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Redshift is a production-quality, GPU-accelerated renderer. Traditionally this type of rendering was done on CPUs, but graphics processors (GPUs) are ideal for highly parallel tasks like this – and it is easier to fit multiple video cards in a single computer, to boost performance, than multiple CPUs.
With NVIDIA's recent release of the GeForce RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti, we wanted to see how these new graphics cards stack up to the well-respected 1080 Ti and the top-end Titan V.
At publishing time, the latest version of Redshift is 2.6.22. This version appears to support the new Turing GPU architecture used in the RTX series cards, though the version we had tested most recently before this (2.6.11) does not. As such we ran all new tests with older cards for this article, using the new version of Redshift and the same graphics driver that NVIDIA released to support the new cards.
For our test platform, we wanted to use a high-end processor so that there is no way it is limiting any of the video cards. Since we are looking at single GPUs (sadly we only have one RTX 2080 Ti at this time) we didn't worry about supporting a maximum number of cards. If you would like full details on the hardware configuration we tested on, just click here to expand a detailed list.
|Motherboard:||Gigabyte X299 Designare EX|
|CPU:||Intel Core i9 7980XE 2.6GHz (4.4GHz Turbo) 18 Core|
|RAM:||8x Crucial DDR4-2666 16GB (128GB total)|
|GPU:||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti 8GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 8GB
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11GB
NVIDIA Titan V 12GB
|Hard Drive:||Samsung 960 Pro 1TB M.2 PCI-E x4 NVMe SSD|
|OS:||Windows 10 Pro 64-bit|
|PSU:||Seasonic X-Series 1050W|
|Software:||Redshift 2.6.22 Demo Benchmark (Age of Vultures scene)|
Here are the Redshift 2.6.22 benchmark render times each of the video cards we tested:
And here is another way of looking at the results, as percentages relative to the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti's performance:
It is a little tricky to interpret raw benchmark times into actionable information, as in the first graph above, but the second chart makes things much clearer. The new GeForce RTX 2080 is slightly faster (8%) than the similarly-priced GTX 1080 Ti from the previous generation, though it has less dedicated video memory (8 vs 11GB) – so for folks working with larger scenes it may make sense to stick with the 1080 Ti in that price range. For those with a little more to spend, the RTX 2080 Ti comes in 38% faster than the GTX 1080 Ti – and not very far behind the much more expensive Titan V, while still having a respectable 11GB of VRAM.
Keep in mind that these are only single-card scores, and doubling (or tripling/quadrupling) up on video cards can yield even more impressive results. However, we have found that the dual-fan coolers used by NVIDIA on these new GeForce RTX cards are problematic when used in multi-GPU configurations. For more information about that, check out our in-depth look at that topic.
Finally, it is worth noting that this version of Redshift is not yet able to utilize the new RT cores which NVIDIA added to this generation of GPUs. Those are purpose-built for raytracing, and if Redshift is updated to use them in the future we could see a huge increase in performance. We will be sure to test these cards again if or when that technology is integrated into this rendering engine.
Are the GeForce RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti Good for Rendering in Redshift?
The GeForce RTX GPUs do very well in Redshift when used as individual cards. They outperform the previous generation at the same price point, and there is potential for even better performance in the future if Redshift is updated to use the new RT cores they have. Avoid using dual-fan cards in multi-GPU configurations, though!
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