ASUS RTX 2080 ROG STRIX Gaming OC Edition - Overclocking And Power
We also spent a little time overclocking the ASUS RTX 2080 ROG STRIX Gaming, to see what kind of additional performance we could squeeze out of it with a bit of tweaking. Before we get to our results, though, we need to talk about an update to GPU Boost and some new overclocking related features.
Turing-based GeForce RTX cards like the ASUS RTX 2080 ROG STRIX Gaming feature GPU Boost 4.0. Like previous-gen GeForce cards, GPU Boost scales frequencies and voltages upwards, power and temperature permitting, based on the GPU's workload at the time. Should a temperature or power limit be reached, however, GPU Boost 4.0 will only drop down to the previous boost frequency stepping -- and not the base frequency -- in an attempt to bring power and temperatures down. Where GPU Boost 3.0 could result in a steep drop-off down to the base frequency when constrained, GPU Boost 4.0 is more granular and should allow for higher average frequencies over time.
As we mentioned in our previous coverage of the Turing architecture, there are beefier VRMs on GeForce RTX cards versus their predecessors, which should help with extreme overclocking. In addition to being able to handle higher loads, the circuitry has also been optimized to smooth-out and clean-up power delivery across the entire voltage and frequency curve. That cleaner power should improve maximum overclocks, but NVIDIA is also making the overclocking process itself much easier with a new Scanner tool and API.
The NVIDIA Scanner is a one-click overclocking tool with an intelligent testing algorithm and specialized workload designed to help users find the maximum, stable overclock on their cards without having to resort to trial and error. The NVIDIA Scanner will try higher and higher frequencies at a given voltage step and then test for stability with a specialized workload along the way. The entire process should take around 20 minutes, but when it’s done, the Scanner will have found the maximum stable overclock throughout the entire frequency and voltage curve for a given card.
Unfortunately, the scanner was hanging on our testbed, so we couldn't properly test the auto-scan feature in our benchmarks. In lieu of using the NVIDIA Scanner, we kept things simple, and used the frequency offset and power / temperature target sliders to manually overclock the ASUS RTX 2080 ROG STRIX Gaming. First we cranked up the power target to 125% and kicked up the temperature target as well. Then we bumped up the max voltage by .1v and increased the GPU and memory clocks until the test system was no longer stable.
Ultimately, we were able to hit 2.1GHz with the ASUS card's GPU, with a 130MHz+ increases to its memory speed. While we had the card overclocked, we re-ran a couple of benchmarks and saw some nice performance improvements. In Tomb Raider, the ASUS RTX 2080 ROG STRIX Gaming was able to overtake the Titan Xp while overclocked, and in 3DMark it clearly led the other 2080s and inched closer to the mighty GeForce RTX 2080 Ti.
Our goal was to give you an idea as to how much power each configuration used while idle and also while under a heavy gaming workload. Please keep in mind that we were testing total system power consumption at the outlet here, not the power being drawn by the graphics cards alone. It's a relative measurement that gives you a decent view of how much additional power draw a graphics card is placing on a system while gaming.
While the card was overclocked, we monitored power consumption as well and saw only a moderate increase in power. NVIDIA puts tight voltage and power limits on their GPUs to ensure reliable, long-term operation. So, without some modding and serious, hard-core overclocks, most users shouldn't see massive increases in power while overclocking.
We should also mention that GPU temperatures are a non-issue on the ASUS RTX 2080 ROG STRIX Gaming. At idle, the GPU temp hovered in the mid-30 degree C range. And under sustained load, even while overclocked, the GPU temperature never hit the default peak target. The maximum GPU temperature we saw was in the low 70 degree C range. Noise wasn't a concern either. The ASUS RTX 2080 ROG STRIX Gaming OC Edition was quiet throughout our testing, despite overclocking and many hours of benchmarking.