Galax GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Hall of Fame Review

The word "subtle" definitely doesn't come to mind when describing the appearance of Galax's GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Hall of Fame (HoF) edition graphics card. Even its packaging starts out bold. The card itself is a real behemoth. Not only is it physically large, but it's heavy as well. Go big or go home, right?

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 Galax builds.


Unboxing, Dimensions & Interfaces

Galax packages this beast in a visually impressive box with two sideways-opening wings as cover. As you might imagine, this makes opening the HoF for the first time an intensely satisfying experience. But of course, it's what's inside that counts...

The bundle includes several accessories. However, for safety reasons, it would have been better off without the three Molex-to-eight-pin adapters. The combination of their 20-gauge wires and an inexpensive power supply could turn the installation into a fire hazard. And unnecessarily so, since the number of PCIe connectors you find on PSUs typically correspond to their real power output. No adapter is able to magically generate power where there was none before. If you're interested in a Galax GeForce GTX 1080 Ti HoF card, do the right thing and pair it up with a capable enthusiast-oriented PSU.

As a nice gimmick, the box comes with a so-called "LuminHold" made of acrylic glass. It provides additional RGB lighting, and can be screwed to the expansion slot and connected to the graphics card for direct lighting control. Galax's software for this is not included; instead, you'll need to download that separately. The pictured USB stick only holds the manuals as PDF files, as well as Nvidia's GeForce Experience utility.

With a hefty weight of 1.689 kg, an above-average length of 31.8cm (measured from the slot bracket's outer edge to the shroud's back), an extreme height of 14.5cm (from the top of the motherboard slot to the upper edge of the shroud), and a portly width of 5.4cm, this 2.5-slot form factor effectively gobbles up three expansion slots to become the largest card we've tested. Furthermore, the backplate requires another 0.5cm of clearance on the other side, which could affect enthusiasts with large CPU coolers.

Whether you like the shroud's mix of plastic parts is a matter of personal taste. The clean white look is still a relatively rare sight, though. To that end, the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti HoF's appearance follows the established design of previous HoF cards. So, apart from the excessive dimensions, there are no real visual surprises.

The backplate is made of brushed aluminum, coated in black on the inside, and situated in such a way that it provides a passive contribution to the overall cooling solution.

Up top, you'll find a back-lit LCD and three eight-pin auxiliary power connectors. Those PCIe connectors are rotated by 180° and positioned at the PCB's end.

The black-and-white display has a rather low resolution. It is designed to either display just a logo, or (once the appropriate software is installed) clock rates, fan speeds, voltages, and more. The effect is certainly unique, though you'll want a windowed case to show it off.

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.

Instead, Galax adds a mounting frame positioned between cooler and board. This frame is meant to provide both additional stabilization and cooling. Unfortunately, its actual implementation is not quite perfect. More on that when we dig into thermal analysis.

The end of the card reveals four 8mm heat pipes for the right part of the cooler structure. At this angle (and from the outside), a fifth 6mm bent heat pipe is not visible.

Galax 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.

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

Titan X
GTX 1080 Ti FE
Galax GeForce
GTX 1080 Ti
Hall Of Fame
GTX 1080 FE
GTX 980 Ti
CUDA Cores3584
Base Clock Rate1417 MHz1480 MHz
1569 MHz
1607 MHz1000 MHz
Boost Clock Rate1531 MHz+1582 MHz+
1683 MHz
1733 MHz+1076 MHz+
Memory Size & Type12GB GDDR5X
Die Size471 mm²
471 mm²
471 mm²314 mm²
601 mm²
Process Technology16nm
Transistors12 billion
12 billion12 billion7.2 billion8 billion
Streaming Multiprocessors (SM)28
GFLOPS (Base Clock)10,157
Texture Units224
Texture Fill Rate317.4 GT/s331.5 GT/s351.5 GT/s
257.1 GT/s214 GT/s
Pixel Fill Rate136 GPix/s130.24 GPix/s138.1 GPix/s
114.2 GPix/s116.7 GPix/s
Memory Data Rate10 Gb/s11 Gb/s11 Gb/s10 Gb/s7 Gb/s
Memory Bus384-bit
Memory Bandwidth480 GB/s
484.4 GB/s
484.4 GB/s320 GB/s
336 GB/s
L2 Cache
275W (PT)

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. 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 Systems & Measurements
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)
Alphacool Eisblock XPX
Alphacool Eiszeit 2000 Chiller
2x be quiet! Silent Wings 3 PWM (Closed Case Simulation)
Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut (Used when Switching Coolers)
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
1x Optris PI640 80Hz Infrared Camera + PI Connect
Real-Time Infrared Monitoring and Recording
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

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  • JonDol
    "What's more, the card is only available through Galax's website (at almost Titan Xp pricing, no less)"

    And yet I'd buy this one rather than the Xp: while I have no problems with Titan's price I do have a big problem with its noise and cooling and for this reason I think that Nvidia's decision to not open the Titan to OEMs (and their better custom cooling solutions) was a really bad one.
  • AndrewJacksonZA
    This thing is simply beautiful... I would love to have one. :-)

    Thank you for the review, Igor!
  • 10tacle
    Whew what a beast! As much as I like the white theme as my next build will be white with blue LEDs, I could never justify paying this premium over my $730 EVGA SC2 Gaming 1080 Ti.
  • mac_angel
    for the GTX 1080ti cards, overclocking is better done by adjusting the curve in Afterburner instead of just adding +xx to the core clock
  • FormatC
    Anonymous said:
    for the GTX 1080ti cards, overclocking is better done by adjusting the curve in Afterburner instead of just adding +xx to the core clock

    Each card is unique and the curve may differ a lot. I use curves to undervolt my own cards, but this is in detail too much for such a review. The next reader will copy my curves and then bash me because it won't work for him. :)
  • Hal-Jordan
    I was curious how much they were charging for this. I don't see the price listed anywhere in the text of the article. There's a black "Suggested price..." box at the bottom of the page, with the price listed as "N/A," and the galax website appears to be offline. It seems that an important part of the review was omitted.
  • FormatC
    As we wrote the review, the card was available and the site online. Difficult to say, what happened.
  • Hamm_
  • redgarl
    Ugly as hell and the Achiles heel of the 1080s is the VRAM. Your card can die after a short time if the cooling solution is not adequate. i would not touch this with a 10 meter stick.
  • caustin582
    Practical issues aside, Galax needs to fire whoever did the visual design for this card. My god is this thing ugly.
  • FormatC
    Chinese taste :D
  • AgentLozen
    The aesthetic reminds me of a Power Ranger.
  • falconpunch3D
    The price isn't showing up because their store website seems to be totally different from the product info one linked in the article. Store URL is, at least for the US.

    Oh. Also. It's $1,100...
  • Kennyy Evony
    i'd like a pc with all components made to look like crystalline structure with different color LED's kind of like the cave in Ungoro crater on old wow; various color crystals sticking out from one side or another with different lighting effects. or make the inside of pc look like those giant rocks split apart to show crystalline structures to show off and have a tempered glass panel to show it all off.
  • kinggremlin
    An $1100 1080Ti that isn't perceptibly faster than other AIB 1080Ti's gets a recommended buy? You can't be serious. The Aorus GTX 1080 Ti Xtreme Edition (which also got an award, just like every other card reviewed) had a con that it was 50 DOLLARS more expensive than the 1080Ti FE, while the performance delta between it and the FE was far greater than between the HOF and the Aorus card. The HOF card is 50 PERCENT more expensive than the Aorus ($750), it isn't any faster, and it still got an award?

    You reviewed a full GP102 Titan Xp 2 months ago, yet it is conspicuously missing from the comparison charts and you decided to include the older Titan X Pascal. Why would you do that?

    Also, "relatively quiet" does not belong in the pros column of an $1100 version of a $700 card that has near silent versions for under $800. It goes in the cons column.

    Tom Pabst hasn't been associated with this site for over a decade. Don't you think it's about time to change the name of this site to more accurately reflect what you guys are about? Instead of Tom's Hardware (The Authority on Tech), this site should be called Special Olympics' Hardware (Where Everyone's a Winner).

    Now that the sarcasm portion of our program is over. Serious question, how much would Galax have to have charged for this card for it to not have gotten an award?
  • sillynilly
    Hate the name - a Hall of Fame is where we place those that were once the best in their relative game (and may not be so currently) - it's like saying the card was once awesome, but may not be so currently. Weird to name it that.
  • photonboy
    Are you referring to the EVGA temperature issue? Because that was fixed. You could return the card for one with the thermal pad fix, or just get the fix and do it yourself.

    And... did you mean "VRAM" or VRM because I can see no VRAM (video memory) issues at all.
  • photonboy
    MY ONLY COMPLAINT with this review is that they tested against a Founders Edition card. I would have liked to see a similar EVGA or Asus card at least, and with those cards having their issues (like fans) sorted out I doubt there would be a good reason to go with the Galax card.
  • WyomingKnott
    It COMES WITH Molex to 8-pin adapters? Not only is that a fire hazard, but the fact they they "legitimized" the practice by providing them is going to set back the effort to convince people to use proper power supplies for power-hungry cards back by years. "But the fancy Galax card comes with them!"
  • FormatC
    See it as a kind of fixed delta for each 1080 Ti. I have also a summary review online (in German with all cards inside).,testberichte-242360-2.html

    The biggest differences you can see in thermals, power consumption, noise etc., but not in fps. :)