Gigabyte Aorus GeForce RTX 2070 Xtreme Review: Overclocked, Custom Outputs

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Gigabyte Aorus GeForce RTX 2070 Xtreme - Custom And Factory Overclocked

Post launch, NVIDIA’s board partners ramped-up their custom GeForce RTX designs relatively quickly. It’s not uncommon for some of the larger, premiere partners to have custom cards ready on launch day, but with the GeForce GTX series, some of them had literally dozens of different cards at the ready. Gigabyte didn’t hit the ground running quite as hard as some others right on launch day, but WOW has the Taiwanese manufacturer since hit its strike and shipped a wide array of GeForce RTX cards. The company’s website lists no less than 26 GeForce RTX 20-series graphics cards, including everything from small form factor mini-ITX models, on up to factory-overclocked, water-cooled beasts. The card we’ll be showing you here today, the Gigabyte Aorus GeForce RTX 2070 Xtreme, falls about in the middle of the stack and incorporates a handful of unique features.

At its core, the Aorus GeForce RTX 2070 Xtreme is obviously in the same class as other GeForce RTX 2070s, but Gigabyte definitely injects some special flavor, which helps this card stand out from the crowd. We’ve got the Aorus GeForce RTX 2070 Xtreme‘s main features and specifications outlined in the table below alongside NVIDIA’s reference cards, but will dig in deeper on the pages ahead. If you’re considering a new GeForce GTX 2070 and want something with some extra personality, you’re going to want to check this one out...
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Gigabyte Aorus GeForce RTX 2070 Xtreme
Specifications & Features

As we’ve mentioned in the past, the GeForce RTX 2070, 2080, and 2080 Ti are all based on different GPUs. Though they leverage the same underlying architecture and have similar feature sets (except for one), each GPU is configured differently and as a result offers a different level of performance.

As you can see in the specifications listed above, the NVIDIA Turing-based TU106 GPU powering GeForce RTX 2070 cards has fewer CUDA, Tensor, and RT cores than the higher-end, TU104-based GeForce RTX 2080, but it has an identical memory configuration. Step all the way up to the RTX 2080 Ti, and core counts increase once again, and the memory configuration is beefed up as well.
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The TU106’s reduced core count translates into a smaller die size, which in turn brings costs down versus its big brothers. One feature that’s also missing on TU106-powered GeForce RTX 2070 cards, however, is support for SLI with NVLink – there are no NVLink nor traditional SLI connectors on the board at all. According to NVIDIA, at the RTX 2070’s position in the product stack, multi-GPU configurations are much less common. Couple that with the decrease in popularity (and compatibility) of multi-GPU setups and NVIDIA decided to nix SLI support with the 2070.

In regards to the Gigabyte Aorus GeForce RTX 2070 Xtreme specifically, its GPU specifications exceed NVIDIA’s base model and Founder’s Edition GeForce RTX 2070s. The memory configurations and base clocks are in-line, but the Gigabyte card’s GPU boost clock is markedly higher at 1,815MHz. And there are a few other differences in terms of the card’s design as well, like a 10+2 power array for and lighted power indicators, for example.
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Like all of the other cards in Gigabyte’s GeForce RTX line-up, the Aorus GeForce RTX 2070 Xtreme features a totally new design that riffs off of some of the company’s previous “Windforce 3X” equipped models. This particular card, however, features a newly updated, more efficient, and more capable cooler, with an interesting fan configuration, and – of course – customizable RGB lighting.
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The Aorus GeForce RTX 2070 Xtreme features a stylized, metal back plate to add some rigidity and aid in cooler. The front side is essentially all cooler. The Windforce Stack 3X cooling system (as Gigabyte calls it), is packing triple 100mm double-ball bearing fans, with a stacked design – the center fan sits below the outer fans and spins in the opposite direction. Gigabyte claims this minimizes dead spots and turbulence and increases airflow. The GPU, memory, and power MOSFETs all make contact with the large heatsink on the card, and the heatsink itself features and array of heat-pipes and an angled fin design meant to wick heat away from the hottest running components and channel it away efficiently.
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The cooler on the card works very well as you’ll see a little later in the overclocking section. The cooler is also quiet for the most part (the fans will spin down completely when the card is not under load) and the fan tops and logos feature customizable RGB lighting. The overall design looks good in our opinion; it’s aggressive, without being overly gamer-gaudy, but it is wide. Like many other high-end GPUs, the Aorus GeForce RTX 2070 Xtreme is a 2.5 slot design.
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Gigabyte also did some cool stuff with the outputs on this card. Unlike most other GeForce RTX cards, the Aorus GeForce RTX 2070 Xtreme has 6 display outputs – 3 x HDMI and 3 x DisplayPort – plus USB-C / VirtualLink. Only four of the outputs can be used simultaneously, and the grouping is such that you may have to re-boot if changing your monitor setup with the system powered on, but the Aorus GeForce RTX 2070 Xtreme offers additional outputs, and hence more flexibility, nonetheless.
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Gigabyte also includes some cool stuff in the card’s bundle. In the box, you’ll find the requisite lit-pack and driver disc, along with a metal Aorus sticker / badge and additional mounting hardware should you need / want to add some supports to the card for your particular setup. Gigabyte calls the additional mounting hardware its “Aorus VGA Holder”. We should also note that if you register the card, Gigabyte is offering a 4 Year warranty, which is 1 – 2 years longer than some competitors.

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