When comparing EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC Gaming ACX 3.0 vs Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1080 Xtreme Waterforce, the Slant community recommends EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC Gaming ACX 3.0 for most people. In the question“What are the best GTX 1080 cards?” EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC Gaming ACX 3.0 is ranked 7th while Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1080 Xtreme Waterforce is ranked 8th. The most important reason people chose EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC Gaming ACX 3.0 is:
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](http://www.legitreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/evga-gtx1080-temps-645x406.jpg), 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](http://www.legitreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/temp-testing-evga-645x685.jpg), 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.
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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.
Pro Excellent performance over other custom GTX 1080 cards
The card's base GPU clock runs at 1784 Mhz and memory clock at 1302 MHz producing 9.134 TFlops of computing power. That's an increase of almost 10% over a reference GTX 1080 card.
In the real world it means that at 1440p on max settings DOOM, Far Cry Primal and Battlefield 4 on Gigabyte Xtreme Waterforce averages 140, 84, and 118 fps respectively while a reference card averages, 125, 78, and 110 fps respectively.
Pro Offers extended four years of warranty
Gigabyte is offering an extended Xtreme Care warranty period of four years, which is significantly longer than any other manufacturers offer - typically just one year. 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 The best cooling system ensures no throttling
The Waterforce closed loop cooler on the this Xtreme Gaming card handles heat the best out of any current GTX 1080 graphics cards, and temperatures remain quite low as a result. The idle temperature of the card is about 24° Celsius, which is just barely above room temperature. Even more impressive is the maximum temperature under load: the GPU tops at 50 degrees Celsius, even with these increased clock speeds. For comparison, a reference GTX 1080 Founders Edition has a load temperature of 82° C.
Low temperatures not only benefit longevity of the card, but it also prevents throttling which will improve performance. Throttling occurs when a temperature of at least 80° C has been reached. At that point, the graphics card will slow itself down in order to stay below 80 degrees - effectively sacrificing performance. This never occurs to the Xtreme Gaming card because of the efficiency of the cooling system.
Pro Adjustable RGB lightning looks sweet
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 Comes with a frontpanel for easier use of virtual reality headsets
The GTX 1080 Xtreme Gaming cards are especially suitable for virtual reality headsets. Some headsets such as the Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive require two HDMI-ports, which aren't always easily accessible on all graphics cards. 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.
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.
Con Fan can get loud
When at 100% output, the cooling fan on the GTX 1080 Xtreme Waterforce can produce up to 56.4 dB of noise - more than most other graphics cards. This produces a noticeable noise, even if it isn't considered loud (it's just a touch quieter than the average conversation when measured).
Con Liquid cooler uses PET tubing
Because the tubing is made of PET (polyethylene terephthalate - common in plastic water bottles and food containers), the tubing of the enclosed liquid cooler is easier to crack than other materials if the tube is accidentally bent, which could then leak coolant. This isn't likely to occur, but it is one of the risks of liquid cooling.
Con Requires additional 8-pin power connector
In order to provide extra power for the watercooling solution and the higher clock and memory speeds, an additional 8-pin power connector is required, for a total of two. A reference GTX 1080 only requires a single 8-pin connector. This can be an issue with power supplies with limited wattage or if you don't have enough spare 8-pin connectors available.