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Is the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti the best GPU for 4K gaming?

NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti
NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti (Image credit: Windows Central)

Is the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti the best GPU for 4K gaming?

Best answer: The GTX 1080 Ti can game at 4K but given current prices, it's not recommended at all. For the absolute best performance you need to get the new RTX 2080 Ti, or on a tighter budget, the RTX 2080Absolute best: NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti (opens in new tab) ($1,400 at Amazon)Budget pick: NVIDIA RTX 2080 (opens in new tab) ($700 at Amazon)

NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti 4K benchmarks

The RTX 2080 Ti is NVIDIA's new consumer graphics card king, though it comes at a price. About double what you'll pay for a GTX 1080 Ti, but it's certainly packing where it matters. Besides providing access to the RTX platform enabling things like dynamic ray tracing, the RTX 2080 Ti has more raw performance thanks to the new Turing architecture.

The folks at Tom's Guide have run some benchmarks at both 4K and 1440p to show just how capable it really is.

GameRTX 2080 Ti (4K)RTX 2080 Ti (1440p)
Destiny 291.6 FPS average163.2 FPS average
Rise of the Tomb Raider80.4 FPS average97.8 FPS average
GTA V97.7 FPS average99.7 FPS average
Far Cry 571.7 FPS average118.4 FPS average
The Witcher 394.1 FPS average156.3 FPS average

NVIDIA GTX 1080 Ti 4K benchmarks

We ran some benchmarks on a selection of popular and demanding PC games at 4K to show what the GTX 1080 TI is capable of in comparison to the RTX 2080 Ti.

All were run at the highest graphics settings.

GameGTX 1080 Ti (4K)GTX 1080 Ti (1440p)
Gears of War 450.6 FPS average109.1 FPS average
Rise of the Tomb Raider60.04 FPS average113.1 FPSaverage
GTA V60.1 FPS average73.7 FPS average
PUBG34 FPS average68.9 FPS average

Getting to the magic 60 FPS in all games on highest graphics isn't possible and requires compromise.

The contrast is that the RTX 2080 Ti absolutely crushes the GTX 1080 Ti at 4K, with high frame rates on the highest graphics settings easily achievable.

The new card is unbeatable

Right now, an RTX 2080 Ti is one of the best graphics card options you can get for 4K gaming. The only real drawback is the price, which is high. Really high.

However, the PC hardware market rarely sits still for long, and prices will fall. If you want to dip a toe into some 4K gaming though without spending as much, the GTX 1080 Ti (opens in new tab) is there, but prices have gone back up to around $1,000 at most retailers right now, and it's not worth that in 2019.

If you're looking for something a little less expensive but still capable, the RTX 2080 is about half the price but still edges ahead of the GTX 1080 Ti in raw performance.

Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.