NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Founders Edition Review – RTX Off and DLSS Disabled For Now

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Today we are going to look at and review the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Founders Edition. We previously reviewed the RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition if you want to check that one out as well. I decided to make a separate review for the RTX 2080 since there are some things I would like to point out. And my take on the RTX 2080 is a bit different compared to the RTX 2080 Ti, despite the later having a much higher price tag. The NVIDIA RTX 2080 Founders Edition features an all-new design and aesthetics similar to its big brother RTX 2080 Ti. The GeForce RTX 20 series graphics cards (in general) are based on the new Turing architecture; and two of the most highlighted features are the real-time ray tracing and DLSS or Deep Learning Super-Sampling. Similar to our review of the RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition, real-time ray tracing and DLSS featured games are not yet available at this time. But we will definitely cover them on a future review. In this review, let’s see what the GeForce RTX 2080 Founders Edition can do with the traditional and current gaming technology; and how does it compare with the previous GTX 10 series graphics card. Check out our NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Founders Edition review below.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Founders Edition Review – Features and Specs

The new NVIDIA GeForce RTX 20 series cards are unlike any other GPUs released by NVIDIA before. Aside from the usual CUDA cores that we are very familiar with, the new Turing architecture offers new types of cores designed to do specific tasks and functions. With the new Turing architecture, NVIDIA claims that they have “reinvented graphics” and it’s the biggest architectural leap in over a decade (that’s when CUDA cores first arrived). The new Turing GPU architecture basically comprises of a new Turing Streaming Multiprocessor, RT Cores and Tensor Cores. This enables the GPU to bring both real-time ray tracing and artificial intelligence to gaming.

Real-Time Ray Tracing and Deep Learning Super-Sampling (DLSS) are the two main selling / key features of the new RTX 20 series graphics cards. With real-time ray tracing, gamers are presented with a more realistic graphics and visual effects. Lighting or illumination, reflections, refraction and shadows are accurate and will look realistic; similar to how they would act naturally in real world. However, ray tracing is computationally-intensive and rendering just a single frame would literally take hours or even days or weeks for a scene to be finished.

This is actually were the new RTX GPUs come in; they are basically a specialized hardware designed to run games (with ray tracing features) at a playable frame rate. Unfortunately, games that will feature real-time ray tracing are not yet released at this time. Battlefield V, one of the games that should have this feature, is moved to November 20. Shadow of the Tomb Raider will also feature real-time ray tracing but the game developers has yet to release the patch for that feature. So it’s going to be “RTX Off” and “DLSS disabled” for this performance review. We will publish a new review when RTX and DLSS-featured games are out or patched. For now, if you want to see how real-time ray tracing works in games, head over to our article here: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Graphics Card Unleashed.

Another key feature of the RTX GPU is Deep Learning Super Sampling or DLSS. This feature basically uses the Tensor Cores to improve the performance of the game, not only in terms of visual fidelity, but in actual frames per second as well. DLSS works by leveraging deep neural network to extract multidimensional features of the rendered scene and intelligently combine details from multiple frames to construct a high-quality final image. This allows Turing GPUs to use half the samples for rendering and use AI to fill in information to create the final image. The result is basically a clear and crisp image with similar quality compared to the commonly used TAA or Temporal Anti-Aliasing, but with higher performance. Unlike real-time ray tracing, DLSS is easier to integrate for game developers. So expect more games to feature DLSS than real-time ray tracing or expect that DLSS will be implemented sooner than real-time ray tracing. Unfortunately for previous gen. graphics cards, DLSS is an exclusive feature of the new RTX 20 series graphics cards and it’s also one key advantage over the previous generations.

Aside from the features mentioned above, the new GeForce RTX 20 series graphics cards also features the following:

  • New NGX Neural Graphics Framework integrates AI into the overall graphics pipeline, enabling AI algorithms to perform amazing image enhancement and generation.
  • New Turing Shader Architecture with Variable Rate Shading allows shaders to focus processing power on areas of rich detail, boosting overall performance.
  • New memory system featuring ultra-fast GDDR6 with over 600GB/s of memory bandwidth for high-speed, high-resolution gaming.
  • NVIDIA NVLink, a high-speed interconnect that provides higher bandwidth (up to 100 GB/s) and improved scalability for multi-GPU configurations (SLI).
  • Hardware support for USB Type-C and VirtualLink, a new open industry standard being developed to meet the power, display and bandwidth demands of next-generation VR headsets through a single USB-C™ connector.
  • New and enhanced technologies to improve performance of VR applications, including Variable Rate Shading, Multi-View Rendering and VRWorks Audio.

I’m not going to dive deeper into the Turing architecture in this review since that’s a whole new topic. In this review, we’ll focus more on the performance that the new NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Founders Edition has to offer and I’m sure that’s what many of you are most interested about. If ever you are interested to learn more about NVIDIA’s Turing architecture, you can read more about it here: NVIDIA Turing Architecture In-Depth

Above you see the graphical illustration of the GeForce RTX 2080’s GPU Chip. It’s an NVIDIA TU104 with 2 SM disabled. The RTX 2080’s GPU is not a cut down version of the GPU that is powering the RTX 2080 Ti. The RTX 2080 Ti is already a cut down version of the TU102, found on thr Quadro RTX 8000 and RTX 6000. So both RTX 2080 Ti and RTX 2080 are not using a full TU102 and TU104 GPU chip. The GeForce RTX 2080 features 2944 CUDA cores, 46 RT cores, 368 Tensor Cores and has a boost clock speed of 1710 MHz. However, the new Founders Edition comes with a higher (factory overclock) boost clock speed of 1800 MHz. That’s 90Mhz higher compared to the reference RTX 2080.

The RTX 2080’s GPU is paired with the 8GB of GDDR6 memory running at 14 Gbps. It’s 3GB less compared to the RTX 2080 Ti and it only runs on a 256-bit memory interface, resulting on a peak memory bandwidth of 448 GB/s. The new GeForce RTX 20 series graphics cards also features the new GPU Boost 4.0 with NVIDIA Scanner for easy overclocking. With GPU Boost 4.0 users are able to manually adjust the algorithms that GPU Boost uses to dial in the clock. For those who are less adventurous and doesn’t have the time to tweak; NVIDIA Scanner is your “one-click” solution. It basically tests the GPU and looks for the most stable and optimal overclock for the graphics card.

Below is a specifications table of the RTX 2080 (Ti) graphics card compared with their respective GTX predecessors. On the next page, let’s take a closer look and explore the new features of NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 2080 Founders Edition graphics card.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 20 Series Graphics Card Specifications

SpecificationsRTX 2080 TiRTX 2080GTX 1080 TiGTX 1080
ArchitectureTuring - TU102Turing - TU104Pascal - GP102Pascal - GP104
Process12nm FNN12nm FNN16nm16nm
SMs68462820
CUDA Cores4352294435842560
Tensor Cores544368--
Tensor FLOPS11485--
RT Cores6846--
Texture Units272184224160
ROPs88648864
Giga Rays10 GR/s8 GR/s1.1 GR/s0.877 GR/s
RTX OPS78 Trillion60 Trillion11.3 Trillion8.9 Trillion
Compute14 TFLOPS10.1 TFLOPS11.3 TFLOPS8.8 TFLOPS
Base Clock1350 MHz1515 MHz1480 MHz1607 MHz
Boost Clock1635 MHz (OC) FE
1545 MHz (Reference)
1800 MHz (OC) FE
1710 MHz (Reference)
1582 MHz1733 MHz
Memory Size11GB8GB11GB8GB
Memory TypeGDDR6GDDR6GDDR5XGDDR5X
Memory Clock7000 MHz7000 MHz5505 MHz5005 MHz
Memory Interface352-bit256-bit352-bit256-bit
Memory Bandwidth616 GB/s448 GB/s484 Gb/s320 GB/s
Max. GPU Temp89889194
Power Connectors8+8 pin8+8 pin6+8 pin8 pin
Graphics Card Power (TDP)260W FE 
250W (Reference)
225W FE
215W (Reference)
250W180W
Recommended PSU650W650W600W500W
Price (At Launch)$1,199 FE
$999 (Reference)
$799 FE
$699 (Reference)
$699$699 FE
$599 (Reference)
GeForce RTX 2080 latest pricing and availability:
For US: available at Newegg.com and B&H here
For Canada: available at Amazon CA here
For UK: available at Amazon UK here
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