NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition Video Card Review

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The GeForce GTX 1080 8GB Founders Edition

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 is a dual-slot form factor card that measures in at 10.5-inches in length. The reference card is going to be sold as the ‘Founders Edition’ model by Add-In-Board (AIB) partners and will be available for $100 more than the custom AIB cards. NVIDIA is doing this as to not compete with their customers and to allow gamers that want to still be able to buy the reference design card if they want to know they are getting something that was designed right for long term use.

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The top of the GeForce GTX 1080 still has the green LED backlit NVIDIA logo and and also shows the single 8-pin power connector that is needed for proper operation of this 180W TDP card.

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The angled design is something new from NVIDIA for this generation, but it looks great in person.

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The GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition card has a full-coverage backplate with a huge removable cutout for improving air flow for SLI users. Those with a multi-SLI setup have had to deal with heat issues and NVIDIA is trying their best to mitigate the heat issues caused by running two cards so close to one another and this is one way to open up some space for the cooling fan!

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The video outputs on the GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition graphics card has three DisplayPort connectors, an HDMI 2.0b connector (supporting 4k@60Hz) and a single dual-link DVI output.

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This means that NVIDIA now offers a total of five video connections, but only four can be used simultaneously. DisplayPort is 1.2 certified and spec DP 1.3/1.4-ready, which means it supports 4K screens at 120Hz or 5K at 60Hz from a single cable and an 8K display at 60Hz if you are using two cables.

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When it comes to video encoding and decoding support the GeForce GTX 1080 supports far more formats than the older GeForce GTX 980.

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The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 features the usual radial fan that has become standard for them in recent years, but they are now using a vapor chamber GPU cooler design to help keep the GP104 Pascal GPU nice and cool. This is the first time NVIDIA has used vapor chamber cooling on a sub 250W graphics card!

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NVIDIA says that the default GPU Boost 3.0 settings will allow the GTX 1080 to boost up to 1733MHz and the cards target temperature is 83C by default. Once you pull the CPU cooler entirely off you can see the PCB of the GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition along with the GP104 GPU, GDDR5X memory ICs and the 5-phase dual-FET power phase design. NVIDIA also added extra capacitance to their filtering network, and optimized the power delivery network on the PCB for low impedance. As a result, power efficiency increased by roughly 6% compared to the GTX 980, and peak to peak voltage noise was reduced from 209mV to 120mV for improved overclocking.

Let’s move along to the GeForce GTX 1080 test system and then get straight on to the benchmark results!

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  • Nick G.

    I have the amp extreme 980ti, and I really love it. It’s boost clock sits at 1445 constant. Since I knew it would go there, I just disabled the auto boosting and manually overclocked it to 1655 with just a small bump in power (105%). After that, it’s dead even with a 1080. I bought it in January 2016 (This year as of this writing) and been super happy with it. I would say if you have a lower card, then the 1080 is the way to go now, but If everything is fine it’s not worth the jump.

    With all that said, I’m really looking forward to seeing what Zotac does with the 1080Ti, that’s when I’ll jump to the 1080 series, or something newer. I usually upgrade every 2 years or so.

  • Jose Suarez

    Small typo in the overclocking page. “By overclocking the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB reference card we were able to take the score of 17,114 on 3DMark Fire Strike and raise it up to 17911.”

    Nice article legitreviews. Keep up the good work.

  • MoogleStiltzkin

    can you please add the division into the benchmark if possible :{ as well as ashes of singularity as a dx12 async compute test xd.

  • Cordell Hughes

    The Nvidia GTX 1080 vs. the AMD Radeon Pro Duo. I’ve looked on over a dozen reviews sites and the Radeon Pro Duo is nowhere to be found with the GTX 1080 which just came out this week. is there some kind of restraining contract that keeps reviewers benchmarking the two together or what?

    • Nathan Kirsch

      AMD didn’t sample us with an AMD Radeon Pro Duo since it’s really not aimed at gamers. If you know of someone that would let me borrow one for 24 hours I’ll happily benchmark it and overnight mail it back!

  • Dicehunter

    The GP104 isn’t partially disabled as you say in the overclocking section, It’s the full GP104 chip.

  • Ali D

    thanks for the review Nathan.

  • Wookie Groomer

    THANK YOU for reviewing it against the Zotac AMP! Extreme. That’s the card I have and no one seems to use it as a reference card for fastest off the shelf 980ti against the new 1080. I suspected it wouldn’t be too far behind like all the other stock 980ti card reviews I have read. I hope with the new 3rd party cards with “extreme” factory overclocking and better cooling the numbers will skyrocket when used in sli.

    • Nathan Kirsch

      My pleasure… Not sure why more sites didn’t use some of the factory overclocked AIB cards as those were by far the most sold variant for the 980 Ti series!

  • Khaled Mohamed Gharib

    The 1080p Fallout and Tomb Raider Charts has the Average and Minimum Colors swapped, and there is no 1080p chart for GTAV.. Time for me to buy a 4K monitor I guess. J/K

    • Nathan Kirsch

      Fixed the chart colors just now after you pointed out that two had the colors switched. Thanks for pointing that out! The GTAV 1080P numbers will be up after spot checking a odd number!

  • Khaled Mohamed Gharib

    In BF4, Average is Orange. In Fallout 4, Average is Blue. In GTAV, Average is Blue, Again. Tomb Raider: Orange. Too frustrating for me.