Can ASUS improve upon the new Founders Edition GPUs?
With the release of the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti just last week, the graphics card vendors have awakened with a flurry of new products based on the Turing GPUs.
Today, we're taking a look at ASUS's flagship option, the ASUS Republic of Gamers STRIX 2080 Ti.
|ASUS ROG STRIX 2080 Ti|
|Base Clock Speed||1350 MHz|
|Boost Clock Speed||1665 MHz|
|Memory Clock Speed||14000 MHz GDDR6|
|Outputs||DisplayPort x 2 (v1.4) / HDMI 2.0b x 2 / USB Type-C x1 (VirtualLink)|
12 x 5.13 x 2.13 inches (30.47 x 13.04 x 5.41 cm)
For those of you familiar with the most recent STRIX video cards, the GTX 1080 Ti, and the RX Vega 64, the design of the RTX 2080 Ti will be immediately familiar. The same symmetric triple fan setup is present, contrasted against some of the recent triple fan designs we've seen from other manufacturers with different size fans.
Just as with the STRIX GTX 1080 Ti, the RTX 2080 Ti version features RGB lighting along the fan shroud of the card.
For those of you who aren't a fan of lighting on their graphics card, ASUS has included a push button on the backplate of the GPU, allowing a quick, one-touch way to disable all lighting effects. This setting persists through a reboot, allowing you to turn off the RGBs without needing to install any software, a much-needed addition.
While the exterior of the STRIX 2080 Ti is very similar to the GTX 1080 Ti version, there are some changes to the actual heatsink design.
Through a move to a taller cooler, occupying 3 PCIe-slots, ASUS was able to increase the overall surface area by a claimed 20%.
On the connectivity front, ASUS deviated from the design found on the Founders Edition card, switching out one of the DisplayPort connections for an additional HDMI. This brings the total connectivity to two DisplayPort connections, two HDMI ports, as well as the USB-C port for VirtualLink. While this makes it difficult to do more exotic display scenarios like a triple G-Sync Surround configuration, I think the additional HDMI port offers convenient flexibility to the average gamer.
Just as we saw with the reference design, the STRIX 2080 Ti feature two 8-pin PCIe power connectors.
Along the top edge of the card, there is a small switch to change between two different BIOS profiles, one for Quiet and the other for Performance. ASUS claims the card will run around 40% cooler in Performance mode, while Quiet mode offers a sound reduction of 15-25%. The card as we received it defaulted to the Performance mode.
For our out of the box performance testing, we left the STRIX RTX 2080 Ti in Performance mode and ran a few game benchmarks to compare to the Founders Edition RTX 2080 Ti.
The STRIX RTX 2080 Ti in its stock Performance configuration only offers a small margin above the Founders Edition card, around 2% in GTA V and Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation. However, we did see an impressive gain of 5% in Hitman.
Sound and Thermals
Given ASUS's inclusion of two different BIOS modes on the STRIX RTX 2080 Ti, we decided to test stock sound and thermal performance levels in both configurations.
While both Performance and Quiet mode on the ROG STRIX RTX 2080 Ti offer a 4 and 5dBA drop respectively over the Founders Edition RTX 2080 Ti, there's only a small 1 dBA difference between Quiet mode and Performance mode.
The STRIX RTX 2080 Ti also offers a 0-dB fan mode where the fans don't start spinning until the GPU hits a temperature of 55 degrees Celsius. While this mode works by default in Quiet mode, you need the ASUS GPU Tweak software installed in Windows for it to work in Performance mode.
This test shows both the stability of the GPU core clock speed, as well as what temperatures the GPU hit over a 10-minute period in Unigine Heaven.
For our overclocking testing with the STRIX RTX 2080 Ti, we were able to hit a stable +140 MHz GPU clock offset, with a +100mV offset, and 125% power target.
Clock speeds in the overclocked state stabilize just above 2.0 GHz, like we've seen with every other Turing-based product so far. GPU temperatures remain stable compared to the stock state, around 65C.
At their maximum stable overclock levels, the STRIX RTX 2080 Ti and the Founders Edition hit very similar clock speeds, stabilizing at around 2025 MHz.
Despite reaching very similar clock speeds as the Founders Edition RTX 2080 Ti when overclocked, the STRIX option maintains a temperature almost 15 degrees Celsius lower.
Performance wise, this overclock gives the STRIX RTX 2080 Ti an almost 10% advantage over the stock 2080 Ti Founders Edition. Keep in mind though, that given the similar clock speeds we saw, an overclocked Founders Edition card should score very similarly, albeit at much warmer temperatures.
Power consumption increases from 250W in the stock configuration to a maximum of 325W in overclocked mode, a 30% increase.
From an industry perspective, it's important that ASUS is making cards like the ROG STRIX 2080 Ti. In a world where NVIDIA keeps pushing further and further into what was traditionally in the add-in board partners territory with the Founders Edition, you could see a reality where AIBs start to become less and less relevant. However, with graphics card product lines like STRIX, it's clear that the push-and-pull between the AIBs and NVIDIA is advantageous for the consumer, in the form of high-quality products.
The ASUS ROG STRIX 2080 Ti is set to be available in the coming weeks for a retail price of $1249.99, just $50 above the price of the RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition from NVIDIA.
While the $1250 price tag might be hard to swallow for most gamers, for those looking for an RTX 2080 Ti, we highly recommend the ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2080 Ti.
For just an extra $50, the cooling performance, lower noise levels, and higher overclocking ability make it a no-brainer to pick up the STRIX 2080 Ti over the Founders Edition, as long as your case can support the massive size.
|Review Terms and Disclosure
All Information as of the Date of Publication
|How product was obtained:||The product is on loan from ASUS for the purpose of this review.|
|What happens to the product after review:||The product remains the property of ASUS but is on extended loan for future testing and product comparisons.|
|Company involvement:||ASUS had no control over the content of the review and was not consulted prior to publication.|
|PC Perspective Compensation:||Neither PC Perspective nor any of its staff were paid or compensated in any way by ASUS for this review.|
|Advertising Disclosure:||ASUS has purchased advertising at PC Perspective during the past twelve months.|
|Affiliate links:||This article contains affiliate links to online retailers. PC Perspective may receive compensation for purchases through those links.|
|Consulting Disclosure:||ASUS is not a current client of Shrout Research for products or services related to this review.|