Asus ROG Poseidon GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB Platinum Edition Review

The concept is simple (at least on paper): lay down a flat heat pipe on a large sink and, as an option, send water through to dissipate thermal energy from a flagship-class GPU. By adding water-cooling, you can either complement a capable heat sink and fan solution or replace it entirely.

It's certainly possible that such a hybrid may work quite well. There's no denying that Asus designed its ROG Poseidon GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB Platinum Edition for flexibility though, so its performance, especially when it comes to water-cooling, does have its limits.

Since the actual performance of any third-party card depends on the GPU Boost frequency it can sustain, and thus on cooling, power limits, and processor quality, any review that relies on bar charts is little more than a snapshot of a single specimen. That's why we're putting our emphasis on the actual implementation of each model. To that end, a lot of equipment goes into thoroughly documenting a graphics card's behaviors. If you'd like a peek at what goes into such an evaluation, check out our Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB Review. It makes for a good baseline on which Asus builds.

This card is massive; it makes a bold visual appearance based on both size and lighting. Just remember that the ROG Poseidon is a 2.5-slot card, meaning it'll occupy three expansion slots in your case.

Exterior

Asus does take care to make a good first impression. Still, the entire front cover is made of simple plastics. The only highlights are the RGB lighting effects on the top and back, along with visible bits of the cooler (including the water-cooling fittings).

Specifications

A GPU-Z screenshot provides the most pertinent technical information, even if the GPU Boost values we observed were much higher than Asus' official specifications.


Nvidia
Titan X
(Pascal)
Nvidia
GeForce
GTX 1080 Ti FE
Asus
GTX 1080 Ti
ROG Poseidon
Platinum
Nvidia
GeForce
GTX 1080 FE
Nvidia
GeForce
GTX 980 Ti
GPU
GP102
GP102
GP102GP104
GM200
CUDA Cores
3584
3584
35842560
2816
Base Frequency
1417 MHz1480 MHz
1594 MHz
1607 MHz1000 MHz
Boost Frequency
1531 MHz+1582 MHz+
1708 MHz
1733 MHz+1076 MHz+
Memory Size & Type
12GB GDDR5X
11GB GDDR5X
11GB GDDR5X8GB GDDR5X
6GB GDDR5
Die Size
471 mm²
471 mm²
471 mm²314 mm²
601 mm²
Process Technology
16nm
16nm
16nm16nm
28nm
Transistors
12 billion
12 billion
12 billion
7.2 billion
8 billion
Streaming Multiprocessors (SM)28
28
28
20
22
GFLOPS (Base Clock)
10,157
10,609
11,426
8228
5632
Texture Units
224
224
224160
176
Texture Fill Rate
317.4 GT/s331.5 GT/s357.1 GT/s
257.1 GT/s214 GT/s
ROPs
968888
6496
Pixel Fill Rate
136 GPix/s130.24 GPix/s140.3 GPix/s
114,2 GPix/s116.7 GPix/s
Memory Data Rate
10 Gb/s11 Gb/s11 Gb/s10 Gb/s7 Gb/s
Memory Bus
384-bit
352-bit
352-bit256-bit
384-bit
Memory Bandwidth
480 GB/s
484.4 GB/s
484.4 GB/s320 GB/s
336 GB/s
L2 Cache
3 MB
2816KB
2816KB2MB
3MB
TDP
250W
250W
275W (PT)
180W
250W

Test System

We explained our test system and methodology in How We Test Graphics Cards. If you want to learn more about the procedures we're using in today's review, have a look at that story. In the time since it was published, we also upgraded our CPU and cooling system to rule out any possible host processing bottlenecks.

A short summary in table-form to provide a quick overview:

Test System
System
Intel Core i7-6900K @ 4.3 GHz
MSI X99S XPower Gaming Titanium
Corsair Vengeance DDR4-3200
1x 1TB Toshiba OCZ RD400 (M.2, System SSD)
2x 960GB Toshiba OCZ TR150 (Storage, Images)
be quiet Dark Power Pro 11, 850W PSU
Windows 10 Pro (All Updates)

Cooling
Alphacool Eisblock XPX
Alphacool Eiszeit 2000 Chiller
2x be quiet! Silent Wings 3 PWM (Closed Case Simulation)
Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut (Used when Switching Coolers)
Case
Lian Li PC-T70 with Extension Kit and Mods
Configurations: Open Benchtable, Closed Case
MonitorEizo EV3237-BK
Power Intake
Contact-free DC Measurement at PCIe Slot (Using a Riser Card)
Contact-free DC Measurement at External Auxiliary Power Supply Cable
Direct Voltage Measurement at Power Supply
2x Rohde & Schwarz HMO 3054, 500MHz Digital Multi-Channel Oscilloscope with Storage Function
4x Rohde & Schwarz HZO50 Current Probe (1mA - 30A, 100kHz, DC)
4x Rohde & Schwarz HZ355 (10:1 Probes, 500MHz)
1x Rohde & Schwarz HMC 8012 Digital Multimeter with Storage Function
Thermography
1x Optris PI640 80Hz Infrared Camera + PI Connect
Real-Time Infrared Monitoring and Recording
Acoustics
NTI Audio M2211 (with Calibration File, Low Cut at 50Hz)
Steinberg UR12 (with Phantom Power for Microphones)
Creative X7, Smaart v.7
Custom-Made Proprietary Measurement Chamber, 3.5 x 1.8 x 2.2m (L x D x H)
Perpendicular to Center of Noise Source(s), Measurement Distance of 50cm
Noise Level in dB(A) (Slow), Real-time Frequency Analyzer (RTA)
Graphical Frequency Spectrum of Noise

MORE: Best Graphics Cards

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26 comments
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  • Pat Flynn
    I wonder how their cooler compares to something like EKWB's blocks? Temps/overclock wise that is.
    2
  • max0x7ba
    No one plays Battlefield 1 in DirectX 12 because it stutters. Test it in DirectX 11.
    0
  • dan88rx7turbo
    I have the Poseidon , sits at about 43c on load in Valley and Superposition 4k , 1080p extreme settings!
    0
  • JackNaylorPE
    1. The Poseidon is a great idea in concept but suffers from poor implementation.

    2. The addition of the PCB parts is a welcome addition. However w/o an explanation of how they differ from reference cards or compare to other AIB cards, it inda falls flat.

    3. Benchmark Comparisons w/ just the reference model again leaves me wanting more. Asus Strix would at least allow comparisons to other AIB cards
    .
    4. And yes .... would have been very useful to compare against other options. An EVGA Hybrid and say the MSI Seahawk EK X (w/ full cover EK water block) would also be a big plus.
    0
  • drmacaron
    i also have a poseidon. Super good temp dont know why the warer development aded maby if you should clocke it bigtime ?
    0
  • drmacaron
    and performance !
    0
  • mac_angel
    I have the Asus Strix 1080ti OC. It 'boosts' to 2Ghz on it's own. But playing with the curve in Afterburner, I get 2076MHz, on air. That's without flashing the ROM
    0
  • JackNaylorPE
    Anonymous said:
    I have the Asus Strix 1080ti OC. It 'boosts' to 2Ghz on it's own. But playing with the curve in Afterburner, I get 2076MHz, on air. That's without flashing the ROM


    The OC is be expected ... from the article :

    Quote:
    With sufficient water cooling, however, we were able to reach 2076 MHz. That's where our chip hit its ceiling, even after installing a high-end loop, increasing the power target, and applying a bit of extra voltage.


    But outta the box, the boost is down at 1708 / 1709

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/asus-rog-poseidon-gtx-1080-ti-platinum,5151.html
    -1
  • Rheotome
    Both of these statements are incorrect:

    "lay down a flat heat pipe on a large sink and, as an option, send water through to dissipate thermal energy"

    "The thermal solution utilizes a copper sink that doubles as a block for water cooling (by guiding liquid through the hollow heat pipe). "

    No water flows through a heat pipe. A heat pipe is hollow, closed and sealed to contain the working fluid that evaporates and condenses to transfer heat from a hot to cold point.

    The author is confusing heat exchanger and heat pipe technology.
    0
  • JackNaylorPE
    Actually, no ... there is no air involved in a heat exhanger

    "A heat exchanger is a device used to transfer heat between a solid object and a fluid, or between two or more fluids."

    The proper term here would simply "radiator tube" under normal circumstances ... as it is employed here, it's simply part of a hybrid water block, heat sink / radiator.
    0
  • Rheotome
    Huh ? I didn't say anything about air. However since you brought it up, air is a fluid, and yes is used as a heat transfer medium in heat exchangers. A radiator tube is simply one part of a heat exchanger, I'd agree, but would not use the term here.
    0
  • FormatC
    Quote:
    The author is confusing heat exchanger and heat pipe technology.

    Please note, that this is a translation guys. In German we have such funny words like "Wärmeaustauschrohr"(I used this term and "U-förmiges Rohr" in the original), what means a tube for heat exchange (water, condeser priniciple, whatever). But the translator was not able to translate this "U-Rohr" directly into "U-Tube". This is really another shit :D

    But is interesting, how much nitpicking appears, if only one term was translated a little bit incorrect. If this is the one and only problem, I'm really satisfied. :)

    BTW: The air-cooled Strix is also in the translation pipe.
    0
  • JackNaylorPE
    Anonymous said:
    Huh ? I didn't say anything about air. However since you brought it up, air is a fluid, and yes is used as a heat transfer medium in heat exchangers. A radiator tube is simply one part of a heat exchanger, I'd agree, but would not use the term here.


    There are three possible states of matter ... solid, liquid and gas. Air is a gas. It is "by definition" not used by heat exchangers heat exchangers ... a device that 'exchanges heat to air is called a radiator

    Quote:
    radiator - A heating device consisting of a series of pipes, typically inside an upright metal structure, through which steam or hot water circulates to heat the surrounding space by radiation or convection.


    Quote:
    Heat Exchange - a device used to transfer heat between a solid object and a fluid, or between two or more fluids."


    Quote:
    air - a mixture of nitrogen, oxygen, and minute amounts of other gases that surrounds the earth and forms its atmosphere.


    AFAIK, no term has been coined for what we have here in the Poseidon ... best I can do is hybrid water block / Heat Sink / radiator.


    Anonymous said:
    Please note, that this is a translation guys. In German we have such funny words like "Wärmeaustauschrohr"(I used this term and "U-förmiges Rohr" in the original), what means a tube for heat exchange (water, condeser priniciple, whatever). But the translator was not able to translate this "U-Rohr" directly into "U-Tube". This is really another shit :D

    But is interesting, how much nitpicking appears, if only one term was translated a little bit incorrect. If this is the one and only problem, I'm really satisfied. :)


    I had no problem with your wording as what you chose, while perhaps stepping on the trade definition of what we have adopted for PC cooling, does adequately describe what the "pipe' does.... and, to my eyes, more apt than the trade definition of "heat exchanger"
    0
  • Rheotome
    I think you need to check the definition of a Fluid. A fluid is a LIQUID or a GAS. Water is a liquid and a fluid. Air is a fluid. Also, I think using Radiator Home Heating nomenclature in a discussion about the cooling of electronic equipment is rather off base.
    0
  • jeststar
    It's ugly as sin, but those sexy Klipsch speakers you have there made up for the lack of eye candy.
    0
  • FormatC
    Anonymous said:
    It's ugly as sin, but those sexy Klipsch speakers you have there made up for the lack of eye candy.


    You mean my desktop? The bad boy is standing below the desk ;)
    0
  • jeststar
    I ment the card being review is ugly... sorry for the confusion. I really enjoyed seeing the speakers because they are the same ones I'm using :)
    0
  • JackNaylorPE
    Anonymous said:
    I think you need to check the definition of a Fluid. A fluid is a LIQUID or a GAS. Water is a liquid and a fluid. Air is a fluid. Also, I think using Radiator Home Heating nomenclature in a discussion about the cooling of electronic equipment is rather off base.


    I'm not going to debate this with you... I fist taught college level Fluid Mechanics in 1976 and have been a practicing engineer in the field for almost 30 years establishing my own consulting firm 25 years ago.

    Perhaps when you get a bit more experience in water cooling, you will recognize that home heating has nothing to do with this subject. And the subject her is "liquid cooling" not fluid cooling. I am talking about products specifically made for PC water cooling ... and yes, I have bought and used both from frozencpu.com.

    This is a PC Watercooling Heat Exchanger... it exchanges heat between one liquid and another

    http://www.frozencpu.com/products/9915/ex-rad-171/Koolance_HXP-193_Plate_Heat_Exchanger_no_nozzles.html?tl=g30c95s1056



    Quote:
    Used in various industries, plate heat exchangers provide highly efficient heat transfer between two liquids without allowing them to mix. Koolance plate heat exchangers are among the most compact and cost effective available.


    This is a PC Watercooling Radiator.. it exchanges heat between one liquid and another

    http://www.frozencpu.com/products/18794/ex-rad-491/Alphacool_NexXxoS_Monsta_Triple_140mm_Radiator_-_80mm_Thick.html?tl=g30c95s667



    Used in various industries, radiators provide efficient heat transfer between a liquid and air without allowing them to mix.
    0
  • photonboy
    Some RADAR systems use a liquid-to-liquid heat exchanger as well. We pumped in SEA WATER though pipes next to a closed-loop system that had relatively pure water.

    OTHER:
    As discussed above, the "heat pipe" that is used for liquid cooling is NOT a heat pipe at all. It's simply a flattened pipe that sits on a copper plate on the rear of the GPU.

    Heat pipes are sealed with a very specific amount of fluid. You can't have a pipe act as a heat pipe OR transfer liquid in a loop. (I suppose you could in theory cap the pipe after adding some liquid but that is not practical)
    0
  • Rheotome
    Anonymous said:
    Anonymous said:
    I think you need to check the definition of a Fluid. A fluid is a LIQUID or a GAS. Water is a liquid and a fluid. Air is a fluid. Also, I think using Radiator Home Heating nomenclature in a discussion about the cooling of electronic equipment is rather off base.


    I'm not going to debate this with you... I fist taught college level Fluid Mechanics in 1976 and have been a practicing engineer in the field for almost 30 years establishing my own consulting firm 25 years ago.

    Perhaps when you get a bit more experience in water cooling, you will recognize that home heating has nothing to do with this subject. And the subject her is "liquid cooling" not fluid cooling. I am talking about products specifically made for PC water cooling ... and yes, I have bought and used both from frozencpu.com.

    This is a PC Watercooling Heat Exchanger... it exchanges heat between one liquid and another

    http://www.frozencpu.com/products/9915/ex-rad-171/Koolance_HXP-193_Plate_Heat_Exchanger_no_nozzles.html?tl=g30c95s1056



    Quote:
    Used in various industries, plate heat exchangers provide highly efficient heat transfer between two liquids without allowing them to mix. Koolance plate heat exchangers are among the most compact and cost effective available.


    This is a PC Watercooling Radiator.. it exchanges heat between one liquid and another

    http://www.frozencpu.com/products/18794/ex-rad-491/Alphacool_NexXxoS_Monsta_Triple_140mm_Radiator_-_80mm_Thick.html?tl=g30c95s667



    Used in various industries, radiators provide efficient heat transfer between a liquid and air without allowing them to mix.


    WELL, when you start listing credentials, I guess you've lost the debate !
    And REALLY--You quoting 8th Grade Science to me was genuinely precious !!
    The bottom line is that there is NO HEAT PIPE in this card .


    -1