EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW Review

June 15, 2016 | 10:15

Tags: #gp104 #gtx-1080 #pascal

Companies: #evga #nvidia

The Card

The GTX 1080 FTW is EVGA's current top-end model, with the Classified, Hydro Copper and Hybrid editions all still to come. As a result, it presently has the highest available clock speeds in EVGA's stack, shipping with a 1,721MHz base clock (a seven percent increase) and a 1,860MHz boost clock. The memory, unfortunately, is not overclocked, left instead at the default 10GHz effective.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW Review EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW Review - The Card
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In terms of size, the GTX 1080 FTW matches the 267mm length and dual-slot form factor of the reference design, but it is a little taller, 129mm to be precise, so certain small form factor cases may have issues, especially with the top-mounted power connectors.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW Review EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW Review - The Card
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EVGA uses the reference set of display connections, namely a dual-link DVI-D port, one HDMI 2.0b connector and three DisplayPort 1.4 headers. The upgrade of the GTX 1080 to DisplayPort 1.4 readiness means it supports 4K at 120Hz, 5K at 60Hz and even 8K at 60Hz, although for this you'll need two cables. All of Pascal's new display controller features related to HDR are also present: HDR video at 4K and 60Hz with 10/12b HEVC decode, HDR recording/streaming at 4K and 60Hz with 10b HEVC encode and HDR over DisplayPort. Assuming you have the relevant software and hardware, HDR Gamestream from your PC to TV via a Shield device will also be supported soon.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW Review EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW Review - The Card
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We think the overall design here is aesthetically pleasing. EVGA has opted for a fairly neutral black and silver colour scheme, and the build quality is excellent. The black plastic has metal sections secured to it, and the brushed metal backplate reinforces the card further. The card is lit by RGB LEDs, which light up the logo and card name along the top as well as the honeycomb mesh sections on the front. The colour is controlled in the new PrecisionX OC software, which lets you pick static colours or a cycling effect.

The new ACX 3.0 cooler takes full advantage of its size with massive 100mm fans. These use double ball bearings, which EVGA claims last up to four times as long as competing sleeve bearing fans. The fans are capable of semi-passive operation too, switching off completely in idle and low power situations.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW Review EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW Review - The Card
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Air is directed down onto the heatsink below, which comprises a full-length fin stack, a massive copper contact plate and six heat pipes; four 6mm and two 8mm. The pipes and fins appear to have been nickel-plated for a consistent shine and finish. The direction of the fins means that not much air will be directed out of the rear I/O, despite it being very porous. Instead, some will be blasted at your motherboard and most of the remainder will be deposited in your chassis.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW Review EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW Review - The Card
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The GPU isn't the only component cooled, as beneath the main heatsink we find EVGA's MMCP (Memory/MOSFET Cooling Plate), a metal plate that draws heat away from the eight Micron 8Gb GDDR5X chips and all the MOSFETS too. The backplate will also indirectly help to dissipate heat from the other side.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW Review EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW Review - The Card
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Examining the naked PCB reveals EVGA's custom 10+2 power phase design, which is a doubling of the 5+1 reference layout. You may also notice that the German manufacturer is using dual 8-pin PCI-E connectors instead of the one favoured by the stock GTX 1080 and indeed all other current EVGA GTX 1080s. This additional headroom and cleaner voltage supply should aid EVGA GTX 1080 FTW cards when it comes to overclocking, but all will be subjected to the usual luck of the draw philosophy too. The PCB also features a dual-BIOS switch.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW Review EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW Review - The Card EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW Review EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW Review - The Card
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The EVGA GTX 1080 FTW ships with the company's standard three-year VGA warranty.

Specifications

  • Graphics processor Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080, 1,721MHz (1,860MHz boost)
  • Pipeline 2,560 stream processors, 160 texture units, 64 ROPs
  • Memory 8GB GDDR5X, 10GHz effective
  • Bandwidth 320GB/sec, 256-bit interface
  • Compatibility DirectX 12, Vulcan, OpenGL 4.5
  • Outputs/Inputs 3 x DisplayPort 1.4, Dual Link DVI-I, HDMI 2.0b
  • Power connections 2 x 8-pin PCI-E, top-mounted
  • Size 267mm long, dual-slot
  • Warranty Three years

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