EVGA GTX 1080 FTW review: The most powerful graphics card in the world, made better

This is the GeForce GTX 1080 you’ve been waiting for.

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Testing the EVGA GTX 1080 FTW

Just like always, we tested the GeForce GTX 1080 on PCWorld’s dedicated graphics card benchmark system, which is loaded with high-end components to avoid potential bottlenecks in other parts of the machine and show true, unfettered graphics performance. Key highlights of the build:

  • Intel’s Core i7-5960X ($1,016 on Newegg) with a Corsair Hydro Series H100i closed-loop water cooler ($105 on Newegg).
  • An Asus X99 Deluxe motherboard ($380 on Newegg).
  • Corsair’s Vengeance LPX DDR4 memory ($65 on Newegg), Obsidian 750D full tower case ($140 on Newegg), and 1,200-watt AX1200i power supply ($308 on Newegg).
  • A 480GB Intel 730 series SSD ($250 on Newegg)
  • Windows 10 Pro

To see how badass EVGA’s beast really is, we’re comparing it against a slew of high-end graphics cards. There’s the reference $500 GTX 980, $460 MSI Radeon 390X Gaming 8GB, and $500 air-cooled Asus Strix Fury, as well as $650 Radeon Fury X and $1,000 Titan X. The $750 GTX 1080 Founders Edition (both stock and overclocked to up to 2,088MHz) and $550 GTX 1070 Founders Edition are also included, of course. AMD never sent us a $1500 Radeon Pro Duo to test, unfortunately, so you won’t find dual-Fiji GPU results listed. All proprietary AMD/Nvidia graphics technology is disabled during testing, and we use the stated in-game default presets unless noted otherwise.

Overclocking results

Overclocking’s always a roll of the dice thanks to the Silicon Lottery, but the EVGA GTX 1080 FTW was clearly built with overclocking in mind with those two 8-pin power connections, so we decided to include some overclocking results in a few of our tests.

dsc00876 Brad Chacos

Ignoring the custom per-voltage overclocking capable with GPU Boost 3.0, we manually inched clock speeds upward in EVGA’s PrecisionXOC software until things started to break. The final result: an additional 110MHz boost over the GTX 1080 FTW’s already boosted core clock speeds, and an additional 175MHz added to its memory clock speeds. In practice, that resulted in a maximum core clock speed of 2,113MHz during a Unigine Heaven run, though speeds typically hung out around 2,050MHz in actual games.

Yes, that’s an overclock in excess of 2.1GHz on air. The engineering work that Nvidia put into improving speeds for both the memory and the core clock are impressive indeed, as are the tweaks EVGA made to make the GTX 1080 more overclocking-friendly. The extra speed gives the overclocked EVGA 1080 FTW a decent (but not mind-blowing) boost over the GTX 1080 Founders Edition.

Next page: Division and Hitman performance

At a Glance
  • This is the GeForce GTX 1080 you’ve been waiting for. The EVGA GTX 1080 FTW puts EVGA's personal touch on Nvidia’s beastly card, and it's a winner, from its high base clock and custom cooling to its extra 8-pin power connection.

    Pros

    • Dual 8-pin connections amps up the potential for lofty overclocks
    • Efficient ACX 3.0 cooling
    • Overclocked in excess of 2.1GHz on air
    • Outstanding performance on all benchmarks

    Cons

    • Requires a little more power than the Founder's Edition
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