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EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti SC2 with iCX Technology Review

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Manufacturer: EVGA

Specifications and Design

When the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti launched last month it became the fastest consumer graphics card on the market, taking over a spot that NVIDIA had already laid claim to since the launch of the GTX 1080, and arguably before that with the GTX 980 Ti. Passing on the notion that the newly released Titan Xp is a graphics cards gamers should actually consider for their cash, the 1080 Ti continues to stand alone at the top. That is until NVIDIA comes up another new architecture or AMD surprises us all with the release of the Vega chip this summer.

NVIDIA board partners have the flexibility to build custom hardware around the GTX 1080 Ti design and the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti SC2 sporting iCX Technology is one of those new models. Today’s story is going to give you my thoughts and impressions on this card in a review – one with fewer benchmarks than you are used to see but one that covers all the primary differentiation points to consider over the reference/Founders Edition options.

Specifications and Design

The EVGA GTX 1080 Ti SC2 with iCX Technology takes the same GPU and memory technology shown off with the GTX 1080 Ti launch and gussies it up with higher clocks, a custom PCB with thermal sensors in 9 different locations, LEDs for externally monitoring the health of your card and a skeleton-like cooler design that is both effective and aggressive.

  EVGA 1080 Ti SC2 GTX 1080 Ti Titan X (Pascal) GTX 1080 GTX 980 Ti TITAN X GTX 980 R9 Fury X R9 Fury
GPU GP102 GP102 GP102 GP104 GM200 GM200 GM204 Fiji XT Fiji Pro
GPU Cores 3584 3584 3584 2560 2816 3072 2048 4096 3584
Base Clock 1557 MHz 1480 MHz 1417 MHz 1607 MHz 1000 MHz 1000 MHz 1126 MHz 1050 MHz 1000 MHz
Boost Clock 1671 MHz 1582 MHz 1480 MHz 1733 MHz 1076 MHz 1089 MHz 1216 MHz - -
Texture Units 224 224 224 160 176 192 128 256 224
ROP Units 88 88 96 64 96 96 64 64 64
Memory 11GB 11GB 12GB 8GB 6GB 12GB 4GB 4GB 4GB
Memory Clock 11000 MHz 11000 MHz 10000 MHz 10000 MHz 7000 MHz 7000 MHz 7000 MHz 500 MHz 500 MHz
Memory Interface 352-bit 352-bit 384-bit G5X 256-bit G5X 384-bit 384-bit 256-bit 4096-bit (HBM) 4096-bit (HBM)
Memory Bandwidth 484 GB/s 484 GB/s 480 GB/s 320 GB/s 336 GB/s 336 GB/s 224 GB/s 512 GB/s 512 GB/s
TDP 250 watts 250 watts 250 watts 180 watts 250 watts 250 watts 165 watts 275 watts 275 watts
Peak Compute 11.1 TFLOPS 10.6 TFLOPS 10.1 TFLOPS 8.2 TFLOPS 5.63 TFLOPS 6.14 TFLOPS 4.61 TFLOPS 8.60 TFLOPS 7.20 TFLOPS
Transistor Count 12.0B 12.0B 12.0B 7.2B 8.0B 8.0B 5.2B 8.9B 8.9B
Process Tech 16nm 16nm 16nm 16nm 28nm 28nm 28nm 28nm 28nm
MSRP (current) $719 $699 $1,200 $599 $649 $999 $499 $649 $549

Out of the box EVGA has overclocked the GTX 1080 Ti SC2 above reference specs. With a base clock of 1557 MHz and a GPU Boost clock of 1671 MHz, it has a 77 MHz jump on base and an 89 MHz jump on boost. Though moderate by some overclockers’ standards, that’s a healthy increase of 5.3% on the typical boost clock rate. The memory speed remains the same at 11.0 Gbps on 11GB, unchanged from the Founders Edition.

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I’m not going to walk through the other specifications of the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti GPU in general – I assume if you are looking at this story you are already well aware of it features and capabilities. If you need a refresh on this oddly-designed 352-bit memory bus behemoth, just read over the first page of my GeForce GTX 1080 Ti launch review.

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Continue reading our review of the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti SC2!!

Let’s take a look at what EVGA has put together for us from a visual stand point. The EVGA GTX 1080 Ti SC2 looks unlike anything else I had seen before, with a cooling shroud that is close to bare naked, with a vibe that reminds me of the old Antec Skeleton chassis.

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The fans are housed in a very minimalist shroud that EVGA claims opens up air flow and improves overall efficiency for cooling the GPU. I haven’t done our own testing on this yet, but I do wonder what impact this has, if any, on chassis thermals – my first theory is that it will be minimal. The same heat is being generated on this GPU as any other GTX 1080 Ti and removing the heat from the GPU sooner just means that hot air gets into the case sooner, not in higher quantity. Both fans on the cooler can and do spin independently and are built to respond to different thermal sensors as a part of the EVGA iCX technology.

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Throughout the skeletal structure are RGB LEDs that can be controlled through the EVGA Precision XOC software and on top of the card is a name plate with similar controls.

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Though its hard to see than I would like, on the far right edge of that illuminated name plate are the three RGB LEDs that represent the current thermal state of the GPU, memory and power delivery on the card. In an open-air test bed these lights are impossible to see without standing directly over them – when in a case EVGA assures me the results are much better. In my testing my simply moving my viewpoint around the card at different angles, it still left something to be desired.

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Like the rest of the iCX cooler lineup from EVGA, the GTX 1080 Ti SC2 has a full cover backplate that acts as a heatsink. The baseplate under the fans that comes in contact with the memory and power system has been completely redesigned for higher surface area and better thermals.

If you missed our overview of what makes the EVGA iCX Technology stand out from what the other GPU guys are doing, you should catch up right here.

Overall I think that the new EVGA iCX Technology is the best solution for graphics card monitoring and cooling on the market today. The ability to monitor not just GPU temperature, but also VRM and memory temps, without having to add your own thermocouples or monitoring hardware, will be a great advantage for enthusiasts and overclockers that like to push the edge when overclocking. If you are curious about swapping out coolers for an AIO water cooler or even a custom water block, having access to this data is even more important to you.


April 25, 2017 | 08:25 AM - Posted by khanmein

Why didn't use Metro Last Light for power consumption testing?

April 25, 2017 | 09:58 AM - Posted by Isaac Johnson

Because in Russia, power tests your consumption.

April 25, 2017 | 09:59 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

No reason - this was just a quick spot check of everything on stock performance. You can see the Metro LL results from our Founders Edition review: https://www.pcper.com/reviews/Graphics-Cards/NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-1080-Ti-Review/Detailed-Power-Consumption-Testing

Based on the fact that RoTR and W3 showed idential results, I would expcect the EVGA GTX 1080 Ti SC2 to follow suit.

April 26, 2017 | 03:07 AM - Posted by khanmein

Interesting. Thanks for the review.

April 25, 2017 | 12:16 PM - Posted by Dark_wizzie

Thanks for the review. Just like to point out 3 things:

1) The power target of the card is 120% which is lower than some other cards. That's not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things but it does seperate cards from each other.

2) Often times I see too many positive reviews for AIB cards. If everything is good then everything is average. It's always interesting to see which AIB cooler is better but that's a test few people can run.

3) The SC is not reference PCB and does not work with full cover water blocks. Last I checked neither EK nor Watercool have plans to develop one for it. The SC Black is reference PCB and EK has plans to make one for FTW3.

April 25, 2017 | 01:53 PM - Posted by EVGA_JacobF

To address the power target question above, you cannot use the Power Target Value (Percentage) to compare from vendor to vendor. The reason is the default (100%) value can vary depending on the VRM solution.

With that being said, the EVGA FTW3 version of the card has a bit more robust VRM solution and will allow for a higher power target.

April 26, 2017 | 04:29 PM - Posted by Dark_wizzie

Right. I agree with you and it would have been more accurate if I specified the wattage instead.

April 25, 2017 | 05:10 PM - Posted by Penterax

I have one of these, rocks a very stable 1949 MHz without any additional overclock, have yet to see it break 70C. Very nice, worth the wait, thanks EVGA!

April 25, 2017 | 06:32 PM - Posted by IntelGiant

Great Review!

Not sure why, but almost every other manufacturer is going 2.5slot thickness for their custom cooler designs, seems like EVGA should and hopefully will do the same.

If you plan on keeping the card a long time like I do, I'd wait for one of the EVGA 2.5slot (or maybe even 3.0 slot) designs like a GTX1080Ti Classified or KingPin variant.

And the custom colors EVGA is offering this season look amazing white black green blue and red.

I'd go for an EVGA 1080Ti KingPin in white or black : )

April 25, 2017 | 10:49 PM - Posted by StephanS

WHOA, the MSRP for the R9 Fury X is still $650 ?
I got mine on Amazon for $299

I think the MSRP Fury X should be 10% less then the GTX 1070 at most.
So in the $340 range.. but then I have a feeling AMD stopped production long ago, and at $320 its not making any money.

Anyways, at $300 I love that card.

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