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

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GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition Packaging and Closer Look


NVIDIA uses the same packaging concept as with their previous Founders Edition graphics cards. The box is compact overall and you get that black and green color scheme. The previous GTX 10 series has a “rasterized” box art; this time it’s more of an industrial look. You can see the big GeForce RTX logo in the front and a small 2080 at the bottom.

Sliding up the top cover reveals the GeForce RTX 2080 Founders Edition sitting nicely on the lower portion of the box, wrap with a plastic covering. The box includes a DVI to HDMI adapter, since NVIDIA has removed and replaced the DVI port on the RTX 20 series cards with a USB Type-C VirtualLink connection for VR headsets. There’s also a quick start guide and a support guide.

NVIDIA has completely redesigned the Founders Edition for their RTX 20 series graphics cards. The blower cooler design is gone and it is replaced by a dual fan cooler. Majority of the materials on the cooler shroud is metal and oh man this card really feels rock-solid and premium! It’s heavy and the metal shroud wraps around the graphics card, giving it a “more cohesive look”. Both the RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti shares the same design. Only their respective name and the power connectors are what distinguish them from one another.

According to NVIDIA, the new GeForce RTX Founders Edition graphics cards have been tailored for gamers who demand the most from their graphics card. With the new cooling solution and factory overclock settings, looks like the Founders Edition will compete with custom designed RTX 20 series graphics cards from AIB partners.

On the rear output ports, you can see the usual suspects but without the DVI port. The DVI port is replaced with a USB Type-C VirtualLink connector for next-gen VR headsets. This eliminates the need to connect several cables from the VR headset to the graphics cards. There are three DisplayPort 1.4a (with DSC 1.2) that are capable of driving up to 8K resolution at 60Hz from a single cable. The single HDMI port is version 2.0b with HDCP 2.2 support.

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Founders Edition draws power from a 6-pin+8-pin PCIe power connector. I find it a bit annoying that one column on the 6-pin power connector is blocked. This leaves the two-pin connector on the (6+2 pin PSU cable) sticking out. Anyway, moving on, it is recommended to power the graphics card with a 650W PSU, as it draws around 225W. I would strongly recommend that you use a high quality, 80 Plus certified PSU for the RTX 20 series graphics card.

NVIDIA is now using the new NVLink connector (for SLI) on the RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti graphics cards. The NVLink connector is covered with a matching cover that did a good job at “hiding” it discretely. Only the TU102 and TU104 (or RTX 2080 Ti and RTX 2080) will support NVLink or SLI for gaming. With the GTX 10 series, SLI was still supported up to GTX 1070; but the upcoming RTX 2070 will no longer support SLI as it doesn’t have any NVLink connector.

Additionally, NVIDIA’s NVLink is a high-speed interconnect that provides dependable, high bandwidth and low latency connectivity between pairs of Turing GPUs. With up to 100GB/sec of bidirectional bandwidth, NVLINK makes it possible for customized many workloads to efficiently split across two GPUs and share memory capacity. For gaming workloads, NVLINK’s increased bandwidth and dedicated inter-GPU channel enables new possibilities for SLI, such as new modes or higher resolution display configurations.

The two fans on the new cooler is a 13-blade axial fans built with a three-phase motor. The fans are silent and inaudible (up to a certain point); and the 13-blade design helps to push more air without the need to spin faster. The fins on the full-length vapor chamber on the RTX 20 series Founders Edition cards are position vertically. This means that air is blown sides ways (toward and outward the motherboard). Hot air is no longer exhausted at the back or through the output ports of the graphics cards. You will need to consider this if you plan to install this card on a small casing or a system with limited air flow.

NVIDIA also made some serious improvements on the power subsystem of the graphics card. It’s built with an all-new 8-phase iMON DrMOS power supply. In comparison, the RTX 2080 Ti is built with a 13-phase due to the larger TU102 GPU chip. The power supply features a new dynamic power management system that is capable of sub-millisecond current monitoring and control, which allows the power supply to more tightly control the flow of power into the GPU. As a result there is more power headroom for overclocking. There’s also a 2-phase power supply on the RTX 2080 for the GDDR6 memory, whereas the RTX 2080 Ti gets 3-phase power system for the memory.

 

I haven’t dismantled my GeForce RTX 2080 Founders Edition yet, but above you can see how the RTX 2080 PCB looks like underneath the cooler shroud. It’s somewhat different compared to the RTX 2080 Ti’s PCB; it has noticeably fewer components compared to the RTX 2080 Ti. Thanks to the new cooler design, all the memory and VRMs on the RTX 2080 are passively cooled as well.

Up next is the our NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Founders Edition test setup, noise and temperature findings.

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I love computers since I was a kid. I’m always fascinated with new technology, especially in the PC world. Many years ago, I was curious if the reviews I read were true and real. So, why not test them myself and share my first-hand experience? And thus, here we are. Thanks for reading!

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