PNY GTX 1080 Ti XLR8 OC review: A gorgeous graphics card with great value

PNY's GTX 1080 Ti XLR8 OC delivers huge bang for your buck (for a $700 graphics card).

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Our test system

We tested the PNY GeForce GTX 1080 Ti XLR8 on PCWorld’s dedicated graphics card benchmark system, as usual. Our testbed’s loaded with high-end components to avoid bottlenecks in other parts of the system and show unfettered graphics performance.

  • Intel’s Core i7-5960X with a Corsair Hydro Series H100i closed-loop water cooler ($107 on Amazon).
  • An Asus X99 Deluxe motherboard.
  • Corsair’s Vengeance LPX DDR4 memory ($127 on Amazon), and 1,200-watt AX1200i power supply ($450 on Amazon).
  • A 480GB Intel 730 series SSD.
  • Phanteks’ Enthoo Evolv ATX case ($190 on Amazon).
  • Windows 10 Pro ($180 on Amazon).

Each game’s tested using its in-game benchmark at the mentioned graphics presets, with V-sync, frame rate caps, and all GPU vendor-specific technologies—like AMD TressFX, Nvidia GameWorks options, and FreeSync/G-Sync—disabled. The most recent public drivers were used for testing all cards.

To see where the $725 PNY GTX 1080 Ti XLR8 stands, we’re comparing it against EVGA’s GTX 1080 Ti SC2 ($730 on Amazon), as well as the Nvidia Founders Edition versions of the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti ($700 on Amazon) and GTX 1080 ($550 on Newegg). GTX 1080 prices currently appear to be creeping up due to demand caused by cryptocurrency mining.

Got it? Good. Let’s get to the games.

The Division

The Division, a gorgeous third-person shooter/RPG that mixes elements of Destiny and Gears of War, kicks things off with Ubisoft’s new Snowdrop engine. We test the game in DirectX 11 mode. Switching to the tacked-on DirectX 12 mode doesn’t improve performance.

pny xlr8 division Brad Chacos/IDG

The PNY XLR8 is a wee bit slower than EVGA’s card—imperceptibly so in reality. It makes sense, as the overclock on the EVGA GTX 1080 Ti is a wee bit higher than the PNY card’s, at 1,670MHz vs 1,645MHz, respectively. Both are a bit faster than the reference GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition, which helps them hit the hallowed 60 frames-per-second mark more consistently when you’ve got all the graphical bells and whistles cranked at 4K resolution.

You’ll find similar results in every gaming benchmark test. Like I said, customized GTX 1080 Ti cards all perform similarly (and both of these cards, indeed, had no problem overclocking to the 2GHz range). So we’ll leave commentary to a minimum until we get to thermals and power consumption, letting the graphs speak for themselves.

Next page: Hitman

At a Glance
  • The gorgeous and powerful PNY GTX 1080 Ti XLR8 OC delivers big bang for your buck despite being $700.

    Pros

    • Incredible gaming performance, even at 4K
    • Thinner than most custom GTX 1080 Ti cards
    • Gorgeous design, no RGB lights
    • Much cooler than quieter than Founders Edition

    Cons

    • Long length may not fit in some cases
    • Light on extras
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