Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Foun…
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition
It’s been a crazy couple of weeks in the world of video cardsâ€”AMD and Nvidia have torn up the map. To cap it off, here in late July we have the latest (and hopefully last, for a while!) release: the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super. This is the card that, of the entire Super lineup, might be the most divisive among buyers, if only for the fact that it doesn’t offer nearly as much of a performance jump over its predecessorâ€”the RTX 2080â€”as the GeForce RTX 2060 Super and RTX 2070 Super do over their respective base cards.
But the RTX 2080 Super does still achieve some noticeable gains in critical areas of performance (namely, 4K gaming results for under a grand). So that begs the question: How far away does that place it from the ultimate 4K gaming card, the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti?
To Start, a Spec Comparison
Anyone who has been keeping up with our reviews of the RTX Super lineup has probably noticed a pattern by this point. The GeForce RTX 2060 Super has specs suspiciously similar to those of the original GeForce RTX 2070 (the next step up the card line), while the GeForce RTX 2070 Super is eerily close, in both die size and CUDA core count, to the original GeForce RTX 2080 (ditto, the next step up).
With that pattern in consideration, one might assume that the GeForce RTX 2080 Super should share a lot of specs with the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, right? Eh, not so much…
These two cards almost couldn’t be more different (aside from their close power requirements), with everything from the memory bandwidth to the transistor count falling squarely in favor of the RTX 2080 Ti.
Now, out of the gate we should tell you: Of course, we know that the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is going to top the RTX 2080 Super in every single one of these benchmarks. But, browsing the 1:1 charts below is still a good way to get a frame of reference to see by exactly how much the RTX 2080 Super lags behind its bigger, brawnier brother:
Surprised? At the resolution that matters for cards of this caliber (4K), not a lot of daylight between them, right? (If you visit our review of the RTX 2080 Super, you can see even more comparisons.)
It’s no secret that at these price tiers, there’s a bit of a problem with diminishing returns. Case in point: the RTX 2080 Ti (Founders Edition as tested here, which is not strictly a reference board but a slightly overclocked version) is a smidge more than 40 percent more expensive than the RTX 2080 Super. But, on average, it offers gains of only between 10 and 15 percent (roughly speaking) in both synthetic and real-world benchmarks.
Both cards regularly push more than 60 frames per second (fps) in 4K. (In most cases, 60fps is the minimum frame-rate threshhold that most 4K gamers care about.) So, do those benchmarks mean the RTX 2080 Ti is a poor value when stacked up against the RTX 2080 Super?
There’s 4K Gaming, and Then There’s Cheaper 4K Gaming
It all depends on what you’re looking for, really.
The RTX 2080 Ti isn’t nearly 40 percent faster than the RTX 2080 Super in gaming benchmarks, to match its price premium. But its increased memory capacity and memory bandwidth would make it a better choice for anyone who wants to both game at 4K and do pro-grade work with 4K/8K video editing, 3D modeling, or any number of other GPU-intensive creative projects that the RTX 2080 Super may not be quite as adept at on its own. Also, you can find third-party RTX 2080 Ti cards that are a bit cheaper than the $1,199 Founders Edition we tested. The performance drop should be modest, if any.
The RTX 2080 Ti might also be the right pick for those who own a 4K 144Hz gaming monitor like the Acer Predator XB3. We found in our article that put 4K 144Hz gaming to the test that you’d generally need two RTX 2080 Ti cards strung together in NVLink to get most games above the 144fps-plus mark at high detail settings. But a single RTX 2080 Ti card can still push that limit in older titles like Bioshock: Infinite that run on the Unreal Engine.
The RTX 2080 Super, on the other hand, at $699, offers a stronger value proposition for gamers who own a more ordinary 4K gaming monitor or TV and want a card that will just let them regularly stay right around 60fps or a little more, even with all the graphical fidelity settings cranked as high as they’ll go.
Each card fills a specific niche for a specific type of customer. And, seeing how AMD still offers no cards that can compete in this price bracket (the key word here being “compete”; the AMD Radeon VII is close but falls a bit shy of the mark on the 4K gaming front, and is limited in availability at this point), ultimately Nvidia is left to fight against itself for market share at this level.
No bad thing if you’re Nvidia, of course; bad in that there’s no competition in the elite-4K-card space to drive prices down, though. So no matter what you’re trying to do, whether it’s just game at 4K (the RTX 2080 Super will do nicely), or game at 4K slightly faster while, say, reserving the ability to edit 8K video as well as you can (the RTX 2080 Ti has better chops there), Nvidia has got you covered either way.
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