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Shootouts

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 shootout: All hail a new generation of cards (Updated!)

By Koh Wanzi - 10 Nov 2018

Test setup & performance

Test Setup

The detailed specifications of our new graphics card testbed system is as follows:-

  • Intel Core i7-8086K (4.0GHz, 12MB L3 cache)
  • ASUS ROG Strix Maximus X Hero (Intel Z370)
  • 4 x 8GB G.Skill Ripjaws V DDR4-3000 (Auto timings: CAS 15-15-15-35)
  • Samsung 860 EVO 500GB SSD
  • Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
  • ASUS PB287Q, 4K monitor

The full line-up of graphics cards and their driver versions are listed below:

  • ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2080 OC (ForceWare 411.70)
  • GALAX GeForce RTX 2080 OC (ForceWare 411.70)
  • Gigabyte Aorus GeForce RTX 2080 Xtreme 8G (ForceWare 411.70)
  • MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Gaming X Trio (ForceWare 411.70)
  • Palit GeForce RTX 2080 Super JetStream (ForceWare 411.70)
  • Zotac Gaming GeForce RTX 2080 AMP (ForceWare 411.70)

Test cards compared
  ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2080 OC  GALAX GeForce RTX 2080 OC Gigabyte Aorus GeForce RTX 2080 Xtreme 8G MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Gaming X Trio Palit GeForce RTX 2080 Super JetStream Zotac Gaming GeForce RTX 2080 AMP
  ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2080 OC  GALAX GeForce RTX 2080 OC Gigabyte Aorus GeForce RTX 2080 Xtreme 8G MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Gaming X Trio Palit GeForce RTX 2080 Super JetStream Zotac Gaming GeForce RTX 2080 AMP
Launch SRP
  • From S$1619
  • From S$1259
  • From S$1569
  • From S$1439
  • From S$1299
  • From S$1299
Latest Price
  • From S$949
  • From S$1209
  • From S$1245
  • From S$1099
Core Code
  • TU104
  • TU104
  • TU104
  • TU104
  • TU104
  • TU104
GPU Transistor Count
  • 13.6 billion
  • 13.6 billion
  • 13.6 billion
  • 13.6 billion
  • 13.6 billion
  • 13.6 billion
Manufacturing Process
  • 12nm FinFET
  • 12nm FinFET
  • 12nm FinFET
  • 12nm FinFET
  • 12nm FinFET
  • 12nm FinFET
Core Clock
  • Core: 1,545MHz, Boost: 1,890MHz
  • Core: 1,515MHz, Boost: 1,785MHz
  • Core: 1,515MHz, Boost: 1,890MHz
  • Core: 1,515MHz, Boost: 1,860MHz
  • Core: 1,515MHz, Boost: 1,860MHz
  • Core: 1,515MHz, Boost: 1,830MHz
Stream Processors
  • 2,944
  • 2,944
  • 2,944
  • 2,944
  • 2,944
  • 2,944
Texture Mapping Units (TMUs)
  • 184
  • 184
  • 184
  • 184
  • 184
  • 184
Raster Operator units (ROP)
  • 64
  • 64
  • 64
  • 64
  • 64
  • 64
Memory Clock (DDR)
  • 8GB GDDR6 14,000MHz
  • 8GB GDDR6 14,000MHz
  • 8GB GDDR6 14,144MHz
  • 8GB GDDR6 14,000MHz
  • 8GB GDDR6 14,000MHz
  • 8GB GDDR6 14,000MHz
Memory Bus width
  • 256-bit
  • 256-bit
  • 256-bit
  • 256-bit
  • 256-bit
  • 256-bit
Memory Bandwidth
  • 448GB/s
  • 448GB/s
  • 452.6GB/s
  • 448GB/s
  • 448GB/s
  • 448GB/s
PCI Express Interface
  • 3.0
  • 3.0
  • 3.0
  • 3.0
  • 3.0
  • 3.0
Power Connectors
  • 2x 8-pin
  • 1x 8-pin, 1x6-pin
  • 2x 8-pin
  • 2x 8-pin
  • 2x 8-pin
  • 2x 8-pin
Multi GPU Technology
  • Yes (2-way SLI)
  • Yes (2-way SLI)
  • Yes (2-way SLI)
  • Yes (2-way SLI)
  • Yes (2-way SLI)
  • Yes (2-way SLI)
DVI Outputs
  • No
  • No
  • No
  • No
  • No
  • No
HDMI Outputs
  • 2x
  • 1x
  • 3x
  • 1x
  • 1x
  • 1x
DisplayPort Outputs
  • 2x
  • 3x
  • 3x
  • 3x
  • 3x
  • 3x
HDCP Output Support
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes

Note: Zotac also has higher-end cards with the AMP Extreme Core and AMP Extreme, but they were not available locally at the time of writing. As a result, we weren't able to include either of them in this shootout.

 

Benchmarks

Next up, here's a list of all the benchmarks used. We've already run through a wider range of tests in our review of the GeForce RTX 2080 Founders Edition, so we'll just be going through a more limited selection here:

  • 3DMark
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider

We used the Fire Strike Extreme benchmark and stress test in 3DMark for our temperature and power consumption tests respectively.

 

3DMark

The synthetic 3DMark benchmark tests graphics and computational performance at different resolutions, starting at 1080p and going all the way up to 4K. A series of two graphics test, one physics test, and then a combined test stresses your hardware in turn to assess its performance. Compared to the Founders Edition, these custom cards are a hair faster.

Unsurprisingly, the cards were pretty much neck-and-neck with each other throughout. The one laggard would be the GALAX card, probably owing to its lower boost clock speeds. That said, it's not as if it is behind by a super large margin, and it mostly trailed by just a couple of percentage points. 

 

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

NVIDIA has mentioned Shadow of the Tomb Raider a lot lately, largely because it will be one of the first games to support its RTX technology through a post-release patch. At the time of writing however, the patch hasn't dropped yet, so the results still deal with conventional performance metrics. Once more, the custom cards here are just a hair faster than the Founders Edition.

However, they once again performed very similarly to each other, and it was difficult to tease out a clear winner.

 

Temperature and power consumption

I ran 40 loops of 3DMark's Fire Strike Extreme stress test and took the peak temperature readings during the run. For power consumption, I measured the total system power draw during the Fire Strike Extreme benchmark.

Most of the custom cards tested here ran much cooler than the Founders Edition, which posted a peak temperature of  72°C. However, both the GALAX and Gigabyte cards ran slightly hotter, a disappointing outcome. The Gigabyte card's lackluster cooling performance was especially surprising, given the size of its cooler. 

 

Overclocking

I used the NVIDIA Scanner tool built into EVGA's Precision X1 software to overclock the cards. NVIDIA Scanner is an API that developers can bake into their overclocking software. In a nutshell, it leverages NVIDIA's knowledge of how its GPUs perform to help you achieve the highest possible overclock, with the goal of eliminating the tedious, trial-and-error nature of conventional overclocking. 

After you hit the Scan button, the software will work its way through your card's voltage-frequency curve, running arithmetic tests to see whether the card is stable or not. If it crashes, Scanner will automatically ramp up the voltage and try again. The entire process takes about 20 minutes, after which you'll get a custom voltage-frequency curve and overclocking profile that you can apply. 

Here's a table summarizing the clock speeds each card was able to achieve with NVIDIA Scanner (memory clocks remain unchanged):

Overclocked base and boost clocks compared
  ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2080 OC GALAX GeForce RTX 2080 OC Gigabyte Aorus GeForce RTX 2080 Xtreme 8G MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Gaming X Trio Palit GeForce RTX 2080 Super JetStream Zotac Gaming GeForce RTX 2080 AMP
Base clock 1,572MHz 1,583MHz 1,562MHz 1,561MHz 1,568MHz 1,544MHz
Boost clock 1,917MHz 1,853MHz 1,937MHz 1,906MHz 1,913MHz 1,859MHz

Overall, the Gigabyte card was able to achieve the highest boost clock speeds, which translated into the best performance in 3DMark - even if it's just by a small degree.