In this article, we will be comparing the performance of two Nvidia GPUs, the 2070 Super and the 2080.
We’ll compare their specifications and performance metrics to give you a definitive look at which delivers better performance in areas like fps and resolution. Other specifications, including their dimensions, their cooling capacity, the VRAM in each, and the whole architecture behind them will also come into play.
When comparing the 2070 Super and the 2080, the question of their key differences quickly becomes one of which GPU you’d comfortably come back to use again and again.
The 2070 Super sits in the mid-range of the pricing spectrum, the 2080 towards the higher-end. But which of the two delivers the most graphical bang for your component-buck? Is it worth upgrading from a lower-end GPU to the middle of the pack with the 2070 Super? Do you get enough noticeable improvement from such a jump to justify spending the cash?
And given that the 2080 will cost you even more, what’s the differential in performance and graphical quality between the two? Worth your money, or not? Does the 2080 give you more gameplay wriggle-room for the hefty chunk of change it sets you back? Or would you be better advised to go 2070 Super now, and start saving for the next big game-changer?
We’ll compare the two GPUs to find you answers to those questions and give you a steer on which is the better option in particular circumstances.
Comparing fundamental architecture may not help us define the differences that make either GPU a better option. Both cards are built on Nvidia’s new Turing architecture, which means they share a fundamental thought and design process.
Headline clock speeds? No problem:
- Base Clock – 1605MHz
- Boost Clock – 1770MHz
- Base Clock – 1515MHz
- Boost Clock – 1710MHz
Memory Clock Speeds
- 1750MHz, 1400MHz effective
- 1750MHz, 1400MHz effective
Weirdly then, the cheaper of the two options starts off faster and maintains that lead into its boosted numbers. Quelle-the-heck? It’s worth remembering that the 2070 Super was the later of the two cards to be released, so it reaps up to a year’s reward in developmental speed. Still, it reads as good news for those preferring to stay mid-range for now.
The definitive point about the Turing architecture breaks its performance down into different cores for different jobs.
Splitting AI functions out into Tensor cores, and using dedicated RT cores to deliver smooth and – did we mention – gorgeous ray tracing, the Turing architecture is a smart internal time-saver that gives you smoother, more believably rendered graphics.
At least it would and will if the game design market as a whole had adopted the technology and built games that could make the most of the possibilities. It’s starting to do that now, though at launch, both the Nvidia cards were overloading their buyers with future potential – and making them pay for it too.
If it comes to a core-measuring contest, it won’t surprise anyone that the higher range card brings more to the party.
- Tensor Cores – 320
- RT Cores – 40
- Tensor Cores – 368
- RT Cores – 46
Where the architecture blew minds right from the beginning was in the use of Turing NVENC.
It’s an efficient way of encoding, which frees the casual streamer from needing a PC dedicated to their streaming.
Both the cards we’re comparing though bring the NVENC innovation to your gameplay, so with the 2070 Super taking the gold on clock speeds, and the 2080 waving its core-quantity in our faces, if we judged it purely on the architecture, this would be less flick-knives at dawn, more a face-slapping dance-off from a teenage musical.
Here’s an idea. Let’s not judge it purely on architecture.
Cooling is an important part of the equation if you’re planning to overclock your GPU.
As sold, interestingly, there are just 4 degrees between the maximum temperatures of the 2070 Super and the 2080.
The 2070 Super hits its maximum heat ceiling at 74 degrees. The 2080 – 78. Both have a TDP of 215W. In terms of fan noise, the 2070 Super hits 45.6dB, while the 2080 clocks in at almost 3dB higher, at 48.5dB.
While as sold, these numbers are fine for standard gameplay, the 2080’s figures give you little wiggle-room when it comes to high processor load and case airflow before some users report a slowing effect around the 80-degree mark.
You can add extra coolant factors to both GPUs, though, either in the form of additional air fans that can be curved to provide maximum cooling, or through water cooling systems.
Curved fan systems could take 5-10 degrees off your maximum temperature, while water cooling systems have been known to take 20 degrees or more out of the equation.
Whichever way you go, additional coolant systems should give you more headroom to overclock your GPU and better overall results without endangering the card or the board.
Always check the dimensions of any GPU before you buy it. There’s little sadder in this world than a doofus with a GPU that doesn’t fit.
Need a handy guide?
- Length – 9”
- Width – Dual slot
- Length: 10.5”
- Width – Dual slot
Most modern systems can take 10.5-inch cards, so you should be fine with either unless you’re building a micro-system, in which case, go with the 2070 Super, which stands a better chance of fitting. Dual slot is industry-standard now too, so unless your build is distinctly bespoke, you should have no issues there either.
In terms of power connectors, there’s nothing to choose between the two cards. They each take 1x six-pin and 1x eight-pin connector.
Resolution and FPS are where it’s at for graphics cards.#
iven the price differential, it will be no surprise that the 2080 takes gold here, with an overall effective 3D speed of 129%, while the 2070 Super is a significant 11% slower at 118%.
Base Clock Resolution/FPS
|Base Clock Resolution / FPS||2070 Super||2080|
On lighting effects, reflection, and NBody calculation, the 2080 is 9, 10, and 11 percent faster overall (166fps, 172fps, 142fps) than the 2070 Super (152fps, 157fps, 132fps). But then, just when you think you have a clear picture, the 2070 Super punches back with a marginally faster MRender number – 183fps, compared to the 2080’s 180fps.
Overclocked Resolution / FPS 2070 Super 2080
Lighting 165fps 186fps
Reflection 214fps 230fps
NBody Calculation 141fps 160fps
MRender 201fps 203fps
Overclock both cards, and 2080 sweeps the board, even reclaiming the MRender speed, by a practically undetectable 2fps.
In terms of ray tracing, if you had a standard RTX 2070 then going up to the 2070 Super will get you roughly a 10% ray tracing improvement without any relative increase in the cost of your card. The question becomes whether you want to pay roughly the same amount again for just that 10% increase.
Similarly with the 2080, if you were previously using a 1080, you’ll get a 20% bump in FPS with ray tracing for a comparatively large price increase. Again, the question is whether it’s enough to make you jump from one to the other. Either way, the Turing architecture and the way it handles ray tracing has got to be worth a look if you’re upgrading from anything previous – but which way you jump is up to you.
To game with a decent degree of stutter-free effectiveness at 1080p resolution, you’re going to need a GPU with a minimum of 8GB for the latest releases.
Both the 2070 Super and the 2080 scrape through that qualification by the skin of their electronic teeth. That means that while each of them can deliver 1080p gaming and 4K gaming now, there’s practically nothing left in either tank to meet the next quantum leap in game development. That’s a slightly odd realization when the likes of the Turing architecture is waiting for the next leap in gaming development.
The battle between the 2070 Super and the 2080 is not some epic battle between an underpowered underdog and a forward-looking behemoth ready to smash all records in its way.
And that’s odd.
By most useful metrics, the 2080 should be expected to walk away with the honors. And by plenty of those metrics, it does – but only just.
The question then becomes whether it’s better enough to justify the price differential between the 2070 Super and the 2080.
The answer to that depends not on any detail of the two cards, but on your own psychology. If you’re a buyer who needs to squeeze every inch of advantage out of your card, and if for your own reasons you’ve narrowed it down to one of these two, then by all means kiss your cash goodbye, get and fit your shiny 2080, and enjoy.
Will it give you a better experience? Technically, yes, it will, on some key metrics. And if you feel the glow of gaming satisfaction that comes with having the muscle car option, more power to you and rave on.
If, though, you’re the kind of gamer who enjoys looking at comparison tables, you might well consider that the 2080 doesn’t give you enough turbo power over the 2700 Super to warrant the price jump from mid-price to lower-high-end.
In which case, save yourself some cash, settle in for a weekend’s gaming with your 2700 Super, and prepare to feel the happiness of the cash still in your pocket. Chances are, you’re not going to notice the differences in gameplay – or at least, not enough to make you fork over the rest of the cash for around a 30% upgrade.