Temperatures and Fan Speeds
The Aorus GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Xtreme 11G demonstrates the same pulse behavior we’ve seen from other Gigabyte cards as its fans spin up. This ringing effect sees the initial burst followed by a drop to low fan speeds, followed by another, smaller burst, and so on until the curve settles on a gradual ascent. Topping out at just over 2,000 RPM across our three-run Metro: Last Light loop, the ultra-high-end Aorus thermal solution spins faster than Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2070 FE and slower than the older GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FE.
Gigabyte’s cooler does an effective job of keeping TU102 running at a maximum of 73 degrees Celsius through our Metro: Last Light benchmark.
There is no pulse start-up as FurMark quickly warms up the TU102 processor. Gigabyte’s Aorus GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Xtreme 11G spins up at a quicker rate under this more taxing graphics workload compared to its behavior in Metro: Last Light. Because the card has a hard stop at 300W, though, the fans don’t need to spin any faster than they did in our game testing.
Similarly, the TU102 processor doesn’t get any hotter than before. When a graphics card is constrained by its power target, voltage and frequency are dialed back to keep power in check, so performance is the variable that suffers most.
A peek at our recorded data shows Nvidia’s GPU averaging 1,500 MHz through the last several thousand points in FurMark, whereas it averaged 1,830 MHz through three runs of Metro.
Open Case/Closed Case
Installed in a completely different machine, Gigabyte’s Aorus GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Xtreme 11G demonstrates the same pulsing fan start behavior in our Metro: Last Light benchmark. But once we seal up the side of our Corsair Obsidian 750D, those three overlapping fans have to work notably harder to keep Nvidia’s GPU cool. By the end of our recording, the card in a closed case has its fans spinning 180 RPM faster than the same system with its side panel popped off.
Even at higher RPM, the Windforce Stack 3X system loses ground when it’s fed warm ambient air. TU102 heats up to 75 degrees Celsius compared to 71 degrees with the case side open. Fortunately, that’s still well under the processor’s 89° maximum temperature, so clock rates don’t get pulled back.
But this does help illustrate the exception we take with axial coolers. Though they’re great for striking a balance between performance and acoustics, the fact that they recirculate heated air makes case ventilation a priority. Otherwise, it doesn’t take long for a 300W graphics card to fill its environment with residual warmth. We really miss robust blower-style coolers this generation.
MORE: Best Graphics Cards
MORE: All Graphics Content