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

By Koh Wanzi - 23 Jul 2019


NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super

The GeForce RTX 2080 gets slightly faster

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super may be the fastest of all the Super cards, but it's also the least exciting. Compared to the GeForce RTX 2080, it's anywhere from 5 to 10 percent faster, although it tended to skew toward the lower end of that range. On the other hand, the GeForce RTX 2060 Super was often a good 20 percent quicker than the GeForce RTX 2060, making for a seriously impressive mid-generation upgrade. 

To be fair, the Founders Edition models for the Super cards don't come with factory overclocks, while the first-generation GeForce RTX Founders Edition cards did, so it's not an entirely fair comparison. Custom cards from NVIDIA's partners will feature more aggressive clock speeds, so the GeForce RTX 2080 Super will see slightly better performance. Having said that, I don't expect the clock speed increases to translate to anything significant, and the GeForce RTX 2080 Super will still remain a rather modest offering with respect to the GeForce RTX 2080. 

It also doesn't come anywhere close to dethroning the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, which means that GeForce RTX 2080 Ti owners who paid the absurd prices for the card are no doubt heaving a sigh of relief (myself included). 

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super

Taken on it's own, the GeForce RTX 2080 Super is hardly a bad card. It's still really, really fast, and it makes perfect sense in NVIDIA's new GeForce RTX line-up, which includes the three new Super models. It's only when you compare it to the GeForce RTX 2080 that things start to seem lackluster and disappointing, but that's partly because of the expectations set by the excellent GeForce RTX 2060 Super and 2070 Super.

And speaking of the GeForce RTX 2070 Super, it's worth pointing out that its strong performance means that it is encroaching to some extent upon the territory usually occupied by the GeForce RTX 2080-class card. The performance gap between the GeForce RTX 2070 and 2080 was much wider than it is for their Super counterparts, which means that I can't help but ask whether it's worth paying US$200 more for the GeForce RTX 2080 Super in exchange for a much smaller performance boost. Ultimately, it seems like NVIDIA may be giving the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti too much respect, and it'd have been really nice to see a more ambitious take on the GeForce RTX 2080 Super.  

Nevertheless, at the same US$699 price tag, NVIDIA is still offering better value-for-money than before with the performance bump at the same price point, and if you own an older card and are looking to upgrade to a high-end Turing model, there's no reason why the GeForce RTX 2080 Super shouldn't be on your list. After all, AMD doesn't really have an answer at this price point yet.

To further sweeten the deal, NVIDIA is also offering copies of Control and Wolfenstein: Youngblood with purchases of the GeForce RTX 2080 Super card or desktop PC. The offer runs for a limited time only, but applies to most of NVIDIA's partners including ASUS, Gigabyte, Galaxy, MSI, Palit, Zotac, and more. 

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  • 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
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