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

By Koh Wanzi - 23 Jul 2019

Test setup & gaming 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 tested are listed below:

  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super Founders Edition
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Founders Edition
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super Founders Edition
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Founders Edition

For those of you wondering, the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT and 5700 weren't included because they aren't comparable and no match for the GeForce GTX 2080 Super at all.

Test cards compared
  NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super Founders Edition NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super Founders Edition NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Founders Edition
  NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super Founders Edition NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super Founders Edition NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Founders Edition
Core Code
  • TU102
  • TU104
  • TU104
  • TU104
  • TU106
GPU Transistor Count
  • 18.9 billion
  • 13.6 billion
  • 13.6 billion
  • 13.6 billion
  • 10.8 billion
Manufacturing Process
  • 12nm FinFET
  • 12nm FinFET
  • 12nm FinFET
  • 12nm FinFET
  • 12nm FinFET
Core Clock
  • Core: 1,350MHz, Boost: 1,635MHz
  • Core: 1,650MHz, Boost: 1,815MHz
  • Core: 1,515MHz, Boost: 1,800MHz
  • 1,605MHz
  • Core: 1,410MHz, Boost: 1,710MHz
Stream Processors
  • 4,352
  • 3,072
  • 2,944
  • 2,560
  • 2.304
Texture Mapping Units (TMUs)
  • 272
  • 192
  • 184
  • 184
  • 120
Raster Operator units (ROP)
  • 88
  • 64
  • 64
  • 64
  • 64
Memory Clock (DDR)
  • 11GB GDDR6 14,000MHz
  • 8GB GDDR6 15,500MHz
  • 8GB GDDR6 14,000MHz
  • 14,000MHz
  • 8GB GDDR6 14,000MHz
Memory Bus width
  • 352-bit
  • 256-bit
  • 256-bit
  • 256-bit
  • 256-bit
Memory Bandwidth
  • 616GB/s
  • 496.1GB/s
  • 448GB/s
  • 448GB/s
  • 448GB/s
PCI Express Interface
  • 3.0
  • 3.0
  • 3.0
  • PCIe 3.0
  • 3.0
Power Connectors
  • 2 x 8-pin
  • 1x 8-pin, 1x 6-pin
  • 1x 8-pin, 1x 6-pin
  • 1x 8-pin, 1x 6-pin
  • 1x 8-pin
Multi GPU Technology
  • Yes (2-way SLI)
  • Yes (2-way SLI)
  • Yes (2-way SLI)
  • SLI
  • No
DVI Outputs
  • No
  • No
  • No
  • No
HDMI Outputs
  • 1x
  • 1x
  • 1x
  • 1
  • 1x
DisplayPort Outputs
  • 3x
  • 3x
  • 3x
  • 3
  • 2x
HDCP Output Support
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
Stream Processor Clock
  • 1,650MHz
  • 1,605MHz

Next up, here's a list of all the benchmarks used:

  • 3DMark
  • Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
  • Far Cry 5
  • Metro Exodus
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of War
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider
  • Tom Clancy's The Division 2

 

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.

The GeForce RTX 2080 Super is only slightly faster than the GeForce RTX 2080 in 3DMark. In Fire Strike Ultra, it was just 3 percent ahead. The GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is also still clearly the undisputed king here, coming in at roughly 20 percent quicker than the GeForce RTX 2080 Super. 

 

Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation

Ashes of the Singularity has long been the poster child for the performance benefits a low-level API like DirectX 12 can bring. It is based on the Nitrous engine and can be extremely punishing thanks to the huge number of onscreen units and the sheer level of detail accorded to each unit. However, the CPU does become the limiting factor at lower resolutions and settings. 

You only start to see more significant differences between the cards at the more demanding settings, but even then a 4K resolution and Crazy settings, the GeForce RTX 2080 Super was only a few frames ahead of the GeForce RTX 2080. 

 

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Mankind Divided features just about every trick to make your game look pretty, including things like volumetric and dynamic lighting, screenspace reflections, and cloth physics. Even though it was released in 2016, the game is capable of bringing even the most powerful systems to their knees. 

The GeForce RTX 2080 Super managed to squeeze out a larger lead here, and it had around a 7 percent advantage at 1440p and Ultra settings. There was still no challenging the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti though, and that card was roughly 15 percent ahead of the GeForce RTX 2080 Super. 

 

Far Cry 5

The latest installment in the Far Cry series is actually an AMD launch title, so it'll be interesting to see how the green camp fares here. 

There's not much difference at 1080p resolutions where the CPU seems to be somewhat of a limiting factor, but as you move to the 4K resolution, the GeForce RTX 2080 Super had a roughly 12 percent advantage over its predecessor. 

 

Metro Exodus

Metro Exodus runs better in DirectX 12, so that's the setting we chose to run our benchmarks at. There's just one caveat though – actual in-game performance is generally better than the results you get in the in-game benchmark, so this is best taken as an indicator of relative performance, rather than the absolute numbers you can expect in game.

Compared to Far Cry 5, Metro Exodus scales a lot better between different cards at the lower resolutions, and the GeForce RTX 2080 Super was just under 6 percent quicker than the GeForce RTX 2080. 

 

Middle-earth: Shadow of War

Shadow of War isn't as demanding as some of the other games here, and the GeForce RTX 2080 Super pottered ahead to a 10 percent lead at a 4K resolution and Ultra settings. 

 

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Like Metro Exodus, Shadow of the Tomb Raider runs better in DirectX 12 as well. DLSS and ray tracing have been added to the game already, but these numbers are obtained without those features turned on.

Things were much closer in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, with the GeForce RTX 2080 even somehow eking out a small lead over its Super counterpart in some benchmarks. That aside, the difference between the two cards was small, coming up to just 6 percent at a 4K resolution and Ultra settings. 

 

Tom Clancy's The Division 2

Division 2 is another new addition to our benchmark suite, and it replaces 2016's The Division. We've also shifted to DirectX 12 here as well because of the performance gains offered by the low-level API. 

At 4K and Ultra settings, the GeForce RTX 2080 Super was ahead of its predecessor by roughly 8 percent. In comparison, the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti was faster than the former card by a good 17 percent. 

8.0
  • 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