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 Gaming X model by MSI features a different cooler than the reference Founders Edition. Note: price listed is higher than MSRP due to low availability.
Pro Very silent operation
As noted, the cooler does not spin under a temperature of 60° Celsius - which makes the card inaudible in normal situations. When the fans are needed however, the card remains very silent as well. Measured from a distance of 75 centimeters from a closed environment, the Gaming X produces 39 dBA of noise. For comparison: that's a bit less noise a refrigerator makes. Irritating sounds such as coil whine are also not present.
Pro Excellent cooler
The cooler used on the Gaming X is the Twin Frozr IV and performs very well. In an idle situation, the chip measured at 36° Celsius in a room temperature of 21° C. That's a bit higher than the reference GTX 1080 - but the fans do not spin at all under 60° C for a completely silent operation. Under full load the chip heats up to 70° Celsius, which is a whopping 12 degree Celsius difference with a GTX 1080 Founders Edition.
Pro Very power efficient
While performance is higher than its competitors, the GTX 1080 FE actually uses less power. The maximum amount of power consumption this GPU requires is around 185 watts, which is an improvement of over 35% compared to NVIDIA's previous generation high-end graphical card, the GTX 980 Ti. This also plays a positive role when choosing a power supply, or determining if you need to upgrade your existing PSU.
Pro Amazing performance
GTX 1080 is the most powerful consumer-level GPU offered by Nvidia that's currently on the market. At 1440p with highest available settings it has an average fps of 116.5 for Dirt Rally, 101.9 for Battlefield 4 and 75.8 for GTA V. Compared to the previous high-end NVIDIA GPU, the GTX 980 Ti, that's an average performance increase of 20%.
Con Brand new hardware, risk involved in early adoption
It is unknown if there are inherent issues with this GPU (such as quality control, motherboard compatibility issues, driver issues, OS issues, etc) as it was only recently announced and has not undergone large-scale testing in the consumer market.
Con No native support for 3- and 4-way SLI
SLI - short for Scalable Link Interface - is NVIDIA's technology of combining the power of two or more identical GPU's in order to reach a better performance. In other words, you can use multiple GTX 1080 videocards to further increase performance. Although the GTX 1080 supports 2-way SLI without a problem, NVIDIA does not offer support for 3- and 4-way SLI. The included SLI-bridge which serves as a connector between the two cards, is only compatible in a 2-way configuration. 3-way and 4-way SLI are possible, but aren't supported. You'll have to use an older SLI-bridge found on older GeForce models and you'll need to generate an 'Enthusiast Key' on NVIDIA's website. However, NVIDIA does not guarantee a 3- or 4-way configuration will provide any noticeable benefits.