Following the release of Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2060 Super and 2070 Super, we received the new iteration of the ever so popular, upper-mid end, GeForce RTX 2080 Super. As the newer wave of Nvidia 3000 series GPUs approaches, now is a good time to make an excellent deal on an aftermarket RTX 2080 Super, as prices are inevitably dropping.
The reference card of the RTX 2080 Super features a base clock frequency of 1650 MHz and a boost clock speed of 1815 MHz – versus the 1515 and 1710 MHz specifications of the previous RTX 2080. The memory clock speed would also increase to 1936 MHz from 1750, with a computing power of 10,138 GFLOPS (up from 8,920). The VRAM specifications would stay mostly the same, except for the memory bandwidth which slightly increased to 495.62 GB/s. CUDA Cores, and TMUs would increase from 2944 and 184 to 3072 and 192 respectively; warranting an increase of TDP from 215 to 250 W.
These specifications are impressive in and of themselves, though GPU manufacturing companies would elevate this reference card by increasing boost clock speeds, providing sufficient cooling, and adding RGB lighting to give it additional visual flare.
After making the decision that the Nvidia RTX GeForce 2080 Super is the right GPU for your build, you will then find yourself wondering which aftermarket option will best suit your needs. Given that there are currently 109 (!) different aftermarket RTX 2080 Super GPUs to choose from, this task is easier said than done. But, worry not, for we have filtered through these available variations and have listed the most optimal selections for three distinct types of preferences: The best boost clock speeds for overclocking enthusiasts, the best budget option for those parsimonious, and the best/most-capable overall aftermarket Nvidia RTX GeForce 2080 Super for practicalists.
It must be noted that these choices are GPUs that are still currently available in the market, are some models have been discontinued.
Best RTX 2080 Super Cards – My Recommendations
Best Budget RTX 2080 Super Card
It is quite a common sentiment, that one should refrain from paying too much above the price of the reference card, as the differences are usually minimal in terms of performance. If you agree to this school of GPU shopping, then the ZOTAC RTX 2080 Super Triple Fan is GPU the best low-price option currently available.
The ZOTAC version of Nvidia’s 2080 Super is compliant, in fact identical, to the specifications of the reference card, including the 1815 MHz boost clock frequency. Cooling wise, this GPU offers ZOTAC’s IceStorm 2.0, utilizing an aluminum fin-stack heatsink, a die-cast metal jacket brace which covers the entire board, and a metal wraparound backplate. Despite its low price, this GPU has a three-fan setup which features “Active Fan Control” – the fans have two separate fan controllers, one controlling the two left fans covering the GPU and VRAM, and the other controlling the fan over the MOSFETs. These controllers work automatically, so with the third fan running on less RPM, the noise output is decreased while the cooling remains sufficient. In terms of ports, it offers a modest three DisplayPort 1.4 and one HDMI 2.0b sockets.
In terms of style, the logo on the side of the GPU lights up, and the brightness and color can be customized via ZOTAC’s Spectra software.
The system metrics can be viewed via Firestorm: software which also allows for the tweaking of clock and fan speeds. The GPU is also equipped with an OC scanner, which automatically finds the best clock-speeds for your GPU according to your system’s build.
The best feature of the ZOTAC Gaming RTX 2080 Super Triple Fan is its price: $699: The cheapest 2080 Super currently in the market, and a great deal to make.
Best RTX 2080 Super for Overclocking
Overclocking enthusiasts are going to want to get the most out of their Nvidia RTX 2080 Super, and to cater to this consumer – as well as to attain the marketing bragging rights of the highest boost clock speed on paper – ASUS developed the ASUS ROG Strix RTX 2080 Super Advanced OC edition.
With a base frequency of 1650 MHz, and boost frequency of 1860 MHz, the ASUS ROG Strix RTX 2080S OC can be overclocked further to a base speed of 1680 MHz and a boost frequency of 1890 MHz – the highest boost frequency of all aftermarket Nvidia RTX 2080 Super GPUs – and it has a 10+2 power phase VRM solution for the power supply. To cool the GPU during the overclocking procedure, ASUS uses three “Axial-tech” fans, which feature smaller hubs with long blades in order to concentrate the airflow and provide more intense static pressure. In addition, the heatsink is one of 2.7-slot design, increasing the surface area with the hotter areas for better heat dispersion. To amplify this effect, ASUS also uses “MaxContact” technology, which utilizes precision machining in order to create a surface for the heat-spreader that has twice the more contact with the GPU chip. Finally, to reinforce the overall structure, the model also has an all metal lighting backplate, and a reinforced frame connecting the heatsink to the circuit board.
The top and bottom of the model have RGB lighting displays, synchronized via ASUS’s Aura Sync software. These displays can be turned off via a handy “Stealth Mode” button. This software is accompanied by GPU Tweak II, which allows for system monitoring and parameter tweaking, as well as a free XSplit license, for those that fancy streaming, and a 6-month subscription to wtfast: a program that refines network connections specifically for gaming. It also comes with a fishy Quantumcloud application, which makes use of the GPU power of the 2080 Super and, in turn, provides you with minuscule earnings for the power supplied – one would argue that avoiding it would be recommended. Currently, the ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2080 Super OC Edition can be purchased for $789 – not cheap, but definitely not too costly for the overclocking and additional software it has to offer.
Best Overall RTX 2080 Super Card
Many factors were taken into account, in order to make this decision: overclocking speeds, adequate cooling, aesthetics, connectivity, and low noise output; this model, the Gigabyte AORUS RTX 2080 Super Waterforce WB, has it all.
Let’s begin with the overclocking capabilities. The AORUS RTX 2080 Super Waterforce WB has 12+2 power phases, and has a core clock frequency of 1860 MHz; up from the versus the 8+2 power phases and 1815 MHz boost clock of the reference card. Of course, given that the cooling suffices, it can be stably overclocked to up to 2160 MHz – and cooling is where this GPU model excels. It makes use of a water-cooling solution via a water-block which chills not only the GPU, but also the VRAM and MOSFETs. This waterflow rapidly dissipates heat from the front copper base plate which is in direct contact with the aforementioned components; and does so silently, without the excessive buzzing noise of one-to-three fans. For increased durability, the AORUS RTX 2080S Waterforce WB also has an all metal backplate, and dust, moisture, and corrosion resistant materials for the circuit board.
Connectivity wise, it has an almost excessive amount of outputs. With three HDMI ports, three display ports, and one USB-C port, this GPU has a total of seven sockets; six of which can be used for displays.
Aesthetically, the AORUS RTX 2080S Waterforce WB makes quite the impact. It makes full use of RGB illumination with Gigabytes RGB Fusion 2.0, allowing you to customize through the 16.7M available colors and numerous lighting effects, synchronizing all products Gigabyte harmoniously. Additional software is included, such as the AORUS engine, which allows for clock speed, voltage, and fan performance adjustments.
The downsides one may find for this GPU are twofold: (1) The fact that optional cleaning of the water-block is almost impossible, due to the logo blocking the screws, and (2) the price. Currently, the Gigabyte AORUS GeForce RTX 2080 Super Waterforce RB sells for $829, nearly $130 above the reference card, but for what it has to offer it is arguably still a great deal to make, as water-blocks are definitely not cheap.