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When it comes to picking a GTX 1080 for your next PC build, i’m sure you’re asking the questions like… what is the best GTX 1080 for sale in 2018? Which GTX 1080 should I buy? With many aftermarket GTX 1080s being offered by the likes of Asus, GIGABYTE, EVGA, Palit, etc… it is quite confusing to decide what the best GTX 1080 is for your needs, whether it be for cooling, design, customer service, value or overclocking. Therefore to save you the hassle, we have done the research, delved into the NVIDIA subreddit, numerous forums and countless reddit threads to get the general consensus on what the best GTX 1080 is for your needs. We have done the research so you don’t have to. This guide will help you compare GTX 1080s from all the top manufacturers.
The EVGA GTX 1080 FTW is the card to go for if your are looking for downright hardcore performance, with this aftermarket card showing blistering overclocks, assuming it is not down to the silicon lottery! Featuring dual bios, a boost clock of up to 1860MHz, RGB lighting and a great looking design, this is the best GTX 1080 aftermarket card of 2016.
It is hard to pinpoint what Zotac have done with their AMP! Extreme GTX 1080 to make it so powerful and great for anyone who wants to overclock their card to oblivion. We have heard countless stories of the overclocking capabilities of the Zotac AMP! Extreme, with numerous cases of the AMP! extreme GTX 1080 running 2100MHz out of the box, and 2.15GHz stable and without any additional voltage. These AMP! extreme GPUs look like they can be binned very well. If you want this card, make sure you have enough room in your build as this aftermarket GTX 1080 takes up 3 slots, its absolutely massive. Besides from that, the AMP! extreme card can only be highly recommended, it runs quiet, ice cool, and allows for an extremely high factory overclock to your GTX 1080.
The MSI Gaming X and Palit aftermarket GTX 1080 have been said to be the quietest GTX 1080s available, with the fan noise from the MSI Gaming X not even noticeable at 70% load from an open case! If you have a large enough case, a hybrid cooler type is also a great type of GPU cooler that barely produces any sound. The only hybrid cooled GTX 1080 on sale in 2016 is the MSI Sea Hawk.
Hands down the best GTX 1080 for top-notch customer support is an EVGA card. If you are looking for a GTX 1080 with a decent customer support and warranty to go along with you new card, then we seriously recommend you consider an EVGA ACX 3.0 FTW for their stellar customer service and flexibility in their warranties. In the event that there is a problem with your GTX 1080, as long as you are within warranty EVGA will do their best to help resolve your issue.
Take this section with a bit of tongue and cheek, with the recent skyrocketing of GPU prices due to crypto miners, no graphics card (let alone the GTX 1080) is good value anymore. With that being said, if you are willing to drop a spenny amount of money on a GTX 1080, then the Gainward Phoenix stacks up very well in terms of performance compared to most expensive aftermarket GTX 1080s. This card is relatively great values compared to equivalent cards with the same performance. The gain ward Phoenix also runs extremely quiet and overclocks, with users experiencing their OC well up to 2.1MHz. The Gainward is definitely the best GTX 1080 for those on a budget but don’t want to sacrifice performance.
If you are after a GTX 1080 card with dual BIOS, the best 1080 card we could recommend is the Palit Gamerock, a great overall card that performs well across the board in terms of cooling, noise, features and ability to overclock well.
There is only one obvious answer to what the best GTX 1080 Reference card is, and it can only be the EVGA GTX 1080 Founders Edition.
|Model||Design||Price (USD)||Warranty (USA)||Base Clock (MHz)||Boost Clock (MHz)||Pins||PCB||Ports||Cooler Type||Lighting||Length (mm)||Ratings|
|Nvidia Founder Edition||$690||3 Years||1607||1733||8||Reference||1x DP, 1x HDMI, 1x DVI||Blower Fan||No||267||Read 135+ Reviews on Amazon|
|ASUS Turbo||$609||3 Years||1607||1733||8||Reference||2x DP, 2x HDMI, 1x DVI||Blower Fan||LED||267||Read 135+ Reviews on Amazon|
|ASUS ROG STRIX||$720||3 Years||1607||1733||8 + 6||Custom||2x DP, 2x HDMI, 1x DVI||Triple Fan||RGB||298||Read 130+ Reviews on Amazon|
|EVGA FTW ACX 3.0||$680||3 Years||1721||1860||8 + 8||Custom||3x DP, 1x HDMI, 1x DVI||Dual Fan||RGB||267||Read 390+ Reviews on Amazon|
|Gainward Phoenix||-||2 Years||1607||1733||8 + 6||Custom||3x DP, 1x HDMI, 1x DVI||Dual Fan||LED||285||-|
|GIGABYTE G1 Gaming||$650||3 Years||1721||1860||8||Custom||3x DP, 1x HDMI, 1x DVI||Triple Fan||RGB||286||Read 90+ Reviews on Amazon|
|GIGABYTE XTREME GAMING||$680||3 Years||1759||1898||8 + 8||Custom||3x DP, 1x HDMI, 1x DVI||Triple Fan||RGB||295||Read 90+ Reviews on Amazon|
|MSI Armor OC||$659||3 Years||1657||1797||8 + 6||Custom||3x DP, 1x HDMI, 1x DVI||Dual Fan||No||279||Read 110+ Reviews on Amazon|
|MSI Gaming X||$700||3 Years||1708||1847||8 + 6||Custom||3x DP, 1x HDMI, 1x DVI||Dual Fan||RGB||279||Read 110+ Reviews on Amazon|
|MSI Sea Hawk||$750||3 Years||1708||1847||8||Reference||3x DP, 1x HDMI, 1x DVI||Liquid Cooled||RGB||270||Read 110+ Reviews on Amazon|
|Palit Jetstream||£559||2 Years||1607||1733||8 + 6||Custom||3x DP, 1x HDMI, 1x DVI||Dual Fan||RGB||285||-|
|Palit Gamerock||£589||2 Years||1645||1784||8 + 6||Custom||3x DP, 1x HDMI, 1x DVI||Dual Fan||RGB||285||-|
|Palit Gamerock Premium||£627||2 Years||1746||1885||8 + 6||Custom||3x DP, 1x HDMI, 1x DVI||Dual Fan||RGB||285||-|
|Zotac AMP!||$690||2 Years||1683||1822||8 + 8||Custom||3x DP, 1x HDMI, 1x DVI||Triple Fan||RGB||325||Read 115+ Reviews on Amazon|
|Zotac AMP! Extreme||$730||2 Years||1771||1911||8 + 8||Custom||3x DP, 1x HDMI, 1x DVI||Triple Fan||RGB||325||Read 118+ Reviews on Amazon|
For non-technical people out there, the BIOS (basic input/output system) is essentially an integrated piece of software that the computer requires to load an operating system. The BIOS basically is a minimum amount of code needed to load up an operating system of which you are familiar with, such as Windows 10. Some GTX 1080 cards will have a dual BIOS, and this is a feature to look out for as it will allow you to have a different BIOS on one chip, and then have a stock BIOS on the other chip, which you can go back to in case anything goes wrong with the PC. In addition, it enables you to change GPU voltage settings with the aim of increasing GPU performance, and having the option to switch back to the stock BIOS for if anything were to go wrong when overclocking.
Cooling is arguably one of the biggest features when comparing aftermarket GTX 1080s, as there is large variation between cooling designs from brands such as Asus, GIGABYTE, EVGA and Zotac. There are a wide range of cooler types seen in aftermarket GTX 1080s such as a single fan design seen in the ASUS Turbo, a dual fan design as seen in the EVGA FTW ACX 3.0, a tripe fan design as seen in the ASUS ROG STRIX, or perhaps a liquid cooled GTX 1080 offered by the MSI Sea Hawk.
What you need to know about power phases in GPUs is that the basic rule of thumb is that more power phases results in cleaner power, providing a greater potential for your graphics card to undergo a more stable overclock. With more power phases, you will get less ripples in the voltage supply to your GPU, which is why you will theoretically get better overclocks with your GTX 1080.
It is well known that a tonne of things can go wrong with a graphics card, and it is best to have a great warranty and customer service to help you solve or fix problems you may encounter with your graphics card. Many different manufacturers of the GTX 1080 offer a wide range of warranties included with each purchase of their aftermarket GTX 1080, and this typically is between 2 and 3 years of included manufacturers warranty. We have heard that the customer support team at EVGA is pretty great for when things go wrong with their cards, they are usually regarded as the brand with the best customer support and warranty deals. The best GTX 1080 will have great and trustworthy customer service.
If you plan on overclocking your GPU, the boost clock is essentially what the company is saying you can achieve maximum MHz when overclocking at a safe level.
Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) can either be reference PCBs, for example by Nvidia, or custom PCBs, which are produced by the aftermarket brands such as EVGA, MSI or Asus. Custom PCBs often have different components compared to reference PCBs and this can help when overclocking, although reference PCBs have the benefit of being easier to install a aftermarket cooler onto the GTX 1080 graphics card. It is not always true that custom PCBs improve performance, it depends on the components changed compared to the reference PCB, such as Capacitors, VRAM and VRMs.
In may 206, NVIDIA announced their new high performance graphics card, the GeForce GTX 1080, claimed to be one of the worlds most advanced graphics cards for sale in 2016, and even now in 2018. Built on the new Pascal architecture from Intel, the GTX 1080 delivers over two times the performance and three times the efficiency against its sibling, the GeForce Titan X.
This large increase in performance is largely down to its adoption of Pascal technology, providing massive increases in graphics performance, memory bandwidth and efficiency of the cards power usage. The GTX 1080 has plenty of connectivity, including 3 DP connections, 1 DVI port as well as an HDMI port to future proof it for VR.
The GTX 1080 runs at clock speeds which are almost unrivalled against its competition, with greater than 1700 MHz whilst only consuming just 180W. Clock speeds are not the only thing that has been improved compared to its predecessors, the GTX 1080 features 8GB of GDDR5X memory, and is one of the first graphics cards designed to be compatible for the 16nm FinFET process. Now that there is 8GB of memory found in the GTX 1080, a greater clock speed of 10,000MHz, this leads to an overall 43% increase in memory bandwidth when compared to its smaller brother, the GTX 980.
There are improvements across the board in the GTX 1080, including the reduction of noise. With regular use you will unlikely be able to hear this graphics card at all! Although you probably won’t end up buying the founders edition design of the GTX 1080, we do admire the elegance and sleekness of the GTX 1080, with sharp metal edges creating a very angular look of the GTX 1080. This graphics card will look great in any modern PC build.