GTX 1080 Ti vs RTX 2080 Ti - DCS Shootout!

As promised I was able to capture some benchmark results in DCS with my new RTX 2080 Ti. I chose DCS since it’s my favorite and most used sim right now and the primary reason for the GPU upgrade. That being said… DCS is a horrible platform to test gpu performance for several reasons. I found it very difficult to setup a track that wouldn’t introduce artificial stuttering. There are so many things that cause frametime spikes and stuttering in DCS. Clouds, explosions, static aircraft, just flipping the F2 view to other aircraft are just a few examples. Of course if you ask anyone from ED it runs at a smooth 60 fps on max settings all the time… :smirk:

Originally I had two different test tracks.

Persian Gulf heavy mission. Clouds, 100 AI units, heavy combat and of course the GPU melting Dubai area. In the track I had a camera just float through the combat zone and then into Dubai. The heavy static cloud cover in the track introduced a lot of extra stuttering which pretty much ruined my results so I decided not to use it.

Caucasus In this track I just have a camera float over the Tbilisi area and then over the heavily forested hills to the north. Weather is clear and only 1 AI unit. This track produced the most consistent results so it’s the one I trust the results from the most. In DCS the most stressful situations for the GPU are flying low over heavy forest or dense urban areas and this track does both.

My system specs…

i7-8700K OC @ 5Ghz
32 GB DDR4 @ 3200Mhz
Samsung 960 NVMe
LG 32-inch G-Sync 1440p Monitor



The DCS settings I used are mostly the same that Wag’s is using as posted on the ED forums. He claims he never dips below 60fps with both 1080 Ti and 2080 Ti using these settings. Maybe he’s using an experimental Vulkan build or something?? :grin::grin:

My DCS Settings…

Caucasus Benchmark - GTX 1080 Ti


Caucasus Benchmark - RTX 2080 Ti


It’s very difficult to produce a track without any frametime spikes. Even floating around on an empty map I managed to get one on my 1080 Ti test. Without the frametime spike the minimum FPS was 55 so we will base our results on that. So in minimum fps we’re looking at a 24% increase and max fps 29% increase.


At the end of the day you have to ask yourself if 24-29% performance increase is worth the heavy $1200+ price tag of the RTX 2080 Ti cards. For DCS alone I would say it depends. I was hoping the 2080 Ti would slap DCS into submission and eliminate some of the annoying stuttering issues it has but that simply didn’t happen. On the upside it will keep the sim above 60 fps where the 1080 Ti cannot hang. If you currently have a 1080 Ti you can easily sell it and cover half the cost of a new 2080 Ti. Then the 24-29% performance increase becomes a little more reasonable. If I was buying/building a new rig I’d probably have to opt for the RTX 2080 (Not Ti version). It falls in my usual GPU price range.
For those of us that are looking for big performance gains in DCS I think we’re still stuck waiting for ED to do something with the engine. They seem to be very tight lipped about anything regarding performance so my hope is they are quietly working on the Vulkan conversion and will surprise us with something this year.

Post your results!

For those of you that are familiar with MSI Afterburner, I encourage you to run the attached track and then post your Framerate/Frametime graphs here. I’d be interested to see what results others are getting. Be sure to include a screenshot of your settings and your system specs. Thanks!

CA_benchmark_new2.trk (34.4 KB)


Outstanding test Will. Seat of the pants would concur with your findings. I would also add that I frequently don’t bother switching from my 2D settings, which mirror Wags’ video, to something less when a I fly VR. I can use the same for both now with PD set at 1.0. Nvidia RTX 2080ti owner.

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Thanks for doing this @will2360 - great data.

I’m going to re-do my PG map stress test track. This one will really put the hurt on your GPU. I’ll post it here when done. I had one setup nicely before I sent out my 1080 Ti but when I went to play it my camera view was below the terrain!!

Gotta love the DCS replay system… LOL

Yes, for a boost of 16fps to minimum frame rate in your specific test that $1000+ is not worth it.

Of course, most people do more than just DCS on their PC, so they may see a benefit there that is worth it while DCS just is a slight improvement.

Also, this test was done @1440p. As a rule of thumb, as the resolution goes up the more expensive cards gain on the cheaper ones. So @1080p I would expect less than 25% improvement, but at 4K I would expect maybe 33% or more.

I haven’t made any effort to quantify the improvement with my 2080Ti, mainly because I upgraded the entire system. The VR experience is noticeably better in DCS than I was getting before. How much of that is directly attributable to the graphics card, I couldn’t say. My previous system has a GTX 1080 but I am pretty sure it was throttling back due to heat buildup.

Yep, if you have heat problems your card will downshift its clock speed until it’s happy. I’ve OC’d my 2080 Ti to the max and it easily goes up to 2100 MHz. Unfortunately it only stays there for about 10 seconds before finally stabilizing around 2040 MHz.

Maybe I should crank mine up and see where it settles.

Thank you guys for your support. I pulled the trigger on a EVGA FTW3 2080ti last night. I’m on a 1080 hybrid now. I get great 2d performance but VR suffers a lot. I’ve got an 8700k so I know my cards the bottleneck.
Anyone else go from 1080 to 2080ti?

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Congrats! I’m a bit jealous though, I wish I would have gone for the FTW3. It should overclock better than my XC ULTRA does with it’s better cooling and OC bios switch.

I normally go for the FTW version but with the insane price of the 2080 Ti I decided to dial it back one level this time and went with the XC Ultra

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Well, dont be jealous yet! Let’s see if they ever ship it…

Where did you order it from? When I got mine a couple weeks ago the FTW3 was in stock EVGA’s website.

Amazon. I’m overseas so APO is my only way to order.

Cool idea Will, I feel that the DCS engine is not well optimized in regards to running consistently. I can tweak the settings to get 60-140 FPS on my rig but will eventually hit this damn stutter / freeze that will break that immersion which is mine biggest gripe with DCS for some time now. Seeing so little increase in performance between 1080 and 2080 is a bit odd. I remember ED was very reluctant to go multithreaded in regards to CPU usage in the past but eventually they did. I just hope they will finally fix that stutter.

If you want to make comparisons I would recommend adding your GPU driver version to your specs as well.

Well, it arrived today. I got my EVGA RTX 2080ti FTW3. It’s not a brick… it’s a Cinder Block of a card!! Massive!!! Lucky I have a huge case.
Can’t wait to get home and see what she can do.


And now it’s in my PC.

Look at the size of it compared to an EVGA Hybrid.
Performed well. It will take time to find best settings. Got to get some shut eye now.


A new dawn is here! More like 2 in the afternoon… I’m on night shift.
So them videos where you see people slide the sliders all the way right on the 2080ti. That’s not my experience. I spent time trying to OC the card. A mild OC works but anything else is a CTD. Playing in VR I see about a 10fps increase. My card never hits 60 deg, that’s good. I will have to re watch some utube to see how I can squeeze more out of it. To be honest, I’m not impressed after the price. It’s better performing than my 1080, but not the second coming as the vloggers will have you believe. Well, not in VR. On the flat screen it’s so good, it makes me oooh and aaaah.

It’s a triple slot card? :astonished:

Don’t bump the desk too hard or it will rip the slot off the mobo!

I guess that’s why the newer boards are claiming to have extra-reinforced PCIE slots. Never seen a triple before!

you can always use three screws :slight_smile: