I am going to be building soon, and I am trying to decide which version of the 2080ti I should go with and why. Any recommendations?
Well, most of the ones out right now are on the exact same PCB as the FE (Founder's Edition from Nvidia), so performance with overclocking is likely to be similar across most of those cards. As far as I know, the only versions of 2080 Ti that are on a different PCB are the flagship cards (Aorus Extreme from Gigabyte, ROG Matrix from Asus, Lightning Z from MSI, and Kingpin from EVGA). Aside from those, I've heard that the ROG Strix from Asus and FTW3 from EVGA are on a slightly different PCB as well (please someone correct me if I'm wrong). As for availability and actually finding some of these cards, if you are in the USA, the Lightning Z is nowhere to be found, same with the ROG Matrix. Aorus Ultra is available from Newegg and the Kingpin is very limited in availability and the most expensive at $1899 (buildzoid from Gamers Nexus called the PCB the 'perfect 2080 Ti'). Also regarding the Kingpin, it takes 3 8 pin PCIE cables which is pretty insane (rated for 520W TDP). But if you are looking for the ones that hold the top benchmarks, it's the Galax, but good luck finding one.
Now, I've done a ton of research on the marketing for these cards, and it can get pretty damned confusing if you are trying to find a card to buy out there. You'll see terms like Dual which refers to two fans instead of three (for air cooled, non blower style cards) or it might also mean dual slot (taking up two pcie slots rather than one or three) and Hybrid which refers to a radiator (water cooling) for the GPU and fan for the memory and/or VRMs. Anyway, as I mentioned before, any 2080 Ti that isn't what I mentioned above (flagship or Strix or FTW3) is gonna be on the same PCB, so regardless of the boost clocks mentioned, you can pretty much overclock them yourself to the same degree (which isn't that much due to power limits). So the main difference you see is going to be the cooler and aesthetics (RGB or having a back plate so there is no exposed PCB, etc.).
I know this is probably a lot to take in, but yeah, it's a pretty complex subject, in no small part due to marketing. If you have further questions, I'll do my best, but I also hope someone else around here can either vouch for me or correct me.
Wow, thank you for the detailed response. I really appreciate it! I guess with there being such limited availability of the flagship models, and so little variance in the other models, my decision will be a bit easier. The Kingpin card is very intriguing to me, but at that price point there’s just no way, for me at least.
I have heard decent things about the MSI Gaming X Trio in terms of cooling. If someone here could confirm or debunk that, I would really appreciate it. I find the aesthetics of that card appeasing, so if it runs fairly cool I think that may be what I lean towards.
Are there any rumors of new versions of the 2080ti that may arrive sometime this summer? I am also considering waiting a few more months and seeing how much I can save with Black Friday deals.
Thanks again for the thoughtful response!
No problem, I'm always happy to help.
As for the MSI Gaming X Trio, it is MSI's top card aside from the Lightning Z (in the same vein as the Strix and FTW3). Pretty much all of them perform adequately in terms of cooling and noise levels, at least from reviews and benchmarks that I have seen (techpowerup, techspot, guru3d). I believe all of these cards run at around 65 C under load and 36-40dBA. At idle, the MSI does spin its fans (maybe you can turn it off with MSI Afterburner) while the FTW3 Ultra has the fans stop while idle (I have this card myself). The ROG Strix has a quiet BIOS setting that turns the fans off at idle and runs around 32dBA under load (but around 74 C, though that is still well within acceptable limits).
Yeah, the Kingpin looks like an awesome card. Worth mentioning is that it is water cooled with a 240mm radiator, so you'll need room in your case for it. It should also run pretty cool and have plenty of room for overclocking. There are some who believe it might dethrone the Galax, but some early benchmarks show that isn't the case.
No idea of any other 2080 Ti cards coming out. The Kingpin was the most awaited version and it has been delayed (it only just opened up for "auto notification" on EVGA's website). If I had the money, I would go for this one in a heartbeat, but yeah, at almost $2000 (perhaps more if they add tax), I can't justify the purchase.
I guess if you can wait, it doesn't hurt. If anything, prices should go down when AMD releases their newest GPU, though there's no definitive date or even specs. If your system is enough for you now, at the very least, waiting for AMDs 3rd gen Ryzen will lower the overall price of your build as well.