Most people shouldn’t preorder computer hardware. But there are some very valid reasons to preorder the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti—they just haven’t been articulated well.
But then Tom’s Hardware published this ludicrous article titled “ Just Buy It: Why Nvidia RTX GPUs Are Worth the Money ” and it’s been gnawing at my brain ever since.
“What these price-panicked pundits don’t understand is that there’s value in being an early adopter,” the Tom’s article declares. “And there’s a cost to either delaying your purchase or getting an older-generation product so you can save money.”
The arguments made to back that up in the original article weren’t very compelling. But it’s actually a very true statement with a very applicable real-life scenario as this new GPU generation switches over: 4K, 144Hz monitors.
Until this summer, the refresh rate of 4K monitors was limited to 60Hz. It wasn’t really a problem since the only consumer graphics card capable of tickling those frame rates at 4K is the $700 GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, and even it has problems maintaining a constant 60fps. But now, the DisplayPort 1.4 standard can push 4K monitors even further. The first 4K, 144Hz G-Sync HDR displays are now shipping and they’re nothing short of glorious, albeit with a steep $2,000 entry fee. And this very week, Acer announced far cheaper 4K, 144Hz monitors that lack some of G-Sync HDR’s bells and whistles, but are just as face-meltingly fast.
How fast can the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti go? We won’t know for sure until reviews hit. But even now, there is absolutely no doubt that the RTX 2080 Ti will be the fastest graphics card ever when it releases, and probably by a significant margin. If you’re feeling the need for 4K, 144Hz speed, you’ve got deeper pockets than me, but it makes sense to preorder the $1,200 graphics card if you want as many raw, ultra-high definition frames as possible, no matter the sticker price.
That doesn’t apply to the cheaper GeForce RTX 2080, by the way, especially since it costs significantly more than its predecessor this time around. There’s no guarantee it winds up much faster than the GTX 1080 Ti in traditional games until reviews land. Nvidia only compared its performance against the previous-gen GTX 1080.
Preorders make little sense to me. Don’t buy a pig in a poke and whatnot, especially if that pig costs more than teenage Brad’s first car. But in a Full Nerd episode analyzing the GeForce RTX launch, a reader from outside America hit me with a question that really made me think. In some countries, buyers can return anything for any reason for a predetermined period after receiving it (30 days, in this case). With that protection, is it really such a bad idea to preorder?
Note that Nvidia’s online store lets you cancel an order before it ships at any time, and offers a full 30-day money back guarantee for all products. That makes the Founders Edition graphics cards and their newfangled dual-fan cooling design a pretty enticing place to stake a claim in line. Notably, Amazon’s return policies are usually very customer-friendly too.
That tiny USB-C port at the far end is a VirtualLink connector.
So there you have it—the article Tom’s Hardware should have published. An article that actually articulates some of the logical reasons you might want to plunk down your hard-earned cash on a GeForce RTX 2080 Ti immediately. Some people should consider it!