Power, Temperature, and Noise

With a large chip, more transistors, and more frames, questions always pivot to the efficiency of the card, and how well it sits with the overall power consumption, thermal limits of the default ‘coolers’, and the local noise of the fans when at load. Users buying these cards are going to be expected to push some pixels, which will have knock on effects inside a case. For our testing, we use a case for the best real-world results in these metrics.


All of our graphics cards pivot around the 83-86W level when idle, though it is noticeable that they are in sets: the 2080 is below the 1080, the 2080 Ti sits above the 1080 Ti, and the Vega 64 consumes the most.

Idle Power Consumption

When we crank up a real-world title, all the RTX 20-series cards are pushing more power. The 2080 consumes 10W over the previous generation flagship, the 1080 Ti, and the new 2080 Ti flagship goes for another 50W system power beyond this. Still not as much as the Vega 64, however.

Load Power Consumption - Battlefield 1

For a synthetic like Furmark, the RTX 2080 results show that it consumes less than the GTX 1080 Ti, although the GTX 1080 is some 50W less. The margin between the RTX 2080 FE and RTX 2080 Ti FE is some 40W, which is indicative of the official TDP differences. At the top end, the RTX 2080 Ti FE and RX Vega 64 are consuming equal power, however the RTX 2080 Ti FE is pushing through more work.

Load Power Consumption - FurMark

For power, the overall differences are quite clear: the RTX 2080 Ti is a step up above the RTX 2080, however the RTX 2080 shows that it is similar to the previous generation 1080/1080 Ti.


Straight off the bat, moving from the blower cooler to the dual fan coolers, we see that the RTX 2080 holds its temperature a lot better than the previous generation GTX 1080 and GTX 1080 Ti.

Idle GPU Temperature

Load GPU Temperature - Battlefield 1

Load GPU Temperature - FurMark

At each circumstance at load, the RTX 2080 is several degrees cooler than both the previous generation and the RTX 2080 Ti. The 2080 Ti fairs well in Furmark, coming in at a lower temperature than the 10-series, but trades blows in Battlefield. This is a win for the dual fan cooler, rather than the blower.


Similar to the temperature, the noise profile of the two larger fans rather than a single blower means that the new RTX cards can be quieter than the previous generation: the RTX 2080 wins here, showing that it can be 3-5 dB(A) lower than the 10-series and perform similar. The added power needed for the RTX 2080 Ti means that it is still competing against the GTX 1080, but it always beats the GTX 1080 Ti by comparison.

Idle Noise Levels

Load Noise Levels - Battlefield 1

Load Noise Levels - FurMark

Compute & Synthetics Final Words


View All Comments

  • darkos - Friday, September 21, 2018 - link

    Please add flight simulation testing to your list of applications. eg: X-Plane, Prepar3d. Reply
  • Vinny DePaul - Friday, September 21, 2018 - link

    I am still rocking 980 with fps over 60 and everything turned up to max. I guess I will wait. Reply
  • mapesdhs - Thursday, September 27, 2018 - link

    That's a perfect summary of why tom's looney article was so bad. If your current hw is doing just fine for the games you're playing atm, then upgrading makes no sense. It's rather cynical of NVIDIA, and some tech sites, to basically create a need and then push people into thinking they're idiots if they don't upgrade, while hiding behind very poor price/performance dynamics. Reply
  • DARK_BG - Friday, September 21, 2018 - link

    As someone working in the game industry for already 8+ years I can tell you only one thing.No body will rush to implement proprietary features!
    The ones that have demos or are about soon to have the features implemented are the ones Nvidia reached to not vise versa.
    This days making a game is no different than making any other product on this planet.It is corporate bussines which means you want maximum profit which translates in maximum user coverage which translates in maximum platforfm coverage PC (Windows , Mac , Linux), Consoles and mobile.
    There is just no basis to anyhow compare Vulkan to anything proprietary.Vulkan is coming with the promise that what i make will look and feel the same way visually across multple platforms without requiring too much husstle on the development side.Even when you use a flexible engine as UE4 it is not that easy to have the same stuff working across multiple platforms and changes and further development for materials and meshes are required to have the stuff atleast to look indetical.
    So i can hardly imagine that while you are bogged down with tons of bugs and trying to deliver your product across multiple platforms you will add yourself one more pain in the ass as nVidia Ray Tracing that will have doubfull income effect on your title given the small user reach.
    I can give you Wargaming and Valve games as an example of old engines that are making tons of money.
    So while nVidia is trying to ripoff people with that amount of money I'm wondering how to optimise one level so it could run fast and look cool on 6 years old midrange hardware.
  • eddman - Friday, September 21, 2018 - link


    Although it is true that proprietary features do not always take off in a meaningful way (the GPU-accelerated mode of physx as an example), it doesn't mean an open standard would always be the popular choice.

    Take big budget games from large publishers. These games, in the large majority of cases, are only available on three platforms, PS, xbox and windows, because these are the platforms that have the hardware to support such games and also have the largest audience.

    IINM, vulkan is not available on X1 and PS4. If a AAA game dev was to use vulkan on windows, they'd still need to code the game for directx on X1 and GNM or GNMX on PS4, meaning they'd have to support three APIs.

    If they go with directx on windows, then two platforms will already be covered and they'd only need to do additional coding for PS4 support.

    On the other hand, vulkan does make sense for devs of smaller games where they want to cover as many platforms as possible, specially for mobile games, where vulkan covers windows, linux, mac, android and I think ios and even switch.
  • eva02langley - Friday, September 21, 2018 - link

    Yes and no, for example Freesync is finally getting support from TV makers. Finally, I can get a 4k big screeen with HDR and... freesync.

    Open source is the way to go over proprietary technology.
  • eddman - Friday, September 21, 2018 - link

    That's why I wrote it's not always the case. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. It all has to do with the standard having industry support. Being open source does not automatically mean it'd catch on, unfortunately. Reply
  • noone2 - Friday, September 21, 2018 - link

    Someone will and it will be great and then it will catch on. Or maybe it won't, but that's how things happen. Someone takes a risk and it pans out. Either contribute to it or don't, play safe or take a chance.

    Nvidia has obviously been making some pretty good decisions over the years and has turned out some amazing products. Sometimes they've been wrong, but more often than not they are right. If they were wrong more than not, they'd be out of business, not a $150B company.

    If you don't ever take a risk doing something new or cutting edge, you'll disappear. This is true for all technology.
  • noone2 - Friday, September 21, 2018 - link

    Oh, and remember, at some point you don't have to care about 6 year old hardware. Look at consoles. At some point the studio just stops making a game for the last-gen, even though the new gen doesn't have the same size install base yet. Or a non-franchise game just shows up for next-gen and that's it. They never even bother to attempt to make it on older stuff. Reply
  • eva02langley - Friday, September 21, 2018 - link

    Thanks for your comment, this was my argument all along.

    The only way to force a new feature is by shear numbers. Basically, if RTX was something available on new consoles, then that would make a business stand point sense, however AMD is owning consoles and might for a long term.

    AMD should force multi-GPU via Infinity Fabric through consoles. This would work because devs would have access to additional power on the die via proper coding... and this delivered to 100% of the user base.

    If this is only developed for less than 1% of the PC user base, this will fail miserably and nobody would add support unless sponsored by Nvidia themselves.

    Financial analysts are seeing it and downgrades are coming.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now