In order to do EVGA's GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 Gaming justice, we have to take a step back. After all, the company shows courage by not simply accepting that GeForce GTX 1080 Ti needs to monopolize three expansion slots. Thus, its offering joins the Founders Edition board as one of two respectable dual-slot cards out there.
That takes us to the physical limits of such a design, which can't be circumvented (not even by Nvidia). But despite the challenges of cooling such a powerful card quietly, for the most part, EVGA does this well. Delivering a higher performer able to operate at lower temperatures while generating less noise would have required more heft all around. And that's what it appears EVGA was trying to avoid. In a dual-slot form factor, then, it doesn't get much better.
As a trade-off, you don't get much overclocking headroom from a stock GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 Gaming. If EVGA's cooler was replaced by a real water block, it'd certainly be capable of much higher clock rates given a maximum power target of 350W. But the end result would still depend on winning the silicon lottery.
We very much appreciate the innovation that went into EVGA's sensor-controlled fans. The many sensors must be paradise for enthusiasts who thrive on collecting, processing, and dialing in their settings based on real data. This is one in a list of features, together with a unique (but still capable) dual-slot cooler that gives us cause to explicitly recommend the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 Gaming.
So far, all of the 1080 Tis we've reviewed have their own special characteristics that differentiate them, all but guaranteeing excitement from their target audiences. This card is no exception. It may be a bit of a niche product, but it's convincing for those who can appreciate it.
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