GTX vs RTX – What Do They Even Mean?

I still remember the day when Nvidia announced that it is replacing the long-running GTX prefix with RTX. It was weird because at the time of announcement, a lot of people, including myself, were under the impression that this is just a rename and nothing will be changed. However, we couldn’t be more wrong as with the release of the RTX 2000 series, Nvidia also released something called Tensor and RT Cores that were responsible for handling all raytracing responsibilities. Not just that, the RTX series also featured DLSS, an upscaling method that was a game changer.

That is when the exit began for the GTX prefix, as we started seeing less and less GTX GPUs in the market. Two years ago, with the release of RTX 3000 series, and now the RTX 4000 series, it is safe to say that Nvidia has bit farewell to the GTX series.

However, that does not mean that the entirety of GTX series is dead; budget gamers who are not able to get their hands on the RTX series often end up getting the GTX series and some GPUs in this series are still very good. Not just that, there are laptops that are also using some really good GTX GPUs.

But what are the differences, one might ask? That’s what we are going to take a look at, so let’s not waste more time and have a look.

What Does GTX Mean?

Many might assume that the prefix is just there to make the GPUs sound ‘cool’ but the reality is more compelling than that. GTX stands for Giga Texel Shader Extreme serves under the GeForce brand that is owned by Nvidia. The company first introduced GTX back in 2008 with the 200 series codenamed Tesla. The GTX 260 and the GTX 280 were the first GPUs with the prefix.

Nvidia kept using the GTX prefix for most of the cards, and it was retired somewhere in 2019 when the company released the Turing architecture, which had the GTX 16 series. After that, Nvidia moved onto RTX prefix, which we will talk about in detail going forward.

What Does RTX Mean?

Moving on to RTX, the prefix stands for Ray Tracing Texel Extreme and just like GTX, it is also a variant that works under GeForce. RTX cards, for those who do not know, were designed to bring real-time raytracing support which made games look a lot better. The prefix was first introduced back in 2018 with cards such as the RTX 2060, 2070, 2080, 2080 Ti, and a few Super counterparts as well. These cards supported the DXR extension in DirectX12 along with DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling)

RTX 2000 was just an early adaptation of what Nvidia is capable of and the launch was not as smooth as one would hope. However, with the RTX 3000 series, Nvidia nearly perfect raytracing applications and ever since then, it has only gotten better as we have moved further.

What is the Difference Between GTX and RTX

Now that you are done knowing about the GTX and RTX and what they both mean, we are going to start talking about differences between the GTX and RTX series. Thankfully, Nvidia has provided us with a table that tells us all the differences.

Technology features:RTX 20-SeriesGTX 16-SeriesGTX 10-Series
Turing ArchitectureYesYesNo
NVIDIA Adaptive ShadingYesYesNo
VR ReadyYesGTX 1660 or higherGTX 1060 or higher
Concurrent Floating Point & Integer OperationsYesYesNo
Turing NVIDIA Encoder (NVENC)YesYes (except 1650)No
Ray-Tracing CoresYesNoNo
Tensor CoresYesNoNo

It is also worth noting that the RT cores are only available in the RTX GPUs, and the same goes for Tensor cores, along with DLSS. Nvidia, more or less, has retired the GTX series, with drivers still being available but other than that, we are not going to be seeing any new GTX GPUs in the coming future.

GTX vs RTX – Which One Should I Buy?

Now that we are done comparing both techs, it all comes down to which one you should be picking up, in the first place. To be honest, this is not as complicated as it might seem. However, if you are strapped for money, I would highly suggest that you are looking into some of the older GTX GPUs because they still are excellent in every single way and are not going to deliver any issues to you.

However, if you want the absolute winner and money is not a problem, then picking up the RTX series GPU is the right way to go because the performance and feature set alone is worth it, especially when you are getting access to something as special and game changing as DLSS.

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I do understand if you are finding this a bit underwhelming but the point here was to compare both technologies and see what the difference is all about. You will be more than happy to know that even the entry-level RTX GPUs are doing really good and they are great value for money if you are looking to get your hands on something that simply will not disappoint you then going for this is the best thing to do.

Rest assured, picking up the RTX GPU is not going to disappoint you at all and will be really, really good across the board.

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