GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER GAMING OC 8G Review

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On our test bench today we have the RTX 2070 Super Gaming OC from GIGABYTE. Nvidia introduced the “Super” line of GPUs in late June of this year which, coincidently, coincided with AMD’s launch of their new Navi-based RX 5700 line of video cards. Speculation at the time was that this move was intended to counter AMD’s perceived price/performance staging of their soon to be launched RX GPUs.

AMD’s performance levels were mostly speculation at the time but rumored to be at or near the RTX 2070 with a similar price point. Whether or not these rumors were true, the RTX Super graphics cards were released intending to slide in between their base model (RTX 2070) and the next tier (RTX 2080). These cards were sporting an increased CUDA core count much like the “Ti” versions of the past, but these new Super cards also have increased RT and Tensor core counts.

The RTX 2070 Super we have here today is using a custom PCB. It sports an improved power delivery system compared to the reference model as well as GIGABYTE’s Windforce 3 cooling solution. We’ll run it through our usual battery of testing and see how it measures up to the competition and its siblings.

Specifications

The new RTX Super GPUs are based on the same optimized 16 nm node from TSMC called 12 nm FFN (FinFET Nvidia) using the same Turing architecture as the non-Super cards and included all the same features. The 2070 Super line uses the TU-104-410-A1 which is the same die used in the RTX 2080 series, but some of the cores have been disabled. This gives the RTX 2070 Super an elevated core count when compared to the RTX 2070 coming in at 2560 CUDA cores versus 2304. There are also 320 Tensor cores and 40 Ray tracing cores compared to 288 and 36 respectively.

The GIGABYTE RTX 2070 Super Gaming OC does have the same memory configuration as the reference model with 8 GB of GDDR6 a 256-bit bus which is clocked at 1750 MHz yielding 448 GB/s bandwidth. The Gaming OC from GIGABYTE does have some advantages, though, like a slightly faster boost clock reaching 1815 MHz compared to 1770 MHz for the FE (Founders Edition) card. This sample’s actual boost speed reached 2055 MHz consistently during testing and most likely due to the superior cooling solution used along with improved power delivery.

GIGABYTE RTX 2070 Super Gaming OC Specifications
GPU TU-104-410-A1
Architecture Turing
Process 12 nm FinFET NVIDIA (FFN)
CUDA Cores 2560
Tensor Cores 320
RT Cores 40
ROPs 64
Texture Mapping Units 160
Base Clock 1605 MHz
Rated Boost Clock 1815 MHz
Actual Boost Clock 2055 MHz
Memory 8 GB GDDR6
Memory Bandwidth 448 GB/s
Memory Interface 256-bit
Peak Texture Fill Rate 290.4 GT/s
Peak Pixel Fill Rate 116.2 GP/s
Outputs DisplayPort 1.4 x3
HDMI 2.0b
USB Type-CTM (support VirtualLinkTM)
TDP (Watts) 215 W
MSRP $549.99

GPU-Z

Below we have an image of GPU-Z v.2.24.0 confirming the specifications listed in the table above as well as showing the actual boost speed.

Features

As far as features go, the GIGABYTE RTX 2070 Gaming OC has all the extras you need starting with the Windforce 3X cooling system. Windforce 3X uses multiple techniques to deliver highly effective cooling with little noise.

This all starts with the three 82 mm fans and their unique design which effectively enhances the airflow. We also have Alternate Spinning Fans where the inside fan spins in the opposite direction of the outer fans which GIGABYTE says reduces the turbulent airflow created by three fans. We also have what GIGABYTE has labeled 3D Active Fan which provides semi-passive cooling allowing the fans to remain powered off while the GPU is in a low load or low power game.

The heatsink uses composite heat-pipes which combine thermal conductivity and phase transition to manage the heat transfer efficiently. These heat pipes snake their way through the fin array to the base of the heatsink where they are flattened to make direct contact with the GPU core. The pipes also cool the VRAM and MOSFETs through a baseplate and quality thermal tape which covers these vital areas.

There are LEDs on both the 8-pin and 6-pin PCIe power connectors to show the user if the card is receiving the proper power. If the light is on, the power cable is disconnected. If it is off, the power is stable, and blinking means abnormal power supply. The Gaming OC has also been given a full cover backplate to enhance the structure of the card for prolonged durability and protection.

GIGABYTE has also improved the power delivery on the Gaming OC stepping up to an 8+2 phase design. This allows the MOSFETs to operate at a lower temperature and each power stage is designed with over-temperature protection and load balancing. This all comes with a 4-year warranty for added peace of mind.

NVIDIA Turing Architecture

This revolutionary architecture combined with the all-new GeForce RTX platform, fuses together real-time ray tracing, artificial intelligence, and programmable shading. You’ve never created and enjoyed games like this before!

HEAT PIPES DIRECT TOUCH

The shape of the pure copper heat pipes maximizes the direct contact area with the GPU, enhancing heat transfer. The heat pipes also cover the VRAM through a large metal plate contact to ensure proper cooling.

ALTERNATE SPINNING

The GIGABYTE “Alternate Spinning” is the only solution that can solve the turbulent airflow of three fans. The biggest problem with the three fans is turbulence. Since the fans rotate in the same direction, the airflow direction is opposite between the fans, which will cause turbulent airflow and reduce heat dissipation efficiency. GIGABYTE turns the middle fan in the opposite direction, so that the airflow direction between the two fans is the same, reducing the turbulence and enhancing the airflow pressure.

EXTREME DURABILITY AND OVERCLOCKING

The graphics card uses the 8+2 power phase design to allow the MOSFET to operate at a lower temperature, and over-temperature protection design and load balancing for each MOSFET, plus the Ultra Durable certified chokes and capacitors, to provide excellent performance and longer system life. (Reference card is 7+2 power phases)

RGB Fusion 2.0

With 16.7M customizable color options and numerous lighting effects, you can choose lighting effects or synchronize with other AORUS devices.

Retail Packaging and Accessories

The retail packaging is quite typical for the Geforce RTX cards. The front of the box is dominated by the GIGABYTE mechanical eye and notes the model of the card. It also includes some of the features which are inherent to the Gaming OC model such as the Windforce 3X cooling and the 4-year warranty. Turning it over, we get a few more details on some of the features along with a list of minimum system requirements.

Sliding out the box within the box, we see a simple black box with GIGABYTE across the center. Once opened, it’s almost a deja-vu feeling with another smaller box that looks very similar. This one houses the accessories but seems to be more for padding the top of the graphics card. As for accessories, there isn’t much to note aside from the driver disc, quick install guide, and warranty reminder card. The extension from a 3-year to a 4-year warranty depends on you registering the product at GIGABYTE within 30 days of purchase.

Lifting out the accessory box reveals the GIGABYTE RTX 2070 Super Gaming OC enclosed in an anti-static bag and squeezed into the foam padding. You’ll see that GIGABYTE has included a handy little finger hole to help wrestle the card out of the padding. As simple as that sounds, it isn’t widespread, and it’s nice to see something like that added.

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Meet the GIGABYTE RTX 2070 Super Gaming OC

Pictured above is the GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 2070 Super Gaming OC; it’s a dual-slot card measuring 286.5 x 114.5 x 50.2 mm which should fit most mid-ATX cases, but it never hurts to check the clearance first.  The frame is quite open to accommodate the three 82 mm fans and unobstructed airflow. As you can see, the center fan’s blades are oriented in the opposite direction of the outer two fans. This is GIGABYTE’s “alternate spinning” technology which improves airflow over the rest of the cooler.

The card has a simple black and grey color scheme aside from the GIGABYTE logo on the solid metal backplate which is white. The only source of illumination is the GIGABYTE logo on the side of the card which is backlit by RGB LEDs and controllable through the RGB Fusion 2.0 software. There are two more LED’s, but these only light up if you have a power issue with the connections or your power supply.

A Closer Look

The RTX 2070 Super Gaming OC has the standard three Display port 1.4, HDMI 2.0, and USB Type-C for video output. The Gaming OC also has 6-pin and 8-pin PCIe power connectors allowing up to 300 W of power when combined with the PCIe slot.

Below you can see the RTX 2070 Super Gaming OC disassembled. On the left is a shot of the Turing TU-104-410-A1 die which is a pared-down version of the TU-104 die used on the RTX 2080. To the right, we have the contact surfaces of the cooler. In the center, we can see the “direct touch” composite heat-pipes through a square opening in the heat transfer plate together these cool the GPU die and VRAM. To the left, there are separate cooling plates for all the power bits, and high-quality thermal tape is being used in all areas.

Below we can see the power section of the RTX 2070 Super Gaming OC with its 8+2 phase design. Gigabyte uses their Ultra Durable chokes and capacitors along with OnSemi FDMF3180, 70 A smart power stages. The memory and GPU power are both controlled by separate UPI 8-phase uP9512P PWM controllers. Below is a slide show with some of the ICs found on the 2070 Super Gaming OC.

GIGABYTE 2070 Super Gaming OC Power section

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GIGABYTE RTX 2070 Super Gaming OC on the test bench showing off its back-lit GIGABYTE branding.

Test System and Benchmark Methods

Our test system is based on the latest mainstream Intel platform, Z370, and uses the i7-8700K 6c/12t CPU. The CPU is overclocked to 4.7 GHz on all cores/threads with cache set to 4.3 GHz. The clock speeds used provides an excellent base to minimize any limitations the CPU may have on our titles, particularly when using the lower resolutions, and should be attainable with a good air cooler or better. The DRAM is in a 2×8 GB configuration at 3200 MHz with CL15-15-15-35-2T timings which is a middle of the road option that balances performance and cost.

Test System Components
Motherboard ASUS ROG Maximus X Apex
CPU Intel i7 8700K @ 4.7 GHz / 4.3 GHz Cache
CPU Cooler EVGA CLC 240
Memory 2×8 GB G.Skill Trident Z 3200 MHz CL15-15-15-35
SSD Toshiba OCZ TR200 480 GB (OS + Applications)
Power Supply EVGA 750W G3
Video Card GIGABYTE RTX 2070 Super Gaming OC
Driver NVIDIA 431.60 Win10 64 WHQL

Thanks go out to EVGA for providing the CLC 240 CPU Cooler and 750 W G3 Power Supply to cool and power the system, G.Skill for the Trident Z DRAM, and Toshiba OCZ for the 480 GB TR200 SSDs storage running the OS, benchmarks, and games. With our partners helping out, we are able to build matching test systems to mitigate any differences found between using different hardware. This allows for multiple reviewers in different locations to use the same test system and compare results without additional variables.

   

Below are the tests we run with a brief description of the settings. We have made some significant changes since the last update adding a few new titles and dropping some of the older games. More details can be found in the GPU Testing Procedure article, which we have updated with our latest benchmarks.

  • UL 3DMark Time Spy – Default settings
  • UL 3DMark Fire Strike (Extreme) – Default settings
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider – DX12, “Highest” preset (will add RTX when it has been patched)
  • The Division 2 – DX12, Ultra preset, VSync Off
  • Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation – DX12, Crazy preset, GPU focused
  • Far Cry 5 – Ultra defaults
  • F1 2018 – Very High defaults, TAA, and x16 AF, Australia track, show FPS counter
  • World of Tanks: Encore Benchmark – Ultra defaults
  • Battlefield V  – DX12, Ultra defaults

Synthetic Benchmarks

Our first set of benchmarks hail from Underwriters Laboratories who acquired Futuremark back in 2014. Earlier in 2018, a rebrand occurred, and since that time, Futuremark is now UL. The benchmarks have not changed, just the name. We chose to stick with 3DMark Fire Strike (Extreme) and 3DMark Time Spy as these tests give users a good idea of performance on modern titles.

3DMark Fire Strike (Extreme) is a DX11-based test which UL says the graphics are rendered with detail and complexity far beyond other DX11 benchmarks and games. This benchmark runs at 1920×1080. 3DMark Time Spy is a DX12 benchmark designed for Windows 10 PCs. It supports new API features such as asynchronous compute, explicit multi-adapter, multi-threading, and runs at 2560×1440 resolution.

As you can see above, the 2070 Super Gaming easily our paces the RTX 2070 FE by over 10% in both Firestrike Extreme and Time Spy. Despite being the last generation, the 1080 Ti pulls ahead in FSE but drops behind in the Time Spy DX12 benchmark. This seems to be a common theme throughout our benchmarks, and it appears that the RTX series of GPUs handles DX12 a bit better than their predecessors.

Gaming Benchmarks

Moving on to the gaming benchmarks, we have updated our testing suite to bring more modern titles into the mix. Gone are GTA V, Crysis 3, and Rise of the Tomb Raider, which were replaced with Shadow of the Tomb Raider, World of Tanks: enCore benchmark, F1 2018, Battlefield V, and Far Cry 5. We also updated to The Division 2 and Ashes of the Singularity to AOTS: Escalation. The games should provide a good view of the overall performance of the card. Many of these are DX12 games.

 

Here again, we see the GIGABYTE 2070 Super easily outpacing the RTX 2070 and RX 5700 XT as well as trading blows with the RTX 2080. Once overclocked the Gaming OC is nearly at the stock RTX 2080 FE performance levels. Once again the GTX 1080 Ti is still in the fight topping all the cards in the World of Tanks benchmark and only one FPS below the overclocked RTX 2070 Super in F1 2018.

Testing during Far Cry 5 and The Division 2 results for the overclocked 2070 Super Gaming OC were almost identical to the RTX 2080 while topping the RTX 2070 FE by 10% in FarCry 5 and nearly 20% for The Division 2 benchmark. Even though it’s overclocked, these results are impressive.

Now, these two titles the results tighten up a bit, and the board is evening out. The Gaming OC is right in the top tier barely edged out by the 1080 Ti and RTX 2080 in Battlefield V while leading across the board in Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

The results for Ashes of the Singularity are right where we expected to place the 2070 super between the RTX 2070 and RTX 2080 while the 1080 Ti barely ekes out the lead.

BF V with Ray Tracing Results

Below we have battlefield V results comparing Ray Tracing off Vs on. Ray Tracing, even with the separate RT processing cores of the RTX GPUs, still takes a heavy toll on the FPS count when active. Aside from the RTX 2060 which didn’t quite hit the magical 60 FPS only 1080p resolution appears to be playable with all the eye candy set to maximum.

2560×1440 and 4K UHD Results

Below are the higher resolution results starting with 2560×1440 and 3840×2160 (4K UHD). These resolutions are more fitting for the cards we are testing as the 1080p results can have a ceiling on them from the CPU (even at 4.7 GHz).

Our high-resolution tests don’t include overclocked results for the RTX 2070 Super Gaming OC but still tells a similar story when comparing cards. The 1080 Ti outperforms the 2070 Super across all tests whether 1440p or 4K the one outlier is The Division 2 at 1440p. We also see the RX 5700 XT creep a bit closer as the resolution goes up. All of the cards appear to be very capable of handling 2560×1440 resolutions at playable frame rates.

Moving up to 4K UHD resolution, we can see most of the cards fall short of that magic 60 FPS number in just over half of our tests when using the highest quality presets available. Dropping some of the settings should make all of these titles playable at 4K and still look amazing.

Overclocking

Overclocking the GIGABYTE RTX 2070 Super Gaming OC gave us just over 100 MHz above the max-boost clocks resulting in a 2160 MHz boost. The memory is also overclocked from 1750 MHz to 1825 MHz. The added features, such as an improved power section and cooling pay off here. The Windforce 3X cooling, in particular, did a beautiful job of keeping the card cool never going over 63° C with a modest fan speed of 1500 RPM rendering it nearly silent even during heavy loads.

AORUS ENGINE

The utility that GIGABYTE includes for overclocking is called the AORUS Engine. Once installed on your PC it allows full control over your GPU. One thing that seemed a bit intrusive was its insistence on installing the RGB Fusion 2.0 application. This application isn’t necessary for overclocking, and you can say no. I’m simply not a fan of pop-ups.

Overall the software is easy to use, offering a manual setting or the auto scan which tries to determine an overclock through internal testing — taking out any guesswork if you’re unfamiliar with overclocking.

The Aorus Engine also includes a full suite of monitoring options which are customizable, allowing the user to set which options are displayed. These range from temperatures, voltages, and usage along with custom polling rate settings these become available by selecting the EDIT button on the graph page. The full list is in the picture below.

Temperatures and Power Use

We test power consumption by running through the game benchmarks of Shadow of the Tomb Raider and F1 2018 at stock speeds. We monitor temperatures throughout this testing with the peak temperature what is listed in the data below. In order to more accurately simulate real gaming conditions, the benchmarks are extended (time) to allow the card to settle.

As was mentioned earlier the Windforce 3X cooling from GIGABYTE works exceptionally well while remaining quiet and keeping the GPU cool. As you can see below that even while overclocked the temperature never goes over 63° C with a 1500 RPM fan speed as indicated in the overclock pictures above.

The power consumption was a bit higher than expected when comparing to other cards such as the RX 5700 XT. Considering it came in came in relatively lower on the same system. GIGABYTE recommends a 650 W power supply on their specifications page and as seen below with a maximum draw of 427 W during the F1 2018 benchmark while overclocked that would leave a nice buffer for the system.

Conclusion

Overall, the performance from the GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 2070 Super Gaming OC was impressive. The improved power delivery with additional high amperage power stages and the high-quality Ultra Durable chokes and capacitors is the first step in delivering clean power at lower temperatures. Combine that with GIGABYTE’s Windforce 3X cooling using Direct Touch heat-pipes and Alternate Spinning fans which kept the GPU cool and quiet even while overclocked makes a great team. These two features working together to keep things cooler and deliver clean power revealed some great boost clocks.

The RTX 2070 Super Gaming OC from GIGABYTE easily outpaced the RTX 2070 FE thanks to its increased core count and elevated boost clocks. This lead in performance expands even more once the Gaming OC is overclocked. Overclocking was quite easy, adding 115 MHz to the core and an additional 75 MHz to the memory moving it from 1750 MHz to 1825 MHz GDDR6. The resulting boost speed of 2160 MHZ pushed the performance very close to that of a stock RTX 2080 FE which is very impressive.

The pricing for the GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 2070 Super Gaming OC puts it between the RTX 2070 and RTX 2080 at $549 currently from Newegg. Pricing for the RTX 2070 runs between $450 and $500 with cards similar to the Super Gaming OC around $485. On the other end of the scale, the RTX 2080 AIB cards start at $650 and only go up from there. This makes the RTX 2070 Super a very attractive option when comparing the performance levels. Add to that the extras that GIGABYTE has added to their Gaming OC version and you have a great all-around package!

– Shawn Jennings (Johan45)

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