NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition Video Card Review


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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


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!


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!