Nvidia RTX 2080 Super Review
Published: 23rd July 2019 | Source: Nvidia | Price: |
We don't think that we're giving away any secrets when we say that the most recent RTX card launches from Nvidia were priced far beyond the purchasing power of most people. Admittedly we've been doing this an awfully long time, but it wasn't that long ago that the flagship cards were around the £400 mark. Even the GTX 1080Ti launched at around £600 which was steep, but not an insurmountable price tag if you're the type of person with a big commitment to spending your free cash on gaming as your primary hobby. Thus with the launch of the RTX 2080Ti hitting four figures and even the RTX 2080 was around £700, the enthusiast level of gaming rapidly moved from something you could easily save up for if you were determined, to something that you had to start considering exactly how many organs you needed to survive or whether you really need both of your children.
The launch of the Super cards from Nvidia has gone some way to redressing this with the RTX 2060 Super being just over £380 with the power it should have had from the start (2070), the RTX 2070 Super around £475 with again the power it should have had for that price (2080), and the RTX 2080 expected to launch around the £670 price point for this particular model. Naturally, there is a lot of price variation depending upon which brand and model you go for, but given that both the Super cards we've reviewed up to now have been significantly more powerful than their predecessor they are actually more affordable in real terms, which brings us to the RTX 2080 Super.
With an expected launch price around the figure that we saw from the launch of the original RTX 2080, the Super brings a lot of extra performance to the party. We've seen many high end 'bells and whistles' models since that first launch with many of them performing far above that of the reference Nvidia cards. Therefore, we don't speak lightly when we say that the RTX 2080 Super is unquestionably another step forward in performance. Sure it doesn't quite regularly challenge a stock RTX 2080Ti in the same way the first two Super cards abutted the next model up in the range - the RTX 2060 Super came close to the level of an RTX 2070 for example - but the stock performance is around the level of a medium overclocked RTX 2080 whilst the extra performance that you can extract by pushing the card to its limits get it seriously close to the RTX 2080Ti.
Given how much more expensive than the RTX 2080 Super the Ti card still is and how well it performed in 4K gaming, the overclocked abilities of the RTX 2080 Super are perhaps even more impressive given its relative affordability. Like every benchmark some games are less demanding than others, but given that we always benchmark at the highest possible image quality and the RTX 2080 Super usually sat somewhere between 45 and 50 FPS in the most demanding games, a little careful adjustment of the settings could easily make 4K60 a reality on a card costing under £700. That in itself is enough to make the RTX 2080 Super a serious challenger for the best value card for demanding gamers on something of a budget. If money is no object, of course, you'll go for the RTX 2080 Ti, but if you'd rather spend a little less and grab yourself a CPU upgrade, or a truly massive M.2 drive and still have some spare change from the price of the Ti card then the RTX 2080 Super is a very attractive proposition, and you won't be compromising your gaming smoothness too much.
In fact, the only negative we have about the RTX 2080 Super isn't related to the card itself but more how it shines a spotlight upon the pricing of the original RTX cards. We thought they were eye-wateringly expensive when they launched and the pricing and performance capabilities of the RTX 2080 Super only emphasise this. Yes, the Ti can give you another 10 or so frames per second at 4K but do you really want to spend nearly double the money to achieve that?
The Nvidia RTX 2060 Super and RTX 2070 Super were impressive upgrades of the original cards and in a parallel universe would probably have the Ti suffix. The RTX 2080 Super lives in a world where a Ti version already exists and yet still finds a place for itself in the Nvidia range, being easily the best choice for demanding gamers who haven't got money to burn but don't mind spending a little more than mid-range pricing for the extra performance. It's what the RTX 2080 should have been all along, and the RTX 2080 Super wins our OC3D Enthusiast Award.
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