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  • Gigabyte RTX 2080 Super review: excellence in everything


    Today we are testing Gigabyte's RTX 2080 Super, one of the most powerful graphics cards. What it differs from the usual 2080, what it is capable of and how Gigabyte modified hardware - we'll share in this material.

    Gigabyte RTX 2080 Super review: excellence in everything

    What kind of Super are they?

    With the release of AMD graphics cards based on the RDNA architecture, NVIDIA could lose ground in the middle market segment. For optimal competition with the new products of the Reds, the Greens have released a whole line of video cards with increased performance. Prices for previous RTXs adjusted. Thus, NVIDIA not only provided more choice for users but also tried to occupy the most profitable niches with new products.

    What is included in the Super line

    The special version went to three GPUs-RTX 2060, 2070 and 2080. Despite the name, the Super versions are more like slightly weakened versions of older lineups than improved "basic" ones, and here's why.

    RTX 2060 Super

    RTX 2060 Super

    RTX 2060 Super

    Video cards RTX 2060, 2070 and the new 2060 Super use the same general GPU design - TU106 crystal in various configurations. Inside - three clusters of 12 computing units. The oldest video card uses a full crystal, the youngest one has 8 disabled blocks, the new one - only two. That is, in terms of computing capabilities, it is much closer to 2070 than to 2060. A similar situation with memory: two additional 1 GB chips not only increased the volume from 6 to 8 GB for the RTX 2060 Super but also forced to activate two additional 32- bit memory controller, increasing the shared bus from 192 to 256 bits.

    RTX 2070 Super

    RTX 2070 Super

    RTX 2070 Super

    With the RTX 2070 Super, things are a little more complicated. It uses the senior TU104 chip, which with two disabled units was previously used in the RTX 2080. Its configuration is different from the TU106 - instead of the 3x12 array, 6x8 are used. The maximum number of blocks increased from 36 to 48. This allowed us to increase the number of RT and tensor cores used for ray tracing and machine learning, minimizing the size of the GPU crystal (that is, to efficiently use the plate area when cutting it into separate chips).

    RTX 2080 super

    RTX 2080 super

    The only exception to the rule “super is the weakened next card in the line) is the situation with the RTX 2080. As we already mentioned above, 2080 does not use 100% GPU TU 104 - 2 out of 48 units are not active. Actually, this is all the differences between the usual 2080 and its "pumped" version. Most likely, the huge TU 102 used in the 2080 Ti is too expensive to produce to “cut” them to a reasonable condition in terms of performance and price.

    Explore Gigabyte's RTX 2080 Super

    The reference NVIDIA boards have been the same for many years: a black casing over the radiator, a powerful turbine. Efficient, compact and noisy. Only with the 10th series, the company revised the approach and began to use multi-fan layouts. Gigabyte has been building such a cooling system for a dozen years and knows very well how to make a trio of fans work efficiently and silently.

    Gigabyte RTX 2080 Super review: excellence in everything

    Unlike the “flow” system with a turbine on one edge of the video card, the cooling efficiency with three fans is the same along the entire length of the board. This means that you can introduce an evaporation chamber and several heat pipes into the structure and evenly dissipate heat from a larger area: that is, either increase the cooling quality at the same noise level or significantly reduce the airflow while maintaining the target GPU temperature. Another bonus of this approach is the reduced load on the supply circuit. The colder the system as a whole, the lower the losses on the internal resistance of the elements. This means that the power controller does not need to increase the voltage to overcome it. Hence, less heating of the board itself.

    A voltage of 12 V is supplied from the power supply to the motherboard and the video card. CPU, GPU, and RAM are not needed so much, moreover, the required voltage can float depending on the operating conditions, load, auto acceleration ... To ensure the correct voltage, simple scheme. The controller calculates the required parameters of the transistor and “passes” 12 volts for a very short period of time. Special filtering elements (chokes and capacitors) smooth the peak in time - the "average" voltage per unit time becomes approximately equal to the required. And so - hundreds and thousands of times per second. Accordingly, the more parallel power circuits, the lower the load on each individual element and more precisely the "average" voltage. This results in less heat and better acceleration performance.

    Configuration of the demo stand:


    AMD X570            


    AMD Ryzen 9 3900X


    32 GB GeIL EvoX @ 3200 MHz


    PCIe 4.0 SSD Corsair MP600 2TB


    BeQuiet! DarkPower Pro 850W


    Philips Momentum (4K, 60 Hz, HDR)

    ViewSonic XG 2350 (Full HD, 240 Hz)

    Tests: benchmarks and synthetics

    Classical tests, such as 3DMark Time Spy and Fire Strike, will help you evaluate “brute force”. Settings - extreme. We’ll evaluate the effectiveness of new items in the trace in the special 3DMark Port Royal test: it allows you to squeeze the maximum out of RT - hardware and get a stable and repeatable result, suitable for comparison with other GPUs.













    Tests: games and RTX

    A full-fledged test for a video card is to go through modern blockbusters with various technologies inside. We selected the most demanding games with ray tracing and without it, on different APIs and game engines - all for evaluating the effective operation of the GPU and its cooling.

    The performance of games demanding fast response and dynamic gameplay was evaluated on a ViewSonic 240 Hz monitor - we are interested not only in the FPS counter but also in the thrill of working with such a frame rate. And few video cards can provide work at such speeds.

    Gigabyte RTX 2080 Super review: excellence in everything

    Modern multiplayer shooters - Destiny 2, Apex Legends, CoD Black Ops 4, became the test site. PvP-fights requires not only a good reaction, high-quality peripherals, and a quick display: the higher the frame rate, the smoother the opponent moves, the earlier you can react to the slightest course change or notice movement at the edge of the screen. Simple arithmetic: a player with a 60-hertz monitor will notice an advancing enemy after at least 1/60 of a second. A player with a 240 hertz is through 1/240. And he will still have 3/240 to react, make a decision before the opponent identifies him. Of these small advantages are victories.

    Automatic overclocking

    The RTX-series of video cards are capable of not only tracing lighting and using neural networks to smooth the picture. GeForce 20s support new software: NVIDIA OC Scanner. Auto accelerator, if in a simple way. There is a difference from automatic frequency boosting in other applications: OC Scanner has access to internal GPU sensors (better analyzes the results) and controls not only the clock generator but also the power circuits. The program selects the most optimal mode of operation of a particular instance of the graphics core over the entire frequency range: in this way, you not only increase the performance of your video card but also squeeze out maximum energy efficiency. So the iron is quieter and does not heat your room.

    Gigabyte RTX 2080 Super review: excellence in everything


    The Gigabyte Aorus RTX 2080 Super is a great example of how NVIDIA's good hardware gets even better in the hands of experienced engineers. Improved power circuit, efficient cooling of GPU, memory and additional elements on the Board, unique fan profile... It was a powerful graphics card and became powerful, quiet and with a margin of safety for overclocking.

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