Nvidia’s RTX 2080 Super Delivers a Modest Performance Improvement
The GPU market has changed a good deal over the past month, courtesy of AMD’s Navi launch and Nvidia’s response to it. As soon as AMD announced the RX 5700 and RX 5700 XT at $379 and $500, Nvidia declared it was launching a new family of RTX “Super” cards. These Turing refreshes for the RTX 2060 and RTX 2070 have substantially improved the performance of both of those cards. In response, AMD cut its own GPU pricing, repositioning the 5700 and 5700 XT at $350 and $400.
Now, we have the RTX 2080 Super arriving, with a smaller improvement at the top-end than Nvidia has already introduced with the RTX 2060 Super and RTX 2070 Super. As a reminder, here’s how the new cards slot in against their replacements:
The RTX 2080 Super delivers a few improvements, including a fully enabled TU104 GPU, higher base and boost clocks than the RTX 2080, and for the first time, a bit more memory bandwidth. The GPU’s TDP has also crept up to 250W, but tests indicate that the actual power consumption increase is smaller than that.
The performance boost over the RTX 2080 is about 8 percent. That’s not going to blow the roof off any doors or spur any upgrades, but it’s still an 8 percent year-over-year improvement at the same price as the original RTX 2080. The gains are smaller than the RTX 2060 Super or RTX 2070 Super delivered, and the RTX 2080 Ti is still the far and away leader.
Both PCMag and Anandtech welcome the improved performance at the same $699 price as the original RTX 2080, though both also recognize that the gains are smaller than in higher-end cards. Right now, the RTX 2080 Super and especially the RTX 2080 Ti are a weaker value in terms of performance/dollar than their lower-end counterparts. It’s, therefore, possible to make a strong argument for making a more reasonably priced purchase around the RTX 2060S or RTX 2070S. AMD’s RX 5700 XT is another option for gamers who want to save $300 on a new GPU.
PCMag’s Chris Stobing writes:
We believe that the Super cards are priced where the RTX line should have been all along. Anyone who bought into RTX in 2018 definitely paid some early-adopter tax. AMD’s lack of competition in the elite-level, 4K gaming space let Nvidia run free with its pricing for much of GeForce RTX’s life so far.
Anandtech’s sentiments are similar. The RTX 2080 Super is not “a card that changes the video card calculus significantly. Instead, it’s exactly what it says on the tin: a slightly faster 2080 delivering a bit more performance (and performance per dollar) than before.”