Like that annoying Adam Lambert bloke endlessly touring with Queen, the GeForce RTX 2080 Super has arrived to fill a gap that never really needed filling. From the get-go, the RTX 2080 Super has been the ugly stepsister to the RTX 2060 Super and the RTX 2070 Super, arriving late to the party and minus the step-up performance we’ve seen from the rest of Nvidia’s Super range.
But, thanks to Nvidia’s comparative silence on the matter, we were as keen as anyone to finally find out what the GeForce RTX 2080 Super offers. As its name suggests, the RTX 2080 Super is a becaped version of the standard $699 RTX 2080. It’s arriving at the same price tag and yet is rocking some mildly improved specs.
Under the hood we’re dealing with the same TU104 GPU, this time with the full complement of 3072 CUDA cores (versus 2944 on the vanilla 2080), 48 SMs, two additional RT Cores, 16 extra Tensor Cores, a decent clock speed improvement, and faster memory speed which results in improved memory bandwidth.
|GeForce RTX 2060||GeForce RTX 2060 Super||GeForce RTX 2070||GeForce RTX 2070 Super||GeForce RTX 2080||GeForce RTX 2080 Super||GeForce RTX 2080 Ti|
|Process Node||12nm NFF||12nm NFF||12nm NFF||12nm NFF||12nm NFF||12nm NFF||12nm NFF|
|Core Clock||1365 MHz||1470 MHz||1410 MHz||1605 MHz||1515 MHz||1650 MHz||1350 MHz|
|Boost Clock||1680 MHz||1650 MHz||1620 MHz||1770 MHz||1800 MHz||1815 MHz||1545 MHz|
|Memory||6GB GDDR6||8GB GDDR6||8GB GDDR6||8GB GDDR6||8GB GDDR6||8GB GDDR6||11GB GDDR6|
|Memory Speed||14 GHz||14 GHz||14 GHz||14 GHz||14 GHz||15.5 GHz||14 GHz|
|Power Input||1x 8-pin||1x 8-pin||1x 8-pin||1x 6-pin & 1x 8-pin||1x 6-pin & 1x 8-pin||1x 6-pin & 1x 8-pin||2x 8-pin|
Nvidia is the master at ‘just enough’ and, sans any competition from AMD, the RTX 2080 Super looks to be exactly that. Current RTX 2080 owners shouldn’t be overly bitter about the new and improved Super, it is simply a graphics card which is very obviously superior to AMD’s Radeon RX 5700 XT for those who want to splash a couple hundred more buckaroos.
But enough of all that, let’s see how the GeForce RTX 2080 Super stacks up against its nearest and dearest, the GeForce RTX 2080. The Super is basically a like-for-like replacement for the RTX 2080, so our primary interest is in how much faster it is than Nvidia's outgoing GPU.
If you want to look at some core benchmark numbers from the rest of the Nvidia Super range then pop over to our benchmark review articles
RTX 2080 Super FPS Performance Charts
1080p - GeForce RTX 2080 Super vs GeForce RTX 2080
1440p - GeForce RTX 2080 Super vs GeForce RTX 2080
4K - GeForce RTX 2080 Super vs GeForce RTX 2080
We knew the GeForce RTX 2080 Super would be faster than the RTX 2080, it was just a question of by how much. On that front, the general rule of thumb is anywhere from 0-15% increase in real-world gaming performance. At lower resolutions being CPU-bound certainly comes into play a bit, negating the advantages of the Super. However, if you're planning on gaming at 1080p then both of these GPUs are total overkill.
Performing a cost/performance analysis on these two graphics cards is almost pointless. The standard retail price is exactly the same both and the GeForce RTX 2080 Super is flat-out the better video card. When given a choice between the two at that $699 price point it's a no-brainer. Still, it can be nice to know just how much better value the RTX 2080 Super is.
GeForce RTX 2080 vs GeForce RTX 2080 Super Cost Per Frame ($)
(cheaper = better)
|Resolution||RTX 2080||RTX 2080 Super|
Where things begin to get a bit murkier is the potential for price cuts on the standard RTX 2080. That may or may not happen depending on supplies but this could become a factor in deciding between the Super and the standard. See a standard RTX 2080 for $549, for example, and that definitely becomes a tempting proposition.
Is the GeForce RTX 2080 Super a glamorous performance improvement? Not really. Is it enough to put more daylight between Nvidia and AMD for high-end gamers? Absolutely.
Performance % difference between the GeForce RTX 2080 Super and GeForce RTX 20 Series & AMD R-5000 Series graphics cards
When all is said and done, the GeForce RTX 2080 Super is roughly 7-8% faster, on average, than the GeForce RTX 2080. It's still some way short of the mighty RTX 2080 Ti but it offers much better value than the top-end card. Do you want even better value performance and ray-tracing though? Then you may want to look toward the $499 RTX 2070 Super or, for even bigger savings and great price to performance (minus the ray-tracing), AMD has got you covered with the Radeon RX 5700 XT.
What we end up with is quite an odd proposition. We're nearly one year on from the RTX 2080's launch and if you haven't bought one yet it seems an extra 7% performance is hardly going to be the tipping point. We're now 11 months closer to the next generation of graphics processors so the value proposition has arguably dipped rather than improved, depending on your point of view.