Although NVIDIA just launched the Turing-based GeForce RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti last week, its board partners were at the ready with a wide array of custom offerings right out of the gate. We were lucky enough to show you a couple of custom cards from MSI and EVGA in our initial launch coverage, and today we’ve got a brand new combatant to evaluate from ASUS, namely the GeForce RTX 2080 ROG STRIX Gaming OC Edition.
As we’ve come to expect from ASUS, the GeForce RTX 2080 ROG STRIX Gaming OC Edition is about as extreme as an air-cooled GPU can get. Of course the card is factory overclocked, but ASUS also goes all-out with the cooler, power delivery, lighting, and some handy related features. Take a look at the card’s main features and specifications versus a few other GeForce RTX 2080s, and then we’ll dig in a little deeper and see what the ASUS GeForce RTX 2080 ROG STRIX Gaming OC Edition is all about...
The ASUS GeForce RTX 2080 ROG STRIX Gaming OC Edition has a beefy, over-the-top design rife with bold angles and sharp lines. It is not complete departure from some of ASUS’s larger ROG STRIX-branded cards in terms of its overall design language, but it is outfitted with a new, more powerful cooler and the custom PCB is tuned for optimal power delivery.
As mentioned, the ASUS GeForce RTX 2080 ROG STRIX Gaming OC Edition comes factory overclocked as well. Its GPU base and memory clocks are the same as NVIDIA’s reference spec, but its GPU boost clock in performance mode is 1860MHz – a slight bump up from the Founder’s Edition’s 1800MHz. ASUS also offers an overclocked mode through its software that bumps things up to 1890MHz, but if you’re going to overclock there’s a lot more headroom available than a paltry 30MHz – more on that later.
The ASUS GeForce RTX 2080 ROG STRIX Gaming OC Edition features new “axial-tech” fans that are IP5X dust resistant and have a longer a lifespan than traditional axial fans. Underneath those fans is a large, dense heatsink array linked to a highly-polished base plate with an array of heat-pipes. ASUS brands the baseplate as offering “MaxContact” technology, which is just a fancy way of saying the polish and smoothness of the heatsink’s baseplate allow it to make better contact with the GPU to optimize cooling performance. There’s also a stylized metal plate on the backside of the PCB to help dissipate heat and add some rigidity as well.
While on the subject of cooling, we should mention ASUS incorporated a tiny BIOS switch on the card that toggled between Performance and Quit modes. In performance mode, the fans on the card spin all of the time, so even though it’s quiet, some noise will be produced. In Quite mode though, when idle (or below a certain temperature threshold), the fans completely spin down and are dead silent.
And, of course there’s customizable RGB lighting on board too. Not only does the card have its own lighting, but there are headers to attach additional LEDs and there’s even a push button on the back to quickly shut the lighting off if you desire. All of the lighting can be controlled through ASUS’ Aura software as well.
Outputs on the ASUS GeForce RTX 2080 ROG STRIX Gaming OC Edition mirror NVIDIA’s design (3x DP, 1x HDMI, 1 x VirtualLink USB C), though the case bracket on this 2.75-slot wide card is very different. The supplemental power plugs differ as well. ASUS equips the ASUS GeForce RTX 2080 ROG STRIX Gaming OC Edition with a pair of 8-pin feeds to pump power into the card.