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Inno3D GeForce GTX 1080 Ti iChill X3

Inno3D GeForce GTX 1080 Ti iChill X3

Manufacturer: Inno3D
UK price (as reviewed):
MSRP £750 (inc VAT)
US price (as reviewed): MSRP $750 (ex tax)

The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti has come strutting into town as the fastest single-GPU around. Pretty much a Titan X in GeForce disguise, the Founders Edition costs $699 (£699) and offers a 20-30 per cent performance hike over a host of partner GTX 1080s.

Nvidia is allowing partners to build their own cards, and Inno3D has been quick off the mark with a design showcasing its iChill X3 cooling solution. Chances are that it improves upon the FE's thermals and hence offers more sustained performance through higher frequencies.

Inno3D GeForce GTX 1080 Ti iChill X3 Introduction
Click to enlarge

The pre-production review sample uses a reference PCB with Inno3D's own flavour of cooling. Retail cards will use a custom PCB, we are told, though the Hong Kong outfit was keen to show just how much faster its card can be than the thermally-challenged FE.

Inno3D GeForce GTX 1080 Ti iChill X3 Introduction
Click to enlarge

The industrial-looking cooling encompasses a 2.5-slot design that covers the entire 302mm length of the card. Three fans switch off at temperatures below 45°C or so and gently wind their merry way up to 1,600rpm at full chat.

Keeping up with the Joneses, a side-mounted LED indicator is lit in either blue (low-power application), green (low-power gaming) or red (when the going gets tough), providing at-a-glance understanding of how hard the GPU is working.

Specifically, for this model, Inno3D increases the board power to 280W - FE has 250W - sourced through the standard, reference combination of six and eight-pin connectors. Taming the excess power is an improved heatsink that now uses five thick heatpipes, adds 15 per cent more cooling fins and has a 150 per cent larger copper base. Inno3D, then, uses a brute-force approach to cooling.

Inno3D GeForce GTX 1080 Ti iChill X3 Introduction
Click to enlarge

Inno3D's design also combines a memory heatsink that makes solid contact with the new-fangled GDDR5X memory. Such concentration on cooling is rewarded by the iChill increasing the FE's clocks from 1,481/1,582MHz to 1,607/1,721MHz. That FE card throttles quite quickly in the bit-tech test rig; Inno3D believes its cooling is sufficient to maintain a high boost speed at all times, thus differentiating its performance handsomely.

The memory, too, is overclocked, from 11,000MHz to 11,400MHz, suggesting that the iChill's performance will be hard to beat by other Nvidia AICs.

Our sample's use of the FE's PCB means it didn't ship with a DVI connector. The company has assured us that all retail models, backed by the regular three-year wararnty, will have a tweaked PCB that makes room for one, as shown at the top of this page. Warranty cover is a standard three years.

GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is already fast, so how much more can Inno3D get out of it?