Custom GeForce GTX 1080 Round Up With ASUS, EVGA, And Gigabyte

ASUS STRIX OC and Gigabyte G1 Gaming

Next up we have cards from ASUS and Gigabyte. The ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 STRIX OC Edition is a beast of a graphics card. ASUS has outfitted this card with numerous features, targeted at hardcore gamers and overclockers...

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This is the largest card of the bunch by far. The ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 STRIX OC Edition has a trio of ‘Wing Blade’ fans, that ASUS claims offer more airflow than similar sized fans, due to increased pressure at the edge. The cooler also features five large heatpipes and a large, dense array of heatsink fins. The heatpipes also make direct contact with the GPU, to better wick away heat – ASUS calls this Direct CU III. While we’re talking about the cooler, we should mention that the card has a pair of on-board 4-pin fan headers that are GPU controlled. If you want to strategically aim additional fans at the card (air help exhaust heat from your case), they can be plugged in and only spin up when the GPU is under load.

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The ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 STRIX OC Edition also has beefed up power delivery. It has an 8+2 phase design, whereas the Founder’s Edition has only a 5 phase design. There are also dual supplemental power feeds on the card – one 6-pin and one 8-pin – to ensure there is ample power available when pushing the card beyond its out-of-box specifications.

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Speaking of specifications, the ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 STRIX OC Edition has the highest factory overclock of the bunch. When operating in OC mode, the GPU’s peak boost frequency is 1936MHz (there are additional specs on the first page). In normal Gaming mode, the peak frequency is 1898MHz. Selecting between the frequencies is as simple as hitting a button in the included GPU Tweak II utility. Since OC Mode is guaranteed, that is how we tested the card in the benchmarks on the pages ahead.

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The outputs on the ASUS card are different from NVIDIA's reference model as well. ASUS eschews one of the DisplayPorts for an HDMI port, to better accommodate VR configurations, though that's a bit of a stretch. So, in total, there is one DVI output, two HDMI and two full-sized DP outputs.

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ASUS has outfitted the GTX 1080 STRIX with customizable backlighting on the shroud and backplate, dubbed AURA RGB lighting. Using the included software, you can configure the lighting for virtually any color, and set effects like strobing, color cycling, or even have it change color based on the GPU temperature.

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The ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 STRIX OC Edition has a 3-Year warranty, and included with the card is a typical allotment of accessories. Along with the card, we found a lit pack, driver disc, a power adapter, and a couple of ASUS RoG branded Velcro ties.

Here we have the slick, Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1080 G1 Gaming. Like the others featured here, Gigabyte’s card has a number of features and enhancements over NVIDIA’s Founder’s Edition, including higher clocks, RGB lighting, and beefier cooling and power circuitry...

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Gigabyte outfits the GeForce GTX 1080 G1 Gaming with what it calls WINDFORCE 3X cooling. It’s essentially a large, dense array of heatsink fins (that run almost the entire length of the card), linked together via trio of hefty, composite heatpipes, which also happen to make direct contact with the GPU. Gigabyte points out that the heatpipes are powder sintered and grooved (hence composite), which increases their cooling capacity. Sitting atop the heatsink assembly are a trio of fans, with raised, curved stripes on the uniquely shaped blades. Gigabyte calls them ‘3D Stripe Curves’ and claims they help increase air-flow over basic fans by 23%.

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Because the card has such a large heatsink, and because the GP104 GPU isn’t particular power hungry, the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1080 G1 Gaming will shut its fans completely off when idling or under a light load (the Fan Stop LED on the top edge lights up when the fans are off). As such, when you’re not gaming, this card is completely silent.

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The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1080 G1 Gaming is also factory overclocked out of the box, and offers two modes of operation – gaming and OC. In gaming mode, the boost clock tops out at 1835MHz, while in OC mode it’ll hit 1860MHz. Choosing between the modes is a one-touch affair in the included XTREME Engine Utility.

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There are 8+2 power phases on the card and it is outfitted with a single 8-pin power connector. The power connector also features simple LED lighting to indicate whether or not a power feed is attached and if it is functioning properly. The outputs on the card are identical to EVGA’s and NVIDIA’s Founder’s Edition (1 x DVI, 1 x HDMI, 3 x DP).

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While we’re talking about lighting, we should mention that the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1080 G1 Gaming features customizable RGB lighting as well. Like the other cards, 16.8M color options are available and the lighting can be configured for multiple modes of operation including cycling, “breathing”, flashing, dual-color flashing, or just a consistent, solid color.

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Gigabyte doesn’t include much in terms of a bundle with the card. It shipped with only a driver / utility disc and some basic literature.

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