Asus’s latest big boi GPU is the TUF Gaming RTX 4080 Super, a reference-priced, modestly overclocked card from classic Nvidia board partner. That makes it a $999 GPU, $200 less than the original RTX 4080, but with essentially the same performance. Job done. And if you can’t get your hands on an Nvidia RTX 4080 Super Founders Edition version of the latest GeForce card, then I’d suggest the Asus is as good as any MSRP GPU you’ll find.
Since Nvidia introduced its Founders Editions as the GeForce-built reference option for its latest graphics cards (and not the more expensive premium option it was in the RTX 20 series), the FE cards are the ones we recommend. Nvidia’s own cards are over-engineered to the point of excellence. They’re beautiful, in a pretty understated way, and with this Super series they’ve only gotten better.
They are also cooler and sometimes even quieter than the third-party coolers, such as Asus, MSI and Zotac, on top of their GPUs. But they are also the ones who are guaranteed to stick to the recommended retail price, and therefore the ones who sell out the fastest.
So, if you’re unlucky when it comes to picking up a Founders card, what do you do? I would always argue, especially with this RTX 40 series with the efficient Ada architecture, that you should only consider another card at Nvidia’s suggested retail price. Every add-in board partner will make a lot of different versions of a new graphics card, and often a bunch of ‘premium’ options with over-the-top coolers, extreme lighting elements and some sort of factory overclock to try to justify the extra cost.
TUF Gaming RTX 4080 Super Specifications
GPU: Nvidia AD103
Lithograph: TSMC 4N
Boost clock: 2,580 MHz OC mode | Standard 2,550 MHz
Text message: 80
RT cores: 80
Tensor nuclei: 320
Memory: 16GB GDDR6X
Memory Speed: 23Gbps
And they’re just not worth the extra money. Chris recently reviewed the Zotac RTX 4080 Super Amp Extreme Airo, a $1,100 version of Nvidia’s new card, and while it delivers a higher clock speed than the Founders Edition card, it will give you an average of another 5% higher clock speed. That’s only a handful of frames per second at best.
In other words, the additional factory overclocking performance is negligible and, in my opinion, invisible to the end user.
Nvidia’s RTX 40 series is also seriously expensive. Even with the RTX 4080 Super seeing a $200 drop from its predecessor’s original $1,200 price tag, it’s still a lot of money to spend on a graphics card. And if that price reduction is the most important thing the RTX 4080 Super has to offer over the original RTX 4080, then you don’t want to take advantage of that by buying an expensive premium option with no tangible benefits.
The overclocked Zotac card is a lot hotter and louder than the Founders card and, more importantly, than this MSRP Asus RTX 4080 Super.
This is the problem with Nvidia’s modern graphics cards, the Ada architecture is super efficient and the kind of hefty triple-slot+ cooler Asus can put on even its reference priced cards will be more than a match for the powerful AD103 GPU at its heart of the RTX 4080 Super.
So why pay more?
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The RTX 4080 Super is the least interesting of the Super GPU innovations when it comes to actual silicon changes.
There’s not much to say about the architecture of this Asus RTX 4080 Super card. It uses the same GPU as the RTX 4080, only this time with the full complement of streaming multiprocessors (SM) enabled. That means you get 80 SMs instead of 76, and therefore 10240 CUDA cores instead of 9728.
It also runs 23Gbps GDDR6X memory instead of 22.4Gbps, giving it a little extra memory bandwidth for its aggregated 256-bit memory bus.
And that’s it. The RTX 4080 Super is the least interesting of the Super GPU innovations when it comes to actual silicon changes, and also when it comes to performance gains. The new Nvidia GPU is really leaning heavily on that $200 price cut to give it the win.
This Asus TUF Gaming RTX 4080 Super gets a slight clock speed boost in OC mode, accessed via a sliding switch attached to the PCB. The standard RTX 4080 Super boost clock speed is 2,550 MHz, while the OC clock speed is 2,580 MHz. Although, given the dynamic nature of Nvidia GPU frequencies, this is a limit you’ll never see as the chip will likely always be clocked higher during gaming loads.
It’s only a 30MHz overclock, and on average we actually saw less than that in terms of frequency advantage over the FE card in real-world benchmarks. But it was always well above the rated speeds that Asus at least lists on the spec sheet.
But what does all that mean in performance terms? Well, not much, to be honest. The RTX 4080 Super FE is only about 1 – 2% faster than the original RTX 4080 and in my tests it is even tighter between the older card and this Asus TUF version. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as the RTX 4080 Super is an incredibly capable GPU, offering 4K gaming performance that you’d be absolutely thrilled with even if it didn’t have the option of DLSS 3 and Frame Generation as backup .
I don’t care how it looks if it performs in terms of frame rates, thermals and acoustics. And the Asus ticks those boxes with aplomb.
Apart from the heavily irradiated Cyberpunk 2077, that is. Even with the RTX 4090, you can only expect native frame rates of around 40fps at Ultra 4K settings. But with the rest of our benchmarking package, you’re looking at around 60fps at worst and triple digits more often than not.
However, the competition for the RTX 4080 Super doesn’t really come from the different cards available from the different board partners. It comes from AMD. The Radeon RX 7900
I would suggest that now that prices are pretty much the same, the AMD GPU has lost much of its edge. Now that it’s more or less equal in weight to the support for DLSS 3 and Frame Generation, and the broader support for ray tracing as a whole, the scales would tip towards the Nvidia option.
As for the actual graphics card experience, even with OC mode enabled, the Asus card manages this in a whisper-quiet manner that you would never hear over your PC’s system fans. On our open testbed, I have to put my ear right next to the fans to hear them making noise even under full 4K load.
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✅ You cannot pack a Founders card: If you’re looking for an RTX 4080 Super but the FE cards are all sold out, Asus’s MSRP is a worthy alternative at the same price.
✅ You want a significant upgrade from a previous generation card: Compared to even the best that the RTX 30 series had to offer, the RTX 4080 Super is far ahead.
Don’t buy if…
❌ You don’t play games with high resolutions: Don’t buy a $1,000 GPU to get high frame rates at 1080p. The RTX 4080 does its best work at 4K.
❌ You have patience: The Founders cards will come back into stock, and I think there’s a good chance that RTX 4080 Super cards will come back into stock relatively quickly after the first batch of FE options sell out.
But it’s not a pretty card. It’s a 3.5-slot monster, regardless of what the two-slot bracket might want you to think. That thick rectangular cooler ends in a fourth slot on your PC. This is not a small form factor card. It’s all chunky heat sinks, big fans and an angular case.
But while I have to admit I’m very impressed with the matte black finish of the RTX 4080 Super Founders Edition card, in reality I couldn’t care less about how it looks when it performs in terms of frame rates, thermals and acoustics. . And the Asus ticks those boxes with aplomb. Once a graphics card is embraced by my motherboard and locked away in my PC case, I will always spend more time looking at my screen than staring fondly at the expensive bits of silicon in my setup.
I still think $999 is a ridiculous amount of money to ask for a graphics card, but at least the Super price correction puts the second-tier Ada card in a more reasonable position within the RTX 40 series stack . You can read my feelings on this level of GPU in the full RTX 4080 Super review. But no matter what, I can’t in good conscience recommend anyone spend more than MSRP on a third-party card, especially when those MSRPs can be this good.
Asus knows how to make a graphics card – and it has its own premium-priced ROG versions, of course – but the TUF Gaming RTX 4080 Super has more than enough to make it a worthwhile alternative for those unable to get a to win the coveted Founders Edition.