Hands-on review: Supercharging the RTX with the ROG STRIX RTX2080 SUPER
FYI, this story is more than a year old
It has been just over a year since the launch of the RTX family, when Nvidia brought to the table the revolutionary game-changing technologies such as Ray Tracing and the all new AI driven DLSS. It is again the time for the next upgrade.
The ROG-STRIX-RTX2080S-O8G-Gaming sample we have in the lab today is based on the highest segment of this round of GPU refresh. Despite still being based on the TU104 GPU architecture as the standard RTX2080, the super features 4% more CUDA core, RT core and texture units.
The boost clock and memory frequency have also been bumped up 6% and 10% respectively. As a result, you should expect 5%+ extra performance when compared with the RTX2080. Not bad indeed - no wonder people are also calling it the “Complete TU104”.
To be worthy of carrying the ROG badge, the design has to be outstanding above the norm. The ROG-STRIX-RTX2080S-O8G-Gaming features dual HDMI 2.0b, Dual DisplayPort 1.4 and Type-C support.
While the HDMI 2.0b offers great compatibility with modern TVs, the DisplayPort also support the most advanced protocols; driving up to 4k 12-bit HDR at 144Hz or 8k 12-bit HDR at 60Hz over one DisplayPort 1.4 connector with DSC. The DSC monitors were officially announced just a couple of weeks ago, so this opens up another door to the next-gen display experience.
Beside the RTX2080 Super GPU is the powerful custom designed 12-phase VRM solution, based on premium Super Alloy Power II grade components. It smoothly supports the RTX2080 Super through its highs and lows.
To prevent any chance of human error during production, ROG adopted a fully automated manufacturing process called Auto-Extreme, where the entire manufacturing process is done and checked by computers. This also helps to reduce thermal strain on components and avoids the use of harsh cleaning chemicals, reducing environmental impact, manufacturing power consumption, while delivering a more reliable product overall.
At the top of the card there is the MaxContact cooler featuring 10X finely polished surfaces and 6 massive heat pipes to quickly and effectively move excessive heat away from the heat source. It is then up to the massive array of fins and the centralised airflow from axial blade fans to dissipate them into the air.
If a lower temperature is more desirable, there is a dual BIOS switch for you to switch to P mode for a more aggressive fan curve, and Fan Connect II headers at the side for additional fan expansion. Considering the massive cooler does add on weight to the card, ROG also included both a metal back plate and a reinforced frame, making the card flat when installed.
In terms of performance, the default overclock and the STRIX cooler worked together nicely to give the card a good push. Overall we are seeing up to 10% performance increase over the RTX2080. You can expect stable 60FPS+ gameplay over 4K UHD resolution over most AAA titles, or even with DLSS turned on when working with WQHD resolution.
This was achieved without much noise. In fact, the fans are not audible in my open environment even when I loaded it with the stress from these titles. You can enjoy late night gaming sessions without disturbing or waking up your partner and family.
Overall I am very pleased with this new card from ROG for the team green, and I am certainly happy to recommend it to you. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to dive back to the virtual world with this bad boy.