GALAX GeForce RTX 4080 SUPER SG review

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Final words and conclusion

The GALAX GeForce RTX 4080 SUPER SG is a formidable graphics card, boasting substantial power and performance capabilities. Its imposing 3.5-slot cooler, although oversized for most standard PCs, excels at efficiently cooling the GPU. Remarkably, the card maintains temperatures mostly below 70 degrees Celsius. Adding to its cooling prowess, an optional 1-clip fan attachment allows for a further 2-degree reduction in temperature, enhancing overall thermal management. Alternatively, this additional cooling headroom can be harnessed to overclock the graphics card, resulting in noticeable performance improvements in terms of frame rate. The pricing of this card is anticipated to align closely with the suggested retail price of $999.We can appreciate that, it also makes the 'older' 4080 abundant, and as such NVIDIA will phase out its sales to be replaced with this SUPER model. Much like the entire 4000 series, the GeForce RTX 4080 also focuses heavily on Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) technology, with upgraded Tensor cores supporting DLSS 3.5. This enhancement is reported to double performance efficiency, and NVIDIA suggests potential future gains of three to four times with optimized game implementations. From a visual perspective, the graphics rendered on monitors are impressive, offering a high-quality visual experience. Another aspect of debate remains the 12VPWR power connector introduced with these cards. While the connector itself is deemed safe, issues (can) arise when bending the cables too near the connector, especially if the cables are of lower quality. This can create potentially hazardous situations. Our recommendation is to bend cables at least 3-4cm away from the connector, ensuring they are securely and tightly plugged in. Our tests, including FLIR imaging assessments, have not revealed any safety issues with the connectors on these cards. And we tested a lot of them by now. 

Geforce RTX 4080 SUPER:

  • CUDA Cores: 10240
  • Memory: 16GB GDDR6X at 23 Gbps
  • Total Graphics Power (TGP): 320W
  • Power Consumption: Approx. 246W during gameplay, 15W in idle
  • Key Features: 4K Full RT gaming, advanced AI capabilities
  • Expected Release Date: January 31

Performance

The performance metrics are clear, the GeForce RTX 4080 SUPER stands out, particularly in gaming performance and rendering quality. This card offers better value compared to the 4090, achieving high-level performance that facilitates 4K resolution gaming. It's ideal for enthusiast gamers who use Ultra-Wide HD (UWHD), Quad HD (QHD), or Ultra HD (UHD) monitors. The RTX 4080 features an advanced rasterizer engine that surpasses previous performance limits, thanks in part to its 10k Shading processors. Additionally, the RTX 40 series introduced a new generation of Ray tracing and Tensor cores, which have proven to be significantly more powerful. The core counts of RT and Tensor should not be the sole focus; their performance efficiency is what truly matters. Located near the shader engine, these cores have become more efficient, a fact that is evident in their output. While Tensor cores are often challenging to quantify, our observations indicate robust performance, as evidenced by the impressive results with DLSS3 technology. The GeForce RTX 4080 is versatile, delivering super performance (pardon the pun) at resolutions ranging from 2K (2560x1440) to 4K (3840x2160).


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Cooling & noise levels

The cooling design of this GeForce RTX 4080 SUPER is notably efficient. As a high-end gaming product, it naturally consumes a considerable amount of power. On average, a founder edition of the card uses about 280-320 Watts under full load, this one sits a notch higher. This power usage directly correlates to the amount of heat generated by the GPU inside a closed case. In terms of acoustics, the card reaches around 37 dBA under intense stress, which is a gradual process as the card slowly heats up. This noise level is within the typical range for such devices. Under stress, the GPU temperature can reach approximately 70°C, with variations depending on the airflow within the computer chassis. Thermal imaging tests reveal no alarming issues. However, it's important to note that custom versions of the card from different manufacturers may exhibit higher power consumption due to factors like increased Total Graphics Power (TGP), RGB lighting, and liquid cooling systems.

Energy consumption

We previously mentioned the power consumption of the GeForce RTX 4080 SUPER, which is notably high, especially in the context of rising energy prices. Our measurements indicate that the power draw under intense gaming conditions is around 280-325 Watts. This increased power consumption is the compromise for enhanced performance in this specific model of the graphics card. In typical gaming scenarios, the power usage can vary but often exceeds 275 Watts. It is anticipated that cards from board partners may exhibit even higher power consumption due to increased Total Graphics Power (TGP) allowances.

Coil whine

The presence of coil squeal in any GeForce RTX 4000 graphics card can vary, depending on the degree of the issue. It becomes audible when reaching high framerates, but typically remains at a manageable level. Within an enclosed case, this sound is likely to blend into the background noise. In our experience with this specific card, the coil squeal has been hardly noticeable by us.

Pricing

The suggested retail price for the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 SUPER, as set by the manufacturer, is $999 for the MSRP products. This price point is relatively high but far better than the original $1199, especially when considering that the ideal cost for a graphics card should be lower than that of a current gaming console. Add-in Board (AIB) versions, which offer more advanced products (relatively speaking), will likely get priced higher. It is expected that these models will cost an extra $50-100.  Now, I can say all kinds of rude things about prices, but these products will still sell no matter what I say. Anyway, this SG model should see at least a close to MSRP pricing. 

Tweaking

GALAX allows for a +18% on the power limiter.  The clock frequency can be safely increased by approximately +150-200 MHz, resulting in the GPU's boost clock reaching between 2900-3000. It's noteworthy that these frequencies can vary depending on the specific game title, as they dynamically adjust. The card's memory also shows potential for enhancement, capable of reaching up to 26 Gbps. These combined adjustments have yielded an approximate 7% increase in performance, especially in demanding GPU scenarios, compared to the baseline performance of the founder edition reference model.


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Conclusion

The GALAX SG GeForce RTX 4080 SUPER is a top-performing graphics card belonging to the ADA Lovelace generation. It features a substantial 16 GB of graphics memory, operating at 23 Gbps, coupled with an advanced triple fan cooling system. BTW the card features an ARGB header strategically located on its rear, offering enhanced accessibility compared to side-mounted designs. This choice in positioning simplifies connectivity and may benefit users in various assembly scenarios. The card's design is marked by attention to detail, evident in both its aesthetic and functional elements. An aluminum backplate contributes to the card's durability and aesthetic appeal, complementing the RGB LEDs that are present on the front and sides. These LEDs provide a visually appealing effect, adding to the card's overall design quality.The 16 GB graphics memory enhances bandwidth and capacity, accommodating high-resolution textures and large models, crucial for memory-heavy applications. The triple fan system ensures efficient and quiet cooling, appealing to users who prioritize both high performance and a sleek design. To balance cost and performance, GALAX employs a PCB design akin to the reference model and uses plastic in the cooler's construction to minimize manufacturing expenses. This approach makes the card more budget-friendly without compromising on performance. The design aesthetics of the card, however, are subjective and vary based on individual taste.  Regarding the GeForce RTX 4080 SUPER, its hardware and performance are commendable, but let's face it 2-3% extra performance is a little dull, no the true benefit of this release needs to be the lower pricing of $999. The ADA GPU architecture of the 4080 SUPER demonstrates proficient performance. It boasts about 1.5 times the raw shader performance compared to its predecessors, along with enhanced Raytracing and Tensor core capabilities. Technologies like Shader Execution Reordering (SER) and DLSS 3 further enhance the capabilities of the Series 4000, making it a standout product. Add to that features like DLSS 3.5 with ray Reconstruction and Frame generation and you are bound to be able to use this graphics card for years. The GeForce RTX 4080 is notable for its impressive performance numbers. It is particularly suitable for gamers who use Ultra HD or have a minimum monitor resolution of 2560x1440. For those who can afford it, the 4080 SUPER is a valuable addition to any high-end gaming setup. For instance, games like Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, when combined with DLSS 3.0, achieve over 100 FPS at high resolutions. Similarly, Cyberpunk in  UHD, raytracing, and DLSS 3.5, exceeds 100 FPS. The recent move towards Ray reconstruction also moved NVIDA into that sweet-spot. The card excels in Ultra HD gaming, whether using standard shading or a combination of hybrid ray-tracing and DLSS 3.0/3.5. The 4080 SUPER at $999 is now far more affordable than the 4080 , it still represents a significant financial commitment, offering remarkable performance. Fact remains fact though, that the RTX 4080 SUPER is an impressive graphics card that promises to deliver high satisfaction for years, though it comes at a high cost and with relatively high energy consumption. Additionally, the stand, available as an accessory, offers support for the card, acknowledging its substantial build. This stand can be considered a practical addition for users who require extra stability and support for their graphics card. In evaluating the GALAX GeForce RTX 4080 SUPER SG, its features and design elements stand out, especially when considering its price point close to the suggested retail price of $999 US. For consumers interested in acquiring an RTX 4080 graphics card, the GALAX GeForce RTX 4080 SG presents itself as a noteworthy option to consider.

- Hilbert, LOAD"*",8,1.

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