This guide was last updated on
This guide was last updated on
Getting your hands on the best GTX 1080 card isn’t as easy as you think that is. It’s difficult to pinpoint which brand to choose from – we have Asus, EVGA, GIGABYTE, and a whole lot more.
Not to mention you have to consider its cooling, design, and even the brand’s service. We’ve considered all of them to help you out, check it down below!
Although I rarely review any Palit products, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t awesome. As for one of their recent product moves, they have come up with the GameRock series.
As a matter of fact, they have done it in quite a few distinctive flavors.
We have managed to try out the GTX 1080 version that comes in with G-Panel. Basically, it’s what you’d consider as a breakout box that enables GPU monitoring.
While you might have been accustomed to the black and white coating, this sports a different color combination, which you may dislike. However, its performance says otherwise. It runs at an incredible speed – well, faster than most cards of the same price range, at least.
This has been made with an all custom design (which I think compensates for the poor color combination.) It has a dual-fan triple slot cooler that you can rely on when things start heating up.
As what you might have guessed, it’s freaking huge. I’m not complaining, it does its job perfectly. It maintains the temperature of the Pascal GP104-400 GPU at an ideal level.
It’s at roughly 70 Degrees C, and you don’t have to worry about any unnecessary noise. The entire process is whisper silent, which makes it a reliable graphics card to get. Simply put, it’s one of the most silent cards we’ve tried so far.
At the same time, it carries a hefty factory tweak. It means this baby can carry on an impressive 2 GHz 24/7. I wouldn’t call this as an overall package if it doesn’t have the awesome RGB LED lighting to boot.
We admire the people at Palit for throwing something unique. Honestly, the GameRock Premium Edition is pretty admirable as it has the epic base clock of 1746MHz. In addition, it holds a boost clock of 1885 MHz.
Moving on, this baby has a tweaked memory. It means it runs at an effective 10500MHz as long as it runs on a flashy Micron GDDR5X graphics memory.
You’re going to notice that the board of this baby has been built based on a custom power supply. Also, you have the 8 GPU and 2 memory power phases to look forward to.
Let’s talk more about its cooler, this is where RGB LED system comes into play. It has the capacity to light the front and top side to make the entire thing lively and attractive. You can try this on with either a 6-pin and 8-pin power.
Let’s hear it from the representative of ZOTAC. Now, this is known for its focus on the card’s compact design. Astonishingly, we’re surprised how it’s able to serve up one hell of a gaming performance despite only having the length of 21cm.
This has the DIY gamer factor as it holds a respectable reputation of being one of the smallest GTX 1080 creations. But I know you’re itching to know if whether it’s able to run silently and coolly? Well, let’s find out.
Back in 2016, there was a full-range Pascal inspired processors distributed, and as what you might have guessed, this one the models (along with 1070.)
They’ve done particularly well due to their product positioning. And although people would often go for 1070 because of attractive price range, 1080 is on a whole new level and is perfect for people who want to grab the higher-end.
This comes in with a reliable cooler, it’s at around 6 mm-thick copper heat-pipes. With that being said, it follows through a rather thick aluminum fin-stack. One of its unique feature, which totally separates ZOTAC 1080 from the rest of its squad is that it has two fans.
Going to the left, you have IceStorm feature for cooling, and on the right you’re given a 100 mm fan. Going to the backside of the graphics card, you’ll be able to find a back plate.
There’s a slight difference between this card and the reference edition card, this has been clocked marginally.
We find it cool that they have left the memory untouched boasting at 10 GHz (GDDR5X-effective). Correspondingly, the cooler has a decent performance.
If you’re worried about the noise levels, it isn’t loud enough to distract you in-game. If you ask me, it’s at an acceptable level.
Let’s talk about the perks of getting this one. ZOTAC has proclaimed that this is the ultimate gaming platform – how could you say no to that?
Like I said earlier, it follows the all-new NVIDIA Pascal architecture. It basically means you get all of the advantages you want from a graphics card. I’m talking about new gaming technologies, immersive Virtual Reality, and many more.
Digging deeper on its performance and power efficiency, it’s one of the best there is. This sports the ultra-fast FinFET. At the same time, it carries the high-bandwidth GDDR5X technologies.
Basically speaking, it has everything synchronized together for the fastest, smoothest, most power-efficient gaming experiences.
You know what they say, when it comes to getting a new taste of class and performance, you can bet it on GTX 1080 Phoenix (did I mention the name’s pretty darn cool, too?)
It’s on a league of its own for enhanced-performing gaming.
If you’re the type of gamer who wants to try various things for experimentation, then you’ll definitely to experiment around with all of the NVIDIA features it has to offer.
Just in case you haven’t been informed before, NVIDIA has stated that its reference cards and partners are all set with custom designs. Now, this is where it gets interesting, Gainward is a beast when it comes down to that.
As you can see, Gainward has been known to be partnered for the longest time, and they really know hot make a riot for the users – in a positive way, of course. This time around, the makers decided to release something appealing, and GTX 1080 Phoenix came to be.
Even when compared with other cards on the market, this outshines most of the graphics with its innovative design. It even has additional tweaks across a PCB.
Of course, nothing was made out of coincidence. The reason why there are three wide slots is that to ensure that silence is maintained while the card is working. Gainward wanted to guarantee that convenience is being observed at all times.
The cooler is three slots wide and according to Gainward this was done to deliver the card which is quiet in all working scenarios.
Another thing to note, the card’s Pascal architecture is more up-to-date and advanced than 28nm FinFET used for the GM204. The reason is simple, it uses TSMC's 16nm FinFET node to keep the users at the edge of their seats.
There’s a simple trick you can do, by simply reducing the physical size of transistors, you can do amazing things. For example, it’s now doable to jam 7.2 billion transistors into a 314 mm² package.
This is totally on a whole new different level than the 5.2 billion transistors packed into 398 mm². To put it simply, it’s better than the rest you’ve seen on the market – mostly, at least.
Let’s hit some more high notes for GTX 1080 Phoenix. It generally has more features to love – in fact, it even has more CUDA cores (2560 vs. 2048. It has MORE of everything that includes MORE TMUs (160 vs. 128).
You might have noticed that the design remains the same. Yes, you can still say that there are 128 CUDA cores for every streaming multiprocessor. They have also decided to keep the data per clock from the Maxwell generation as well.
However, they did upgrade the memory – running from 4GB to an impressive 8GB. The bandwidth has increased as well from 224GB to a whopping 320GB. Also, this doesn’t utilize the new HBM2 memory. Instead, it utilizes the awesome GDDR5X memory for fast results.
Let’s get our hands on this killer beast. Just like with the other cards on the list, this baby does not disappoint. It does what it’s expected to do, and it does it in style.
If you have the latest games of today in your stash, then you can bet this beast of a card is capable of running it at 4k 60fps with high settings.
If you own a game that was released in the market before 2013-2014, then this puppy works best.
It runs at 4K like it’s nothing, which makes it a great deal to get. Most people would worry about the power consumption, but this isn’t something to break a sweat about. It has an 8 pin connector.
The great thing about the graphics card is that you’re able to overlock GeForce GTX 1080 XTREME to 2,114MHz. Correspondingly, it has the capability of sustaining the game effectively.
Next up, we have the temperatures. I’d say the company has done well in creating a card that’s at 70C. Of course, this is when we’ve maxed it to the highest temp and with overlocked settings. The reason why we’re impressed is due to the fact it can handle at 93C (max.)
However, it would be best not to abuse its features for longevity. Make sure that it does not go beyond 75C to keep the card at bay. When it’s on idle, it has a temperature of 35-40C.
Moving on to the most important aspect to check on – the performance. It’s already expected that it has the power to take on 1080p ultra. It also kills the game on 1440p ultra as well, which makes it the king.
A few paragraphs ago, I did mention that it’s possible to achieve 4K 60 FPS. However, it does require some effort to get it, you can tweak around the settings to get the desired number.
Ideally, you utilize MSI afterburner. And when you’re in-game, make sure you’ve checked for the card’s GPU usage. Continue on playing around with the settings until you’ve find the GPU usage at around 85-95%.
Let me tell you, this is the most preferable image output you can get while it keeps it at an awesome 60 fps. From my personal experience, you don’t have to fret about sacrificing some settings to get a consistent output – hey, 4K has A LOT of pixels.
If you’ve just started out taking an interest to the gaming industry, then there are few things which you have to keep in mind. It’s important to make sure that you own a great CPU that can meet the standards, this will prevent a bottleneck.
To save yourself from complaining in the future, double-check to ensure that the graphics card has been attached perfectly to the slot. It’ll help you avoid any potential damage to your socket caused by the weight of the GPU.
In addition, don’t try to overclock the GPU when it’s not needed. Its natural features are already good as it is, giving it more power than it needs is an overkill. Your drivers will have the possibility of crashing.
Changing the spotlight to MSI Gaming GeForce. Well, this baby packs a heavy punch in the market. And we can safely say that it’s one of the most reliable brands to get.
Not only that, but when it comes to innovation and technology, this has it down.
Let’s talk more about its Innovative TORX 2.0 Fan Technology. I particularly like how the makers were thinking outside the box to make this a huge success.
The technology that the card uses calls for teamwork as it’s what helps TWIN FROZR VI to be on a different league than the rest of the cards on the block. It has the capacity to reach new levels of cool, which is always appreciated.
With that being said, they didn’t only invest time and money to make this a hit, but they’ve brainstormed for a way to make this card one of THE best to get.
Its fan design isn’t just there for the perks, but it produces 22% MORE air pressure than the leading brands, and it’s basically on the same price range. It keeps its performance silent no matter how hot the battle is getting.
For the next one, we have the double ball bearings to check out. It carries a purpose of keeping the card durable throughout the years of gaming and abuse. For starters, the double ball bearings has a special MSI TORX 2.0 Fans.
This sports a rather strong core that would entail smooth gaming. At the same time, they have the ability of being at bay despite it has been spinning under load.
You can see that the makers have strived to make this card cool at all times, and they’ve happily succeeded their goal. Moreover, there’s not a slightest detail that has been overlooked.
The graphics card proudly sports a premium thermal compound for you to check out. There are certain occasions where skill isn’t enough, sometimes you need to have a helping hand from your system. This understands how crucial the role is, thus it guarantees to outlive the competition.
This doesn’t fall short in any features whatsoever, that’s why it carries an impressive 8mm thick copper heat pipes. This makes sure that heat transfer is maximized each time.
Although performance is an important aspect, you can’t help but appreciate the extra perks, right? If you’re a person who does not only care about the performance level, but also the additional features, then you’ll surely think highly of its customized LED.
You have the power to control each led as you wish. With that being said, you can choose your desired animation effects at your own will.
As long as it can be found in the MSI Gaming application. It has a lot of to go around with – from game sounds to steady light. It even has the breathing and flashing features as well.
All in all, there’s nothing that this baby can’t do as it holds one of the most advanced features in the gaming market today. You can bet on its Advance Zero Frozr Technology anytime.
Right on our list, we have the great EVGA to entertain us with its spectacular specs – see what I did there?
Honestly, it’s one of the greatest card to date. Although there are people who have claimed that it has an inventory issue, it doesn’t directly affect the performance.
In addition, the price range isn’t as friendly as we like it to be, but it’s definitely worth the leap.
If you’re going to put those two factors aside, you’re being faced with a top-shelf A+ grade card. It definitely stands with the top cards on the market – if not leading them. Currently, this is the best anyone can go. And I’m not just saying it because I’m a huge fan of EVGA.
When it comes to the size and aesthetics, it definitely is the right card for the job. This isn’t a particularly small card; however, it surprised me by fitting in my Corsair 540 case, which is makes it gain another point for favor.
There are certain things which you have to secure though – ideally, you should have two pin power connectors. And of course, you’ll also find a high-quality 600w PSU to be useful.
Now, how does it stand looking at it performance wise? Well, let’s just say that it’s not your ordinary card. I gave it a test dive with BF4, and the result was amazing. I was sporting a Dell 27" 4k IPS monitor. In the very near future, I might test this out on a 1440p 144Hz G-Sync monitor.
The gameplay was amazing, this baby can serve you a consistent 60FPS on BF4 with all Ultra settings – yes, you have it right, it’s even in 4K!
Well, it isn’t ALL that perfect. It has the tendency to bump or match the refresh rate of 60Hz, but it’s already expected. However, its frame rate keeps its consistency. This kind of got my attention right away, it offers a different experience than the rest of the cards I’ve tried before.
There are more things where you can be impressed about. For example, it seems EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 has capacity to instantly clock to over 2000MHz WHILE in silence, there’s not a single unnecessary sound that could be heard.
I also like the fact that EVGA took the courtesy of upgrading their Precision X "OC" app for Pascal, the results could never have been better. It runs at a cool pace, and it has an awesome 55% fan profile. I’ve noticed that the card remained in the low to mid 60s (C).
Since no one wants to own an ugly card, then you’ll find the backplate to be attractive. You basically have the control – via Precision X app – where you can change the RGB colors to what you think is most fitting. Personally, I like to pulsate the lights with different colors, it’s pretty great.