Last year, we wrote an overclocking article about the GeForce RTX 2070 Super FE capabilities. In the interim, we’ve realized that it’s about time for us to work our way through the current generation of video cards on the market and do an overclocking article on each so you can see how much headroom each card will have and what performance gains you can expect. These overclocking articles will also serve as a basis for our comparison to retail cards as we strap them to the test bench over the next few months.
Our Overclocking Methodology
Overclocking video cards can sometimes be more of an art than a science as there are a number of ways to go about finding the best combination for performance as well as different ways to evaluate the stability of an overclock. To complicate matters further, the final overclocked speed is not what we dial in as our settings but rather what the card will boost to based upon actual gameplay, available power, and thermals.
For the NVIDIA RTX Founders Edition cards, we will approach the overclocking by boosting the power limit to maximum levels within MSI Afterburner (including using the extended range options) and then start increasing the GPU clock speed until we find the highest stable value. We will then do trial and error to see what, if any, additional performance we can get from adding additional voltage to the GPU. Once we’re set with the most we can expect from the GPU, we turn to the memory with a stock GPU clock and see what it can do. Once we find these individual values, we work on increasing them in tandem until we find the best performing combination between the GPU overclock and memory overclock.
An overclock can be considered stable when multiple hours of several different games can be played on it without it crashing. Over the years, we’ve found that synthetic benchmarks or testing a single game is not an effective way to determine the stability of an overclock, so we take our time to make sure that we can throw any task at it without crashing. As a result, our highest achieved overclocks may end up being lower than you see elsewhere and that’s simply due to our stability bar being set higher.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080Ti Founders Edition
Let’s recap what the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition is all about as it has been a while since its September 19, 2018 launch. The GeForce GTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition launched at a suggested retail price of $1199 which represented a $200 premium over the suggested retail price for the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti reference specification. Over the past year and a half, we’ve seen most vendors selling cards at about the same price point as the Founders Edition. The Founders Edition allows for a slightly higher Graphics Card Power (260W vs. 250W) and higher boost clocks than the standard 2080Ti GPU (1635MHz vs. 1545MHz).
Aside from the above differences, the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition shares the same 11GB of 14GHz GDDR6 memory, the 352-bit memory interface, 88 ROPS, 4,352 CUDA cores and 544 Tensor cores using the Turing TU102 GPU with reference specifications. It sports two 8-pin PCIe power connectors, twin fans, three DisplayPort, one HDMI and one USB Type-C connection.