Nvidia’s real-world Ray-Tracing pioneer gaming grade graphics card the RTX 2080 Ti and RTX 2080 did not make a good impression in more than one way. First involving its price which is disappointing irrespective of its performance- and second for its minor incremental performance compared to previous generations for the cost. Selling a flagship at the cost of a fully loaded upper mid-end gaming PC with a monitor and peripherals is not a good idea. Did Nvidia ray trace too soon? Morgan Stanley shares the same point-of-view just like the rest of us!
Morgan Stanley’s observation
In any case, the effects of this resonated with Morgan Stanley analyst Joseph Moore who shared a note to its clients, saying:
“As review embargos broke for the new gaming products, performance improvements in older games is not the leap we had initially hoped for. Performance boost on older games that do not incorporate advanced features is somewhat below our initial expectations, and review recommendations are mixed given higher price points.”
Yesterday at 20th September 2018 the pricing for Nvidia shares at NASDAQ was USD 268.76, the highest of the day. As time went by, it took a steady nose dive to USD 264.10.
The specific point that matters…
“Still, new features such as ray tracing and DLSS will matter monger term” He added, “We are surprised that the [RTX] 2080 is only slightly better than the 1080ti, which has been available for over a year and is slightly less expensive. With higher clock speeds, higher core count, and 40% higher memory bandwidth, we had expected a bigger boost.”
He concluded by saying the adoption of Nvidia’s new RTX 20 series to be ‘slower’. He does not expect ‘much upside’ from the Nvidia’s gaming business at least in its next two financial quarters.
Analysis of Morgan Stanley’s Statement
While increment in performance is seen between Intel CPUs, it is an issue here triggered by its pricing and also the history of performance between in previous generations Nvidia offered even with newer features implemented at the time. Seeing that performance boost between the GTX 900 series and GTX 1000 series, it was significant. With Sniper Elite 4’s 1440p (realistically what many high-end users will choose over 4K for now) benchmark from TechPowerup!, the GTX 1080 Ti Founder’s Edtion (viz. an overclocked standard edition) offers 82.47% boost over the GTX 980 Ti, while the difference between the GTX 1080 Ti and RTX 2080 Ti is just 30.92%.
The price you pay for the performance
At the time of writing, Nvidia sells the GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition is sold for USD 699. The RTX 2080 Ti costs 71.53% higher at USD 1,199. We should still have a decent boost in raw performance between the GTX 10 and RTX 20 series, similar to GTX 9 and GTX 10 series. We don’t. Real-time ray tracing is a good feature in games, but we don’t have any RTX games now. By the time they’re implemented, just how much would it be used to its fullest potential enough to justify that cost? None. At least for the intended audience. The argument would be different for developers once software can utilise tensor cores on these cards.
The discussion between GTX 1080 TI and RTX 2080 is unpalatable, which is represented in the benchmark (one of many) above. The RTX 2080 Ti has 544 tensor cores and 368 on the RTX 2080- two information that’s not present even on RTX’s full specification list.
What should we really take from it?
However, these stock price drops and rise come & go. The drops would look insignificant in the short-ish term. Such companies tend to push back after a very short time- and go higher. Nike’s recent performance despite some social media backlash about its advertisement. What matters is the quote by Morgan Stanley given the level of detail they have quoted to its clients. It is the same that many reviewers have said and what enthusiasts have said:
This is very important because Nvidia pitched Ray Tracing and DLSS all the way throughout RTX 20 series promotion. This time with no PC games using them at the time of launch. It also never real-time Ray-Tracing gaming benchmarks available at the time launch. Even UL benchmarks reported its real-time Ray-Tracing by Q4 2018. Going back to the GTX 900 series, when Nvidia marketed Hairworks. It had Witcher 3 (at least?), which is a great PC game appreciated by most of the gamers. The game looked good. Hairworks played along for what its worth. Prices at the time were very tolerable for a new piece of meat.
Even if they did that, pricing is unjustifiable even with the lack of competition and as a new product.
Now? Nothing at the time of launch- except some media demos which honestly doesn’t give any encouragement for the price they are selling it for. Nvidia could have delayed its launch to sync with atleast one-or-two PC titles with DLSS and real-time ray tracing enabled. They did not. The review of the RTX 2080 does not look good as its performance is comparable to the GTX 1080 Ti. Obviously, that would be the conclusion of any sane person, contrary to the ridiculous claims made by ‘Just buy it because you live only once’ write-up by Toms’ Hardware. The ZOTAC GTX 1080 Ti AMP! Extreme Edition is one of the better graphics cards out there. Suffice to say Nvidia’s marketing and pricing created a bitter taste on those who trusted them enough to pre-order. Nvidia (and Intel/AMD) do have a history of a bad habit for creating trust issues in a very niche-specific DIY PC market.
Nvidia competing with itself and against its partners? Variation between ‘reference’ and ‘Founders Edition’
This is also the first time Nvidia is having variations of standard editions when it should have one, with a standard having lower clock speed while its Founder’s Edition is having an overclocked boost clock speed. All initial reviews were with founder’s edition and therefore had a minor bump in boost clock.
It is also observed that Nvidia India has taken review units from its AIB partners and seems to be controlling who reviews them in India. While that hardly matters as most of the PC tech media in the west have almost all the variants of the RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti cards, the practice here seems discriminatory and manipulative, yet futile.
.@Nvidia @NVIDIAGeForce shares downs as @MorganStanley calls #RTX #rtx2080 #rtx2080ti series 'disappointing' https://t.co/7GO5y02OWQ via @hardwarebbq #pcmr #nvidia #pcmasterrace #technews #nasdaq #tech #diypc #pcgaming
— Hardware BBQ (@HardwareBBQ) September 21, 2018