GPUs Graphics Reviews

Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super review – Real upgrade, small update or just a side kick?

With the GeForce RTX 2080 Super, Nvidia continues on the path taken to upgrade all the current GeForce RTX once again and to replace the "older" cards step by step. In terms of performance, these are certainly measurable steps, but the potential buyer will certainly not get these performance gains at zero cost either. But we will write something about the relationship between benefit and price in conclusion. But first to the map...

The fact that the RTX 2080 is being sprinkled up a bit is one thing, because so far, according to distributors and board partners, this card has not really been the most sought-after model in the RTX series. Now there is the full expansion of the TU104, which can perhaps move a little closer to the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. But overtaking without catching up has never worked and so you will probably be happy if this RTX 2080 Super for raytracing and higher resolutions brings at least a little more puff.

But what is more important is what is really hidden behind the GeForce RTX 2080 Super, what you can expect from it and what you might not expect from it. Because in the end only the result counts and so new is the chip again not, only this time finally also complete and complete.

Whether this GeForce RTX 2080 Super can still fill the function that an RTX 2080 often in vain was aiming for – you will have to see it. The will is somehow already there, only the buyer has to play along (and of course also the price, logically). After all, in the end, it is nothing more than a drilled-up RTX 2080, which for understandable reasons cannot be called Ti, but must be absolutely super. Which then probably explains the comical name-climbing that Nvidia had to come up with.


The TU104-450 of the GeForce RTX 2080 Super

Similar to the larger TU102, TSMC manufactures the TU104 on its 12 nm FinFET node. But a transistor number of 13.6 billion leads to a smaller, "only" 545 mm2 die-area. Of course, this also saves costs in the end. However, Turing Junior still surpasses the 471 mm2 of the GP102 as the flagship of the last generation and comes quite close to the size of the GK110 in the original GeForce GTX Titan.

The TU104 is made up of the same building blocks as the TU102; but there is only a little less of everything. The streaming multiprocessors still have 64 CUDA cores, eight tensor cores, an RT core, four texture units, 16 load/storage units, 256 KB of register memory, and 96 KB of L1 cache/shared memory. The TPCs also still consist of two SMs and a PolyMorph geometry engine. But there are now only four TPCs per GPC and the six GPCs are distributed across the processor. Therefore, a fully functional TU104 has a total of 48 SMs, 3072 CUDA cores, 384 tensor cores, 48 RT cores, 192 texture units and 24 PolyMorph engines.

A correspondingly narrower back-end implements the connection via eight 32-bit GDDR6 memory controllers (256-bit aggregate) connected to 64 ROPs and 4 MB L2 cache. However, Nvidia gives the GeForce RTX 2080 Super the slightly faster memory at 16 Gbps, instead of the 14 Gb/s of the smaller models. Unfortunately, the TU104 also loses one of the two x8 NVLink connections of the TU102, which then limits the whole to an x8 connection and 50 GB/s bidirectional throughput.



Unboxing and technical data

Compared to the GeForce RTX 2080 FE, the map also has a slight visual change, with the reflective surface on the cover being a great fingerprint file. As with the RTX 2080 FE, the connectors rely on three DisplayPort ports and an HDMI 2.0 port. The USB Type-C jack is also at the start, NVLink is also available at the top of the board. The rest is as usual and for the details there is also the complete tear down.

A first overview gives us here GPU-Z:

The table gives a nice overview of the technical data of the current GeForce RTX Super and the older comparison models:

  Nvidia GeForce
RTX 2060 Super
Nvidia GeForce
RTX 2070 FE
Nvidia GeForce
RTX 2070 Super
Nvidia GeForce
RTX 2080 FE
Nvidia GeForce
RTX 2080 Super
Architecture (GPU)
TU106-410 TU106-400 TU104-410 TU104-400 TU104-450
CUDA Cores
2176 2304 2560 2944 3073
Tensor Cores
272 288 320 368 384
RT Cores
34 36 40th 46 48
Texture Units
136 144 160 184 192
Base Clock Rate
1470 MHz 1410 MHz 1605 MHz 1515 MHz 1650 MHz
GPU Boost Rate
1650 MHz 1710 MHz 1770 MHz 1800 MHz 1815 MHz
Storage expansion
Storage bus
256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit
448 GB/s 448 GB/s 448 GB/s 448 GB/s 496 GB/s
64 64 64 64 64
L2 Cache
4 MB 4 MB 4 MB 4 MB 4 MB
175 W 185 W 215 W 225 W 250 W
10.8 billion 10.8 billion 13.6 billion 13.6 billion 13.6 billion
The size
445 mm2 445 mm2 545 mm2 545 mm2 545 mm2
No No NVLink x8 NVLink x8 NVLink x8


Test system and measurement methods

The test system and the methodology are well known, but since I am now independently testing here in Germany, the test system has also been upgraded again without having to take into account colleagues.

If you are interested, the summary in table form quickly provides a brief overview:

Test systems and measuring rooms
Intel Core i9-9900 KF
2x 8GB KFA2 HoF DDR4 4000
1x 1 TByte Patriot Viper (NVMe System SSD)
1x Seagate FastSSD Portable USB-C
Be Quiet Dark Power Pro 11, 850-watt power supply
Alphacool Ice Block XPX
5x Be Quiet! Silent Wings 3 PWM (Closed Case Simulation)
Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut (for cooler change)
Lian Li PC-T70 with expansion kit and modifications
Modes: Open Benchtable, Closed Case
Monitor: Eizo EV3237-BK
Power consumption:
non-contact DC measurement on the PCIe slot (Riser-Card)
non-contact DC measurement on the external PCIe power supply
Direct voltage measurement on the respective feeders and on the power supply
2x Rohde & Schwarz HMO 3054, 500 MHz multi-channel oscillograph with memory function
4x Rohde & Schwarz HZO50, current togor adapter (1 mA to 30 A, 100 KHz, DC)
4x Rohde & Schwarz HZ355, touch divider (10:1, 500 MHz)
1x Rohde & Schwarz HMC 8012, digital multimeter with storage function
1x Optris PI640, 2x Xi400 Infrared Cameras
Pix Connect evaluation software with profiles
NTI Audio M2211 (with calibration file)
Steinberg UR12 (with phantom power for the microphones)
Creative X7, Smaart v.7
own low-reflection measuring room, 3.5 x 1.8 x 2.2 m (LxTxH)
Axial measurements, perpendicular to the center of the sound source(s), measuring distance 50 cm
Noise in dBA (Slow) as RTA measurement
Frequency spectrum as a graph
Operating system Windows 10 Pro (1903, all updates), driver current

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About the author

Igor Wallossek

Editor-in-chief and name-giver of igor'sLAB as the content successor of Tom's Hardware Germany, whose license was returned in June 2019 in order to better meet the qualitative demands of web content and challenges of new media such as YouTube with its own channel.

Computer nerd since 1983, audio freak since 1979 and pretty much open to anything with a plug or battery for over 50 years.

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