WTF?! Do you love Texel eXtreme (RTX) ray tracing or still yearn for the Giga Texel Shader eXtreme (GTX) days? Turns out there’s a way to get both: the GTX 2080, a prototype 20-series card with the old GTX brand. A Reddit user just bought one of these rare models on eBay and it’s certainly an interesting find.
Redditor ascent22 (by using Tom’s equipment) have posted details of their purchased GTX 2080, which looks and performs almost exactly like the RTX-badged version. The big visual difference is the absence of the 2080 logo and the “GEFORCE GTX” lettering on the side.
AT eBay seller By offering these cards, you are selling them for $360. They’ve been used for mining, so you can keep that in mind if you’re buying them for the novelty price.
climb22 posted a GPU-Z screenshot showing the system recognizing the card as an RTX 2080 with the same TU104 GPU and specs as that card. But the prototype differs from the regular RTX 2080 in that Nvidia has disabled RT cores. The 3DMark TimeSpy results are also consistent with the RTX version.
There were a lot of rumors in 2018 that Nvidia was planning to release a GTX 1180 card – this was before we knew about Nvidia’s move to the RTX name. The GTX 2080 may have been a planned GTX xx80 model that never came to fruition, offering the Turing architecture in the GTX card beyond the low-end GTX 16xx series.
You may remember that when the RTX line first came out, most people didn’t consider ray tracing to be the compelling feature that Nvidia claimed (many still don’t), especially since it hurts performance. And while DLSS has improved a lot over the years and has become incredibly popular with gamers, its initial implementation left a lot to be desired. What’s more, these RTX-designed features didn’t have much support from game developers at the time.
It is speculated that the GTX 2080 could have been a way to offer a more powerful Turning architecture in a high-end card to consumers without the included RTX cores, making it a cheaper option for those who didn’t care about the features associated with them.