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NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super Founders Edition review: A modest affair

By Koh Wanzi - 23 Jul 2019

Introduction

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super

Meet NVIDIA's flagship Super card

The fastest of the Super cards is here at last. The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super caps off NVIDIA's mid-generation refresh of its GeForce RTX graphics cards, slotting in neatly between the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti and GeForce RTX 2070 Super

Here's an overview of its specifications:

  NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti
CUDA cores 2,304 2,560 2,944 3,072 4,352
Tensor cores 288 320 368 384 544
RT cores 36 40 46 48 68
Texture units 144 184 184 192 272
ROPs 64 64 64 64 88
Real-time ray tracing 6 GigaRays/s 7 GigaRays/s 8 GigaRays/s 8 GigaRays/s 10 GigaRays/s
Base/boost clock 1,410MHz/1,620MHz 1,605MHz/1,770MHz 1,515MHz/1,710MHz 1,650MHz/1,815MHz 1,350MHz/1,545MHz
Memory 8GB GDDR6 8GB GDDR6 8GB GDDR6 8GB GDDR6 11GB GDDR6
Effective memory clock 14,000MHz 14,000MHz 14,000MHz 15,500MHz 14,000MHz
Memory bus width 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 352-bit
Memory bandwidth 448GB/s 448GB/s 448GB/s 496.1GB/s 616GB/s
TGP 175W 215W 215W 250W 250W

The GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is still king of the hill however, featuring 34 percent more CUDA cores than the GeForce RTX 2080 Super. That said, those of you hoping for a GeForce RTX 2060 Super-sized improvement over the GeForce RTX 2080 will be disappointed. The GeForce RTX 2080 Super represents a modest improvement over the GeForce RTX 2080 at best, and if you already own the latter card, there's little reason to upgrade.

The GeForce RTX 2080 Super is a direct replacement for the GeForce RTX 2080, rather than any sort of step up. In addition to cramming in more CUDA, Tensor, and RT cores, NVIDIA has bumped up the core and memory clocks, so you get slightly higher memory bandwidth as well.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super

Power consumption has increased as well, and the Total Graphics Power (TGP) has gone up from 215W to 250W, the same as the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. Unlike TDP, which refers to the maximum amount of heat that has to be dissipated by the cooling system, TGP defines the power consumption of the entire card. 

The GeForce RTX 2080 Super Founders Edition is the same size as the GeForce RTX 2070 Super before it, and save for the branding on its shroud, looks pretty much identical. It's also powered by one 6-pin and one 8-pin power connector, although I expect some custom custom cards will bump that up to a dual 8-pin configuration. 

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super

As with the previous Founders Edition models, the machined aluminum shroud is glorious to look at and the card just has a really reassuring heft to it. The chrome plate and its mirror-like finish makes an appearance here as well, and it's simply stunning to look at. I really wish NVIDIA would make its Founders Edition cards more widely available, if only because of how good they look.

The mirror-finish on the Super cards is pretty stunning to look at.

The SLI connector is protected by a rubberized cover, which prevents it from interrupting the otherwise uniform aesthetic of the backplate.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super

Finally, you'll find the same single HDMI 2.0b, three DisplayPort 1.4a outputs, and a USB-C port that supports VirtualLink on the rear. 

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super

  • Performance 8.5
  • Features 9.5
  • Value 6.5
The Good
Great gaming performance
Excellent build quality
Runs reasonably cool and quiet
The Bad
No PCIe 4.0
Not worth an upgrade from the GeForce RTX 2080
Ray tracing support still not super widespread