Date: Wednesday, October 31, 2018
The new NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, launched in September of this year, has not been without its criticisms. The primary point of contention lies within the price tag, $1,199 for the Founders Edition and $999 for the non-Founders Edition. This is well above the previous generation GeForce GTX 1080 Ti which asked $699 for the Founders Edition. That’s a whopping 72% increase in price. The real question is, does the performance upgrade match? In today’s review we are going to look at performance out-of-the-box, and overclocked, to find out if the performance is worth the price tag.
We are going to be doing a full review today of the ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2080 Ti O11G GAMING video card from ASUS. If you are unfamiliar with this video card we have published two preview articles showing 1440p performance and 4K performance with the video card already. You can read both articles to gain a better understanding of the video card before this article. Important to note is that the official MSRP of this video card is $1,249 (street price is currently much higher), so it does carry a price premium over the Founders Edition pricing.
Before we talk about the ASUS video card, let’s do a quick brief on the NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti GPU. The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is NVIDIA’s next generation architecture after Pascal called Turing. This architecture is using a 12nm manufacturing process and the codename for this GPU is TU102 with 18.6 Billion transistors. Turing is a bit different from Pascal in that there are three primary processing cores to be aware of. CUDA Cores refers to the standard floating-point units of ye old, while RT Cores refer to the new Ray Tracing Cores on board, and Tensor Cores refer to the new machine learning/AI/Compute cores. As such GeForce RTX 2080 Ti has 4352 CUDA Cores, 72 RT Cores and 576 Tensor Cores. There are 288 Texture Units and 96 ROP Units as well, this is all divided up into 72 SMs and 36 Geometry Units. Memory is comprised of 11GB of GDDR6 at 14GHz on a 352-bit memory bus. This provides a whopping 616GB/sec of memory bandwidth. The TDP is 260W for the Founders Edition and 250W for the non-Founders Edition.
In terms of engine clock speed, the base clock is 1350MHz, and then the boost clock is 1545MHz on the non-Founders Edition and 1635MHz on the Founders Edition. Our ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2080 Ti has a factory overclock that will allow this to run higher. GPU Boost is also at play increasing the frequency based on your cooling in-game.
Now we come to the ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2080 Ti video card. The big features about this video card is the custom cooling and design with custom hardware, and factory overclocks. This video card does MSRP for $1,249, so it is more expensive than a Founders Edition from NVIDIA. That price though includes a video card that is primed for overclocking beyond the factory overclocks.
ASUS clocks this video card out-of-the-box in "GAMING Mode" which sets the GPU Boost Clock to 1650MHz. This boost clock is above the Founders Edition 1635MHz. Now, this doesn’t sound like a lot, but you have to keep in mind that GPU Boost will make a big difference here combined with the custom cooling of the video card. Because the ASUS video card has better cooling and thermal properties and potentially power delivery as well means that GPU Boost can raise the clock speed to higher levels than the Founders Edition. ASUS also includes a special "OC Mode" you can enable via GPU Tweak II software which sets the boost clock to 1665MHz, further bumping up the clock speed.
On the ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2080 Ti the memory clock speed remains at 14GHz with these factory overclocks. It has 11GB of GDDR6. The recommended PSU for the video card is 650W and it does require 2 x 8-pin power connectors. The ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2080 Ti has two DisplayPort 1.4 ports, two HDMI 2.0b ports, and one USB Type-C connector. The video card measures 12" in length.
Using a newer design on the ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2080 Ti ASUS has increased the slot depth to 2.7". This expands the cooling surface area by over 20% compared to last gen video cards. The fans are based on ASUS Axial-tech design. The hardware components are using ASUS Super Alloy Power II design. The video card does support ASUS FanConnect II technology. There is also a backplate, and full RGB on board.
To compare performance, we are using a high-end NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti based video card, and also overclocking it. We will be using an MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti GAMING X TRIO video card in this review. This video card had an MSRP of $769.99. This video card has a robust cooling solution and allows GPU Boost to operate very well above its rated boost clocks. We will be operating it at out-of-box frequencies, and manually overclocking it.
A few things to keep in mind about this video card, firstly it runs at a very high clock speed out-of-box for a GTX 1080 Ti GPU. In our testing of the video card it runs at a solid 1911MHz by default. That is a high clock speed for GTX 1080 Ti, therefore the out-of-box default performance represents a high-end GTX 1080 Ti experience.
Because the video card already runs at a high clock speed by default, it doesn’t leave as much room for overclocking. We managed to overclock ours up to between 2038MHz-2050MHz which is an average overclocking experience for the GTX 1080 Ti GPU. Memory was overclocked to 12GHz. As you can see, it’s not a huge increase since we were already at 1911MHz, but it is an average overclock for GeForce GTX 1080 Ti and very realistic for most people’s experiences.