Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super Founders Edition review: A modest upgrade to a powerful GPU

Nvidia's GeForce RTX 2080 Super is the second most-powerful GPU ever released, but it loses its unique identity in the new-look Super lineup.

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Our test system

Our dedicated graphics card test system is packed with some of the fastest complementary components available to put any potential performance bottlenecks squarely on the GPU. Most of the hardware was provided by the manufacturers, but we purchased the cooler and storage ourselves.

  • Intel Core i7-8700K processor ($350 on Amazon)
  • EVGA CLC 240 closed-loop liquid cooler ($120 on Amazon)
  • Asus Maximus X Hero motherboard ($395 on Amazon)
  • 64GB HyperX Predator RGB DDR4/2933 ($420 on Amazon)
  • EVGA 1200W SuperNova P2 power supply ($230 on Amazon)
  • Corsair Crystal 570X RGB case, with front and top panels removed and an extra rear fan installed for improved airflow ($130 on Amazon)
  • 2x 500GB Samsung 860 EVO SSDs ($78 each on Amazon)

We’re comparing the $700 GeForce RTX 2080 Super Founders Edition against Nvidia’s Founders Edition models of the $1,200 GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, $800 RTX 2080, and $600 RTX 2070. These original FE models came with slight overclocks and significant price premiums, though the original RTX 2070 and 2080 are now being killed off with the Super series’ arrival. We’re also including the Founders Edition versions of the $400 RTX 2060 Super and $500 RTX 2070 Super, which (like the RTX 2080 Super) stick to stock specs and MSRP pricing. Finally, AMD’s rival $700 Radeon VII and $400 Radeon RX 5700 XT are also included in the comparison.

All prices cited are launch MSRP; you can often find these cards cheaper on the streets these days.

Each game is tested using its in-game benchmark at the highest possible graphics presets, with VSync, frame rate caps, and all GPU vendor-specific technologies—like AMD TressFX, Nvidia GameWorks options, and FreeSync/G-Sync—disabled, and temporal anti-aliasing (TAA) enabled to push these high-end cards to their limits. If anything differs from that, we’ll mention it. We run each benchmark at least three times and list the average result for each test.

Because the GeForce RTX 2080 Super is just a slightly faster RTX 2080 at its core, we’re going to skip our usual commentary after each benchmark and let the testing speak for itself.

Gaming performance benchmarks

Division 2

Let’s start with the latest games. The Division 2 is one of the best looter-shooters ever created. The luscious visuals generated by Ubisoft’s Snowdrop engine make it even easier to get lost in post-apocalyptic Washington D.C. The built-in benchmark cycles through four “zones” to test an array of environments. We test with the DirectX 12 renderer enabled. It provides better performance across-the-board than the DX11 renderer, but requires Windows 10.

division 2 Brad Chacos/IDG

Far Cry: New Dawn

Another Ubisoft title, Far Cry: New Dawn drags Far Cry 5’s wonderful gameplay into a post-apocalyptic future of its own, though this vision is a lot more bombastic—and pink—than The Division 2’s bleak setting. The game runs on the latest version of the long-running Dunia engine, and it’s slightly more strenuous than Far Cry 5’s built-in benchmark.

fc new dawn Brad Chacos/IDG

Next page: Gaming benchmarks continue

At a Glance
  • The Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super Founders Edition is the second most-powerful GPU ever released and great for 4K or ultra-fast 1440p gaming, but this modest upgrade loses its unique value proposition in the new-look RTX Super lineup.

    Pros

    • Excellent 1440p and good 4K gaming performance
    • Supports real-time ray tracing and DLSS
    • Nvidia's metallic Founders Edition design is gorgeous
    • Fastest GDDR6 memory available
    • Supports multi-GPU SLI configurations

    Cons

    • Not much faster than original RTX 2080
    • Ray traced games picking up steam, but still relatively rare
    • RTX 2070 Super serves same basic needs at much lower price
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