2 - Updated windows ok… As a double check, especially as nothing seems to have worked - look in the WIndows update history and see if the KB5001330 and KB5001337 updates are still active on your system… They shouldnt be if Windows Update ran properly.
3 - Graphics driver ok… 471.11 should be ok. its new so I am alway a little skeptical especially on older hardware but I cannot say if it may be the cause… As a last resort, you may have to consider going back to something from a while ago and seeing if it does anything.
4 - Ok… Memory issues are unlikely but its important to check anyways… Especially if there are lots of them.
6a - I use a 1060 3gb and if I am willing to handle the fan noise I can get around 75 fps on very low settings @ 1080p outside of combat in pretty much any map. If I throw caution to the wind, I can get 100fps but things get a little flaky if I do that and the game tends to freeze up or crash. I have no doubt that your 1080 should be performing better but I am pretty confident there is something specific on your setup causing this.
6b - Vsync… Obviously framerate limiting and vsync do pretty much the same thing so they should be interchangeable but vsync in LE seems to misbehave often… and it doesnt allow for you to fine tune things… Hmm screen tearing… This rings a bell… Cant find the post right now but I recall something about rolling back to older drivers helped resolve this for some people… There was also a solution by forcing the Nvidia driver to take over the vsync with an exception in the driver level for the LE executable - i.e. disable vsync & framerate limiting in-game and figure out what settings in-game give you an average fps (you can use F11 in game to show fps top left) just higher than your monitor refresh and then tell Nvidia to enable vsync automatically instead of allowing the game to chose…) This resolved the tearing by doing it at a driver level instead of in LE.
Intel/Amd I’d put money on it not being that at all. There are plenty of AMD players here. Your processor is similar in performance to mine (i5-7500) barring the vastly more cores/threads which I dont think LE is taking advantage of anyway right now…
Ray tracing features etc… nah I think we are a very long way off from the devs trying those kinds of things yet… Its all focus on content & multiplayer right now…
The difference in Ultra and Very low should be significant… If I do that on my 1060, I get slide show performance almost instantly no matter where I am. The fact that you see no perceptable difference is VERY ODD… The bug/technical forums are full of people who tried Ultra settings assuming that their hardware would handle the unoptimised game and after crashing, freezing and generally bad fps, changing to Medium or lower resolved most issues that were not driver related.
With this in mind:
Do you have any configuration in your driver that is overriding the in-game settings?
When you set the in-game settings - did you try the very low base starting settings I suggested in 7? with everything off - it could be that one of the settings is triggering this issue… (dont use the master option at the top, manually change each setting).
Can you monitor your 1080 ti core clock speeds and see if they are fluctuating? There have been issues (see this post) where bad drivers caused a 2080Ti to reduce its clock speeds for no apparent reason… This was on 0.8.2 so its fairly recent.