With all of the GPU launches this summer it has been exciting to see the aftermarket cards trickle in as well. The RTX 2070 SUPER performed really well in my initial review of the Founders Edition card. Well, Gigabyte sent over their RTX 2070 SUPER Gaming OC 8G and I have been putting it to the test. Today I’m going to check out what Gigabyte is doing differently with theirs compared to the Founders Edition. I’m also curious to see how the extra overclock will compare with the RX 5700 XT as well. All in all, today I’m going to find out if the RTX 2070 SUPER Gaming OC 8G is the 2070 SUPER to get, let’s take a look.
Product Name: Gigabyte RTX 2070 SUPER Gaming OC 8G
Review Sample Provided by: Gigabyte
Written by: Wes Compton
Pictures by: Wes Compton
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I always take a look at GPU-Z to confirm that the listed specifications for the card match what I am seeing. The RTX 2070 SUPER Gaming OC came with an 1815 MHz boost clock which is 45 MHz higher than the stock clock speed. Not a huge overclock, but a bump at least. GPU-Z also documents which driver I tested with, the memory type, and the BIOS revision our card had for future reference.
Having had a few different Gigabyte video cards in the office recently the RTX 2070 SUPER Gaming OC 8G doesn’t really stand out at all as far as its packaging goes. It has the same mechanical eye on the front that they have all had. This still reminds me a little too much of the old Asus Strix owl eye and I would prefer the box had a picture of the video card across the front personally. The Gigabyte branding is in the top left corner and it has the standard Nvidia wrap around on the bottom right corner. The wrap-around has the model name and wraps all the way around to the back with that green that keeps all Nvidia video card boxes consistent. The bottom left corner has a little more info though. This is where Gigabyte put the actual card model and below that they have icons that show the cards main features ( RGB lighting, Windforce cooling, being overclocked, and a 4-year warranty). Around on the back of the box, we finally have actual photos of the card but none of them are just a clear picture of the card. They break down some of the features with photos to show things like the lighting, the backplate, how Windforce cooling works, and the copper heatpipes that have direct GPU contact. There is also a line drawing which shows the cards display connection options. I do wish they had a specification list that at least had the card dimensions on it.
Inside the box, there is a second thicker box. This has a third box sitting up on top where Gigabyte put the documents. Below that is foam cut to perfectly fit the Gaming OC. The card also comes wrapped up in a static protective bag as well. For documents, you get a simple quick guide and a registration card for Aorus Care which is a 4-year warranty. There is also a software/driver disc but I would still recommend downloading the most up to date driver from Nvidia and the most up to date software off the Gigabyte website but if you need the driver right away you at least have the disc.
Card Layout and Photos
Gigabyte has stuck with the same styling across all of their Gigabyte branded cards. This includes a black fan shroud made of plastic with a few different angular designs molded into the shroud. This is a traditional three fan Windforce card as well so its overall size is long like other Gigabyte triple fan cards but you will notice it isn’t overly tall like a lot of other manufacturers do with their cards. The triple-fan design allows them to stick close to the normal PCI card height. The shroud does have some silver accents. The one under the first fan on the left is painted on as is the one above the far right fan. The top and bottom triangle shaped accents are stuck on.
If you haven’t seen a Windforce card before there is one big feature that might not even be obvious until it is pointed out. Of the three fans, they don’t all have the same fan design. In fact, they don’t even all spin the same direction. The idea is to spin the middle fan in a direction that matches the direction of the closes edge of the other two fans. So if you look between the first and second fans the blades point up in that area. In between the second and third fans, they both point down. This allows the fans to be close together without a lot of turbulence. It also works well with the cooler design behind it. Most of the air blows down into the heatsink, but with vertical heatsink fin layout, the air in between the fans blows down or up across the heatsink as well.
Of course with axial fans the air has to go someplace and to account for that Gigabyte’s fan shroud doesn’t go all the way to the PCB. It covers about half of the heatsink but allows room for air to vent out the top and bottom of the card. Having just looked at the triple fan RTX 2060 SUPER as well, I should also point out that the heatsink on the RTX 2070 SUPER Gaming OC is noticeably thicker and dense. Gigabyte also did a great job of filling in gaps like around the fan and RGB power connection up on the top edge, the heatsink doesn’t float over the PCB, it cuts around the connection and holds tight to the PCB. This is combined with 8 heatpipes which direct contact the GPU to pull the heat out across the heatsink. This is very important with the long card design especially to get the heat out to the far ends of the card.
Up on the top edge, the RTX 2070 SUPER Gaming OC has two power connections, an 8-pin and a 6-pin which matches the Founders Edition as well. Gigabyte did flip them around and notch the PCB for the clips to allow the heatsink to stay tight up against the connections. The one silver accent that wraps around to the top of the card also has the Gigabyte logo in it. This is the only RGB location on the card and I’ve talked a lot about this in the past but I would prefer a few RGB accents over a backlit logo anytime. I don’t really like turning my PC into a big advertisement. I also think the Gaming OC would benefit from a touch more lighting, which is crazy given the over the top RGB market we are in. But it's like they put just enough to say that it is RGB. That said, this is still a step beyond the Founders Edition which still locks you into the Nvidia green for lighting.
For display connection options the RTX 2070 SUPER Gaming OC doesn’t skimp on any. It has a full three DisplayPort connections, with one up on the top row. Then in between the DisplayPorts, there is a single HDMI. Then on the bottom row on the far right, it also has a USB Type-C which is a VirtualLink connection for future VR headset direct connections. It can function as a normal type-C currently, but it also can handle USB, Display, and power altogether for a VR headset eliminating the need for all of those different connections and an adapter box. For ventilation, the Gaming OC does have holes cut in the PCI bracket, but the cooler design also isn’t pushing much air this direction as well.
The Gaming OC also has a full-length backplate which is a nice touch. It is a sheet metal backplate but it isn’t as thin as some of the other sheet metal designs. It also comes finished with a textured but semi-gloss finish. In the middle, it has the Gigabyte logo painted in white. Overall I would prefer one of the nicer aluminum backplates but this is a solid design that should help with GPU sag for the long card and protect the PCB from damage as well. Most importantly this is better looking then no backplate at all in the most visible part of the card when it is installed in a normal case. Looking from the back you can see how the heatsink and fan shroud does extend a little past the PCB and backplate. I’ve seen cards with huge extensions that are really ugly and normally not needed. But you can see that the triple fan design required the extra length and gigabyte was careful to not waste to much space at the end. You do get a peek at the copper heatpipes and this is an area where the airflow for the fan should be really easy. Also down at the end Gigabyte slipped the model and serial number tag up under the power connections to be easily found.
Here is a look at the RGB backlit Gigabyte logo up on top of the card. Like I said, it isn’t all that flashy or in your face. By default, it rotates through all of its colors, but with the software you can set it to any color you prefer.
Test Rig and Procedures
Motherboard: Asus Crosshair VIII HERO WiFi
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12S for cooling
Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Paste
Storage: Corsair MP600 2TB
Cooling - Noctua NH-U12S
Power Supply - Corsair AX1200w
Case - Primochill Wetbench
As always I like to start off my testing with a few synthetic benchmarks. 3DMark especially is one of my favorites because it is very optimized in both Nvidia and AMD drivers. It's nice to not have to worry about it being favored too much either way and the repeatability of the results makes it a nice chance to compare from card to card. For the RTX 2070 SUPER Gaming OC I’m especially curious how it compares with the RTX 2070 SUPER FE that I have already taken a look at. It has a small overclock and I’m curious if its cooling improves performance as well. Beyond that, I also want to keep an eye on how it compares with the RX 5700 XT.
For my first tests, I took a look at DX11 performance with the now dated Fire Strike benchmark across all three detail settings. In the performance setting and the extreme setting, the Gaming OC showed a nice bump over the Founders Edition but still stayed behind the 5700 XT reference card. Oddly enough the ultra test the bump was enough to just barely overtake the 5700 XT as well.
My next tests were still with 3DMark, but this time with Tim Spy and the higher detail Time Spy Extreme, both DX12 tests. Nvidia’s cards have really been excelling at DX12 and it shows here when you compare where they are in comparison to the RX 5700 XT. The overclock really helped the RTX 2070 SUPER getting surprisingly close to the Founders Edition RTX 2080 at the Extreme detail setting.
I also included 3DMark Port Royal in my testing because the RTX 2070 SUPER does support ray tracing. The overclock didn’t add much but it did get just 14 points behind the RTX 2080 FE.
For my last synthetic benchmark, I took a look at the Unigine based Superposition test. I ran this at 1080p but at medium and extreme detail settings. The detail levels even at the same resolution make a huge difference in scores. The overclock, while not huge, made for a good performance increase at the medium detail. The improvement wasn’t as large at the extreme detail but both tests still have the RTX 2070 SUPER well above the RX 5700 XT.
As for Virtual Reality, I love it but it is more demanding than traditional gaming. This is partially because of the resolutions needed to render for two eyes and because they render more than what is immediately visible. But also because of post effects to get the proper “fisheye” effect for it to look proper in your eyes with the HMD. You also have to have much higher expectations for frame rates in VR, skipping frames or lower FPS can actually cause motion sickness in VR. Because of that, I ran a few tests.
My first test was again in Superposition. This time I tested the VR Maximum and VR Future tests using the Vive resolution. I was impressed to see that the small overclock was enough to get an extra 4 FPS at the maximum detail setting. Even at the future detail there was an improvement. Overall it put the RTX 2070 SUPER Gaming OC right up there with the RTX 2080 FE.
My second set of tests were in VRMark where I ran the Blue Room and Cyan Room tests. Blue Room is a future-looking test that is ultra demanding and none of the cards I have tested have reached the FPS goals on that one yet but the Gaming OC did see an improvement up over the Founders Edition. The Cyan Room test, on the other hand, didn’t have that same improvement, in fact, it was one FPS slower somehow even after retesting both cards using the latest drivers.
Now we finally get into the in game performance and that is the main reason people pick up a new video card. To test things out I ran through our new benchmark suite that tests 8 games at three different resolutions (1080p, 1440p, and 4k). Most of the games tested have been run at the highest detail setting and a mid-range detail setting to get a look at how turning things up hurts performance and to give an idea of if turning detail down from max will be beneficial for frame rates. In total, each video card is tested 42 times and that makes for a huge mess of results when you put them all together. To help with that I like to start off with these overall playability graphs that take all of the results and give an easier to read the result. I have one for each of the three resolutions and each is broken up into four FPS ranges. Under 30 FPS is considered unplayable, over 30 is playable but not ideal, over 60 is the sweet spot, and then over 120 FPS is for high refresh rate monitors.
So how did the RTX 2080 SUPER Founders Edition perform? Well at 1080p it handled everything I threw at it with all of the tests coming in over 60 FPS and 6 of the 14 tests being over 120 FPS. 1440p was similar as well with 11 out of 14 being over 60 FPS and 2 of those being over 120 FPS with just three tests in the 30-59 FPS range. 4K on the other hand, you can tell it starts to fall off. All of them were playable which is great at 4 were up over 60 FPS. But it's clear the 270 SUPER Gaming OC really excels at 1440p or at high refresh rate 1080p.
Diving into the details I have all of the per game results as well of course. Comparing the Gaming OC with the Founders Edition RTX 2070 SUPER there weren’t any big surprises. The Gaming OC edges out a little lead in all of the games. I put the numbers together and at 1080p the extra overclock was worth 2 FPS, 2 FPS at 1440p as well, and just 1 FPS at 4k. For reference, I went ahead and did the same with the reference RX 5700 XT and the Gaming OC came in 6 FPS higher at 1080p 2 at 1440p, and 4 at 4k. Beyond that the Radeon VII trades blows with the 2070 SUPER depending on the game and like in our synthetic benchmarks, the Gaming OC with its overclock inches even close to the performance of the original RTX 2080.
Now some people don’t need a video card for gaming, they need the processing power for rendering or 2D/3D production or in some cases people who game also do work on the side. So it is also important to check out the compute performance on all of the video cards that come in. That includes doing a few different tests. My first test was a simple GPU Compute benchmark using Passmark’s Performance Test 9 and the RTX 2070 SUPER Gaming OC did really well here. The small overclock translated to a big bump in the score though it wasn’t enough to overtake the next fastest card, the Vega 64 LC.
My favorite compute test has to be Blender. It is a widely used program and there isn’t anything synthetic about the benchmark. It renders two different 3D files and times the total time. Here the extra overclock of the Gaming OC was actually able to edge past the original RTX 2080 surprisingly. Overall the Nvidia RTX cards really do well in this test and it shows with Nvidia dominating the top of the chart.
In Basemark the overclock didn’t make as much of a difference but it was still about 200 points on both DX12 and OpenGL tests keeping the Gaming OC right with the original RTX 2070 SUPER and below the RTX 2080.
Geekbench 4 was similar, with a small improvement but overall not enough to make any difference. The two RTX 2070 SUPER scores are well below the RTX 2080 and well above the 2060 SUPER results.
Cooling, Noise, and Power
My last round of testing is also one of the most important when you have already decided which GPU you want, in this case, the RTX 2070 SUPER. The performance gap between cards with the same GPU is typically not that large, the overclock does play a role. But as you have seen, even with an overclock it is worth a few FPS at most. The biggest difference between different video cards with the same GPU comes down to cooling performance, the noise that the cooler creates, and how much power the card pulls. For the Gigabyte, RTX 2070 SUPER Gaming OC Gigabyte went with their triple fan Windforce design for cooling and they have always been good for noise levels but hit and miss on cooling depending on how complete the heatsink design is. From what I saw in my initial look at the card the Gaming OC has a solid heatsink so I’m curious to see how it performs.
First though I wanted to check out the power usage. For this, I ran two tests. On both, I monitored the power usage of our test system using a Kill-A-Watt. To put things under load I first uses 3DMark to replicate a gaming load on both the CPU and GPU. I was surprised to see that the Gaming OC actually came in 1 watt below the Founders Edition in this test. The second test where I use AIDA64’s stress test to only load the GPU confirmed this one again, being 3 watts less. Even with a small overclock and an extra fan, gigabyte managed to be slightly more power-efficient!
Next, I wanted to check out how the triple fan Windforce cooler did for noise. Normally smaller fans have to run faster and are nosier but Gigabyte counteracts that with their Windforce design that spins one fan a different direction to cut down on turbulence and wind noise with the fans close to each other. To test this I ran three tests. I tested 50% and 100% fan speeds to see how loud the cooler can be in general. Then my last test was while under load from AIDA64 for a half-hour, once the temperatures leveled off I measured the noise output of the fans. In the first test, I was surprised to see that the triple fan design wasn’t that loud at 100% fan speed. The reason for this did show on the fan RPM chart, Gigabyte doesn’t have the three fans spinning as fast as some other coolers. Turning the fans down to 50% had it down to the second quietest card tested as well. But in the load test, it ended up being the quietest, even coming in below the liquid cooled Vega 64.
My last test was the one I was most curious about, with things running so quiet and not using an ultra tall heatsink and large fans, how would the triple fan design cool the overclocked RTX 2070 SUPER. For this, I ran two different tests. Both times I used AIDA64 to load the GPU and I let that run for over a half-hour until the temperatures leveled off and stopped changing. I did this with the stock fan profile to see what everyone would experience out of the box, and then I did it again with the fans turned up to 100%. The 100% test is just to see how much more headroom is left in the cooler. With the stock fan profile, I was impressed to see the RTX 2070 SUPER Gaming OC down below the Founders Edition with its oversized cooler as well as all of the RTX 2060 SUPERS. In fact, it was running cooler than anything else tested. With the fans turned up it was still low but this time not at the bottom of the chart. It did drop from 61 degrees to 47 degrees which isn’t a bad delta. There is still room in the cooler if you overclock the card more or want it to run cooler, not that I think that is needed given the stock profile results.
While doing my thermal testing with the stock fan profile I also pulled out our thermal camera to take a look at things. I was curious to see how much of a hot spot was up under the card with it partially blowing that direction and to see if there were any warmer areas. Up under the center fan, there was a warmer spot, I was surprised the rest was nice and cool though. As for behind the fans none of the temperatures were that warm at all but down at the end of the card, it was running a few degrees warmer than over top of the GPU itself which tells us that the direct contact heatpipes were doing a good job pulling heat out across the card. The hottest spot on the card was the PCB up on the top edge near the center, but at 128.4F I wouldn’t consider it all that hot at all. There was also a warm area on the backplate near the bottom VRM which has been a trend on most of the RTX cards, but overall I didn’t see any issues with the Flir.
Overall and Final Verdict
With both the RTX 2070 SUPER and the RTX 5700 XT both out now it is clear that the RX 5700 XT has been the better value, but the RTX 2070 SUPER comes in above it in performance. The Gigabyte RTX 2070 SUPER Gaming OC only widens that gap with its small but surprisingly effective overclock that gained a solid 2 FPS at 1080p and 1440p over the Founders Edition 2070 SUPER that I previously tested. What I was most surprised though with the Gaming OC was that it ended up being a little more power-efficient than the Founders Edition. Its cooler did a great job as well both in cooling performance, running cooler than anything else I tested it against with the stock fan profile. It is also surprisingly quiet, even with the three fans.
The overall design and look of the Gaming OC is going to be hit and miss depending on what your preference is. I do like that they have a nice color neutral design and the angular look is simple and to the point. Comparing the Gaming OC with the Founders Edition, I still prefer the thick metal fan shroud. The Gaming OC does have RGB lighting over the Founders Edition, but I think Gigabyte would be a little better off with a few RGB accents on the card, similar to what Asus does rather than just lighting up the Gigabyte logo on top. The Gaming OC’s long triple fan design also has its pro’s and cons. It is a little longer than the average 2070 SUPER but it also sticks with a more standard card height where a lot of the other aftermarket cards are extremely tall.
So is the Gigabyte RTX 2070 SUPER Gaming OC the card to get? Well like I mentioned before, the RX 5700 XT is still a better value assuming the aftermarket cards perform better on cooling that the blower design and assuming you can find cards. Availability right now is extremely tight. The RTX 2070 SUPER, if you have the extra money is going to be faster and a “little” easier to come across right now. The Gaming OC specifically comes in at $549.99 which is $50 more than the Founders Edition. That gets you improved cooling, a few FPS better in game performance, and a quieter card. Is it the best possible option? That will have to wait until I have the chance to check out more cards. But I was impressed with the performance and it is a solid option assuming you can find one.
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