The GeForce GTX 1080 You've Been Dreaming About?

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 video card is currently the most powerful graphics card in the world according to our own benchmarks. The GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition is a great card, but many are waiting for custom board partner cards that feature higher clock frequencies and custom cooling solutions to become readily available. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 and GeForce GTX 1070 cards are still hard to find, but supply is slowly getting better. The GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition costs $100 more than the GeForce GTX 1080 $599 MSRP, so it's safe to say that most gamers will be looking at custom cards from companies like EVGA as they are going to be faster, run cooler while gaming and more than likely cost less. The heart of all GeForce GTX 1080 cards is the same GP104 'Pascal' GPU build on the 16nm FinFET process, so for most the choice is simple. EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Series EVGA currently offers five different EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 models ranging in price from $609.99 for their base model all the way up to $699.99 for the Founders Edition. Today, we'll be looking at the EVGA GTX 1080 SC Gaming that sports a pretty decent overclock straight out of the box and is priced right in the middle. When it comes to clock speeds the GeForce GTX 1080 FE features a 1607MHz base and 1733MHz boost clock for $699.99. The EVGA GeForce GTX SuperClock (SC) has a 1708 MHz base clock and an 1847MHz boost clock for $649.99 and then there is the EVGA GeForce GTX FTW Gaming that has slightly higher clock speeds of 1721MHz base and boost of 1860MHz. and boosts up to 1,860MHz for $679.99. The EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW and GeForce GTX 1080 SC cards both have clock speeds greater than the Founders Edition. Notice that the 8GB of GDDR5X memory that runs at a default 10,000MHz on all of the cards!
GTX 1080 GTX 1070 GTX 980 Ti GTX 980 GTX 780 GTX 680 GTX 580
Microarchitecture Pascal Pascal Maxwell Maxwell Kepler Refresh Kepler Fermi
Stream Processors 2560 1920 2816 2048 2304 1536 512
Texture Units 160 120 176 128 192 128 64
ROPs 64 64 96 64 48 32 48
Core Clock 1607MHz 1506MHz 1000MHz 1126MHz 863MHz 1006MHz 772MHz
Shader Clock N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 1544MHz
Boost Clock 1733MHz 1683MHz 1075MHz 1216MHz 900MHz 1058MHz N/A
Frame Buffer 8GB 8GB 6GB 4GB 3GB 2GB 1.5GB
Effective Memory Clock 10,010MHz GDDR5X 8,012MHz GDDR5 7,010MHz GDDR5 7,000MHz GDDR5 6,008MHz GDDR5 6,008MHz GDDR5 4,008MHz GDDR5
Memory Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit 384-bit 256-bit 384-bit 256-bit 384-bit
Memory Bandwidth 320 256 336.5 224 288 192.3 192.4
FP64 1/32 1/32 1/32 1/32 FP32 1/24 FP32 1/24 FP32 1/8 FP32
TFLOPS 8.9 - Peak 8.2 - Base 6.5 - Peak 5.8 - Base 5.6 5 4 3 1.5
GFLOPS/Watt  49 43 22 30 15 15 6
TDP 180W 150W 250W 165W 250W 195W 244W
Transistor Count 7.2B 7.2B 8.0B 5.2B 7.1B 3.5B 3B
Manufacturing Process TSMC 16nm TSMC 16nm TSMC 28nm TSMC 28nm TSMC 28nm TSMC 28nm TSMC 40nm
Release Date 05/2016 05/2016 05/2015 09/2014 05/2013 03/2012 11/2010
Launch Price $699 $449 $649 $549 $649 $499 $499
Here is a table that compares NVIDIA's current models against those that have been released in the past half decade. EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClock The EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC Gaming ACX 3.0 is a dual-slot form factor card that measures in at 267mm in length and 128mm in height. The ACX 3.0 GPU cooler is more than enough for the 180W TDP GPU and believe it or not the two 100mm fans switch off completely when temperature is below 60°C, so this is a 0dB card when at idle. The ACX 3.0 cooler has radical new looks and EVGA claims it will allow the GeForce GTX 1080 to run up to 10% cooler and up to 13% quieter than the Founder Edition. ACX 3.0 We like the new look, but on our card there was protective plastic film on each silver metal piece and then another layer across the top of the card. The top layer peeled right off, but the folks on the assembly line put the screws on the silver metal pieces over the film. That meant we had to unscrew nearly each and every one to get tiny plastic pieces off the card. EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC Power Connector EVGA used just a single 8-pin power connector for this model and there is just one BIOS on it. The honeycombed screens on the face of the cards has white LED lights. If you wanted a dual-BIOS card with two 8-pin connectors and full RGB lighting (controlled by EVGA's Precision X OC utility) you'll need to spend the extra $20 and get the EVGA GTX 1080 FTW model.   EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC Backplate The back of the card has a full-coverage backplate with some mesh screens in a number of spots for improved airflow and heat dissipation. EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC Video Outputs The video outputs on the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC video card include three DisplayPort connectors, an HDMI 2.0b connector (supporting 4k@60Hz) and a single dual-link DVI output. While there are a total of five video connections, only four can be used simultaneously. The DisplayPort outputs are 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.   Let's move along to the test system overview and then get straight on to the benchmark results!

Test System

Before we look at the numbers, let's take a brief look at the test system that was used. All testing was done using a fresh install of Windows 10 Pro 64-bit and benchmarks were completed on the desktop with no other software programs running.  There has been some concern of people testing a cold card versus a hot card, but we've always done out testing 'hot' since the site started back more than a decade ago. Video Cards & Drivers used for testing: GTX 1080 Test System

Intel X79/LGA2011 Platform

The Intel X79 platform that we used to test the all of the video cards was running the ASUS P9X79-E WS motherboard with BIOS 1704 that came out on 05/08/2015. We went with the Intel Core i7-4960X Ivy Bridge-E processor to power this platform as it is PCIe 3.0 certified, so all graphics cards are tested with PCI Express Gen 3 enabled. The Kingston HyperX 10th Anniversary 16GB 2400MHz quad channel memory kit was set to XMP Profile #2. This profile defaults to 2133MHz with 1.65v and 11-13-13-30 2T memory timings. The OCZ Vertex 460 240GB SSD was run with latest firmware available. A Corsair AX860i digital power supply provides clean power to the system and is also silent as the fan hardly ever spins up. This is critical to our testing as it lowers the ambient noise level of the room and gives us more accurate sound measurements. Test System Settings Here are the exact hardware components that we are using on our test system:
The Intel X79 Test Platform

Component

Brand/Model

Live Pricing

Processor Intel Core i7-4960X
Motherboard
ASUS P9X79-E WS
Memory
16GB Kingston 2133MHz
Video Card Various
Solid-State Drive OCZ Vertex 460 240GB
Cooling Intel TS13X (Asetek)
Power Supply Corsair AX860i
Operating System Windows 10 64-bit
Monitor Sharp PN-K321 32" 4K
  EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC Video Card GPU-Z Info: EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC GPU-Z Let's move on to the Battlefield 4 benchmark results!

Battlefield 4

bf4-screenshot Battlefield 4 is a first-person shooter video game developed by EA Digital Illusions CE (DICE) and published by Electronic Arts. It is a sequel to 2011's Battlefield 3 and was released on October 29, 2013 in North America. Battlefield 4's single-player Campaign takes place in 2020, six years after the events of its predecessor. Tensions between Russia and the United States have been running at a record high. On top of this, China is also on the brink of war, as Admiral Chang, the main antagonist, plans to overthrow China's current government; and, if successful, the Russians will have full support from the Chinese, bringing China into a war with the United States. bf4-settings This game title uses the Frostbite 3 game engine and looks great. We tested Battlefield 4 with the Ultra graphics quality preset as most discrete desktop graphics cards can easily play with this IQ setting at 1080P and we still want to be able to push the higher-end cards down the road. We used FRAPS to benchmark with these settings on the Shanghai level. All tests were done with the DirectX 11 API. evga-1080-bf4-1080p Benchmark Results: At 1080p resolution the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC was 1FPS faster than the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 FE on average.  evga-1080-bf4-2k Benchmark Results: When you move up to a 2560x1440 display we found the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC was 2FPS faster than the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 FE on average.  evga-1080-bf4-4k Benchmark Results:  When it comes to 4K Ultra HD gaming, the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC was again 2FPS faster than the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 FE on average. 

Fallout 4

Fallout4 Fallout 4 is an open world action role-playing video game developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. Fallout 4 is set in a post-apocalyptic Boston in the year 2287, 210 years after a devastating nuclear war, in which the player character emerges from an underground bunker known as a Vault. Gameplay is similar to Fallout 3.  The title is the fifth major installment in the Fallout series and was released worldwide on November 10th, 2015. fallout4 settings Fallout 4 was benchmarked with ultra image quality settings with TAA and 16x AF. These settings are tough for entry level discrete graphics cards, but are more than playable on high-end gaming graphics cards. V-Sync can't be disabled in the games options, so we edited the necessary INI files and disabled vsync in the driver software as well. We used FRAPS to benchmark Fallout 4 after you emerge from the vault and are in The Commonwealth. evga-1080-fallout-1080p Benchmark Results: In Fallout 4, at 1920x1080, the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC was 1.9 FPS faster than the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 FE on average.  evga-1080-fallout-2k Benchmark Results: With the display resolution cranked up to 2560x1440 the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC was <1 FPS faster than the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 FE on average.  fallout-4k Benchmark Results: When we increased the resolution to 3840x2160 for some 4K gaming goodness, the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC was again <1 FPS faster than the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 FE on average. 

Grand Theft Auto V

GTAV Grand Theft Auto V, currently one of the hottest PC games, was finally released for the PC on April 14, 2015.  Developed by Rockstar, it is set in 2013 and the city of Los Santos.  It utilizes the Rockstar Advanced Game Engine (RAGE) which Rockstar has been using since 2006, with multiple updates for technology improvements. GTA5-settings GTA5-settings2 In Grand Theft Auto V we set the game to run with no MSAA with 16x AF and high image quality settings as we didn't want the GPU to bottleneck the system too bad, but wanted a setup that your average gamer would actually play on. We used the games built-in benchmark utility to have at least one game we used that could be compared to your setup at home. We averaged all the five of the default benchmark runs and omitted both the minimum and maximum values as those results are garbage due to major inconsistencies. gtav-1080p 1080P Benchmark Results: After running the games built-in benchmark and averaging the runs together, we found that the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC was 3 FPS faster than the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 FE on average.  gtav-2k 1440P Benchmark Results: After running the games built-in benchmark and averaging the runs together, we found that the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC was 1 FPS faster than the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 FE on average.  gtav-4k 4K Ultra HD Benchmark Results: Though with a decently lower minimum framerate, the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC was almost 2 FPS faster than the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 FE on average. 

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider Rise of the Tomb Raider is a third-person action-adventure video game developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by Square Enix. It is the sequel to the 2013 video game Tomb Raider, which was itself, the second reboot to its series. It was released for Microsoft Windows in January 2016. Players control Lara Croft through various environments, battling enemies, and completing puzzle platforming sections, while using improvised weapons and gadgets in order to progress through the story. tomb-raider-settings tomb-raider-settings2 Crystal Dynamics used a proprietary game engine called 'Foundation' for Rise of the Tomb Raider and it is able to create some pretty nice looking graphics. We tested Rise of the Tomb Raider with the Very High preset, but then changed the ambient occlusion setting from HBAO+ (an NVIDIA developed feature) to 'ON' to have as fair of a match up as we could. We also disabled VSync. Once we had the graphics and display settings figured out we used FRAPS to manually benchmark a section of the Siberian Wilderness that is about 10% into the game for a couple minutes. Rise of the Tomb Raider does not have a built-in benchmark, so this is one of the only ways you can benchmark this particular game title. evga-1080-rotr-1080p 1080P Benchmark Results: The EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC was nearly 5 FPS faster than the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 FE on average.  evga-1080-rotr-2k 1440P Benchmark Results: With the resolution cranked up to 25x14, the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC was 2 FPS faster than the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 FE on average.  evga-1080-rotr-4k 4K Ultra HD Benchmark Results: Rise of the Tomb Raider is brutal against all cards at 4K with these image quality settings, but the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC was almost 1 FPS faster than the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 FE on average.

Star Wars: Battlefront

Star Wars Battlefront Star Wars: Battlefront is a series of first- and third-person shooter video games based on the Star Wars films. Players take the role of soldiers in either of two opposing armies in different time periods of the Star Wars universe. Star Wars: Battlefront is built on the Frostbite 3 engine. Thief is the fourth title in the Thief series, developed by Digital Illusions CE and published by EA DICE/Disney Interactive on November 17, 2015. Starwars Battlefront Graphics Settings We ran Star Wars: Battlefront with the image quality settings set at Ultra and VSYNC  was disabled. We used FRAPS to benchmark with these settings on Battle on Tatooine. evga-1080-star-1080p 1080P Benchmark Results: All of these high end cards were able to play Star Wars: Battlefront at 1080P Full HD resolution and it looks like we are becoming CPU limited here on the higher end cards!  The EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC was ~3 FPS faster than the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 FE on average.  evga-1080-star-2k 1440P Benchmark Results:  When we played Battlefront at 2560x1440, the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC was 4 FPS faster than the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 FE on average. evga-1080-star-4k 4K Ultra HD Benchmark Results: When moving up to 3840x2160, the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC was 3.6 FPS faster than the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 FE on average.   

Tom Clancy's The Division

TheDivision Tom Clancy's The Division is an online-only open world third-person shooter video game developed by Ubisoft Massive and published by Ubisoft, with assistance from Red Storm Entertainment, for Microsoft Windows,PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It was announced during Ubisoft's E3 2013 press conference, and was released worldwide on March 8th, 2016. The Division is set in a dystopian New York City in the aftermath of a smallpoxpandemic; the player, who is an agent of the titular Strategic Homeland Division, commonly referred to as simply "The Division", is tasked with helping to rebuild the Division's operations in Manhattan, investigating the nature of the outbreak and combating criminal activity in its wake. The Division is structured with elements of role-playing games, as well as collaborative and player versus player online multiplayer. The Division settings The Division uses Ubisoft's new proprietary engine known as Snowdrop, which is made for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Snowdrop was created in-house, at Massive, in response to a specific requirement: to do things better, not bigger. The engine focuses on dynamic global illumination, stunning procedural destruction and a great amount of detail and visual effects. The developers wanted a powerful engine that works intelligently and not by brute force only. The Division settings We ran The Division with the image quality settings set at Ultra and VSYNC was disabled. We tried to FRAPS to benchmark with these settings, but found it was pretty much impossible due to the night and day cycle always changing when you enter the game and the spot where you load in the open world is slightly different. Unable to get consistent results we resorted to used the games built-in benchmark. evga-1080-div-1080p 1080P Benchmark Results: Even at lower resolutions, The Division is a very punishing yet beautiful game, and at 1920x1080 we averaged roughly 97 FPS on the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC. evga-1080-div-2k 1440P Benchmark Results:  As we scale up the resolution to 2560x1440, the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC was 1.3 FPS faster than the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 FE on average.  evga-1080-div-4k 4K Ultra HD Benchmark Results: When moving up to 3840x2160, we find that the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC was 0.2 FPS faster than the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 FE on average. 

3DMark 2013

3Dmark Fire Strike Benchmark Results - For high performance gaming PCs Use Fire Strike to test the performance of dedicated gaming PCs, or use the Fire Strike Extreme preset for high-end systems with multiple GPUs. Fire Strike uses a multi-threaded DirectX 11 engine to test DirectX 11 hardware.

3DMark Fire Strike

Fire Strike Benchmark Results:

evga-1080-3dmark-fire

Benchmark Results: The 3DMark Fire Strike benchmark had the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 FE scoring 17,114 points versus the 17,300 on the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked card. 

Fire Strike Extreme Benchmark Results: evga-1080-3dmark

Benchmark Results: In 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme we see different scores, but basically the same scaling and performance results between the cards. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 FE scored 9,387 points and the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC came in at 9,622 points.

Temperature & Noise Testing

The gaming performance on a graphics card is the most important factor in buying a card, but you also need to be concerned about the noise, temperature and power consumption numbers. EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC Idle and Load Temps: EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC Temps When it comes to temperatures the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SCS Gaming ACX 3.0 idled around 56C on our open air test bench and then hit 75C at load while gaming. The ACX 3.0 cooler features a 0dB fan design until the temperatures top 60C, so this is why the fan speed shows 0dB at idle and why the idle temps are so high. At load our fan topped out at 2,300 RPM while gaming. Notice that the boost clock speed on our card topped out at 1936MHz at times despite being rated at 1848MHz. temp-testing-evga Here is a chart that shows the temperatures of the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC versus some other high-end desktop cards. It's 8C cooler than the Founders Edition at load.  

Sound Testing

We test noise levels with an Extech sound level meter that has ±1.5dB accuracy that meets Type 2 standards. This meter ranges from 35dB to 90dB on the low measurement range, which is perfect for us as our test room usually averages around 36dB. We measure the sound level two inches above the corner of the motherboard with 'A' frequency weighting. The microphone wind cover is used to make sure no wind is blowing across the microphone, which would seriously throw off the data.

noise-evga-1080 Our EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC sample had no choke whine whatsoever and the double ball bearings on the 100mm fans were very quiet. This is the first flagship card that we have benchmarked recently that doesn't get over 40dB! No sound issues with this card! ** The AMD Radeon R9 Fury X reference card that we are using was the original model with a loud water pump that whines. AMD changed the pump design before the cards hit the retail market, but wasn't willing to replace ours. We expect retail cards to perform quieter for this and hopefully AMD will send us a replacement card for proper noise testing. **

Power Consumption

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC For testing power consumption, we took our test system and plugged it into a Kill-A-Watt power meter. For idle numbers, we allowed the system to idle on the desktop for 15 minutes and took the reading. For load numbers we ran Battlefield 4 at 3840x2160 and recorded the average idle reading and the peak gaming reading on the power meter. power-evga-1080 Power Consumption Results: The EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC in our test system used 99 Watts at idle and 342 Watts at peak 4K gaming. This is the same exact idle numbers as the Founders Edition model and slightly more at load, which makes sense due to the higher clock speeds.

EVGAGeForce GTX 1080 SC Overclocking

As you saw from the benchmarks on the previous pages, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 is no slouch at stock speeds! Those looking for even more performance can use an overclocking utility like EVGA Precision X to get even more performance from the GP104 'Pascal' GPU. This is due to the fact that NVIDIA left plenty of overhead with particular GPU for enthusaists and gamers to tap into if they wanted to push the envelope a little bit. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 108 is power limited in most game titles and it will often hit the stock temperature target of 83C, so it will also benefit from additional power and a higher temperature target. EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC Precision X We installed a latest version of the EVGA PrecisionX 16 overclocking utility to overclock the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC video card! You can use whatever software utility you like for overclocking, but this was the only one available that supports the Pascal GPU architecture at the time of testing. EVGA OC To overclock the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC we raised the power target to 120% and the locked GPU Temp Target to 92C. We pushed the GPU Clock offset to +100MHz and the Mem Clock Offset to +600MHz on our card and found it was stable in the game titles that we tested. Not a huge overclock on the core, but better than nothing! EVGA OC This overclock meant that we were running at up to 2025.0 MHz at times thanks to NVIDIA Boost 3.0 on the core and 11,200 MHz effective on the 8GB of GDDR5 memory.   EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC Overclocked (+100/+600): firestrile-oc By overclocking the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked graphics card we were able to take the score of 17,300 on 3DMark Fire Strike and raise it up to 17,753. This is a 453 point increase in our overall 3DMark score, which represents a performance gain of 2.6 percent. Let's wrap this review up!

Final Thoughts and Conclusions

The EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC Gaming ACX 3.0 is a very nice graphics card that proved to be above-average is everything we looked at. This card offers some pretty good improvements over the NVIDIA Founders Edition version and we can see it selling really well. The new ACX 3.0 GPU Cooler looks great and the performance was appealing thanks in part to the low gaming temperatures and 0dB fan design when the card was at idle. It's really hard to find negatives with this card as it topped all of our performance charts when it mattered, was at the bottom of the chart for noise levels and right in the middle for power consumption. NVIDIA has done a great job with Pascal and it's hard to not see it as a winner! EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClock   When it comes to pricing the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC has an MSRP of $649.99 and it is pretty tough to find right now. We expect availability to improve here shortly and the crazy prices you are seeing on Amazon below will hopefully be back to normal. You also have to wonder if EVGA plans on releasing EVGA GeForce GTX Classified, Kingpin, or Hydro Copper versions once the supply and demand issues are over. The EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked graphics card is pretty sweet and if you don't need the extra frills of the FTW edition you won't be disappointed. This card easily gets our recommended award for doing so well and being priced below the Founders Edition! LR Recommended Award Legit Bottom Line:  The EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC is one heck of a card and we can't wait to see what other models EVGA is working on!