The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 is the first available graphics card using the 16nm Pascal architecture and is positioned as the top GPU in the high-end range. The 1080 has 8 gigabytes of GDDR5X memory, three DisplayPort 1.4 connections, a single DVI-D port and an input for HDMI 2.0b. The ACX 3.0 SC model by EVGA features a different cooler than the reference Founders Edition and a higher clock speed.
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Pro Great ACX 3.0 cooler prevents throttling
The EVGA GTX 1080 ACX 3.0 uses its own built-in cooling system which includes two fans. The ACX 3.0 cooler has been used on a lot of high-end graphics cards, and the GTX 1080 by EVGA is no different. In an idle situation, the EVGA GTX 1080 generally reaches temperatures up to 56° Celsius. At a first glance, that's pretty high, but the fans don't start spinning unless a temperature of 60° is reached. During full load, the EVGA GTX 1080 chip heats up to a maximum of 75 degrees Celsius - eight degrees cooler than a reference (Founders Edition) GTX 1080.
The maximum temperature of 75° C also means that throttling doesn't occur with the EVGA GTX 1080 SC Gaming ACX 3.0, something that tends to occur with other GTX 1080 cards with worse coolers. In other words, the graphics card won't slow itself down in order to stay cool: performance will be 100% at all times.
Pro Stays virtually silent
The GTX 1080 SC Gaming ACX 3.0 is a virtually silent card. In a non-gaming idle situation, the two fans of the cooler don't spin up at all - the card stays completely inaudible up to temperatures of 60° Celsius. Even during full load and intensive gaming situations, this edition of the GTX 1080 is remarkably quiet and stays under 40 decibels (when measured two inches above the motherboard in an open environment). For comparison: the reference GTX 1080 produces 45.5 dB of noise. Annoying coil whine sounds are not present in this edition either.
Pro Higher clock speed for slightly better performance
The GTX 1080 SC Gaming ACX 3.0 features a higher clockspeed compared to a reference GTX 1080, which means it has been factory overclocked to reach higher framerates and overall better performance. The base clock speed has been set at 1708 MHz, which is a 6.3% increase compared to the reference 1607 MHz. The boost clock has also received a factory overclock to 1847 MHz compared to the standard 1733 MHz, a difference of 6.5%.
This results in a slightly better performance, although practical performance differences aren't as noticeable. For example: In Rise of the Tomb Raider at 1080p and maximum settings, the SC ACX 3.0 is nearly 5 FPS faster than a regular GTX 1080. In the benchmarking suite 3D Mark Fire Strike Extreme, a GTX 1080 with reference clock speeds achieves a score of 9,387 points while the EVGA Superclocked takes the crown at 9,622 points. Although the performance differences between this overclocked card and a reference GTX 1080 are minimal, the extra power is nice to have nonetheless.
Pro Best price : performance ratio
The EVGA offers the most performance for the dollar, and is $100 cheaper than almost any other decent GTX 1080 card. It has a great cooler, and comes with a decent clock speed without compromising the noise the card makes making it a well balanced option.
Pro Relatively low energy consumption
As it only requires 1 8 pin connector, it draws much less power for those whom may not have a high wattage rating power supply. Making this more eco friendly when it comes to energy usage.
Con Hard to get due to availability issues
The GTX 1080 SC Gaming ACX 3.0 is hard to get, availability (at the recommended MSRP of $649.99) remains an issue.