EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti SC2 with iCX Technology Review
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|
|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||-||-|
|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|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.