MSI GeForce RTX 2080 GAMING X TRIO Review

We review MSI GeForce RTX 2080 GAMING X TRIO in the latest 2018 games using all the RTX features capable at this time. We compare performance at 1440p and 4K with an overclocked GTX 1080 and RX Vega 64. DXR Reflection Ray Tracing in Battlefield V and Adaptive Shading RTX technology in Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus.

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Battlefield V

Battlefield V was officially released to the public on November 20th of 2018. This game has been long anticipated, and thanks to an update before launch this game now includes NVIDIA RTX technology utilizing DXR Ray Tracing on reflections in this game with NVIDIA RTX video cards. This game uses the Frostbite 3.0 engine. Our run-through consists of playing the Multiplayer 64 player map Rotterdam. We take the average of three runs, because this game is multiplayer and dynamic in nature, we will represent the performance in bar graph form.

NVIDIA RTX DXR Feature

We need to talk a little bit about the DXR Ray Tracing support in this game before we show you our results. Simply put, DXR performance right now is miserable, and unplayable on RTX 2080. We found that the game plays a lot smoother without DXR. Therefore our "Highest Playable Settings" bar graphs will show what is playable without DXR as that is best for this game right now.

However, we know you are curious what the DXR performance is on RTX 2080, and this review would not be complete if we did not at least show you that performance. Therefore, we also have a bar graph showing the performance with the "best playable" DXR quality setting and resolution. We show it at the video cards default clock speed and overclocked.

You need to know that there are four quality modes of DXR: Low, Medium, High, and Ultra. We will show you the best playable quality mode here today. The difference in image quality is that of reflection resolution. The higher quality modes enable higher resolution thus crisper and more defined reflections of the Ray Tracing.

New Patch Incoming Improves DXR

As always, we review drivers and games with the latest versions available at the time of review. It so happens that there is a an upcoming patch for this game that is going to supposedly improve DXR performance. Of course, our performance today does not represent that patch as it was not released when we tested or known about when we began testing.

The patch was originally scheduled to be launched on December 4th, but it was delayed to December 5th. According to the forums this new patch will be launched on December 5th to all platforms.

We plan to do a full DXR Ray Tracing performance review of this game once the patch is out, but note that the Ray Tracing and DX12 performance after this patch might be different. Considering how this game has been the poster child for NVIDIA RTX tech however, we are not expecting miracles today.


DX12 versus DX11

Before we can properly evaluate Battlefield V we must first find out if performance is better with RTX 2080 in DX11 or DX12 API. This will tell us which API we should be playing in for the best experience. Therefore, we tested at both 1440p and 4K DX11 versus DX12 in this game on the MSI RTX 2080 GAMING X TRIO.

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In this first graph you can see DX11 versus DX12 performance at 1440p. DX11 is much faster than DX12, by 25%. DX12 absolutely destroys performance.

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The same pattern continues at 4K. DX11 is a whopping 42% faster than DX12.

It is very clear from testing that DX12 is not the way to go with the RTX 2080 in this game. DX12 reduces performance drastically and creates lags and hitching while playing. Note we tried testing with both GPU Memory Restriction Enabled and Disabled to see if that made a difference in DX12, and it did not.

Based on our testing DX11 is the better API to use in this game for the best performance on MSI RTX 2080 GAMING X TRIO.