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EVGA RTX 2080 Super XC Hybrid Review: Cool Running, but Worth It?

EVGA uses liquid cooling to help with noise and thermals, but it comes with a steep price tag.

EVGA RTX 2080 Super XC Hybrid
(Image: © Shutterstock, EVGA)

EVGA’s RTX 2080 Super XC Hybrid proved to be more than capable at 1440p using ultra settings and 4K at high to ultra settings in most games. Compared to the RTX 2080 Super Founders Edition and Asus ROG Strix RTX 2080 Super OC, the integrated AIO kept the core temperatures much cooler. Since the hybrid card runs around 10C cooler than the others, it boosted higher than even the Asus, which is rated 30 MHz higher out of the box.

However, even with the differences in boost clocks and cooling, all three 2080 Super cards performed nearly the same, with less than 1 fps between them. The lower temperatures can be great for hotter climates and part longevity, or if you want to manually overclock, but out of the box performance isn't going to vary much between the various RTX 2080 Super models.

Although the EVGA RTX 2080 Super XC Hybrid was generally quiet, the pump makes a distinct hum that's different from the fans on the card and radiator, as well as any chassis fans. This is typical of most liquid cooling solutions and inherent to pumps in general. We didn't find the sound loud or off putting, but it was noticeable over the other PC fans. The EVGA card's fans meanwhile were quiet throughout testing.

For many users, the price for a graphics card is a huge factor, and none of the RTX 2080 Supers are anywhere close to being affordable. The  EVGA RTX 2080 Super Hybrid XC and the Asus ROG Strix 2080 Super both cost around $780, while the Nvidia RTX 2080 Super Founders Edition can often be found for $700 (at least, it can be when COVID-19 is screwing up the supply chain). The least expensive RTX 2080 Super we can find right now is this PNY RTX 2080 Super blower, priced at $694 — and unless you really like blowers, we'd recommend paying $6 more for the Founders Edition or something like the MSI Ventus XS OC. Sticking with hybrid cooling cards, MSI’s RTX 2080 Super Sea Hawk X lists for $734.99, while the Gigabyte Aorus Waterforce RTX 2080 Super sports a large 2x120mm radiator and goes for $839.99. 

One thing you really need to consider when buying a hybrid cooled graphics card is the size and placement of both the card and the radiator. Most mid-size and larger ATX cases should be able to accommodate both, but smaller cases can be a problem. Not to mention, the radiator is one more thing to deal with when cleaning out your PC or swapping components.

The EVGA RTX 2080 Super XC Hybrid proved to be a capable card for both 1440p and 4K gaming, though the latter in some titles will require tuning of settings. The hybrid cooler with a 120mm radiator did a great job keeping the GPU cool during testing. However, even though we saw higher boost clocks, the performance gained from the small difference ended up being negligible. Priced between other hybrid cards, the EVGA XC is a viable solution. Just come for the thermals rather than the out of box performance.

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  • Phaaze88
    The TL;DR:
    No, no it is not.

    I would've thought a liquid cooled gpu like that would've performed a fair deal better than an air cooled model like the ROG Strix...
    Did they take a FE 2080 Super PCB and slap the AIO on it? The FE only has a 280w power limit, and Asus Strix has a 313w limit on the OC model.
    Reply
  • Blas
    It would be nice to see comparisons of the different hybrid cooled cards out there (EVGA's Hybrid, Gigabyte's Waterforce, Inno3D iChill, etc.). I use these for my iTX build, and apparently there are many differences in noise and cooling performance. And while there are some reviews online, it's really hard to come across comparisons.
    Reply
  • willie_t
    Some of us like to use the high end cards for Folding. Most card reviewers don't give a single sentence in that area as to how various cards do in that arena. So, we have to search that info out in other areas. "It would be nice" to see a reference in video card reviews - even if it's only a sentence or two.
    Reply
  • saunupe1911
    admin said:
    The EVGA RTX 2080 Super XC Hybrid performed well, averaging over 100 fps at 1440p ultra and 60 fps at 4K ultra. The hybrid cooling kept the card much cooler than other cards, but the pump has a soft hum. Priced at $789.99, it's one of the most expensive 2080 Super cards available, but only similar Hybrid setups can cool as well.

    EVGA RTX 2080 Super XC Hybrid Review: Cool Running, but Worth It? : Read more

    Why didn't you guys review the FTW3 version of this card which has a higher boost of 1845Mhz? I paid $769 for it too on Newegg back in September. It's actually going for around the same price right now.

    Everything in your review is spot on. It rarely eclipses 53 degrees even when it's working it's hardest. It can overclock it's butt off but I put it back to stock as it's really not necessary since I'm gaming on the Dell S3220DGF monitor. The pump wine does sort of bother me but I've gotten used to it. I wish it could be controlled.

    The one real issue with this is card is that the radiator fan can't be software controlled with Precision X1 or Afterburner. You can only independently control the GPU fan. All software reports them running at the same speeds which certainly isn't true.
    Reply
  • PBme
    willie_t said:
    Some of us like to use the high end cards for Folding. Most card reviewers don't give a single sentence in that area as to how various cards do in that arena. So, we have to search that info out in other areas. "It would be nice" to see a reference in video card reviews - even if it's only a sentence or two.
    Are you aware of any objective way to test that? F@H doesn't have a benchmark tool (that I'm aware of) and of course they can't just sit there hoping they get a WU, wait for 2 hours, repeat to average results, and just cross their fingers that one WU will be the exact same as another from the same day let alone of months.
    They can perhaps derive it from the other tests done but that specific one would have to be speculation.
    Reply