The bizarre 'GTX 2080' GPU from Nvidia has emerged
A Redditor found himself in possession of a surprising graphics card: the Nvidia GeForce GTX 2080. Yes, that's not a typo, and, indeed, such a card does not exist, but here it is pictured beautifully. Reddit user picked up the mysterious GPU on eBay as an engineering sample. Their next step was to compare the card with the RTX 2080, which was released soon after.
Ascendance22 posted a review of the GeForce GTX 2080 to Nvidia's subreddit, where he discussed the card and tested it. There's a possibility that this is an early prototype of the existing RTX 2080, but for some reason, it's labeled as "GTX." That's certainly curious on a card that supports ray tracing, according to the user.
Founders Edition of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 is the "1G180" SKU code for this early Turing graphics card from Nvidia. Founders Edition models are also available for this GTX model. Even though all of the specifications add up, it does sport a "GeForce GTX" logo rather than the usual branding. In TechPowerUp's database, the card is listed as having 8GB memory and a 1,710MHz boost speed.
A user referred to as ascendance22 was able to successfully run some benchmark tests and test the GPU in a gaming setting by playing GTA V. All in all, the user considered the GTX 2080 to be decent when overclocked.
The naming conventions of Nvidia's cards are certainly quite different - after all, the company tests the cards in some way - but they are not that uncommon. Was the use of "GTX" for reasons of confidentiality, or did Nvidia suddenly change its mind about the branding? It seems quite likely that it's the latter, according to known leaker Kopite7kimi. The GTX 1180 and GTX 2080 were rumored to be the first RTX 2080s before the actual launch.
The card is still available on eBay, but it's selling fast now that word is spreading about it. It's priced at $360, which feels reasonable for a rare prototype that works. Due to the current state of the cryptocurrency market, the GPUs were previously used for crypto mining, but now they are for sale since mining is less profitable.
Consider ascendance22's experience with this card if you're interested in purchasing one. There was a report that the card performed slower than intended and even stopped working at one point. According to ascendance22, "I fear the card might've died, but I cannot tell for sure.".
It's not a good investment, but it has recovered since then. For a little more money, you're better off buying a current-generation card. There is no doubt that this is a rare piece that will make a great addition to any collection, but only if you do not mind the risk that it may not work. Is it possible that the upcoming RTX 4000-series will be renamed to something else altogether? The cards are expected to be released in October, so we won't have to wait long to get our hands on them.