ti on everything apart from CS:GO.

For the higher GPU demanding games, the 2080 edged it in some cases and just fell short in others. Considering the 1080Ti comes with 11GB of RAM you would expect the performance to be leaning towards a 1080Ti win. However, thanks to newly improved GDDR6 memory which is now across all the RTX 20 series range, the gap has been narrowed dramatically.

As far as price is concerned, the 1080Ti is still more expensive whilst being outdated and outperformed (in some scenarios) by the newer RTX 2080 cards. With this, I can only see the 1080Ti taking a back seat in sales whilst a new champion emerges.

Table Key and Terms

  • Clock Speed – Clock speed refers to the internal, “core” clock of the graphics processor. The higher the clock speed, the better your performance.
  • VRAM – VRAM for anyone who doesn’t know, refers to the ‘Video RAM’ or memory available at your GPU’s disposal. Discrete GPUs tend to come with their own VRAM– in the 1080’s case, this is GDDR5X VRAM, which is a bit faster than the industry standard GDDR5. The RTX series comes with the latest GDDR6 which is much faster than anything we’ve seen previously.
  • Overclock – Overclocking refers to pushing the clock speed of a component higher to get more performance. Usually, this is done by the user, but the cards we’re listing here today all boast “factory overclocks”, which is overclocking done by the manufacturer and proven stable. You can manually overclock further but it is none recommendable.

The Best RTX 2080

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In-depth Review

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The Best RTX 2080
WePC Awards Best In Class

EVGA Geforce RTX 2080 XC Gaming 8GB

Editor's Rating
5.0/5
Pros

Large Efficient Heatsink

Attractive, translucent design

Great performance levels

Cons

An expensive card

Only 2 fans

EVGA snap up the top performance spot for our best RTX 2080 buyers guide and for good reason. When it comes to performance with a GPU it doesn’t just boil down to how efficiently the card performs ingame. We also take into consideration areas such as temperature, fan efficiency, and design.

The XC Ultra Gaming comes to shelves with a base clock of 1515Mhz and a boost clock of 1815Mhz making it one of the fastest on our list. Thanks to the monstrous heatsink that EVGA has equipped this card with the XC ultra is the largest card in the guide. However, it allows for much more overclocking headroom as the card will naturally stay cooler for longer.

Just be aware when purchasing this card that your case has enough room to accommodate this thing, cause it really is huge.

The design has a translucent shroud which is something we’ve seen in previous Pascal GPUs. Overall I think the design looks great and only boosts the lasting impression I get with this card.

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Another Great RTX 2080
Asus Logo

ASUS GeForce RTX 2080 8GB OC Edition

Editor's Rating
4.5/5
Pros

Aesthetically one of the nicest 2080's we tested

Fantastic RGB across multiple zones

High clock speeds

Cons

The most expensive card on the list

Limited ray tracing games available

As regular readers will know, products from the ROG range usually appear heavily in our best of guides and that’s thanks to the excellent build quality, fantastic performance levels, and all-around cutting-edge designs that come with the name.

The OC 2080 edition is absolutely no different. It comes in matte black and has a pretty hefty heatsink, the design of this thing just looks gnarly and when paired with ROG’s signature RGB the 2080 comes to life with a sea of color.

Performance-wise the OC 2080 is one of the best on the list boasting impressive clock speeds when OC’d to 1890Mhz. A card of this power needs a solid heatsink to keep things from getting too hot and that’s exactly what ASUS has done. The heatsink is pretty reminiscent of older generation GPUs being both big and bulky. However, what you get with that are quality and efficiency. It was the quietest card we tested and never really felt or sounded like it was under any real pressure.

It is the perfect balance between performance, price, and style and takes the all-around spot in this guide. It’s also at the heart of $2000 build which we consider to be one of the best PCs we’ve built.

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An honorable mention from MSI's RTX 2080

MSI Gaming Geforce RTX 2080 8GB Gaming X trio

Editor's Rating
4.0/5
Pros

MSI's signature X Trio Fan setup

Super quiet TORX FAN 3.0

High performance levels

Cons

One of the most expensive cards on the list

Limited ray tracing games available

The runner-up position in our best of guide goes to MSI’s RTX 2080 Gaming Xtrio model, but only just. It was a tough choice sitting down and choosing the top 5 GPUs and categorizing them, mainly due to OEMs doing such a good job on their aftermarket offerings.

MSI is a company we think of when picturing high-quality products and the X trio 2080 is no different. 8GB of GDDR6 memory, a triple-fan cooling system, and a newly installed backplate help increase the overall build quality of this card.

Performance levels were slightly under par against the top 2, however, it was still an absolute beast in comparison to other cards available in today’s market.

My only issue with this card is its high-end price tag. You do get decent performance, build quality, and cooling for that price but just didn’t boast very good value for money.

If you’re an MSI advocate then you’ll not be disappointed by this, the RGB will make any build look stylish and the design is cutting edge and cool.

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The Best Value RTX 2080

ZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 2080

Editor's Rating
4.0/5
Pros

One of the cheaper cards in this guide

Solid performance to price value

Great aesthetic design

Cons

Fans can become noisey under pressure

Limited ray tracing games available

The ZOTAC brand is usually renowned for providing consumers with excellent budget range hardware offerings and the RTX 2080 is one more to add to their ever-growing list.

The guys at ZOTAC really impressed us with their aftermarket model of the 2080 for a few reasons, the first of which was the price. It’s no surprise to anyone to see ZOTAC products at the lower end of the price spectrum and the RTX 2080 is no different. Unlike their 2070, the 2080 comes to the table with a triple-fan cooling system which is both quiet and efficient. It gives users more room for overclocking which is always welcome.

The design is very stylish and edgy which we love here at WEPC. Along with its cool angular shroud, the ZOTAC comes with impressive RGB zones which when installed look very nice. They really hit the nail on the head aesthetically with this one so hats off to the designers.

Performance-wise the clock speed comes in at 1830Mhz in OC mode and handles pretty much everything we threw at it with ease. Price/performance, this GPU scored very highly, again probably to no one’s surprise.

If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to the higher-end RTX 2080s but still want nice looks and performance, the ZOTAC is high on our list of recommendations.

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The Best Budget RTX 2080

Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2080 Windforce 8G

Editor's Rating
3.5/5
Pros

Extremely efficient windforce 3x fan setup

Real time ray tracing and deep learning algorithm

Brilliant value for money

Cons

Still an expensive card

Limited ray tracing games available

The budget RTX 2080 has been offered by Gigabyte and comes to shelves quite a bit cheaper than everything else in this guide. If what you’re looking for are solid performance benchmarks, a decent design, and effective cooling then the Gigabyte Windforce is probably the model for you.

The base clock is the same as the EVGA, however, the boost clock speed is slightly higher coming in at 1830Mhz making it an extremely good value for money. You might be asking yourself what’s the catch at this stage, how can the Gigabyte be quicker than the EVGA but less? Well, we can only chalk that down to the build quality and efficiency which you only see in the benchmarks.

The FPS on average was slightly less than others here but nothing to be too disheartened about. The heatsink was pretty sturdy and efficient but was quite a bit louder and seemed more stressed in most of the testing scenarios we put this through.

Overall looks decent and runs well, but as with most things Gigabyte has had to cut some corners to accommodate this low price. We still think it’s good value for money and would recommend this if you stick to a budget.

Final Word

And there you have it, our list of top RTX 2080s this 2022. When building one of these best of guides we always like to offer every budget and performance ranking an option. It’s difficult to do that when all the products are very good and around the same price but I feel we’ve managed to categorize them well.

If you’re looking for the absolute best performing card on the list to maximize in-game experience then the EVGA Geforce RTX 2080 XC Gaming 8G is our top selection.

You can check out our GPU Hierarchy right here if you’d like to see where the 2080 falls in our list of best GPUs you can buy today.

The Author Who Worked On This Article

Product Benchmarker and Writer
at
WePC
After taking apart and tinkering with the home PC and other electronics, Seb went to study Mechanical Engineering at the University of Manchester to try and explore everything in parts. After he graduated he realised how different the adult world was and decided to pursue work in the tech industry after spending too much time playing games (mostly CS:GO), keeping up with everything tech, and being everyone’s go-to for PCs.

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