The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 is the most powerful graphics card on the planet for consumers in year of 2016. There’s just no disputing that at this point now. Sure, there’s the new Titan X card, but that is a US$1,200 monster that is targeted more at researchers and organizations working in the fields of artificial intelligence and deep learning.
And even though the reference cards have now been repackaged as fancier Founders Edition models, gamers will probably find themselves gravitating toward custom cards from NVIDIA’s board partners. These come with the usual bells and whistles like beefed-up coolers, dazzling (or not) LED lighting effects, and factory overclocks.
For this shootout, we've rounded up the flagship cards (at the time of launch) from ASUS, MSI, and Palit to tease out a winner. (Gigabyte couldn't get stock to send us a card despite several requests.)
The ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1080 OC scores some points for being the highest clocked custom card in our shootout. It’s also one of the highest clocked GeForce GTX 1080 cards on the market today. The ASUS card also comes with value-added features like the two 4-pin FanConnect headers and two HDMI ports (instead of one). These don’t form the core of the user experience, but they do simplify things for VR users, and give system builders more options for configuring their system fans.
At S$1,239, it is even slightly cheaper than the MSI card, which isn’t as fast and has fewer features. Of course, it’s still quite a bit more expensive than Palit’s S$1,088 GameRock Premium Edition card, but it makes up for it in terms of better looks (in our eyes at any rate), more comprehensive lighting controls, and a more palatable dual-slot design.
Here's a small snapshot of the full performance results from our shootout:
|Criteria/Model||ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1080 OC||MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Gaming X 8G||Palit GeForce GTX 1080 GameRock Premium Edition|
|Price (at launch)||S$1,239||S$1,249||S$1,088|
For more details on how we selected our winners, check out the full reviews and articles listed at the References section at the end.