EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 Gaming Review

In contrast to Asus and Gigabyte, which arm their GeForce GTX 1080 Tis with 2.5-slot coolers (that of course monopolize three slots), EVGA remains faithful to a true two-slot design for its GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 Gaming. Of course, that requires squeezing everything possible from the smaller form factor. This approach has obvious benefits, though, since there aren't many "narrow" 1080 Tis out there, and Nvidia's Founders Edition gets hotter than the rest.

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 EVGA builds.

Specifications

The Package, Dimensions & Interfaces

EVGA's GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 Gaming looks nice and sports a slender profile, but it's no toy. It isn't a lightweight piece of hardware either, weighing in at 1348 grams.

The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 Gaming's gross length is 30.2cm from the slot bracket's outer edge to the shroud's back, making it longer than the Aorus GTX 1080 Ti Xtreme Edition 11G we reviewed recently. A 14cm height is taller, too. Fortunately, it's a 3.5cm thickness measurement that matters for fitting this card into two expansion slots, rather than three. Do remember the backplate, though: it requires an extra 0.5cm of clearance on the other side, which could affect enthusiasts with large CPU coolers.

Though the cover is mostly made of plastic, it's pretty classy-looking, largely because EVGA does a good job of imitating aluminum. You can't really tell the difference until you touch the fan shroud. On the card's other side, a two-part backplate doubles as a passive cooler.

The top is dominated by backlit "EVGA" and "GeForce GTX 1080 Ti" logos, as well as an LED indicator with "FTW3" printed on it. A pair of eight-pin power connectors is up there as well.

Peeking into the top and bottom reveals that the cooler's fins are oriented vertically. They also reveal the absence of a real VRM heat sink, which would have helped with cooling. In its place, there's a flat frame.

The card's back side reveals two 8mm heat pipes and three 6mm pipes for the right part of the cooler structure. From this angle, a sixth heat pipe (8mm) is not visible.

Similar to Zotac's GeForce GTX 1080 Ti AMP Extreme, EVGA exposes a fairly standard complement of one HDMI 2.0 output, three DisplayPort 1.4-capable connectors, and a dual-link DVI-D port. Of those five interfaces, a maximum of four can be used simultaneously in a multi-monitor setup. The rest of the slot plate is dotted with openings for airflow, though they're not really functional due to EVGA's fin design.

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


Nvidia Titan X (Pascal)
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FE
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 GamingNvidia GeForce GTX 1080 FE
Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 Ti
GPU
GP102
GP102
GP102GP104
GM200
CUDA Cores
3584
3584
35842560
2816
Base Clock Rate1417 MHz1480 MHz
1569 MHz
1607 MHz1000 MHz
GPU Boost Clock Rate1531 MHz+1582 MHz+
1683 MHz
1733 MHz+1076 MHz+
Memory Size and Type12GB 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 billion12 billion12 billion7.2 billion8 billion
Streaming Multiprocessors (SM)
28
28
28
20
22
GFLOPS (Base Clock)10,157
10,609
11,247
8228
5632
Texture Units
224
224
224160
176
Texture Fill Rate
317.4 GT/s331.5 GT/s351.5 GT/s
257.1 GT/s214 GT/s
ROPs
968888
6496
Pixel Fill Rate
136 GPix/s130.2 GPix/s138.1 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 GB/s
484 GB/s320 GB/s
336 GB/s
L2-Cache
3MB
2816KB
2816KB2MB
3MB
TDP
250W
250W
280W (PT)
180W
250W

Test System & Measurement Methods

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.

Since its publication, however, we did beef up our platform and CPU cooling, mostly to rule out the possibility of a processor-imposed bottleneck. This is particularly important given the flagship status of Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.

Test Equipment And Environment
SystemIntel 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)
CoolingAlphacool Eisblock XPX
Alphacool Eiszeit 2000 Chiller
2x be quiet! Silent Wings 3 PWM (Closed Case Simulation)
Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut (Used when Switching Coolers)
PC CaseLian Li PC-T70 with Extension Kit and Mods
Configurations: Open Benchtable, Closed Case
Power Consumption MeasurementContact-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
Thermal Measurement1x Optris PI640 80Hz Infrared Camera + PI Connect
Real-Time Infrared Monitoring and Recording
Noise MeasurementNTI 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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  • AgentLozen
    I'm glad that there's an option for an effective two-slot version of the 1080Ti on the market. I'm indifferent toward the design but I'm sure people who are looking for it will appreciate it just like the article says.
    1
  • gio2vanni86
    I have two of these, i'm still disappointed in the sli performance compared to my 980's. What i can do but complain. Nvidia needs to do a driver game overhaul these puppies should scream together. They do the opposite which makes me turn sli off and boom i get better performance from 1. Its pathetic. Nvidia should just kill Sli all together since they got rid of triple sli they mind as well get rid of sli as well.
    0
  • ahnilated
    I have one of these and the noise at full load on these is very annoying. I am going to install one of Arctic Cooling's heatsinks. I would think with a 3 fan setup this system would cool better and not have a noise issue like this. I was quite disappointed with the noise levels on this card.
    1
  • Jeff Fx
    Anonymous said:
    I have two of these, i'm still disappointed in the sli performance compared to my 980's. What i can do but complain. Nvidia needs to do a driver game overhaul these puppies should scream together. They do the opposite which makes me turn sli off and boom i get better performance from 1. Its pathetic. Nvidia should just kill Sli all together since they got rid of triple sli they mind as well get rid of sli as well.


    SLI has always had issues. Fortunately, one of these cards will run games very well, even in VR, so there's no need for SLI.
    2
  • dstarr3
    Anonymous said:
    I have two of these, i'm still disappointed in the sli performance compared to my 980's. What i can do but complain. Nvidia needs to do a driver game overhaul these puppies should scream together. They do the opposite which makes me turn sli off and boom i get better performance from 1. Its pathetic. Nvidia should just kill Sli all together since they got rid of triple sli they mind as well get rid of sli as well.


    It needs support from nVidia, but it also needs support from every developer making games. And unfortunately, the number of users sporting dual GPUs is a pretty tiny sliver of the total PC user base. So devs aren't too eager to pour that much support into it if it doesn't work out of the box.
    0
  • FormatC
    Dual-GPU is always a problem and not so easy to realize for programmers and driver developers (profiles). AFR ist totally limited and I hope that we will see in the future more Windows/DirectX-based solutions. If....
    0
  • Sam Hain
    For those praising the 2-slot design for it's "better-than" for SLI... True, it does make for a better fit, physically.

    However, SLI is and has been fading for both NV and DV's. Two, that heat-sig and fan profile requirements in a closed case for just one of these cards should be warning enough to veer away from running in a 2-way SLI using stock and sometimes 3rd party air cooling solutions.
    1
  • SBMfromLA
    I recall reading an article somewhere that said NVidia is trying to discourage SLi and purposely makes them underperform in SLi mode.
    -1
  • Sam Hain
    Anonymous said:
    Unlike Asus & Gigabyte, which slap 2.5-slot coolers on their GTX 1080 Tis, EVGA remains faithful to a smaller form factor with its GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 Gaming.

    EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 Gaming Review : Read more


    Great article!
    1
  • photonboy
    NVidia does not "purposely make them underperform in SLI mode". And to be clear, SLI has different versions. It's AFR that is disappearing. In the short term I wouldn't use multi-GPU at all. In the LONG term we'll be switching to Split Frame Rendering.
    http://hexus.net/tech/reviews/graphics/916-nvidias-sli-an-introduction/?page=2

    SFR really needs native support at the GAME ENGINE level to minimize the work required to support multi-GPU. That can and will happen, but I wouldn't expect to see it have much support for about TWO YEARS or more. Remember, games usually have 3+ years of building so anything complex needs to usually be part of the game engine when you START making the game.
    1
  • photonboy
    More SLI... one major problem with AFR (part of SLI), aka "alternate frame rendering" is that game code is starting to optimize for SIMILARITIES between frames. It's similar to video COMPRESSION that can analyze repeating patterns (it works in certain types of anti-aliasing for example that analyzes CHANGES not the aliasing of each frame by itself).

    However, this doesn't work well with multi-GPU configurations. You need to have the same GPU from one frame to the next (consecutive) rather than alternative frames. This may also be problematic for SFR but the benefits of SFR will win out so they may have to provide options in a game (or find a way to get both working at the same time).
    0
  • Sagget
    what is the quietest then fastest 1080ti card on the market?
    0
  • AgentLozen
    Sagget said:

    what is the quietest then fastest 1080ti card on the market?


    Tomshardware liked the MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X 11G

    It's supposed to be quiet and powerful. It's not necessarily the MOST powerful though.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/msi-geforce-gtx-1080-ti-gaming-x-11g,5036.html
    0
  • ledhead11
    Anonymous said:
    what is the quietest then fastest 1080ti card on the market?


    Before you buy into any flap over a brand realize that with Pascal there's three controlling factors that affect all pretty equally and also why most cards are nearly all within 100mhz of each other.

    1. Cooling-Your question about quiet/power(speeds) directly relates to this. Even if a card has a great cooling solution it won't matter if your case isn't letting it breathe. Some brands cool easier than other but then your case can be major issue.
    2. Power(PSU/MOBO)-AIB cards are already OC'd and usually need a good PSU to properly achieve what they state. Roughly double the amount you're actually going to use for the PSU for optmial power to the system.
    3. CPU-Generally anything above 4ghz in a quad/hex/more.

    Bottom line is that any of the big players top end cards-MSI,Gigabyte,Asus, Zotac, EVGA will behave about the same if you give 'em what they need. Seriously, there's like a 1-5fps difference in most tests for the best.

    I've read more reviews than I can remember at this point and can tell you most hover in the 1600-1800mhz. range and in the right conditions will boost to ~2000-2100mhz. My Strix w/ 70% fan(noticeable sound) will hold 1987-2025 but at 60% fan(super quiet) will average 1800-1900mhz. For FPS that's about 5-10 difference for me. The drawback. . . .size. It's a 2 1/2 size card. The MSI in this review is slower, under some conditions maybe quiter but smaller.

    This is all regarding air cooled solutions. FormatC has done amazing reviews on his custom water loops that are really awesome. Unfortunately the factory water cooled solutions are marginally faster than the air but if you modded them amazing things could happen. As FormatC has also noted, sometimes your just looking for that sweet spot of quiet vs. an optimal speed and not just trying for a record.
    0
  • Th3pwn3r
    I get a big sense that the author was trying so hard to defend the card due to it's lagging performance behind the other offerings of 1080tis. Unless you absolutely need the space then this card isn't worth the money.
    0
  • zthomas
    I was thinking of adding another card.. so happens to be a 980.. happy to see they perform nicely together..
    0