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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Power draw, thermals, and synthetics

We also tested the GeForce RTX 2080 Super Founders Edition using 3DMark’s highly respected Fire Strike synthetic benchmark. Fire Strike runs at 1080p, Fire Strike Extreme runs at 1440p, and Fire Strike Ultra runs at 4K resolution. All render the same scene, but with more intense graphical effects as you move up the scale, so that Extreme and Ultra flavors stress GPUs even more. We record the graphics score to eliminate variance from the CPU.

fire strike Brad Chacos/IDG

We test thermals by leaving either AMD’s Wattman (for Radeon GPUs) or EVGA’s Precision X1 (for GeForce GPUs) open during the F1 2018 five-lap power draw test, noting the highest maximum temperature at the end.

temps Brad Chacos/IDG

We test power draw by looping the F1 2018 benchmark for about 20 minutes after we’ve benchmarked everything else, and noting the highest reading on our Watts Up Pro meter. The initial part of the race, where all competing cars are onscreen simultaneously, tends to be the most demanding portion. 

power draw Brad Chacos/IDG

Unsurprisingly, the more powerful, faster-clocked RTX 2080 Super draws more power and runs hotter than its vanilla namesake. The dual-axial cooler design finds a comfortable middle ground: It’s not quiet, but it’s also not annoyingly loud. Custom cooler designs should bring the overall temperatures down quite a bit.

Next page: Should you buy the GeForce RTX 2080 Super?

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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