Nvidia’s Botched RTX 20 Series Launch: ‘You Can’t Benchmark Goals’

Linus Tech Tips’ Linus Sebastian seems uncharacteristically and genuinely frustrated during his recent review of Nvidia’s new RTX 2080 Ti and RTX 2080 cards. He spends several minutes hyping up his substantial audience by explaining the hallmarks of the Turing architecture — features like ray tracing and DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) and illustrating how revolutionary they could be. The midsection of the video, containing a few benchmark slides, zooms by in seconds. Normally we’d hear an exhaustive breakdown and analysis of benchmarks, value proposition, thermals and overclocking. It’s as if this data is irrelevant.

Then again, perhaps calling this a review is misleading. Don’t worry, Sebastian won’t be offended. In his own words: “This review is incomplete, just like the RTX 2000 Series.”

Sebastian explains that it’s impossible to benchmark the cards today for what they’re designed for because literally no games have launched that support DLSS or ray tracing (no, a custom version of the Final Fantasy XVbenchmark doesn’t count). But he didn’t want to let his viewers down. Apparently he had secured an unnamed developer to show off a game currently in development that features both technologies — but at the last minute they pulled out.

“They graciously agreed to come over and show off their beta exclusively for you guys!” he says excitedly. “Originally they did, anyway.” No explanation was offered for why this developer backed out.

The second half of the video was reserved for some scathing criticism of Nvidia:

“This is the kind of sh*t that gives PC gaming a bad name […] That’s what RTX is today — it doesn’t do anything. I can’t benchmark goals. You’re making it really hard to recommend this thing for the function that is right in the name of the product!”Sebastian isn’t some outlier. The general consensus among tech press is that yes, the RTX 2080 Ti is the fastest GPU in the world (and you’ll pay for the privilege of owning it), but the performance gains of the RTX 2080 are disappointing compared to prior generations. Pick a review, any review, and it will conclude that the RTX 2080 trades blows with a GTX 1080 Ti with reviewers expressing disappointment mixed with potential promise.