Aorus GTX 1080 Ti Xtreme Edition 11G Review

Clock Rates, Heat & Noise

Clock Rates

Manufacturers can claim whatever they want in their marketing material. Actually achievable clock rates are subject to a number of hard-to-control variables, though. GPU quality, for instance, plays a big role, and there's no way to pre-screen what you get on that front. So, it's absolutely possible that a nominally slower card made by one board partner ends up faster than a more aggressively-tuned model from another partner. As a result, comparisons between products have to be approached with an understanding of some inherent uncertainty.

Board vendors can, however, control the settings and environmental factors that affect how GPU Boost ultimately determines operating frequency, depending on the situations it encounters. Beyond specifications like the power target or clock offset, temperature under load is perhaps the most influential factor in defining sustainable performance.

For the Aorus GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Xtreme Edition 11G, we measured an initial GPU Boost frequency as high as 2012 MHz during our gaming loop. As the card warmed up, it maintained an average of ~1873 MHz during our 30-minute measurement.

With a slightly higher power target and more aggressive cooling settings, it's probable that 1.9+ GHz could be sustained inside of a closed case.

Overclocking

Of course, the card does tolerate some additional overclocking. In our case, we achieved a stable 2067 MHz under air cooling, though we did have to significantly adjust Gigabyte's fan curve to bring temperatures down. This results in extra noise you might not want.

If you plan to overclock, consider increasing the power target to at least 350W (by moving the slider from ~135 to 150 percent).

The table below contains results after configuring our card in Afterburner and a long test run in The Witcher 3. We achieved the values in the last row without bumping voltage up any further. However, we did have to manually increase clock rate by 50 MHz to get there.

Clock Rate Increase
Power Target (Afterburner)
Voltage (Afterburner)
Avg. Boost Clock
Avg. Voltage
Power Consumption
No  
100%
Standard1873 MHz
<0.9V
251.9W
No 100%Maximum
1873 MHz<0.9V252.4W
No 150%
Standard2012 MHz
<1.043V
322.8W
No 150%
Maximum2037 MHz
<1.093V
346.2W
+50 MHz
150%
Standard2067 MHz
<1.093V342.9W

As long as your temperatures stay under 149°F (65°C) during gaming workloads, 2067 MHz is feasible and can almost be permanently maintained aside from the occasional dip. The right water-cooling setup allows even higher clock rates. But we already mentioned that we won the GPU lottery this time around.

Getting a good overclock from your memory requires perseverance and a bit of luck. Seemingly stable settings might work short-term, and then prove dicey after a few hours of gaming. In the case of our sample, an extra 300 to 400 MT/s was feasible. Beyond that, performance started sliding the other direction.

Heat

Because the backplate plays an active role in cooling, it has to stay on for our measurements. We did lay a bit of harrowing groundwork, though. Before taking our readings, we removed the backplate and identified the card's hot-spots. This gave us the information we needed to drill holes into the plate, directly above those areas. These holes allow us to take precise measurements, even with the plate attached.

During gaming, the GPU remains below 71°C on an open bench table. That's not bad for a flagship graphics card. The rest of the board remains pleasantly cool as well.

In a closed case, the GPU's temperature rises to somewhere between 74 and 75°C, corresponding to the temperature target set by Gigabyte. At that point, the fans need to perform at their highest setting. The memory and VRM continue getting hotter, but the readings we observe are still fairly moderate.

The situation intensifies during our stress test. Here, the memory modules see an even higher thermal load than the GPU. Nevertheless, we don't flag any problems on an open test bench.

A closed case can't push the temperatures we measure into a critical range. The GPU stays right where Gigabyte wants it, and the other components remain in good shape. This certainly leaves some headroom for manual overclocking.

Noise

The Aorus GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Xtreme Edition 11G is extremely quiet on our open test bench, since its fans spin at low RPM. It's only when we drop the card into a closed case that the fans speed up, particularly as its GPU approaches 74°C. But even then, the fans operate at just under 1900 RPM.

We record similar rotational speeds during our stress test, with the same consequences.

Using our special temperature-controlled anechoic chamber, we took a maximum reading of 37.6 dB(A), which really isn't bad for a flagship 300W card.

This value can be a little deceptive, though. We initially suspected that those peaks in the 6 kHz range were attributable to the voltage regulators. But the noise was still audible at idle, as long as the middle fan was spinning. It stopped as soon as we stuck a finger in there. Other models don't have this flaw, so we borrowed the fans off of an older Xtreme Gaming card to confirm that fixes the problem.

If you don't push the power target beyond reason, this card's cooler does its job competently and unobtrusively. Even in a closed case, all of the on-board components remain cool enough to facilitate a bit of manual overclocking.

MORE: Best Graphics Cards

MORE: Desktop GPU Performance Hierarchy Table

MORE: All Graphics Content

Create a new thread in the US Reviews comments forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
23 comments
Comment from the forums
    Your comment
  • Lkaos
    It takes 3 slots!? OMG, this is getting ridiculous...
  • FormatC
    2,5 slots. As the most of these fat cards ;)
  • drwho1
    I wait till this cards drop under $300...

    Although by then I might want "that other new one" ....
  • Bloody Chainsaw
    Correction. In the specs chart, the Titan's memory bus is listed as 38-bit. Should be 384.
  • Kevin-M
    At that absurd price point you would think there would be more generosity than the inclusion of one of the most common elements on the planet! Thanks but no thanks, I will remain a smart shopper and wait until the price point comes down to a realistic one!
  • FormatC
    Expensive is relative. Mostly all non-smokers have money enough. It is the question, which priority you set. :)
  • SiggeLund
    Will you be reviewing any of the 1080ti cards with closed loop coolers?
  • FormatC
    If I get one as sample, yes. But closed loop isn't a solution. This are more or less toys.
  • TMRichard
    I must say I think I got a Golden Sample then, my card stays at a stable 2012MHz GPU clock under 65C with fans @ 75% Just waiting on EK to get their block ready so I can add it to my loop!
  • FormatC
    As I wrote in my review - it is a pure lotto. The test sample is running with GPU- und VRM-Waterblock with the AB Extreme and 1.093 Volts at 20°C (chiller) stable 2166 MHz. Other cards neets 1.2 Volts (I have a NO2 BIOS from another card) to crack the 2100 MHz barrier stable. If you buy a card, you get no warranty which GPU quality you get.
  • Sam Hain
    At stock settings,no clocks adjusted, power-limit left at 100% and custom fan curve utilized; fans will run at 60% @50*, 70% @60*, 80% @70*. Mine will boost to 2038 no problem.

    I've never seen the card go above 63* and it is hard to hear the fans.

    EDIT: My case has two front intake fans (one 140mm/one 120mm), an internal 120mm adjustable rail-fan blowing across the top of the Ti, two 120mm exhaust fans and my H105 120's are pulling outside air into the case. This helps a bit with temps.
  • Serban13
    I just wish I had one of theese...
  • DerekA_C
    still waiting on vega to start price wars then I will buy
  • DerekA_C
    or I may wait until volta comes since i want dx12 vulkan as the future of gaming and these tend to not do as good in those as amd cards but volta is suppose to change that only one can hope.
  • FormatC
    Anonymous said:
    still waiting on vega to start price wars then I will buy

    You really sure that Vega can fight with the 1080 Ti customs? The price wars will start (if Vega is coming this year) below the 1080 Ti. The 1080 non-Ti might be cheaper. But wars? AMD need every Cent to survive. If Vega is good, you have to pay for it.
  • Terry Perry
    Nvidia already has all new cards being built will all new ram faster than any other card they have ever made. This will be another Dinosaur in 2 years.
  • ledhead11
    Anonymous said:
    Nvidia already has all new cards being built will all new ram faster than any other card they have ever made. This will be another Dinosaur in 2 years.


    I seriously doubt it. Sure they've got fast ram in the works, DDR6 specs have already being published this week and someday HBM will be more reality than myth but this vram already offers a lot.

    In twenty years of buying GPU's I've never seen a single card/GPU solution this powerful and holding it's own with the highest resolutions as these OC'd AIB cards. The ram on these are very easily overclockable right out of the box. My Strix is stable at 11.99Ghz for two months now, clock @ 1975-2066mhz, on air and @ 50-65c. Games in 1440p/ultra settings hold 90-130fps and 4k 45-60fps same settings.

    In two years it might show some age but dinosaur it won't be. Prices will probably drop in the next year but there's many articles out there showing how GPU prices are still very relative to price/performance points over 10 years ago. High end cards always cost more.
  • Th3pwn3r
    LOL @ the people complaining about price. People were paying $1500 for Titan's. People were spending THOUSANDS on triple SLI setups. We're getting so much more for our money that it's awesome. When you think PC parts are expensive, I will tell you that I once paid $350 for 2GB of Corsair ram.
  • brucewithatemper
    This thing is aan absolute beast! Thanks for sharing!
  • Kaheel
    Hello,I've got a problem with my 1080 TI Aorus xtreme edition . It's unstable and crashing every 5 to 10 minutes while playing any game.oc mode and game mode,I tried almost everything new driver ,bios even RAM ,PSU1000w
    I've tried it on another PC but still have the same problem.
    It seems a manufacturer problem as i saw while surfing the internet searching for technical solutions. 
    any help?