If you’ve been paying attention to recent hardware developments, or if you’ve only recently developed an interest in PC building and are considering purchasing an Nvidia graphics card, you’ve probably seen that the business provides two distinct types of GPUs: GTX and RTX.
Just how different are RTX and GTX GPUs, and how can you decide which one to buy? In this essay, we’ll answer each and every one of those queries.
Nvidia’s gaming-oriented GPUs are all part of the GeForce GPU family, which dates back to the GeForce 256 in 1999. Throughout the years, the firm has released hundreds of different GPUs, culminating in the two most recent GPU series, the GeForce 20 series, which was introduced in 2018 and the GeForce 16 series, which was introduced the following year, in 2019.
There are now just RTX GPUs in the GeForce 20 series and GTX GPUs in the GeForce 16 series. Which of these abbreviations is actually trying to say something?
If you’re looking for an abbreviation of any type, then RTX and GTX aren’t it. To be honest, they’re just there for the sake of promoting the company.
There are numerous two-letter and three-letter designations that Nvidia has used in the past to indicate the general performance of a GPU. For example, they used to call their cars GT, GTS, and GTX, but only the GTX and the new RTX designations “survived” into the present day, at least for the time being.
RTX and GTX designations have been added to all of the current 20 series and 16 series GPUs, but why is the series number decreasing instead of increasing? Furthermore, does this mean that RTX GPUs are superior to GTX ones?
GeForce 20 vs. GeForce 16
Nvidia’s 20 series and 16 series GPUs are both based on the Turing GPU microarchitecture that Nvidia first launched in 2018 for the RTX and GTX GPUs respectively.
Even though both series are built on the same architecture, 20 arrived first. And Nvidia wanted to put the emphasis on the new architecture’s superior features when it arrived in 2018. The first RTX-branded GPUs were found in the lineup, which included high-end and mid-range GPUs that could demonstrate the capabilities of the new RTX classification.
Meanwhile, the 16 series came a year later because Nvidia also needed to offer some more budget-friendly solutions for those who couldn’t afford to spend $400 or more on a graphics card. These GPUs, on the other hand, lacked the previously described advanced features, therefore they continued to be known as GTX models.
However, the fact that GTX GPUs are currently weaker than RTX GPUs is a deliberate design decision. In order to make the new GeForce 20 series GPUs seem like a major leap forward, the RTX designation was primarily introduced for marketing purposes; the RTX designation itself was inspired by the most marketable new GeForce 20 feature: real-time ray tracing.
It is now feasible to do real-time ray tracing thanks to RT Cores, which are only found in the 20 series and not in the 16 series. Tensor Cores, which provide AI acceleration, significantly boost ray tracing performance and enable Deep Learning Super Sampling in games.
The 16-series GTX GPUs and 20-series RTX GPUs aren’t actually that different if we remove those two essential qualities. There is no doubt that RTX GPUs have more transistors, more cores, better memory, and more, all of which makes them more powerful than their cheaper GTX counterparts, all of which contributes to their overall performance. However, this does not mean that you will get a better deal.
What Are RT Cores?
GPU cores designated only to real-time ray tracing have been dubbed “RT cores,” short for “ray tracing cores.”
Ray tracing enables for more realistic lighting and reflections in video game visuals. By tracing the trajectories of virtual rays of light, the GPU can execute a much more accurate simulation of how light interacts with the environment, which is exactly what the name says.
On older flagship GPUs like the GTX 1080 Ti, it is still feasible to run ray tracing on GPUs without RT cores, but the performance is appalling.
And speaking of performance, even with RTX GPUs, real-time ray tracing results in a significant performance impact, raising the question of whether ray tracing is even worthwhile.
Only a few of new AAA games will be released with ray tracing in April 2020, and only a handful of those will be new AAA games.
In Control, the ray tracing improvements are small, and you wouldn’t even notice them unless you were looking for them specifically. At the same time, the frame rate drops by half, from 60 to 30 on a high-end RTX 2070 Super GPU, as you can see in the video above.
In general, ray tracing gives very little in terms of visual improvements, but it does so at a significant performance cost. While this isn’t the case in every game, it is generally true.
Real-time ray tracing isn’t a gimmick, despite how it may appear at first glance. Instead of being a negative development, it will have a big impact on future video game graphics. There’s still a long way to go before the function can be put to its full potential, however.
What Are Tensor Cores?
However, even while the 20 series RTX GPUs have been aggressively promoted for their ability to render raytraced images, the Turing architecture has also added a crucial new feature to the mainstream GeForce lineup: increased deep learning capabilities.
Nvidia’s Volta GPUs first used these cores in 2017 but no gaming GPUs were built on them. There are second-generation Tensor cores featured in the Turing GPUs.
Deep learning has only one use in games right now: DLSS, a brand-new anti-aliasing approach based on deep learning super sampling.
How does it operate, and is it better than other anti-aliasing methods?
DLSS improves sharpness and reduces aliasing by using deep learning models to generate detail and upscale the image to a higher resolution. Nvidia’s supercomputers build the aforementioned deep learning models, which are subsequently performed by your GPU’s Tensor cores.
It’s true that DLSS produces a cleaner image, but it also requires less processing power than other anti-aliasing techniques. Furthermore, turning on ray tracing can boost speed substantially, which is a welcome development given the significant performance impact that ray tracing can offer.
In comparison to the amount of games that now support real-time ray tracing, very few games are currently supporting DLSS, but this is even more true for DLSS than it is for ray-tracing.
What is GTX?
Nvidia’s GeForce line includes the GTX graphics card, which stands for Giga Texel Shader eXtreme. Series 200, codenamed Tesla, was the first model to be released in 2008. The GTX 260 and the more costly GTX 280 were the initial products in this line. When these cards were released, Nvidia began using the GTX/GT prefix in the nomenclature of their GPUs, and thus changed the way Nvidia GPUs were referred to. If you look at Nvidia’s series 200 and 300, you’ll notice that they were built on Tesla microarchitecture, whereas the series 400 and 500 were based on the Fermi microarchitecture.
What is RTX?
Ray Tracing Texel eXtreme, or RTX, is a GeForce name for RTX. Real-time ray tracing on the RTX cards resulted in a more visually appealing video experience. Turing-based architecture was originally announced in 2018. Some of the RTX cards in this list include the 2060/2070/80/Ti/Supreme versions of the 2060 and 2070. It is possible to use DXR and DLSS on these cards, thanks to Microsoft DirectX12 (Deep Learning Super Sampling).
Difference between GTX and RTX
When Nvidia’s GeForce brand was first introduced, the terms GT and GS were popular, but today they only provide entry-level graphics processing capability; if you want to use more graphics-intensive applications such as games, you need a GTX or RTX card, which are specifically designed for graphic-intensive applications like games, graphic engines and much more.
In order to keep things simple, we’ll focus on the differences between a GTX 1080Ti and an RTX 2080, which are very close but have a few minor changes.
These RTX cards provide stunningly accurate lighting and rendering, as shown in the image. However, a more attractive appearance does not imply higher frame rates. There aren’t a lot of games out there that support ray tracing, so that’s another issue. As a result, it’s time to compare the GTX 1080Ti and RTX 2080.
GTX 1080Ti vs RTX 2080
The two cards have a few fundamental differences. In 4K gaming, the RTX 2080 can outperform the GTX 1080Ti. Faster GDDR6 memory means greater resolutions for the 2080. The Turing architecture card also provides significant rendering advancements, as well as support for Real-Time Ray Tracing and DLSS, as well as a lower pricing when compared to its rival.
Even if these features sound nice, you don’t need an RTX card if you don’t care about graphics. The GTX 1080Ti performs better in some games compared to the RTX 2080 since 4K monitors are pricey and ray tracing may slow down your frame rate.
RTX cards are a wonderful choice for mid- to high-end PCs since they include Ray tracing and DLSS technologies, which are becoming increasingly common in games, making them an excellent choice for both the present and the future.
Ray Tracing Texel eXtreme (RTX)
The most notable feature of the RTX cards is ray tracing, a technology that uses real-time particle simulation to create hyper-realistic lighting effects. This new function may or may not be worth the increased expense for each individual user.
DLSS 2.0 is yet another fantastic feature that greatly widens the gap between RTX and GTX cards..
Furthermore, ray tracing is now much more accessible because to the RTX 3000 series cards that were just released.
NVIDIA has released a video highlighting the latest advancements in ray tracing technology utilizing its cards.
RTX 3000 series cards may or may not be available by the 2020 holiday season, despite the fact that they are scheduled to be released in September of that year.
However, things will level off and become much more accessible to these cards at some time, most likely in the first quarter of 2022. As of this time, the RTX 3000 series cards are projected to cost the same as the most advanced GTX 1600 series cards.
The RTX 3000 series of cards were not the first RTX cards to be made available to the general public. The RTX 2000 series drastically reshaped the landscape of video game graphics in 2018 when it was released.
It’s only that these cards are somewhat pricey. If you have the patience, you should wait for either the RTX 3060 Ti or the RTX 3070 to acquire an RTX card.
Is Nvidia RTX better than GTX?
As a result, RTX cards are superior not only in terms of graphics performance, but also in terms of traditional rendering. NVIDIA’s 30-series RTX GPUs offer the greatest gaming performance available from an NVIDIA card. At the top end, you’ll need an RTX 3090 gaming PC.
Is GTX faster than RTX?
In 4K gaming, the RTX 2080 can outperform the GTX 1080Ti. Faster GDDR6 memory means greater resolutions for the 2080.
The RTX designation was developed by Nvidia primarily for marketing purposes, making their 20-series Turing GPUs appear to be a more significant advance than they actually are.
In terms of raw performance, they aren’t much better than older Pascal-based GTX GPUs with similar price tags, even though they do bring two major new aspects that will be essential in coming years.
The ray tracing and the DLSS alone aren’t enough to justify purchasing an RTX GPU, and if you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, performance-per-dollar should always take precedence.
We’ve put together a list of some of the top graphics cards available right now if you’re in the market for a new one.