The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Founders Edition is a great graphics card, but NVIDIA’s board partners are looking to differentiate themselves by offering something better. NVIDIA is making that tough for this generation as they moved away from the blower-style fan and are shipping the FE cards with an out-of-the box overclock for the first time ever. As tough as NVIDIA is making it for their own partners to compete, we think the AIB’s are going to be okay. One look at the ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2080 and you know this card isn’t going to go down without a fight.
The ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2080 OC is simply a beast as it takes up 2.7 slots thanks to a massive GPU cooler that is topped off with not one, not two, but three axial-tech cooling fans. When it comes to clock speeds the ROG STRI RTX 2080 OC doesn’t disappoint. The STRIX RTG 2080 OC comes out of the box running at 1515 MHz base clock with a boost clock of up to 1860 MHz. If you install the optional ASUS GPU Tweak II software utility you can run the card in OC mode that allows it to boost up to 1890 MHz. This is 60-90 MHz higher than the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 FE. The 8GB of GDDR6 memory runs at 14 Gbps just like the reference specs and FE models.
|ROG STRIX 2080 OC||GeForce RTX 2080 FE||GeForce RTX 2080|
|Boost Clock||1890 MHz (OC)
1860 MHz (Gaming)
1830 MHz (Silent)
|1800 MHz||1710 MHz|
|Base Clock||1545 MHz (OC)
1515 MHz (Gaming)
1485 MHz (Silent)
|1515 MHz||1515 MHz|
|8 GB GDDR6||14 Gbps||14 Gbps||14 Gbps|
NVIDIA’s MSRP for the GeForce RTX 2080 Founder’s Edition cards is $799 and the recommended base price for board partners is $699. Street pricing on the ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2080 OC have it $869.99, so this card is $70 more than the RTX 2080 FE and $170 over the NVIDIA’s pricing suggestion for base models.
The card that we are reviewing today is the ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2080 Overclocked 8G GDDR6 HDMI DP 1.4 USB Type-C that is sold under part number ROG-STRIX-RTX2080-O8G-GAMING. This model is backed by a 3-year warranty and is priced at $869.99 shipped.
The ASUS GeForce RTX 2080 ROG STRIX Gaming OC Edition has an all black finish with bold angles for a modern look.
The ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2080 OC has RGB lighting around the top and bottom of the fan shroud to help boost the visual appeal for those looking for more RGB.
Hate RGB lights? Just below the NVLINK bridge connector there is a large on/off button that controls the RGB lighting! This is great news for those that don’t want to install ASUS Aura Sync software to control the lights. This is also a good time to point out that ASUS includes a full coverage backplate on the STRIX RTX 2080 that looks really sharp.
Moving around to the end of the card you’ll find two 8-pin power connectors with LED lights to let you know if the power is hooked up correctly. ASUS recommends a 650W power supply for this model. Note that in order to have the best cooling performance, the ASUS STRIX-RTX 2080 occupies 2.7 slots. Please double check you PC case and motherboard layout to ensure that this 11.8″ long card won’t be an issue.
Spinning the card around and looking at the top edge of the PCB, you’ll discover a dip switch that controls the cards two vBIOS profiles. The labeling on board is poorly done, but to the left is Performance ‘P’ Mode and to the right is Quiet ‘Q’ Mode. Our card shipped in Performance mode and according to ASUS that will give us 40% lower temperatures at the cost of more fan noise. Flipping the switch over to quite mode will give you around 15-25% less noise, but the card will run hotter. We left the board in ‘P’ Mode for testing, but used GPU Tweak software to run the card in ‘OC’ Mode and we’ll talk about that in a minute. You can switch between two BIOS profiles without any software, but to run the highest factory clock speeds you’ll need to use ASUS GPU Tweak II.
When it comes to display connectors it looks like ASUS deviated from the GeForce RTX 2080 FE card and offers two DisplayPort and HDMI connectors along with the VirtualLink USB-C port. The move away from three DisplayPort connectors might upset some with an NVIDIA Surround monitor setup, but there are others with a dual-monitor setup that would like to have two HDMI ports.
We won’t be fully tearing down our review sample since we want to preserve the factory thermal interface material for future testing. So, we’ll include some ASUS marketing slides that show you the internal layout. It also shows that ASUS is using their Auto-Extreme production process and uses a metal frame to reinforce the PCB.
ASUS went with a 10+2 power phase (Super Alloy Power II) design on their STRIX RTX 2080 for enhanced durability and efficiency. This shot also clearly shows the location of the RGB header for those that want to sync the card with ASUS Aura Sync software.
We used the ASUS GPU Tweak II utility to get the ROG STRIX-RTX2080 card to in OC Mode for testing. This puts this card at the highest factory clock speeds available, but you can still manually overclock the card if you’d like. We’ll overclock this card ourselves in the overclocking section in the pages ahead.
Let’s take a quick look at the test system and then we’ll look at how the ROG-STRIX-RTX2080 performs in some games and applications.