ASUS GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Matrix 11 GB Review 76

ASUS GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Matrix 11 GB Review

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Introduction

ASUS Logo

NVIDIA launched the GeForce RTX 20-series in September last year, with support for several new technologies, like machine learning and RTX Raytracing. This feature is so big for NVIDIA that it has changed the naming of their GeForce cards from "GTX" to "RTX". The company's new flagship ushered in new performance levels, delivering 4K 60 FPS in most titles because of enhancements made in the Turing architecture.

The GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is armed with 4,352 CUDA cores and 68 RT cores that accelerate real-time raytracing. Also included are 544 tensor cores that accelerate AI neural-net building, training, and inference. In the gamer context, tensor cores run NVIDIA's AI denoiser for DXR and enable the fascinating DLSS performance enhancement.

Today, we are bringing you the ASUS ROG GeForce GTX 2080 Ti Matrix Platinum review. ASUS Republic of Gamers Matrix is the company's apex graphics card brand reserved for the fastest GPUs of a generation. These cards have historically been equipped with the highest overclocking potential, hand-binned GPU and memory components, most effective cooling solution, and highest factory-overclock ASUS has to offer, which includes a memory OC as well. With the high-margin GeForce RTX 2080 Ti being priced enormously high, starting at $1150, it was only natural for ASUS to come up with the ROG Matrix product.



The ROG Matrix brand has also been the bleeding edge of ASUS's engineering muscle backed by the company's deep R&D pockets. With the ROG RTX 2080 Ti Matrix, ASUS has an answer to the ugliness problem of high-end graphics cards that come with factory-fitted closed-loop liquid cooling solutions. Instead of shipping the graphics card with a waterblock and separate radiator/fan combo, ASUS has decided to fully integrate their watercooling solution under the cooler shroud. This means the card's pump-block, a short pair of coolant tubes, and a radiator now sit right above the card's PCB and are ventilated by the cooler's three fans.

Underneath all this is a PCB that is identical to the PCB from their ASUS RTX 2080 Ti STRIX. ASUS explains that this gives them the opportunity to do binning from a large sample size—all STRIX PCB/GPU combos are tested and the top 5% make it on to Matrix cards.

The ASUS ROG GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Matrix competes with the crème de la crème of flagship GeForce RTX 2080 Ti graphics cards, such as the MSI RTX 2080 Ti Lightning Z, AORUS RTX 2080 Ti Xtreme WaterForce, and EVGA RTX 2080 Ti KINGPIN. At $1900, it's one of the most expensive graphics cards out there. In this review, we put the ASUS RTX 2080 Ti Matrix Platinum through its paces.

GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Market Segment Analysis
 PriceShader
Units
ROPsCore
Clock
Boost
Clock
Memory
Clock
GPUTransistorsMemory
RX Vega 64$400 4096641247 MHz1546 MHz953 MHzVega 1012500M8 GB, HBM2, 2048-bit
GTX 1080 Ti$7003584881481 MHz1582 MHz1376 MHzGP10212000M11 GB, GDDR5X, 352-bit
RTX 2070$4802304641410 MHz1620 MHz1750 MHzTU10610800M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
Radeon VII$8003840641802 MHzN/A1000 MHzVega 2013230M16 GB, HBM2, 4096-bit
RTX 2080$7002944641515 MHz1710 MHz1750 MHzTU10413600M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RTX 2080 Ti$11504352641350 MHz1545 MHz1750 MHzTU10218600M11 GB, GDDR6, 352-bit
ASUS RTX 2080
Ti Matrix Platinum
$19004352641350 MHz1800 MHz1850 MHzTU10218600M11 GB, GDDR6, 352-bit

Packaging and Contents

Package Front
Package Back






You will receive:
  • Graphics card
  • Driver disc
  • Documentation and stickers
  • Cable ties

The Card

Graphics Card Front
Graphics Card Back

The ASUS ROG RTX 2080 Ti Matrix is a large graphics card and sure to be the crown-jewel of your gaming build. It is 31.0 cm long and 13.5 cm tall, which could be a tight squeeze in some of the smaller mid-towers. As expected, a backplate is included, too.

Graphics Card Height

Installation requires three slots in your system.

Monitor Outputs, Display Connectors

Display connectivity options include two standard-sized DisplayPort 1.4, two HDMI 2.0b, and one USB-C VirtualLink.

NVIDIA has updated their display engine with the Turing microarchitecture, which now supports DisplayPort 1.4a with support for VESA's nearly lossless Display Stream Compression (DSC). Combined, this enables support for 8K@30Hz with a single cable, or 8K@60Hz when DSC is turned on. For context, DisplayPort 1.4a is the latest version of the standard that was published in April, 2018.

Since earlier this year, NVIDIA has enabled support for VESA Adaptive Sync (aka FreeSync) on all of their cards. While only a small number of FreeSync monitors have been fully qualified for G-SYNC, users can enable the feature in NVIDIA's control panel regardless of whether the monitor is certified or not.

Graphics Card Power Plugs

The board uses two 8-pin power connectors. This input configuration is specified for up to 375 watts of power draw.

Multi-GPU Area

With Turing, NVIDIA is using NVLink as a physical layer for its next-generation SLI technology. NVLink provides sufficient bandwidth for multi-GPU rendering at 8K 60 Hz, 4K 120 Hz, and other such bandwidth-heavy display resolutions. It's a point-to-point link between your GPUs, and so, latencies will be lower compared to pushing data through the PCI-Express bus.


The card has a dual-BIOS feature, with the second BIOS offering a "quiet" mode that runs the fans at lower speeds and also enables the fan-stop feature. The pump will keep running while the fans are off. Both BIOSes have identical clock and power limit settings.


ASUS provides an LED kill switch called "Stealth Mode", which lets you completely turn off all RGB LED lighting at the push of a button.


There are three interesting headers with this card; a 4-pin/3-pin RGB/aRGB header to connect additional lighting directly to the card and two 4-pin PWM fan headers for up to two case fans that sync up to your card's fan speed based on GPU temperature.


These consolidated voltage measurement points easily let you test various voltages of the card.

Disassembly


As mentioned before, the ASUS cooler contains a full watercooling solution comprised of waterblock, pump, and radiator. The copper base of the block is extremely large, letting ASUS cool not only the GPU, but the memory chips, which often only see minimal cooling with other watercooling designs.

The cooler packs a trio of what ASUS calls "Axial Tech Fans". These fans feature a barrier ring that runs along the periphery of the impeller to prevent lateral airflow and guide all of it axially (down on to the radiator and PCB).


For their waterblock, ASUS is using a dual-channel design with a very finely milled flow pattern.


The small base you see on these comparison images is from an Asetek waterblock, which is what most competing watercooling designs use. Here, you see how much bigger the ASUS block is.

Graphics Card Cooler Front
Graphics Card Cooler Back

With the main cooler removed, we get a better look at the card itself. The first detail we can make out is a large die-cast plate that sits on top of the card, covering it entirely.


The plate provides cooling for the VRM circuitry and also significantly improves the bending strength of the card, which completely eliminates any form of sagging.


Looking from the side, we can get a better idea of the sandwiched cooler design. On top, you have the waterblock with its copper base that is connected to the radiator below it (in the photo). Both are connected through the short straight-down piece of tubing on the left side of the block. To the right of the block, you see the pump with its power cable, which has a more classic-looking run of tubing connect to the radiator.


The pump is fairly compact in design and runs at a set speed all the time.


On the great-looking backplate, ASUS has included an RGB-lit ROG logo and a nicely milled surface structure.

On the next page, we dive deep into the PCB layout and VRM configuration.

High-resolution PCB Pictures

These pictures are for the convenience of volt-modders and those who would like to see all the finer details on the PCB. Feel free to link back to us and use them in your articles or forum posts.

Graphics Card Teardown PCB Front
Graphics Card Teardown PCB Back


High-res versions are also available (front, back).

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Jul 4th, 2022 10:46 EDT change timezone

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