NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 custom cards have landed, and they're cheaper than expected (Updated)
Note: This article was first published on 29th May 2016.
Updated on 15 July 2016: Added details on price of the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1080 G1 Gaming and Xtreme Gaming.
Updated on 12 July 2016: Added details on price of the MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Gaming X 8G and 1080 Armor 8G OC.
This is the moment we’ve all been waiting for. While Founders Edition cards from the various brands are already available at S$1,188, you’ve probably been keeping an eye out for what NVIDIA’s add-in card partners have in store, especially considering the odd Founders Edition pricing. Brands like ASUS, MSI, and Gigabyte have now taken the wraps off their own custom versions of the GeForce GTX 1080, which means goodies like more powerful coolers with semi-passive fans, factory overclocks, and varied designs to choose from.
But wait, there’s more. Many of these custom cards are priced below US$699, which is the price of NVIDIA’s Founders Edition cards (it’s since been established that these are just another name for reference cards). What this means is that these cards will serve up faster performance and cooler temperatures while still costing less, and it looks like NVIDIA is actually selling a “slower” card that is more expensive.
That’s a strange situation that it has put itself in, but whatever the case, it’s good news for consumers all around. Read on for what’s been announced so far, but do note that local pricing and availability information is a little sparse at the moment, so we’ll have to update as more information comes in.
The ASUS ROG Strix GTX 1080 brings the Strix treatment to NVIDIA’s Pascal flagship. It features ASUS’s DirectCU III cooler and a triple-fan configuration to keep temperatures in check. As expected, the fans are of the semi-passive variety, which means they can spin down when the card is idle or processing light workloads, thus ensuring the card is as quiet as possible.
According to ASUS, these fans have also been tuned for maximum static pressure and can reportedly offer up to 30 percent better cooling performance than the Founders Edition cards.
On top of that, there are additional features like an extra power connection for greater overclocking headroom. The number of power phases has also been bumped up to an 8+2-phase design that supposedly runs cooler and more efficiently than the reference design.
Other standout features include customizable Aura RGB lighting on the cooling shroud and the metal backplate. ASUS says that a future software update will even allow users to synchronize the lights on the Strix card and ASUS motherboards with Aura lighting.
On top of that, ASUS has introduced a novel new way to control the speeds of case fans. Dubbed ASUS FanConnect, the cards now feature dual 4-pin fan headers that can be hooked up to your case fans, which will then adjust their speeds according to the GPU load instead of that of the CPU.
There are actually two variants of the ASUS Strix GeForce GTX 1080 – the standard one and an OC Edition card. The standard model features the same clock speeds as the Founders Edition cards, but the overclocked model boasts a more aggressive boost clock of 1,898MHz in gaming mode, and 1,936MHz in OC mode.
The ROG Strix GTX 1080 OC Edition will retail for S$1,239 locally. Unfortunately, it looks like local customers won't get to benefit from the fact that the original US pricing is less than the Founders Edition version.