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 GIGABYTE Xtreme Gaming card (GV-N1080XTREME with Premium Pack) features a custom cooling solution and overclocked clock speeds. This card also features two extra HDMI-ports for a total of three for easier use of a virtual reality headset.
Note: The Xtreme Gaming version version of this card is identical to this Premium Pack version with the same Xtreme Gaming brand, albeit with a water cooling solution instead of regular air cooling.
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Pro Very quiet operation
The extensive cooling solution of the Xtreme Gaming GTX 1080 results in a very quiet operation. In idle situations, the cooling fans don't spin up which means the graphics card doesn't produce more noise than any other component in your system. Under full load, a sound production of 38 dBA was measured, which is considered to be very quiet by graphics card standards. For comparison: The reference Founders Edition of the GTX 1080 produces 49.4 decibels (A) under load. Decibels use a logarithmic scale, which means the Xtreme Gaming card is effectively two times as quiet as a reference GTX 1080.
Pro Adjustable RGB lightning looks great
The exterior of the Gigabyte GTX 1080 Xtreme Gaming features a lot of RGB lights and you can adjust the color of these lights via Gigabyte's included software package. This allows you to customize the look of the graphics card, which can be useful if your setup is built with a specific color scheme in mind.
Pro Very long 4 year warranty
Gigabyte is offering an extended Xtreme Care warranty period of 4 years, which is a major improvement compared to the regular 1-year warranty on graphics card. In the event of a failure within this period, Gigabyte will repair the card or send you a replacement model. Online registration is required.
Pro Comes with a frontpanel for easier use of virtual reality headsets
The GTX 1080 Xtreme Gaming cards are especially suitable for virtual reality headsets such as the Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive, which require two HDMI-ports. Included in the packaging is a 5.25" extension bay, with two USB 3.0 ports and a set of HDMI inputs. With this frontpanel, users are no longer required to route their VR headset through the back of the system. The graphics card itself features two HDMI-ports on the opposite site of the usual ports, which allows a quick pass-through to this frontpanel. When using these two specific HDMI ports, two of the three DisplayPort inputs are disabled.
Pro Excellent cooling temperatures
The GTX 1080 Xtreme Gaming reaches a maximum temperature of 66 degrees Celsius under load with the increased clock and memory speeds. This is a major improvement over the Founders Edition's 82° C and an impressive feat for an air cooler. This not only extends the longevity of the card, but also prevents throttling from happening. Throttling can occur when temperatures reach around 80° C or higher. This is when the graphics card will slow itself down (reduce clock speed) in order to stay cool, effectively sacrificing performance. With the default clock speeds, this should never occur with the Xtreme Gaming card.
Pro Extra performance over a reference GTX 1080
The higher clock and memory speeds of GIGABYTE's Xtreme Gaming edition of the GTX 1080 results in better performance. In Battlefield 4 using 1440p resolution and maximum settings, an average framerate of 118 was achieved. For comparison, a GTX 1080 Founders Edition only managed to achieve 110 fps, an almost 7% difference. Similar results can be seen in Far Cry Primal, again with 1440p resolution and maximum settings. The Xtreme Gaming card manages to get 84 frames per second on average, compared to the Founders Edition's 78 FPS. In DOOM, the difference is even more noticeable. With maximum settings and 1440p resolution, an average FPS of 140 was achieved for the Xtreme Gaming card - a 15 FPS improvement over the reference card. When tested in 4K, the Xtreme Gaming managed to achieve 72 average FPS compared to the Founders Edition's 62 frames per second, a difference of almost 14%.
Con Requires additional 8-pin power connector
The GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1080 Xtreme Gaming requires the use of two 8-pin PCIe power connectors, compared to only one 8-pin connector for a reference GTX 1080. Although this means there is more headroom for large overclocks thanks to the extra connector, the card doesn't require this amount of power at all. An extra 6-pin power connector which adds 75W instead of the 8-pin's 150W, would be a more logical choice. This can be an issue for users with limited available connections on the power supply.
Con Not very good looking
Con Slight coil whine can be heard
When using the card in an open environment, a slight but noticeable coil whine noise can be heard. Coil whine is an annoying, undesireable high-pitched sound.