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Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Super graphics card review: Quality bump

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Super graphics card is a marginal improvement over the 4080, but worth considering if you’re still maining a 30-series (or lower) GPU.

GeForce RTX 4080 Super
Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Super
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Video RAM
16GB GDDR6X
AI upscaling
Up to DLSS 3.5
Best resolution
4K
Nathan Lawrence
Mar 31, 2024
Icon Time To Read6 min read
Quick verdict: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Super
Have you been holding out for a high-end 40-series GPU? Then the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Super is for you, more so if your PC is connected to a 4K monitor or 4K TV. You’ll get great maxed-out 4K performance, and boosted frame rates with DLSS games for a reasonable investment. Just make sure you have enough space in your case for this hefty chonka, plus enough spare connectors from your power supply unit.
pro
Pros
pro Great native 4K performance
pro Impressive DLSS gains
pro Comparatively competitive pricing
con
Cons
con Chonka GPU with heft
con Marginally better than a 4080
con Three power connectors required

If you’re a Team Green fan who wants no-compromise 4K gaming, you’re likely looking at either the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 or its pricier 4090. Now there’s a new contender in town. While the RTX 4080 Super can’t compete with the 4090, it’s worth considering if you’ve been holding out for a base 4080. Let’s take a closer look at why.

GeForce RTX 4080 Super

How much does RTX 4080 Super graphics card cost in Australia?

A better choice than the regular 4080 these days (from $1,699 RRP).
Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Super with cable wire and support guide

If you want a top-of-the-line Nvidia 4090 graphics card, expect to fork out at least $3,000. But base 4080s go for between $1,700ish to $2,400ish. The thing is, Nvidia has priced the 4080 Super at the same range as the base 4080. For a Team Red contender, consider the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX, with prices ranging from around $1,600 to closer to $2,000. Generally, expect better 4K performance (more so for ray tracing) for the RTX 4080 Super vs the RX 7900 XTX.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Super design and installation

You’ll want a case with plenty of space.
GeForce RTX 4080 Super

Nvidia has opted for an all-black design for its 40-series Super cards, ditching the silver trimming of its base GPUs. What hasn’t changed between 4080 and 4080 Super—at least as far as the Founders Editions are concerned (what Nvidia sent me)—are the size and power requirements. The 4080 Super is 304mm long and 137mm wide, taking up three slots and needing three PCIe eight-pin cables to power it.

Speaking of power, RTX 4080 Super draws up to 320W, and it got up to around 310W during my testing. As is the trend, fans don’t kick in until the GPU reaches a certain temperature, but the 4080 Super fans didn’t whir past 40% in my tests, with a max hot-spot temperature of just under 72 degrees Celsius. The fans take about 100 seconds to stop when shifting from a demanding game to everyday computing.

In terms of installation, there aren’t any tricks outside of worrying about how a PCIe slot and three case screws can hold the roughly 2kg of graphics card. Like the base 4080, the RTX 4080 Super I reviewed had a magnetic port on the non-PCIe end to attach a stand for extra support if you’re worried about sagging. I’ve been using a base 4080 Founders Edition for more than a year inside a vertical case and haven’t had any issues with sagging.

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What is Nvidia
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Nvidia is an American company that specialises in graphics cards and artificial intelligence computing. You can find Nvidia components in laptops, monitors, the Shield TV and the Nintendo Switch.

RTX 4080 Super benchmarks

Built for native 4K gaming, plus high frame rates with DLSS.

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Super is built for 4K gaming, which includes native UHD resolutions. Still, not everyone has a UHD display, which is why I tested 10 games across 4K, 1440p and 1080p resolutions. All games were set to the highest available fidelity preset. Ray tracing was enabled where available; Total War: Warhammer 3, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III and Red Dead Redemption 3 tests didn’t use ray tracing. For easy comparison, the table below has RTX 4080 frames per second (fps) on the left and 4080 benchmarks on the right.

Game
4080S 1080p (fps)
4080S 1440p (fps)
4080S 4K (fps)
4080 1080p (fps)
4080 1440p (fps)
4080 4K (fps)
Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora161115711329352
Red Dead Redemption 21791519816113488
F1 231441096413410460
Returnal1501146514911163
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III236182122221178118
Dying Light 213994481369146
Cyberpunk 2077583616543415
Hitman 312585461228243
Total War: Warhammer 31741137317411771
The Talos Principle 211182481128245

There’s not a lot in it at 1080p resolution, most notably for The Talos Principle 2, Total War: Warhammer 3, Returnal, Dying Light 2 and Hitman 3. The best result at Full HD resolution is for Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, which has an 18% lead. It’s a similar low-percentage-gain story for 1440p. Warhammer 3 scored marginally better frames with the base 4080, with single-digit percentage improvements on the 4080 Super for most games. The only exceptions were a 11% improvement at 1440p for Red Dead Redemption 2 and a 19% boost for Avatar.

4K is the real test case for the 4080 Super vs 4080, though. Still, it was another case of single-digit improvements for eight out of the 10 games. As with the 1440p results, Red Dead Redemption 2 and Avatar had the most respectable leads: 10% and 27%, respectively.

As you’d hope, frame rates improve when DLSS is enabled. I set DLSS to Balanced for all relevant games. The results in the table below show the frame rates and percentage improvements (vs native resolutions) with DLSS enabled. Note that Modern Warfare III, Dying Light 2, Cyberpunk 2077, Hitman 3 and Returnal all use DLSS 3 for some of the best results.

Game
1080p
1440p
4K
Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora178 (+10%)155 (+26%)96 (+26%)
Red Dead Redemption 2184 (+3%)175 (+14%)128 (+23%)
F1 23169 (+15%)150 (+27%)107 (+40%)
Returnal275 (+45%)220 (+48%)134 (+51%)
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III431 (+45%)358 (+49%)236 (+48%)
Dying Light 2235 (+41%)200 (+53%)133 (+64%)
Cyberpunk 2077185 (+69%)125 (+71%)67 (+76%)
Hitman 3254 (+51%)197 (+57%)114 (+60%)
The Talos Principle 2225 (+51%)181 (+55%)113 (+58%)

At 1080p upscaled resolution, only Red Dead Redemption 2, Avatar and F1 23 had middling gains, with every other tested title offering at least a 41% fps improvement. For upscaled 1440p, Red Dead Redemption 2 had the lowest improvement at 14% but Cyberpunk 2077 boasted an impressive 71% boost. Cyberpunk 2077 also went from an unplayable 16fps at native 4K resolution to a smooth 67fps with DLSS 3 frame generation enabled. The ‘worst’ 4K frame rate improvement was 23% for Red Dead Redemption 2, helping to underline how much the RTX 4080 Super is built for 4K gaming.

In case it’s not already clear, the RTX 4080 Super isn’t intended as an upgrade to the base 4080. If you’ve got one of those GPUs, you’d be looking at a whole lot of single-digit percentage gains for the games I tested. Modern Warfare III had the best improvement with a 13% fps boost at 4K compared to the base 4080. Outside of a few other 10%-ish gains, none of the other RTX 4080 Super results were enough to make more than a dent in the base 4080’s DLSS frame rates.

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System specs
Here are the system specs I use for benchmarking graphics cards:
  • CPU: Intel Core i9-13900K (AI overclock)
  • Motherboard: Asus ROG Maximus Z790 Hero (2102 BIOS)
  • Memory: Kingson Fury Renegade RGB 32GB DDR5 6400MHz
  • Power supply: Corsair AX1600i 1600W 80 Plus
  • Monitor: Acer Predator XB273K UHD G-sync (up to 4K @ 120Hz)
  • Case: Be Quiet Dark Base Pro 900 Rev. 2 (full tower)
  • Operating system: Windows 11 Version 23H2 (OS Build 22631.3296)
  • GPU driver: Nvidia GeForce Game Ready Drivers (551.86)

RTX 4080 Super gameplay and everyday

Power to spare for most games and all everyday computing use-cases.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Super - comparison

Higher frame rates are great and all, but they won’t do you any good if your monitor can’t display those extra frames. For me, my main screen is a 120Hz 4K monitor, which means anything over 120fps isn’t being displayed. With that in mind, I tested a bunch of other games at 4K resolution with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Super on max settings.

My go-to multiplayer game Hell Let Loose, which has up to 100 players and is typically quite demanding, scored an average of 150fps during my tests. Recent releases Alone in the Dark, Horizon Forbidden West Complete Edition and Helldivers 2 got up to 144fps, 60fps and 80fps, respectively, all at native 4K resolution. Even early access games have great results at native 4K resolutions. Deep Rock Galactic: Survivor averaged an impressive 189fps, while visually demanding Witchfire averaged 75fps.

DLSS 3 really is a game-changer for visually demanding games. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor went from 46fps at native 4K resolution to a smooth 115fps with frame-gen on. Unless you want to play at around 30fps, Alan Wake 2 leaps to just shy of 100fps with frame-gen enabled. There were 70+ games with DLSS 3 at the time of writing and hundreds of DLSS 2 titles, with more games supporting the tech each month.

While my Be Quiet desktop case lives up to its name, I didn’t notice any extra noise from the RTX 4080 Super in comparison to my base 4080 GPU while gaming or for everyday computing. That’s not surprising given most computing applications and even low-demanding games don’t heat up the Nvidia 40-series graphics cards. While idle, the RTX 4080 Super was drawing under 50W. If you’re interested in using the RTX 4080 Super for video encoding, here’s how it compares to the RTX 4070 Super and the base 4080 when running a 4K encode of a 55-minute recording.

Graphics card
Average fps
Encoding time
4080 Super14011:48
408013811:57
4070 Super13012:38

Is the RTX 4080 Super graphics card worth buying?

A solid purchase if you want future-proofed 4K performance.

If you already own a 40-series graphics card, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Super isn’t for you. But in fairness, it’s not meant for you. Any Team Green fan or GPU-agnostic gamer who’s been saving up for a 4K upgrade, though, should absolutely consider the RTX 4080 Super. Whether at native 4K resolutions or DLSS upscaled, the RTX 4080 Super offers impressive results at a competitive price, plus it chews up any resolution below 4K, too.

How we review graphics cards

Our review starts with unboxing and installation. A good graphics card must come with any relevant adaptors to get it working out of the box. Similarly, we make note of any installation issues that arise in terms of weight, length, overall fit and concerns about blocked ports or potential airflow issues.

We use a core set of games with in-game benchmarks to determine base results for a graphics card, spread across 1080p, 1440p and 4K resolutions. Nvidia’s FrameView tool is enabled during capture to record key metrics, including average frame rates, GPU max temperatures and power draw.

Where possible, we contextualise these benchmarks by performing the same tests on older-model or competitor graphics cards. Next is to test AI upscaling and note performance gains, as well as testing the impact of fidelity features like ray tracing. Finally, we put the graphics card through the paces of typical use, including a mix of everyday computing and gaming stress tests.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Super frequently asked questions

Yes, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Super released at the end of January 2024. It’s built for 4K gaming and has performance that’s slightly better than the RTX 4080.
Yes, you can expect better performance from the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Super than the base 4080. That said, don’t upgrade from a 4080 to a 4080 Super as you’ll only get a marginal bump in performance.
Yes, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Super is built for 4K performance, both at native 4K resolutions and using AI upscaling (like DLSS) from lower resolutions to 4K output.
Nathan Lawrence
Written by
Nathan Lawrence
Nathan Lawrence has been banging out passionate tech and gaming words for more than 11 years. These days, you can find his work on outlets like IGN, STACK, Fandom, Red Bull and AusGamers. Nathan adores PC gaming and the proof of his first-person-shooter prowess is at the top of a Battlefield V scoreboard.

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