NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Founders Edition Review

👤by Vortez Reviews Comments 📅10-10-18
Closer Look (Overview)

In a departure from convention, the RTX reference cooler design utilises a dual-fan configuration and has had quite a significant overhaul to the previous GTX-10 series solution. NVIDIA are using a two-tone style which merges a bluey metal to matt black plastic. The use of such metal not only gives this graphics card that premium feel but it also increases the weight significantly. The Founders Edition is heavy – much heavier than other partner cards in the same class.

Taking a side look at the profile of RTX 2080 FE, (the side which is likely to be showcased in most clear panelled cases) we can see the expert craftsmanship and engineering that has gone into the production of this graphics card. Sharp and definitive lines are the order of the day with the GEFORCE RTX insignia in clear view – this logo emits a distinct green glow when the card has power.

From this viewpoint we can also see the angle of the 13-blade design on the cooling fans.

The PCI Express power connectors sit neatly on the edge of the graphics card – requiring 8+6-pin. This translates to 650W being the recommendation for the overall PSU wattage. Of course, we also advise a reputable brand when choosing such a power supply to ensure system stability.

NVIDIA has a new SLI connectors on the RTX 2080 – of which is concealed with a push-on cover. This SLI functionality is called NVLink which offers 50x the transfer bandwidth. A dedicated NVLink Bridge will need to be purchased from NVIDIA to pair up two graphics cards. Currently they are $79 USD.

Observing the rear IO ports on RTX 2080 FE, we have a sleek matt black plate. This may not be viewable since it’ll generally be at the back of the computer chassis, but we still dig the design choice over the traditional shiny silver aesthetic usually employed. Available on this panel we have:

3x DP 1.4
1x HDMI 2.0
1x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C

This introduction of USB on the rear panel may not seem relevant now but its presence serves as to future-proof for next-generation Virtual Reality units.

The back-side of RTX 2080 Founders Edition continues the luxurious quality we’ve already witnessed. The entire backside of the card bears a solid metal plate with the RTX 2080 emblem in the centre. This plate not only protects the PCB from flexing or getting scratched/knocked but it also holds a series of thermal pads in place for the components on the PCB – providing extra thermal efficiency.

Compliance standards are found on the labels towards the left-edge along with the serial number – which will be important should you experience any technical difficulties and need to contact technical support.

On the next page we’ll remove the cooler on FE to reveal the inner workings.

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