GeForce RTX 2080 Overclocking Preview with Scanner

We have had very little time to play with our new GeForce RTX 2080 Founders Edition video cards, but we did want to see just how well this new GPU overclocked out of the box. We put NVIDIA's OC Scanner technology to work and give you our thoughts about just how well it works and what results we got.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Overclocking Preview

Back a month ago, we purchased a couple of RTX 2080 Founders Edition cards to review, and those just came in. Just so happens that EVGA kicked out a beta version of its Precision X1 application that contains NVIDIA's new OC Scanner technology. EVGA also has a standalone program called OC Scanner, which sort of convolutes which program does what.

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As NVIDIA has shared recently, Scanner is a program that tests your new RTX (soon to cover GTX cards as well) and automatically overclocks it for you. "OC Scanner" is part of Precision X1, but is currently labeled "VF Curve Tuner" in Precision 1. The standalone OC Scanner is more like a burn-in tool for further testing overclocks, and it can be paired with Precision 1. Think of it more like a FurMark utility with a GPUz utility built in as well.

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Admittedly, we have not had a lot of time to look at these new tools and fully explore those, but we very much wanted to see how well the "Scanner" part of the tool worked when it comes to automatically overclocking our RTX 2080 FE, and that is what we did.

We did run into a few issues along the way. The Scanner tool inside of Precision 1 did crash several times while it was "scanning." However, upon reboot, it will pick up where it left off and continue on its way scanning your RTX card.

OC Scanner Results

Below we run stock RTX 2080 FE clocks, the Scanner overclock, and a quick hand overclock. All of these clock rates were taken after the card was fully heat-loaded and we got all our clocks and temperatures stable. These results were obtained on an open test bench with an ambient temperature of 75F. We are using Heaven to load the card. It is a bit old, but it still very much loads the GPU up to 100% and stresses it. We did not touch memory clocks for this preview.

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The 2080 FE has a boost clock noted at 1800MHz with the non-FE reference boost clock being 1710MHz. Our average boost clock came in at 1878MHz. Once our RTX 2080 FE was heat-loaded our fan was running at ~1850RPMs, the exhaust temperature out the top of the card was 125F, and the edge of the vapor phase cooler was 160F. The GPU was steady at 72C. At idle the RTX 2080 FE hardly produced any heat at all as the GPU ran at 300MHz.

Running the Scanner tool inside of Precision 1 was easy as clicking the "SCAN" button and letting it run. As mentioned, we did have lockups occur, but this is beta app, so we will cut it some slack in that sense. Three reboots later, and clicking "yes" when it asked us, "Continue to Scan?" worked out well for us. Once we finished a successful Scan, we applied the settings it dialed in. From what I could tell, there was nowhere that it actually told us what settings it changed, but maybe I could not find the settings, but it did not seem to be exposed. As you can see our Scanner overclock netted us a very stable average GPU clock of 1966MHz. After heat-loading the RTX 2080, all our heat measurements looked almost identical to stock, except our fan had ramped up to ~1980RPMs. If there was a sound profile change, I honestly could not tell by ear as I had some more fans running on the test bench, but the fans on the 2080 FE were not pronounced in any way.

Doing a bit of hand overclocking got us a solid 2010MHz after heat-loading the card. To achieve this I maxed out the Power Target to +124, and the GPU Temp to +88. The clock was pushed forward by a value of +145. At 2010MHz our fan was running at ~1970RPMs, 126F exhaust temperature, the cooler edge was 160F, and our GPU temperture was ~75C. Again, very little change in our overall values from what we were expecting.

While Heaven is a great tool for testing these overclocks, I would not suggest it being a good benchmark for GPU framerates, and you likely know how we feel about canned benchmarks. At 1440p with 8XMSAA, full tessellation, and Ultra settings we only realized a 4% framerate increase from stock to Hand OC. Certainly we are going to do more real-world in-game testing in the coming weeks, so we will hold our tongue actual performance.

The Bottom Line

We set out first wanting to know what our RTX 2080 Founder Edition would clock to out of the box. Second we wanted to see if Scanner was the real deal or not. And we wanted to see if we could find what the "real" headroom on the RTX 2080 GPU was. I did have it running a while at 2070MHz under load, but it was not stable, but we surely need some more time to get this all dialed in.

At first blush, NVIDIA's Scanner technology certainly did a good job at overclocking our RTX 2080. No complaints about that at all. Of course we did get few crashes along the way, so we would like to see that worked out, but we do have to realize this is a beta application. This is just a quick and dirty Scanner preview and we will certainly being looking at these new RTX cards much closer in the coming weeks. Also worth noting is that NVIDIA did explicitly tell us that using Scanner to overclock your new RTX card will not void its warranty.

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