Palit GeForce RTX 2080 Super JetStream Review

October 12, 2018 | 13:00

Tags: #cuda-core #dlss #geforce-rtx-2080 #gpu #graphics-card #rt-core #tensor-core #turing

Companies: #nvidia #palit

Performance Analysis

Even with its bulky cooler and factory overclock, the RTX 2080 Super JetStream is still only able to best the Founders Edition card by a mere three percent on average. It will be a very good performer in 4K, but some titles will still prove too much, so we’d say 1440p is the best match. Note that there was still a bug in the Nvidia driver we tested with causing the poor minimums in Total War: Warhammer II.

The RTX 2080 vs GTX 1080 Ti debate rages on as well. This card is five percent quicker than a GTX 1080 Ti OC model on average, but that figure hides more interesting comparisons. For example, it’s actually slightly slower on average in DirectX 11 tests, but it is much faster in our Vulkan test and in the VRMark DX12 run, Cyan Room. These APIs are closer to the metal, and thus are more likely to enable the Turing architecture to flex its muscles. The GTX 1080 Ti also closes the gap when you compare only 4K tests, which is perhaps not surprising when you note it has more ROPs, more raw memory bandwidth, and 3GB more memory.

As software struggles to keep up with hardware, we’re still unable to test RTX (ray tracing) or DLSS (deep learning super sampling) in proper game scenarios. RTX is really an unknown entity at this point regarding performance, but we did test DLSS in a canned Final Fantasy XV demo. The results were very promising for GeForce RTX hardware, but we’d say inconclusive at this stage. Still, if you’re a believer, these are reasons to consider the RTX 2080 above the GTX 1080 Ti.

Thermal performance is right in line with the Founders Edition card, and neither model shows any sign of major throttling. Palit’s advantage comes in noise, since it’s able to run the fans here slower (about 1,450 RPM versus about 2,000 RPM) and quieter than the Nvidia card. The difference isn’t massive, but it is there. On the flip side, the Palit card is indeed more power hungry by about 20W or so at stock speeds.

Overclocked, we managed to squeeze extra performance out of the Palit card in the region of five to eight percent. However, this is right in line with what we also achieved with the Founders Edition card. The power consumption when overclocked is also very similar, which is perhaps surprising given the additional power headroom theoretically available on the custom card. The cooler again proves it’s got some power, as at the new faster speeds, not much changed in terms of temperature or noise.

Conclusion

We’ve been unable to nail down a proper UK price for this exact card, as it doesn't appear to be on sale anywhere. We do have an MSRP of £800, but given that the slower version (JetStream rather than Super JetStream) also retails for £800, we’d say you’re looking at £820 to £850 for this card, which is £70 to £100 more than the Founders Edition. Taking the more generous £820 here, you're looking at a nine percent price hike over the FE, for which you have to live with a larger and more power hungry card that lacks the exceptional Founders Edition build quality, but on the other hand you do get lower noise output, a dual-BIOS switch, marginally faster performance, more power phases, and – assuming it can be made to work properly – RGB lighting. Another thing that's lacking, though, and something that we've seen bundled with other cards, is something to help combat the weighty card's considerable sag.

Again, we see that a board partner is left in a tough position thanks to the (relatively) low price of the FE card versus its quality. Nvidia has reduced the headroom partners can get in performance and cooling, and it shows. Palit’s card certainly isn’t bad, but nor is it sufficiently awesome to absolutely justify its price premium over the FE variant, although we can see it doing so for some customers depending on their exact priorities. The closer you can find it to £800 the better, but it's also left struggling in the face of there still being good reasons to opt for the GTX 1080 Ti over the RTX 2080, especially now that decent GTX 1080 Ti cards are retailing for well below £700.


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