The RTX 2080 Perfected? NVIDIA Launches The GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅23.07.2019 13:04:48

Today NVIDIA are launching the third member of their refreshed RTX 20-series lineup, a new graphics card that tweaks performance upward in the higher end of their gaming GPU stack. Yes, the GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER is here, and we can all finally take a collective breather on the manic anticipation brought about by July's plethora of hardware releases.

Check out our launch day review of the Geforce RTX 2080 SUPER!

The GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER is the highest performing SKU of the RTX 20 SUPER-series, the refreshed range of Turing-based graphics cards that add a little bit more performance without changing NVIDIA's price strata. Just as the RTX 2070 SUPER replaced the RTX 2070, so the RTX 2080 SUPER will replace its vanilla counterpart at the $699/669/AUD$1209 MSRP price point. You may still be able to pick up the now defunct SKUs for now, but expect them to exit the market in short order.

Fans of the slick Founders Edition reference design will be pleased to know that this model now comes in at the same $699 base MSRP as partner cards, rather than $799. It's a small change in the wide scheme of things, but those who appreciate the card's aesthetic can save themselves quite a pretty penny.

This card is the third appearance of the TU104 GPU which debuted in the RTX 2080 10 months ago and returned earlier this month as the RTX 2070 SUPER. For the first time however the GPU is fully enabled with all 48 SMs unlocked, pushing the CUDA Core count up to 3072 from 2944. Other headline improvements include a substantial raising of base and boost clocks other hardware aspects which benefit from having all SMs unlocked.

RTX 2080 SUPER vs RTX 2080 Comparative Specifications

That being said, NVIDIA clearly felt they needed to bolster more than just the GPU to achieve the sort of performance differential they needed. Here they took a leaf out of the GTX 10-series refresh by incorporating memory certified at a higher data rate; the RTX 2080 SUPER's 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM is capable of 15.5Gbps through the 256-bit memory bus, resulting in a peak memory bandwidth of 496 GB/sec compared with 448 GB/sec on the vanilla RTX 2080. This will have an impact at all settings, but particularly in high resolution titles or those with higher image quality presets (E.g. AA, AF etc.).

One trade-off for this level of performance is that the card TGP (Total Graphics Power) has increased to 250W from 215W. That's a hefty change for an architecture renowned for its power efficiency.

Compared to other SUPER-series GPUs the RTX 2080 SUPER is expected to realise only a modest improvement over the model it replaces, but realistically this is the furthest NVIDIA could push the TU104 GPU in a sensible retail product. Synthetic performance metrics are less than 10% higher, and so in-game this card should be less than 10% faster than that it replaces. Such is often the fate in a range refresh where there's effectively no competition above a certain price point.

Full Technical Specifications

Graphics Processing Clusters:- 6
Texture Processing Clusters:- 24
Streaming Multiprocessors:- 48
CUDA Cores (single precision):- 3072
Tensor Cores:- 384
RT Cores:- 48
Texture Units:- 192
ROP Units:- 64
Rays Cast:- 8 Giga Rays/second
Base Clock:- 1650 MHz
Boost Clock:- 1815 MHz
Memory Clock:- 7751 MHz
Memory Data Rate:- 15.5 Gbps
L2 Cache Size:- 4096 K
Total Video Memory:- 8192MB GDDR6
Memory Interface:- 256-bit
Total Memory Bandwidth:- 496.1 GB/s
Texture Rate (Bilinear):- 348.5 GigaTexels/second
Fabrication Process:- 12 nm FFN
Transistor Count:- 13.6
Billion Connectors:- 3 x DisplayPort 1 x HDMI 1 x USB Type-C
Form Factor:- Dual Slot
Power Connectors:- One 6-pin, One 8-pin
Recommended Power Supply:- 650 Watts
Total Graphics Power (TGP):- 250 Watts
Thermal Threshold:- 89 C

As an NVIDIA RTX class GPU, the RTX 2080 SUPER supports advanced and currently exclusive features including real-time hybrid raytracing through Windows DXR extensions, Deep Learning Super Sampling and variable rate shading. Titles developed with the Vulkan API can also take advantage of the NVIDIA VKRay extension to enable real-time ray tracing, a feature that's set to be implemented in Wolfenstein: Youngblood when it's released next month.

NVIDIA's latest model will launch both as the Founders Edition model (complete with shinier shroud centrepiece on the reference cooler) and partner variants from day one. Current partner models incorporate a relatively modest factory overclock - a listed Boost Clock of 1875MHz for the ZOTAC AMP Extreme model is the highest we've spotted thus far - and so customers should feel free to weigh their options with price, aesthetics and cooler capability as more prominent factors than is often the case.

A comprehensive listing of partner RTX 20 SUPER-series cards, including new RTX 2080 SUPER models, is available here.

Like all members of the RTX family the RTX 2080 SUPER qualifies for NVIDIA's 'Super Fast Supernatural' game bundle. Purchases of a card from participating retailers are eligible for free copies of Control and Wolfenstein: Youngblood, both of which incorporate RTX technologies such as real-time ray tracing. Standalone, system and laptop purchases all qualify, so that's a straightforward way of squeezing out a nice bit of added value (upwards of $120/90 worth).

Revised RTX 20-series Lineup & US MSRP

GeForce RTX 2080 Ti - $999 / $1199 (2080 TI FE)
GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER - $699
GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER - $499
GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER - $399
GeForce RTX 2060 - $349

So that's the final member of the RTX 20 SUPER-series... for now. Only time will tell us if NVIDIA are planning on refreshing the RTX 2080 Ti at the top of the stack. AMD currently don't have a competitor to the card so, with it sitting in a dominant position and any upgrade potentially cannibalising prosumer RTX TITAN sales, the chances of an 'RTX 2080 Ti SUPER' are currently low.

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