Performance and Conclusions

Performance Quickie

For brevity, and because the expected performance of a slightly overclocked GTX 1080 Ti card should be easily understood if you know where the GTX 1080 Ti stands in the market already, I am limiting our performance testing to just a handful of sanity checks. You’ll see results at 2560×1440 for Grand Theft Auto V, Hitman and The Witcher 3. If you need a summary of our how to interpret our Frame Rating GPU testing methodology, stop by that page of our launch GeForce GTX 1080 Ti review first.

  PC Perspective GPU Testbed
Processor Intel Core i7-5960X Haswell-E
Motherboard ASUS Rampage V Extreme X99
Memory G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB DDR4-3200
Storage OCZ Agility 4 256GB (OS)
Adata SP610 500GB (games)
Power Supply Corsair AX1500i 1500 watt
OS Windows 10 x64
Drivers AMD: 17.2.1
NVIDIA: 381.65

Interestingly, all three of the NVIDIA cards in our comparison run Grand Theft Auto V within a few average FPS of each other, when tested at 2560×1440.

In Hitman, the GTX 1080 Ti cards stand out from the GTX 1080 by a considerable margin, 22%, though the measured performance delta of the overclocked EVGA card is minimal.

In The Witcher 3 we do in fact see some performance advantage to the higher clock speeds of the EVGA SC2 version of the GTX 1080 Ti – about 3%. It’s not much, but it is about where we expected performance to land based on the rated clock speeds.

Closing Thoughts

The market for the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is honestly just getting warmed up, with partner and custom designs reaching sales outlets just in the past couple of weeks. Yes, EVGA is a bit late to the party with its iCX Technology integrations, but a recent post on their forums tells the story as to why:

Yes, we are a bit late because the new iCX cooler for 1080 Ti is a completely new design and tailor-made for 1080Ti:

  • Pure Dual slot design with the best possible thermals
  • Redesigned shroud to give the 1080 Ti a completely new look
  • EVGA iCX Technology with 9 thermal sensors and asynchronous fans
  • RGB lighting with full product name display and RGB Thermal Display System.
  • Full integration with EVGA Precision XOC for fan control, sensor monitoring and color customization

Essentially, EVGA believes its product is worth the wait. I do agree that iCX Technology and the 9 thermal sensors that it integrates for more advanced thermal monitoring and fan control is an advantage that other vendors don’t currently have, so the delay seems excusable. The question EVGA will have to answer is did they do it in a quick enough turn around to catch the often trigger-happy high-end buyer?

Though the out of box overclock on the SC2 card is seemingly minimal, with only moderate amounts of work with a manual overclock and the Precision XOC software, I had the GPU on the GTX 1080 Ti running at nearly 2.0 GHz in everyday gaming – an impressive feat! Of course everyone’s mileage is going to vary when it comes to how much overclocking you can pull from each card, but based on my conversations, my results might be on the low end. NVIDIA seems to have taken a bit of the overclocking headroom out of the GTX 1080 Ti in order to ensure it outperformed its other products (except the brand new Titan Xp). In a world without full voltage control, this is what we (and EVGA) can get.

The custom cooler on the EVGA GTX 1080 Ti SC2 is both creatively styled and effective – it runs cool and does so while remaining quieter than the Founders Edition. The iCX Technology integration adds valuable information and possibly long term lifespan to the card, which is important for a pricey GPU investment. Even better, you can find the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti SC2 on Amazon for just $20 over the reference MSRP, $719.

If you find yourself in the market for the fastest gaming GPU in the market, then the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti SC2 is a perfect choice.

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