Pay more for just a little extra performance
While we’re all waiting with bated breath for Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, which will inevitably be timed to spoil AMD’s Vega launch, we’re still more than happy with the supreme performance offered by its existing Pascal-based GeForce GTX 1080 GPU. Now that this chip has been on the market for some time, we’re starting to see rather more exotic graphics cards based on this chip, and the latest is the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1080 Aorus xtreme edition 8G. Let’s check out what that commanding price delivers.
You’re probably going to need a graphics card bracket, or steel-reinforced PCIe physical lanes, as this is one heavy sucker. We don’t have the actual weight, but it feels like a solid four kilograms or more. The rear I/O plate will occupy dual slots, but the added height of the cooler will wipe out a third on the interior. As well as the triple DP 1.4 ports, single HDMI 2.0b and Dual-link DVI-D port on the rear, we love the double HDMI 2.0b ports that Aorus has mounted at the front of the card. This makes it super simple to set up front HDMI 2.0b ports on your case, perfect for VR users. As far as we know, Aorus is the only company to currently offer this feature.
A triple fan cooler uses twin fans nestled above a third fan, ensuring 100% coverage of all the steamy bits. There’s also additional copper cooling on the backplate, as well as the usual copper plate over the GPU and memory. As expected for a premium product, premium capacitors have been used, while the power phase system has been beefed up to a 12+2 system versus the reference product’s 8+2. This is why it has twin 8-pin power plugs included.
The added power and cooling has enabled Aorus to give the GPU a kick in the pants. The base speed has increased from the default of 1607MHz to 1785MHz in OC mode, while Boost Speed increases from 1733MHz to 1936MHz. Even the memory has been tweaked, from 2500MHz to 2600MHz. In real world use, this resulted in a stable Boost speed of 2135MHz, the fastest we’ve seen yet in a GTX 1080. As our benchmarks show, this isn’t a massive increase in real world performance, but we did notice how quiet the cooler was, hitting just 34dB on our sound meter, a single dB lower than the Founder’s edition.
While the extra performance, twin HDMI front-facing ports and excellent cooling is appreciated, there’s no
you’re probably going to need a bracket, or steel-reinforced PCIe physical lanes, as this is one heavy sucker
getting around the fact that this card is around more expensive than the most affordable GeForce GTX 1080 cards, such as the Gigabyte GTX1080 OC 8GB, which can now be had for a mere. Paying almost extra for a couple of percent extra in performance simply can’t be justified for most of us, though we’re guessing extreme overclockers will be able to extract world-record beating performance out of this product.
- Powerful yet quiet
- Twin front-facing HDMI 2.0b ports
- Fastest 1080 Boost
- Very expensive
- Real world speed benefits aren’t massive
At almost 40% more expensive for a mere 2% to 3% performance increase is simply bad maths.