We have seen a lot of GeForce RTX graphics cards series appearing for the past two months, and their latest addition to the bunch is their AORUS RTX 2080 Xtreme Waterforce. The company claims that it’s the highest level graphics card of the RTX series since it’s powered by the NVIDIA Turing architecture.
AORUS has revealed their RTX 2080 Xtreme Waterforce graphics card that makes use of an all in one liquid cooling solution. It’s also packed with a ton of other promising features which make it a more efficient and better graphics card.
Before we get more into its specifications, features, and performance, let’s check out what other accessories are packed in the box with the RTX 2080 Xtreme Waterforce graphics card from AORUS.
Gigabyte AORUS RTX 2080 Xtreme Waterforce Review – What’s in the Box?
Upon receiving the package for our RTX 2080 Xtreme Waterforce, we noticed that it comes in a really huge cardboard box which is much bigger compared to the other RTX 20 series cards. But despite the bigger size, it still sports that theme and feel of AORUS.
The front portion of the card’s package features a huge brand logo of GeForce RTX along with the AORUS logo which is at the top left corner of the box. You’ll also get to see the AORUS Xtreme series logo right at the center of the package.
The company put great emphasis on the RTX side of things since the first feature that is listed by the AIBs is Ray Tracing. This is followed by the DirectX 12, GDD-R6, as well as the Ansel support.
NVIDIA bet the future of all their gaming GPUs on the Ray Tracing support since these are the very first graphics cards to provide support for the new feature. There are other highlighted features available and these are the RGB Fusion support, 8GN GDD-R6 memory, Waterforce Cooling, and the card’s warranty.
For the back part of the box, it features your typical stuff such as the specifications and primary features of the graphics card. The three main elements of the company’s top-tier custom cards would be the blazing performance which can be achieved via a fully customized design.
When you look at the sides of the package, you’ll be greeted again with the huge branding of the GeForce RTX. This portion also mentions the 8GB GDD-R6 memory which is present on the graphics cards.
The increased bandwidth is delivered via the new GDD-R6 interface which aids in improving the performance of gaming titles that have higher resolution than the GDD-R5 and the GDD-R5X-based graphics cards.
When it comes to the inner portion of the package, you will find another box that has a dotted texture, as well as a reflective logo of AORUS right at the center. The company is definitely aiming for the more premium look with this specific card, and we sure aren’t complaining about it.
The RTX 2080 Xtreme Waterforce and its accessory package are all kept firmly in place by a nice and durable foam packaging. When taking a look at the contents, the card comes with a couple of manuals and accessories that might not really be of use to hardcore gaming enthusiasts.
However, these are still generally advantageous to the mainstream gaming audience. For added protection, the graphics card is nicely and neatly wrapped in an anti-static cover which is very good for preventing any unnecessary static discharges on a variety of surfaces that can possibly harm the RTX 2080 Xtreme Waterforce.
Gigabyte AORUS RTX 2080 Xtreme Waterforce Review
Let’s start off with this graphics card’s gorgeous black metallic plate. It isn’t just something that adds a really nice aesthetic to it, but it also provides solid extra protection which we think is really important. Not only that, but this back plate also strengthens and improves the card’s entire structure while simultaneously inspiring the love for gaming.
One of its most notable features of the AORUS RTX 2080 Xtreme Waterforce graphics card is its liquid cooling system that is built into the device as a dissipation solution. So with this new line, the company opted to expand and improve the format of their radiator which is really good in our opinion.
With the previous GeForce GTX series, it’s radiator was 120 millimeters, yet with this current one, it has been enhanced to 240 millimeters instead. The RTX 2080 Xtreme Waterforce radiator sports two 120-millimeter fans that come with Addressable RGB or ARGB LEDs.
A translucent panel complements the RGB lights on these fans which can be seen on the front part of the card. It also has its own elements for RGB lighting which makes it even better.
These LED effects that are present are displayed on the front portion of the card so you definitely won’t miss out on them. Also, these can be synced via the Gigabyte RGB Fusion 2.0 software. So with that, the overall exterior of the product makes it very attractive, leaving the RTX 2080 looking perfect with any high-end and top-notch gaming rig.
Not only that, but the RTX 2080 Xtreme Waterforce sports a closed-circuit liquid dissipation which is highly advantageous. This is because it maintains decreased temperatures unlike the models of air dissipation. These specific benefits are more evident if you’re living in a place where ambient temperature is high. Another advantage of this is that it has less noise due to lesser temperature. And what’s quite interesting is that this isn’t always present in models that have this kind of dissipation.
The RTX 2080 Xtreme Waterforce features the Waterforce Water Block cooling system from AORUS which is great for custom, as well as the Ultra Durable PCB that is present on all Gigabyte cards. The cooling capacity for the VRAM, GPU, and the MOSFET is completely guaranteed via pre-fitted metallic back plate and front copper base plate.
The professional design of the water block from AORUS can instantly remove heat that is generated by the VRAM, GPU, and the MOSFET. This will help maintain the temperature of the graphics card, leaving it cool and stable even during aggressive overclocking.
Whether on the back or in front, the RTX 2080 Xtreme Waterforce can display a number of beautiful RGB lighting effects, thus, making it the most stunning element in your chassis. In addition to this, the aerospace grade PCB coating with moisture and dust proof texture makes this card less exposed to damages from harmful elements or particles.
Aerospace Grade PCB Coating
Dust resistance protects the circuit board from, of course, dust; however, it also safeguards it from dropped screws, insects, abrasions, and drill shavings. When it comes to moisture resistance, this prevents any unnecessary board damage and conduction paths, while corrosion resistance safeguards the boards from various environmental contaminants. These contaminants include humidity, salt spray, as well as corrosion.
Fully-automated production process guarantees the highest quality of the circuit boards while eliminating sharp protrusions from the solder connectors that are present on your usual PCB surface. This user friendly design keeps your hands from getting cut from carelessly damaging random components when you’re making your build.
All in One Waterforce Cooling System
The Waterforce all in one cooling system is known as a pre-filled and pre-assembled liquid solution that provides you with a very easy and convenient way to install. Its water block and optimized pump delivers the most efficient cooling and water flow performance at lower noise levels.
Its double ball bearing structure offers improved heat efficiency and endurance than the sleeve structure. And with almost no moisture absorption, high pressure tolerance, and high thermal stability, the sturdy FEB tubes greatly improves the durability and product life of the graphics card.
The RTX 2080 Xtreme Waterforce comes overclocked from the factory featuring a core clock of about 1,890 MHz while its memory speed has also been increased to 14,140 MHz. All the other specifications lineup with the current RTX 2080 graphics cards which means that it has 8GB of GDD-R6, 2,944 CUDA cores, and a 256-bit memory bus.
Other notable specifications of the RTX 2080 Xtreme Waterforce includes the 12 + 2 power phase design and a total of seven video outputs. Specifically, these outputs include 3 Display Ports, 1 USB Type-C, and 3 HDMIs.
This graphics card is backed with a standard 3-year warranty but Gigabyte chooses to provide you with an extra year of protection for your RTX 2080 Xtreme Waterforce, free of charge. With that, you’ll be able to enjoy a 4-year warranty for the card just by registering on their official website within thirty days upon purchase.
Additional 2X HDMI
The company gives you a maximum of 7 video outputs unlike the reference-card five video output. There are two extra HDMI ports so you can have increased flexibility when linking to the display. You’ll get to select 3x HDMI + 1x DP + 1x USB Type C or 3x DP + 1x USB Type-A + 1x HDMI if you have monitors that do not feature any adaptors.
The RTX 2080 Xtreme Waterforce that comes with 448 8GB memory bandwidth which features 2,994 CUDA Cores and a lot of Tensor cores that operates simultaneously; it is also the best entry point if you are developing A.I. technology. With its increased efficiency and throughput, the graphics card saves your time. It also offers you a lot of cost benefits.
Waterforce Cooling System
This graphics card comes with Waterforce, AORUS’ all-around cooling system. It takes care of GPU, VRAM, and MOSFET to ensure stability when overclocking while it prolongs the lifetime of the graphics card by keeping its temperature low. The assembly of Waterforce is of excellent quality and it also delivers top-notch cooling performance.
Highly Durable for Extreme Overclocking
The RTX 2080 Xtreme Waterforce features the 12 + 2 power phase design which allows MOSFET to work at lower temperatures; plus, it has an over temperature protection design and balance for each MOSFET. The card also comes with capacitors and chokes that are Ultra Durable-certified to deliver the best performance and prolonged system lifespan.
NVIDIA – NV Link Support
The RTX 2080 Xtreme Waterforce supports the NVIDIA – NV Link technology which merges two similar GPUs with a GeForce NV Link Bridge. This delivers optimum experience in VR or 4K gaming. The light effects on the bridge are also adjustable via the AORUS Engine Utility.
Advanced Gaming Technologies
Get the newest Gameworks technologies from NVIDIA for the smoothest cinematic and gameplay experiences. Even in VR, you can capture a revolutionary 360-degree image, as well as drive the latest displays which include VR and multiple ultra high-resolution monitors.
With NVIDIA VR-Works technologies, you can now experience the next-generation Virtual Reality performance, plug-and-play compatibility and the lowest latency when using the high-quality headsets. VR audio, haptics, and physics allow you to feel and hear every single moment.
Game Ready Driver
For utmost performance and the smoothest gaming experience once you start playing, the RTX 2080 Xtreme Waterforce comes with game-ready drivers.
Real-Time Ray Tracing in Games
The NVIDIA RTX platform comes with the ray tracing technology that provides cinematic-quality and real-time rendering to every game developer and content creator.
Ray tracing, which is something that has been utilized for non-real time rendering, gives you realistic and improved lighting simply by simulating light’s physical behavior. Ray tracing estimates color pixels by tracing the course that light will take if it traveled from your eyes through a virtual 3D scene. As it crosses over the scene, it is possible for light to reflect from a single object to another which will cause reflections. It is also possible to be blocked by various objects that will produce shadows, or pass through semi-transparent or transparent objects, causing refractions. All these interactions are united to produce the pixel’s final color that will be displayed on your screen.
The new technology makes color and light performance more advanced; and what makes it even better is that it’s in real time. It can easily replace the classic rendering of lighting effects in every game that you play to create a more realistic depiction of the scenes based on how light meshes with the real world.
All in all, ray tracing is the actual solution for life-like reflections, lighting, and shadows while providing you with a whole new level of realism that’s far beyond the possible when utilizing classic rendering methods. The NVIDIA Turing is the very first GPU that is adequate for real time ray tracing.
GeForce RTX™ 2080
1890 MHz (Reference card: 1710 MHz)
Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec)
PCI-E 3.0 x 16
Digital max resolution
L=290 W=131.05 H=40.41 mm
DisplayPort 1.4 *3
HDMI 2.0b *3
USB Type-C TM (support VirtualLinkTM) *1
2-way NVIDIA NVLINKTM
AORUS metal sticker
4-year warranty registration
Screws & Pads
Front, Side, Back, Fan
395mm ± 1.5%
2x 120 mm
Using the Product
Just like every other device that we’ve gotten our hands on, we definitely won’t miss out on trying out and evaluating the performance of the RTX 2080 Xtreme Waterforce from AORUS. It is fitted with the Waterforce cooling design so it shouldn’t be a surprise that compared to all the other models that we’ve tested, this specific card has the lowest temperature.
It has that 240-millimeter low and cooling temperature which is advantageous to turing since it greatly benefits from decreased temperature. With lower temperatures, the frequency becomes higher and vice versa.
Not only that, but this RTX 2080 Xtreme Waterforce card is also one of the most silent graphics cards that we’ve tested and even under heavy loads, it still performs quietly which is something that we really loved about it.
Just keep in mind that this specific model consumes slightly more power compared to the other devices under the GeForce RTX 2080 series but there’s a valid reason for this so you don’t have to be alarmed in any way. Compared to the other cards, the RTX 2080 Xtreme Waterforce comes with a turbo frequency aside from having a pump that functions by circulating water within closed circuits of dissipation.
AORUS Engine Utility
AORUS Engine Utility is an intuitive program that allows you to tune and keep track of voltage, clock speed rates, power target, and fan performance in real-time which are all based on your preferences. To access, the AORUS Engine Utility software can be downloaded via the official website.
Upon launch, the AORUS Engine Utility displays a simple interface with a clean, minimalist design. You will also find basic clock speed profiles that you can choose for the RTX 2080 Xtreme Waterforce. These includes the gaming mode, silent mode, OC mode, and other profiles saved under user mode.
On the bottom right corner of the interface, there are shortcuts for semi-passive and monitoring mode, and LED lighting options for the graphics card.
In Advanced Mode, you will find an icon at the lower right corner. When you click this, the interface will display another simple screen where you can adjust memory & core speeds, power & temperature targets, as well as fan speeds.
RGB Fusion 2.0
The LED icon brings you to an interface that lets you configure the RGB LED which is the RGB Fusion 2.0. With the RTX 2080 Xtreme Waterforce, this RGB Fusion program has been revamped and now has better features compared to the older versions.
You can download the RGB Fusion 2.0 via the official website. Just remember that before downloading the latest version of this software, you will need to install the AORUS Engine Utility first.
Gigabyte offers tweaking in three levels: a number of preset colors for quick switching, RGB entry fields for accurate color picking, and a slider that offers granular tuning. You can also set the card to change the color of the LEDs.
The RGB Fusion 2.0 has an intuitive interface, offering you a greater solution for tweaking lighting effects across all supported AORUS devices. This includes the RTX 2080 Xtreme Waterforce graphics card.
Aside from this graphics card, you can also customize the LEDs of compatible motherboards and peripherals. You’ll get to better personalize your gaming rig, making it unique and stylish. There is also a new gaming mode that makes the lighting effects interactive with a number of games, delivering an absolutely immersive gaming experience.
In this current version, the RTX 2080 Xtreme Waterforce comes with ten RGB effects, including, Static, Flash, Double Flash, Press, Color Shift, Color Cycle, Rainbow Loop, Gradient, Wave, and Tricolor.
The AORUS RTX 2080 Xtreme Waterforce is an all-in-one graphics card that has been assembled perfectly. It is one of the easiest cards to install and is adequate for people who want to build using a liquid cooling graphics card for the first time. Its heat dissipation ability is one of the best in the industry, and its radiator size is increased from 120 millimeters to 240 millimeters which is really good.
With the presence of two 120-millimeter fans, its GPU overclocking ability can be increased and maintained. For its RGB lighting, it doesn’t only light up the front, back, and sides of the device, but it also lights up the two fans that are present. Through the AORUS engine, the RGB lights in each area can be linked together while also providing a variety of lighting effects for your preference. Its FEP tube lessens the loss of water, has increased thermal stability, plus it also comes with high pressure tolerance that effectively improves the card’s durability and product life.
Another great aspect of the card is that it gives you a supremely excellent PC gaming experience; and since it’s powered by the innovative RTX platform and NVIDIA Turing GPU architecture, the RTX 2080 Xtreme Waterforce combines real-time ray tracing, programmable shading, and artificial intelligence in one.
So generally, this graphics card from AORUS is an outstanding product and if you’re planning to purchase a new RTX 2080 graphics card, then we highly suggest the RTX 2080 Xtreme Waterforce. It doesn’t only perform excellently, but it also comes with the fastest factory overclock in the market, together with a really attractive design and distinct take on RGB lighting.
These features will definitely make your PC stand out from the rest and you’ll surely love everything about it.