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    ROG Strix RTX 2080 Overclocking Guide

    NVIDIA's Turing is chock full of new technology. Real-time ray tracing holds remarkable promise for both enthusiasts and developers alike. Being able to render accurate reflections and refractions is a subtle yet crucial piece of the puzzle that brings us closer to the benchmark of photorealism. Knowing that we're primed for future games is certainly reassuring, but with all these new features it can be easy to lose sight of the RTX 2080's incredible raster performance, which safely leaves the GTX 1080 in the dust. The timing of this release couldn't be more pertinent, as the next wave of monitors and VR headsets promise higher resolutions and refresh rates, demanding faster GPUs to deliver fluid gameplay. While Turing delivers a sizeable performance boost, enthusiasts that stay on the bleeding-edge of display tech will want to know how to squeeze every ounce of performance from the architecture. In this guide, we walk you through the process with the ROG Strix 2080...


    ROG Strix 2080 Overview

    Everything about Turing is colossal. The 2080 die measures 545 mm², making it 15% larger than its Pascal relative. This silicon expanse is bursting with NVIDIA's revolutionary Tensor Cores, generating thermal output that demands better cooling than its Pascal predecessor. DirectCU III meets these requirements by extending card dimensions to 2.7 slots.

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    Most of that real estate is taken up by the heatsink, which connects to a precision-machined cooling plate that efficiently siphons heat away from the GPU die. The aluminum fin stack has 20% more surface area than former generations and is augmented by a sleek anodized brace that takes the brunt of the weight to reduce strain on the PCB.

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    On top, the shroud surrounds all-new Axial Tech IP5X-certified fans sporting a smaller hub and longer blades with barrier rings to improve air dispersion through the entire heatsink array.

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    To improve chassis airflow, the card also has FanConnect II headers that permit connection of two DC or PWM chassis fans. Speeds can be controlled by GPU or CPU temperatures, ensuring optimal cooling whether the system is running games or crunching through application workloads.

    The 5050 RGB header also makes a return, paired with onboard light bar accents and an illuminated logo on the card's backplate. These can all be controlled with Aura software, allowing colors and effects to be synchronised with a range of compatible gear.

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    Along the front edge of the card there's a small SMT switch that can be toggled to select a Performance or Quiet BIOS. The latter keeps fans dormant until 55ƒ€š‚°C, and then engages an RPM curve tailored to minimise noise.

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    The RTX series finally does away with SLI connectors and replaces them with the NVLINK technology championed on Quadro. That's because SLI data transported over an HB Bridge is limited to a bandwidth of 2GB/s, which may create performance bottlenecks at ultra-high resolutions. Geared for next-gen displays, NVLINK on the 2080 boasts a bandwidth of 25GB/s using NVIDIA's proprietary High-Speed Signalling interconnect (NVHS).

    Placed near the NVLINK connector, there's another SMT button that allows RGB lighting to be switched off for a stealthier appearance. Please note that this setting is only retained if the Aura Graphics software is installed on the system.


    Precision Engineering

    All Strix cards are manufactured using Auto-Extreme technology, a fully automated assembly process used to precisely install and solder all SMT and through-hole components in a single pass. This exposes them to less heat and delivers optimal contact between each device and the PCB, ensuring all cards meet the high standards users expect from the Strix series.


    Connectivity

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    Taking inspiration from the ROG motherboard line, a new matte black I/O shield can be found at the rear. Connection options include two HDMI 2.0b, and two VESA Display Stream Compression (DSC 1.2) and 8K/60Hz compatible ports. More strikingly, there's a USB Type-C connector dubbed VirtualLink that's capable of supplying up to 27 Watts of power and transmitting data at 10Gbps. The port is designed to reduce VR I/O port requirements by combining up to four HBR3 DisplayPort lanes through a single cable, making Turing a sound investment for next generation headsets.

    Power Delivery

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    To ensure stability under all loads, power delivery is handled by a 10-phase VRM array that features 70A power stages, SAP II chokes, and solid polymer capacitors. The entire array is fed by an improved power plane that draws power from two eight-pin power connectors. Nearby, there are six read points that make it easy to measure all major voltage domains with a digital multi-meter.



    GPU Tweak II takes on Turing

    To overclock the Strix, we need to install GPU Tweak II. Featuring an intuitive UI, this opens control of all the elements needed to extract the most from the card. This section breaks down all the key features and their function (advanced users can skip this section).


    GPU Tweak II Download (You will need version 1.8.7.0 as a minimum for Turing support)

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    Gaming Mode: Sets thee GPU clock to 1860MHz. This is the default preset.

    Silent Mode: Sets the GPU clock to 1830MHz, with a reduced power target of 90%.

    OC Mode: This mode sets the GPU clock to 1890MHz whilst increasing the power target to 125%. This is the most aggressive profile.

    My Profile: A quick selection option for your saved profiles.

    0dB Fan: When paired with the Strix or other compatible cards, this feature engages passive cooling until a temperature of 55ƒ€š‚°C. This mode is only accessible when Silent Mode is enabled.

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    Professional Mode: Professional Mode is designed for advanced users, providing control of all the card's faculties through an intuitive panel.

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    GPU Boost Clock: Sets an offset for the GPU boost clock. When the card is under load, the maximum operating frequency is determined by GPU core temperature and power draw. At stock settings, the RTX 2080 Strix will boost to around 1950MHz. GPU Boost 4.0 allows us to define all available voltage points. This feature is accessible by clicking User Define

    Memory Clock: This controls the offset for the memory clock. Typically, Micron GDDR6 can achieve a 600MHz to 1100MHz overclock, taking it beyond the 2GHz barrier. While that sounds impressive, memory bandwidth has little impact on game performance. Users that have a 4K display or favor downsampling may see some benefits, though. Memory-related instability will normally manifest in an application or as a system hang. To simplify debugging, it's best to overclock memory after achieving a stable GPU core overclock.

    Fan Speed: With GPU Tweak II, it's now possible to adjust left and right fan speeds independently to the central fan, providing better control over cooling and acoustics. Although one can create a custom fan curve, the default fan profiles deliver the perfect balance between noise and performance. I found no need to modify this throughout testing.

    GPU Voltage: On Turing, GPU core voltage increases are expressed as a percent scale that references multiple points. By default, these upper voltage points are locked. Once the voltage offset is increased, the upper points are unlocked, providing additional headroom. The maximum voltage on Turing is 1.068v.

    Power Target: Increasing this setting allows the GPU to draw additional power. Turing is especially power constrained, so even if you do not plan on overclocking it's worthwhile setting this slider to maximum. Note that it the % scale means very little when comparing with other GPUs because the base TDP varies. The Strix can draw a maximum of 245W when the target is set to 125%.

    FPS Target: No real introduction needed. It's recommended to set the target to one or two frames below that of the refresh rate of your display. For non-G-Sync users, this is recommended in order to avoid screen tearing.

    GPU Temp Target: This sets the maximum GPU temperature. When the applied value is reached, GPU voltage and frequency will be reduced so that the core temperature threshold is not breached. The Strix cooler keeps temps between 50-70C under load (recorded with an ambient temp of 21C). The Strix 2080's huge cooling capacity allows the power target to be used as a priority.

    Tools:
    This section can be used to install the Aura Graphics utility, which provides full control of the card's RGB lighting. The utility can be run independently or users can install the regular Aura software to sync lighting with compatible hardware.

    Game Booster: When performance is key, having anything unnecessary running in the background is frowned upon. This option automatically adjusts the visual appearance of Windows for best performance and disables unnecessary services.

    Xsplit Gamecaster: Allows both streaming and recording, an overlay, and GPU Tweak II profile switching. The free version is limited to 720p and 30FPS recording.

    Monitor: Allows monitoring of vital stats. By clicking the expand button, items can be rearranged or discarded. A logging feature that records stats is also available.

    OSD: GPU Tweak II now features an on-screen display that enables statistics to be tracked in real time. Preferred stats, text color, and size can be selected from the monitor tab. This can be particularly useful when establishing an overclock because it allows tracking of the GPU Boost Clock and power limits. When starting out, the metrics ticked in the image below are of use:

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    Last edited by Raja@ASUS; 12-29-2018 at 08:59 AM.

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