EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER FTW3 HYBRID GAMING Review

Manufacturer: EVGA EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER FTW3 HYBRID GAMING Review

It seems like just yesterday that we were taking our first look at RTX 2080 SUPER performance with the NVIDIA Founders Edition card, and today we have our first look at an aftermarket version featuring higher clocks. And this isn’t just any aftermarket card, it’s an EVGA FTW3 card complete with hybrid liquid/air cooling.

The EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER FTW3 HYBRID GAMING not only has more capital letters in its name than most of the RTX 2080 SUPER cards you’ll encounter, but it also has more attached AiO liquid coolers. This design should equate to lower temps, but will it add additional overclocking headroom? And for that matter, is there any additional overclocking headroom with the RTX 2080 SUPER?

We will attempt to answer one or both questions in this review.

Product Specifications

Specifications

  • Boost Clock: 1845 MHz
  • Memory Clock: 15500 MHz Effective
  • CUDA Cores: 3072
  • Bus Type: PCIe 3.0
  • Memory Detail: 8192MB GDDR6
  • Memory Interface: 256 Bit
  • Memory Bandwidth: 496 GB/s
  • LED Logo: RGB

Key Features from EVGA

  • Hybrid “All-in-One” Watercooler
  • Adjustable RGB LED
  • All-Metal Backplate, Pre-Installed
  • Real-Time Ray Tracing
  • Built for EVGA Precision X1
Pricing

$809.99 MSRP (Currently $769.99 after instant rebate on EVGA.com)

Manufacturer Description

“The EVGA GeForce RTX 20-Series Graphics Cards are powered by the all-new NVIDIA Turing architecture to give you incredible new levels of gaming realism, speed, power efficiency, and immersion. With the EVGA GeForce RTX 20-Series gaming cards you get the best gaming experience with next generation graphics performance, ice cold cooling, and advanced overclocking features with the all new EVGA Precision X1 software.”

The EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 FTW3 HYBRID GAMING

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Built on a custom PCB, EVGA’s FTW3 HYBRID GAMING card integrates an Asetek all-in-one liquid cooler for the GPU, with air cooling for VRMs and memory accounting for the “hybrid” designation. It is considerably taller than a standard graphics card at 5.48 inches (their conventional dual-slot cards are 4.38 inches), and of course installation requires an open 120 mm fan mount for the attached radiator.

Overclocking

Before embarking on another series of RTX 2080 SUPER benchmarks, coming so soon on the heels of the initial Founders Edition review as this is, I decided to see how far I could easily overclock this hybrid-cooled EVGA card first. Using the latest version of EVGA’s Precision X1 software I increased the card’s power limit to the full 130% available, and before manually setting the core clock I ran the OC scanner:

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This score of 41 may seem underwhelming, but this card already offers a 30 MHz OC out of the box so the OC would end up being closer to 75 MHz (Turing clocks move in 15 MHz increments).

Naturally I ignored this and began experimenting manually, moving up to 90 MHz when I found this to be stable. Pushing things further I found that +105 MHz started showing some instability and +120 MHz crashed the display driver or hung the application, so I concluded that 90 MHz was all I was going to coax out of this card – though some of the results showed more frame rate variance than the stock performance.

Game Benchmarks

EVGA RTX 2080 SUPER FTW3 HYBRID through the same seven tests as the previous 2080S review, at both its stock 30 MHz overclock and our manual +90MHz OC on the core (+120 MHz total).

You will notice both stock and OC results for the EVGA card together near the top in the charts to follow. I will refrain from annotating the results, which speak for themselves.

PC Perspective GPU Test Platform
Processor Intel Core i7-9700K
Motherboard GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS PRO
Memory Crucial Ballistix Sport LT DDR4-3200 32GB (16GBx2)
Storage CORSAIR Neutron Series XTi 480GB SSD
Power Supply CORSAIR RM1000x 1000W
Operating System Windows 10 64-bit (1903)
Drivers Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.7.2
GeForce Game Ready Driver 431.36, 431.56 (RTX 2080 SUPER)

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
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Far Cry 5
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Final Fantasy XIV Shadowbringers
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Metro Exodus
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Shadow of the Tomb Raider
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World of Tanks enCore
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World War Z
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Out of the box the EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER FTW3 HYBRID GAMING is faster than our NVIDIA Founders Edition card, though increases of about 1% – 3% are not exactly earth shattering. Overclocking produces another couple of percentage points to the FPS results on the charts, omitting the Assassin’s Creed Odyssey result (I am rapidly losing patience with this benchmark given its inconsistency).

The RTX 2080 SUPER Founders Edition was already clocked quite a bit higher than the original RTX 2080 FE (1815 MHz vs. 1710 MHz Boost), and this might be the upper limit – though observed Boost clocks with this card did reach 2085 – 2100 MHz when further overclocked.

Power, Temps, and Noise

Power Consumption

While we saw power draw from the RTX 2080 SUPER FE between that of the RTX 2080 FE and 2080 Ti FE in our launch review, the total draw under load with this card was just behind the 2080 Ti FE at 350W from the wall, rising another 15W with our 90 MHz overclock.

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Part of the increase in load power consumption over the Founders Edition card is the integrated AiO cooler, with this likely accounting for the most of the ~10W higher idle power number as well.

Temperatures and Noise

Another aspect of this design is, of course, its powerful cooling solution with the integration a 120 mm AiO liquid cooler for the GPU. With a standard fan/shroud cooling memory and VRMs the hybrid approach is very effective, with temperatures in a ~26 C room of 30 C at idle, rising to just 53 C under load.

Naturally users have full control over fan profiles and cranking up the RPMs would result in better results then I observed with the standard profile. And speaking of fan speeds, the “OC” position of the BIOS toggle on the card does not actually change the clock speed, offering instead a more aggressive fan profile without using software.

Finally we come to noise levels, which were measured from a distance of 12 inches in a quiet room (ambient noise was low enough that my meter displayed its lower limit of ~30 dBA). At idle this EVGA HYBRID card was 34.5 dBA, rising to 38.9 dBA under load in my testing with an “aggressive” fan profile.

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I’ll also talk briefly about pump noise here. That idle noise level was the limit of the pump’s noise output, though a distance of 12 inches on an open testbench makes that a worst-case result. It sounds like a pump, so if you are sensitive to that higher-pitched sound signature it could be a deal-breaker. Inside a case, however, pump noise all but vanishes in my experience, and I could no longer hear it even on my open test platform when the other fans had spooled up.

Conclusion

With its overbuilt design and power cooling solution EVGA’s FTW3 HYBRID GAMING version of the RTX 2080 SUPER is an impressive card to behold. Its factory overclock is just 30 MHz, and this results in performance just 1-3% faster in our results when comparing to the Founders Edition card. But a card like this is built to overclock, and without touching voltage the high 130% power limit (and dual 8-pin connectors) does permit higher, and sustained, boost clocks.

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A 90 MHz overclock did push results with this card further up our charts, though we did see a regression in smoothness (lower 95th and 99th percentile frame rates) when clocking this high for whatever reason. My lack of OC skills are showing here, and perhaps voltage adjustments are needed for best OC performance past a certain threshold.

Regardless, it was fun to benchmark a card with this much potential, though as powerful as EVGA’s FTW3 HYBRID design may be NVIDIA’s TU104 GPU can only be pushed so far, and we are likely nearing its limit with RTX 2080 SUPER anyhow. This card did make the RTX 2080 SUPER feel a little more super, but this is still not coming anywhere near the mighty RTX 2080 Ti.

With its outstanding cooling capabilities and better performance than NVIDIA’s Founders Edition, EVGA’s hybrid liquid/air cooled version of the RTX 2080 SUPER is an excellent high-end option. And considering it is being introduced at a price of $769.99 after an instant rebate ($809.99 MSRP) it’s a pretty solid value for a product of this type as well, considering what it would cost to add an AiO cooler to a stock $699 RTX 2080 SUPER.

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About The Author

Sebastian Peak

Editor-in-Chief at PC Perspective. Writer of computer stuff, vintage PC nerd, and full-time dad. Still in search of the perfect smartphone. In his nonexistent spare time Sebastian's hobbies include hi-fi audio, guitars, and road bikes. Currently investigating time travel.

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