Power, Temperatures, & Noise

Last, but not least of course, is our look at power, temperatures, and noise levels. While a high performing card is good in its own right, an excellent card can deliver great performance while also keeping power consumption and the resulting noise levels in check.

GeForce Video Card Voltages
RTX 2080S Boost RTX 2080S Idle RTX 2080 Boost RTX 2070S Boost
1.05v 0.65v 1.05v 1.043v

Overall, the voltages being used for the RTX 2080 Super are not any different than NVIDIA’s other TU104 cards – or any of their other Turing cards, for that matter. At its highest clockspeeds the card runs at 1.05v, quickly stepping down to below 1v at lower clockspeeds. The 0.65v idle voltage is among the lowest we’ve ever recorded for an NVIDIA card, however.

 

GeForce Video Card Average Clockspeeds
Game RTX 2080S RTX 2080 Ti RTX 2080 RTX 2070S
Max Boost Clock 1965MHz 1950MHz 1900MHz 1950MHz
Boost Clock 1815MHz 1545MHz 1710MHz 1770MHz
Tomb Raider 1937MHz 1725MHz 1785MHz 1875MHz
F1 2019 1920MHz 1725MHz 1785MHz 1875MHz
Assassin's Creed 1920MHz 1800MHz 1815MHz 1890MHz
Metro Exodus 1937MHz 1755MHz 1785MHz 1875MHz
Strange Brigade 1920MHz 1695MHz 1770MHz 1875MHz
Total War: TK 1937MHz 1740MHz 1785MHz 1875MHz
The Division 2 1937MHz 1635MHz 1740MHz 1845MHz
Grand Theft Auto V 1937MHz 1815MHz 1815MHz 1890MHz
Forza Horizon 4 1937MHz 1815MHz 1800MHz 1890MHz

Looking at clockspeeds, we can piece together a couple of interesting pieces of information. On the clockspeed side, NVIDIA hasn’t actually changed the card’s maximum clockspeed all that much. Our RTX topped out at 1900MHz, and the RTX 2080 Super is only a bit higher at 1965MHz. That they’re doing it without more voltage is a bit more interesting – it looks like chip quality may have improved a bit over the past year – but not too surprising.

What is more surprising however are the average clockspeeds we recorded for the RTX 2080 Super. In short, the card spends a lot of time at or near its top turbo bins. With temperature compensation active, our RTX 2080 Super tops out at 1937MHz; a clockspeed that it holds at for over half of our games even at 4K. Quite frankly the RTX 2080 Super is almost a boring card in this respect (in a good way); there’s just not much in the way of power throttling going on here. If anything, the hard part is getting the card above 90-95% power usage.

This, ultimately, is why the RTX 2080 Super is as fast as it is versus the vanilla RTX 2080. The extra SMs help, but it’s the extra 100-150MHz on the GPU clockspeed that’s really driving the card.

Idle Power Consumption

Load Power Consumption - Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Load Power Consumption - FurMark

Getting to power consumption itself then, idle is effectively unchanged, exactly as we’d expect it. Load power, on the other hand, is paying the price for those 1900MHz+ clockspeeds. Under both FurMark and Tomb Raider, our RTX 2080 Super-equipped system is drawing almost the same amount of power as the RTX 2080 Ti system with a difference of just a few watts. That performance doesn’t come for free. NVIDIA’s overall power efficiency is still quite good here (the Radeon VII won’t be touching it, for example), but it’s clearly regressed a bit versus the RTX 2080 Ti and vanilla RTX 2080.

It is worth noting, however, that often the card was clockspeed-limited rather than power limited. So while Tomb Raider was specifically picked to be a punishing game – a task it delivered on here – I fully expect that the RTX 2080 Super is drawing a bit less than the RTX 2080 Ti in around half of our other games.

Idle GPU Temperature

Load GPU Temperature - Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Load GPU Temperature - FurMark

With higher power consumption and the same cooler comes higher temperatures. Even FurMark’s 77C is still several degrees below the card’s 84C thermal throttle point, but it is a very straightforward consequence of the increased power consumption.

Idle Noise Levels

Load Noise Levels - Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Load Noise Levels - FurMark

Last, but not least, we have noise. Again this is the same cooler as the RTX 2080 & RTX 2080 Ti, so the card has to work a bit harder to keep itself cool versus the original RTX 2080. The net result is that the RTX 2080 Super splits the difference between the original RTX 2080 and the RTX 2080 Ti, peaking at 46.5 dB(A). This is unlikely to be a very noticeable change as compared to the RTX 2080, but it’s louder none the less. I’m actually a bit surprised it didn’t pull even with the RTX 2080 Ti, but then our RTX 2080 Ti seems to run just a bit loud period – even at idle it’s a bit louder.

Synthetics Closing Thoughts
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  • Gemuk - Tuesday, July 23, 2019 - link

    First page, second last paragraph: "Meanwhile the RTX 2070 is definitely the spoiler to NVIDIA’s stack;"
    I'm sure you meant RTX 2070 Super instead.

    Page 2, comparison table: $699 for 2080 Super reference instead of $499.

    Nice review as always. Any updates to the fleshing out of the Navi article?
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Tuesday, July 23, 2019 - link

    "Any updates to the fleshing out of the Navi article?"

    About half-done. Once I am finished, it'll both go into the article, and be posted separately.
    Reply
  • PHlipMoD3 - Tuesday, July 23, 2019 - link

    It does kind of suck that this article/review seems more full fledged than the Navi article. Which on one hand is understandable given that that is an entirely new architecture, but it also comes off a bit unfortunate considering the 2080 Super minor spec bump appears to have warranted what is essentially a more complete article than the competitions big launch. Reply
  • 29a - Wednesday, July 24, 2019 - link

    They tend to treat AMD with less respect. look at the release of every Ryzen article, it took months to get the first one done. Reply
  • ballsystemlord - Saturday, July 27, 2019 - link

    FWIW: The 2000 series ryzen article had errors due to testing methodology resulting in Intel's processors looking worse. Thus it took them a while to flesh it out because they spent a long time retesting everything and rebutting shill accusations. The ryzen 3000 series article was in perfect shape on time. So, I'm just not seeing this trend. Reply
  • edzieba - Tuesday, July 23, 2019 - link

    The "Performance Summary" table on the Conclusion page has RTX 1080 (presumably GTX 1080). Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, July 23, 2019 - link

    Last page typo, in the comparison table you have "RTX 2080 Super vs. RTX 1080" GTX 1080? Reply
  • Moizy - Tuesday, July 23, 2019 - link

    I still think it's interesting, though, that the highest Navi card we have is a x700 part. Traditionally, an x800/x80 card held the highest tier in AMD's lineups. You would think AMD named the 5700 cards intentionally, leaving room for both lesser and greater cards. A 5800 XT card would be very interesting. Reply
  • Moizy - Tuesday, July 23, 2019 - link

    *Except for the blower cooler a 5800 XT might come with. AMD's cooling solution this generation is terrible. How can you use less power than a 2070 Super, but have a higher core temperature AND higher noise?! Embarrassing engineering and product management effort. I wish board partners could have introduced their own custom cooling solutions at the 5700 launch. Reply
  • Spunjji - Friday, July 26, 2019 - link

    The 5700's blower is not quite as bad as reviews show - noise measurements by most hardware sites are approximate at best, and the way they most of them measure tends to exaggerate differences.

    That said, I'd be really surprised if they stick with a blower for the 5800. That would be a very bad decision.
    Reply

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