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Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Founders Edition Review: Faster, More Expensive Than GeForce GTX 1080 Ti

Temperatures and Clock Rates

While we don't like that Nvidia's new thermal solution kicks waste heat back into your chassis, it's clearly a superior performer. Clock rate losses aren't nearly as dramatic as the previous generation. And a cooler-running processor means GPU Boost rates could probably be quite a bit higher without an issue.

Moreover, frequency differences between the open test setup and a closed case are non-existent.

GeForce RTX 2080Start/EndGeForce RTX 2080 TiStart/End
Open Test Bench
GPU Temperature34 / 75 °C35 / 77 °C
GPU Clock Rate1905 / 1815 MHz1815 / 1665 MHz
Ambient Temperature22 °C22 °C
Closed Case
GPU Temperature35 / 75 °C35 / 80 °C
GPU Clock Rate1905 / 1800 MHz1815 / 1650 MHz
Ambient Temperature Inside Case25°C43°C

Overclocking

To the best of its ability, Nvidia is taking the trial and error out of overclocking with an API/DLL package that partners like EVGA and MSI can build into their utilities. Instead of an enthusiast going back and forth, testing one part of the frequency/voltage curve at a time and adjusting based on the stability of various workloads, Nvidia’s new Scanner runs an arithmetic-based routine in its own process, evaluating stability without user input. Although Nvidia says the metric usually encounters math errors before crashing, the fact that it’s contained means the algorithm can recover gracefully if a crash does occur. This gives the tuning software a chance to increase voltage and try the same frequency again. Once the Scanner hits its maximum voltage setting and encounters one last failure, a new frequency/voltage curve is calculated based on the known-good results.

This worked quite well for us in practice, though our results did land below what we achieved after an hour of manually tweaking. If you'd rather save time and allow this one-click approach handle overclocking, we wouldn't dissuade you; the technology does what Nvidia says it's supposed to do.

Using a beta version of EVGA's Precision X1 utility, our GeForce RTX 2080 hit a stable 2025 MHz using Nvidia's new algorithm. Unfortunately, we believe that lackluster result is due to a low-quality GPU, not a fault with the Scanner package. Meanwhile, our GeForce RTX 2080 Ti stabilized at 1935 MHz after warming up on an open bench (and without any fan curve adjustment). In a closed case, it reached 1860 MHz.

GeForce RTX 2080: Temperatures And Clock Rates

The following charts illustrate our findings over 15 minutes of warm-up time. Pay attention to the GPU temperature ramp on an open test bench and in a closed case. Despite the roughly four-degree delta between both configurations, clock rates hardly change between them.

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Next, we have high-resolution infrared pictures taken during our gaming loop and stress on the open bench and inside of a closed case. Large deltas are apparent from both examples. However, neither workload can expose a problem with cooling under the GPU package. Nvidia's thermal solution again shows itself to be highly competent.

Infrared Measurements While Gaming

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Infrared Measurements During Stress Test

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Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.