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Gigabyte RTX 2070 Super Gaming OC Review

Joseph Bradford Posted: Sep 2, 2019 4:07 PM
Category:
Hardware Reviews 0

Nvidia’s RTX line up for cards recently underwent a shakeup, with the Super variety of their standard cards sometimes taking the place of the original models. The RTX 2070 is one to suffer this fate. The 2070 Super is effectively replacing the 2070 base model of card. Enter Gigabyte’s RTX 2070 Super Gaming OC edition GPU. This monster GPU aims to give gamers a viable, factory overclocked solution at a lower price than other 2070 Super cards. But does it deliver?

 

Specifications

  • Interface: PCI Express 3.0 x16
  • Core Clock: 1815 MHz
  • RTX OPS: 53
  • CUDA Cores: 2560
  • Effective Memory Clock: 14000 MHz
  • Memory Type: 8GB GDDR6
  • Memory Interface: 256-bit
  • Memory Bandwidth: 448GB/s
  • Max Resolution: 7680 x 4320 @60HZ
  • SLI Support: 2-way NVIDIA NVLINK
  • VR Ready? Yes
  • Cooler: WINDFORCE 3X
  • Recommended PSU: 650W
  • Power Connector: 1 x 8-pin, 1 x 6-pin
  • Ports: 1 x HDMI 2.0b, 3 x DisplayPort 1.4, USB-C Connector
  • Max Monitor Support: 4
  • Cost: $499.99 via NewEgg

Initial Thoughts

At first glance, the RTX 2070 Super from Gigabyte looks massive, especially compared to my EVGA 2070 Super. The triple fan design lends itself well to keeping the card cool under pressure, and Gigabyte always makes their cards look stylish.

The metal backplate is also a nice touch, and I’m happy to see more and more GPU manufacturers adding that feature by default. The massive heatsink makes the card feel a bit thick, even compared to other triple-fan cards I own such as the AMD Radeon VII, and the GPU does sag a fair bit when installed in my PC. That happens with the VII and my MSI 2070 ARMOR cards, so it certainly isn’t anything new.

The Gigabyte 2070 Super also has support for Gigabyte’s RGB app, RGB Fusion 2.0. It’s really nothing to call home about – while the app itself is nice and integrates all the compatible RGB in your PC, the implementation on the card is limited to the name plate, which is a shame if you’re an RGB enthusiast.

But how does it stack up? Let’s find out.

Testing

Test Bench: Intel i5-9600K (OCed to 4.3GHz), Gigabyte Aorus Gaming Pro Z390 Motherboard, Corsair H100i Liquid Cooler, Corsair RGB 16GB-DDR4 RAM @ 3200MHz, Samsung 128GB 970 SSD Boot Drive, Patriot Viper VPN100 512GB M.2 NVMe SSD Game storage drive, Thermaltake 850 W Toughpower RGB PSU, Corsair Carbide 400C Case

In our testing, we were able to pit the Gigabyte RTX 2070 Super Gaming OC edition up against three other GPUs: the EVGA RTX 2070 Super XC, the MSI RTX 2070 ARMOR OC, and the AMD Radeon VII. The 2070 Super is meant to have comparable performance with the original 2080, but unfortunately due to the nature of our outlet we don’t have a massive roster of GPUs for everyone to pull from. This is why I think the AMD Radeon VII comparison is valid, as this is a card that was billed as a direct competitor to the RTX 2080. Additionally, as AMD’s flagship card, it’ll be interesting to see how it compares to Nvidia’s new line and whether or not the RTX Super is a value compared to the more expensive and – on paper – more powerful AMD GPU.

Synthetics

We typically test the synthetic benchmarks to get an overall idea of how each card will fare. While these results are not 100% indicative of how the card will run in real world applications, it’s a great way to see how they perform at their limits against each other. For these tests we used 3dMark’s Time Spy DX 12 benchmark and Firestrike, a DX 11 benchmark at their default settings.  

In Time Spy, we see the EVGA 2070 Super pull ahead of the pack by a respectable margin, however the Gigabyte Gaming OC is right there behind its RTX brethren. AMD typically handles DX12 applications really well compared to Nvidia historically, so it is interesting to see it beat out by both 2070 Supers, and not by negligible margins. The base level 2070 rounds out the pack with respectable numbers, but falling behind the Radeon VII.

Firstrike is where we see the more expensive Radeon VII lead the pack, with the Gigabyte and the EVGA trading blows. The Gigabyte beats out the EVGA and MSI cards in graphics, though not much over the EVGA, and while its physics score lags behind both of the 2070 cards it’s up against, it’s a good showing for the Gigabyte Gaming OC.

Gaming Tests

For the gaming tests, we tested a few of the hard hitting games on the market. In general, we run each benchmark three times and provide the average of the three runs, allowing 20 minute cool down periods in between each run. All games are running with max settings with the exception of anti-aliasing, as it can introduce an unwanted performance hit. So for Anti-aliasing we kept the setting to the base FXAA, turning off MSAA or any other options off when possible.

This will provide a great benchmark to see exactly where the Gigabyte 2070 Super sits compared to the past 2070 model, its fellow Super models as well as the best the competition can offer. We elected to test only 1440p and 4K as most consumers purchasing a card such as this are looking for higher framerates at higher resolutions.

There really isn’t much variance at 1440p between the four cards, except for Rise of the Tomb Raider. While and older game, it still hits the GPU pretty hard and is a great DX12 test – and here we see the Gigabyte narrowly edge out the EVGA with the top number, as well as smashing the base level RTX 2070. Additionally, the Total War: Three Kingdoms benchmark startled me, with it performing a full 11 frames better on average than the EVGA competition, and leaving the AMD and MSI in its wake.

GTAV and FFXIV’s results had fewer variances, with the 2070 Super lagging behind in Rockstar’s epic, while taking the mantle in Square Enix’s intense MMORPG.

At 4K it’s much the same story. Again, surprising is the Total War: Three Kingdoms number, but it is consistent with the 1440p result. We see essentially parity among the two 2070 Supers and the AMD card, with the MSI 2070 lagging behind each step of the way.  

Throughout all of this testing, using stock fan curves, the GPU temp never rose above 72C.  And even with three fans chugging away, Gigabyte’s WINDFORCE design has them spinning quietly. As someone who doesn’t always wear headphones while gaming, this is nice as it is so distracting sitting next to a tower that sounds like a jet engine just keeping itself warm.

Overclocking

Admittedly, I hate overclocking my cards. I had a few bad experiences in high school and my early twenties frying both a CPU and a few GPUs before I finally just gave up. Thankfully, the design of these cards make it relatively easy to figure out a stable overclock to eke out the extra performance you are paying for. Keep in mind the Gigabyte RTX 2070 Super Gaming OC already sports a factory overclock, so there may not be as much headroom as there might be on a standard card from Nvidia.

We used a methodology inspired by Gamers Nexus, running the Time Spy Extreme DX12 benchmark at their default settings with Async ON. We ran multiple runs of the card, slowly increasing the following specs until we hit a point of no return, which we would walk back until we hit the sweet spot. We’d then move onto the next item on our list until a stable OC was achieved. Keep in mind, Memory Clock and offset are double data rate, and any values should be doubled. This means that a +500 offset to the memory actually means a +1000MHz offset.

  • Power Limit and Temp
  • Core Clock
  • Memory Clock

For this card I ran into a few stumbles. While early on when Time Spy would crash, it would simply crash he app. However, as I started to get towards the threshold of each line item, the crashes would affect the whole PC. Meaning I’d have to replicate the test to pull any data I could from the crash. At one point too it looked like a +140 offset to the core clock would be stable, however as I moved on the memory tests we ran into crashing no matter what the memory offset was. I dialed it back to a +125 offset which proved to be the most stable.

In the end, I was able to achieve a stable overclock with a +125 on the core and +850 to the Memory Clock, which was a lot more headroom than I expected to see. During this run, we achieved an average of 2035 MHz in the core clock frequency, though it did max out in those tests around 2065. The WINDFORCE cooling design really makes itself known here, again never rising above 72C in temps.

Using Nvidia’s Scanner, we were able to achieve a stable OC with +75 core offset and 1.037 core voltage. Keep in mind that the Nvidia Scanner does not affect memory clocks, power and temperature, so you’ll want to max out the power and temp sliders and save the profile in MSI Afterburner. The OC scanner isn’t the most robust OC your card can perform at, but it’s definitely a great option for those who are skittish about fine tuning their OC but still want some extra performance.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts

The Gigabyte RTX 2070 Super Gaming OC is a fantastic card, especially for the money. It competes directly with other, more expensive RTX 2070 Supers on the market, is a step above the base model and even holds its own with a $700 graphics card by the competition. Additionally, the card handles well in Ray tracing applications, something the AMD card simply cannot do right now.

When booting up Control by Remedy this past week during testing, the Ray Tracing in that game is literally transformative. The 2070 Super handles it well, provided you’re willing to take a performance hit and drop a few settings to achieve all the traced rays. I found myself playing at 1080p with Ray Tracing at its max to get the most out of the experience, but thanks to this being PC you can tailor your experience to how you want. DLSS in Control provides some extra headroom of you want to get a crisper image and not take he performance hit natively rendering at the higher resolution would bring.

Compared to the EVGA card, the Gigabyte is a steal. It’s less expensive and it’s in stock at its MSRP, something I’ve still not found with the EVGA version. The Gigabyte RTX 2070 Super also showcases that the AMD Radeon VII, while not a bad card, can be outstripped by the competition’s lower priced items, making the 2070 Super the better buy. When you add in the value add of Ray Tracing, whether you believe it to be a gimmick or too much a hit on performance, it makes the 2070 Super line much more compelling.

The Gigabyte RTX 2070 Super Gaming OC is a great card for the money, and if you’re looking for RTX features but don’t want to step into the 2080 Super or 2080 ti prices, then this should be on your shopping list.


Pros:

  • Great overclocking headroom
  • Consistent performance compared to competition
  • Quite and cool, despite 3 fans

Cons:

  • RGB could be more robust
  • GPU sag is a concern

Full disclosure: The card reviewed in this piece was provided by the manufacturer for the purposes of this review.


lotrlore

Joseph Bradford

Joseph has been writing or podcasting about games in some form since about 2012. Having written for multiple major outlets such as IGN, Playboy, and more, Joseph started writing for MMORPG in 2015. When he's not writing or talking about games, you can typically find him hanging out with his 10-year old or playing Magic: The Gathering with his family. Also, don't get him started on why Balrogs *don't* have wings. You can find him on Twitter @LotrLore