MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X 11G Review

Power Consumption

By default, this card's power target is limited to ~290W. That ceiling is almost reached during gaming workloads, and it's hit squarely when we apply a stress test.

Increasing the power target to ~330W using MSI's Afterburner software doesn't improve performance, surprisingly enough. After all, more aggressive GPU Boost frequencies are held back by voltages and temperatures, not power.

Watching the voltage as this card heats up helps explain its behavior. The 1.0625V we measured at the beginning quickly falls to a peak of 1.05V during our gaming loop, but it can also drop even lower when there's a spike in utilization. The same phenomenon occurs during our stress test, though the values dip even further.

Gaming Power Consumption

Let's break the power consumption measurement into separate, higher-resolution lines for each supply rail over a two-minute interval. In spite of our intelligent low-pass filter, occasional spikes remain visible. In places, they reach up to 360W.

The graph corresponding to our current measurement looks just as hectic.

Stress Test Power Consumption

Faced with a more consistent load, power consumption does rise a little. However, the peaks are almost completely eliminated. Instead, we see where GPU Boost kicks in to start limiting power use.

The isolated current readings behave similarly.

Exploring Limits: Maximum Overclock  And The Stress Test

Increasing the power target to its ~330W maximum setting makes the readings more frenetic again. And in addition to the spikes, many dips become visible as well. These are attributable to the limiting control of GPU Boost.

Our current measurements don't reveal any abnormalities in the distribution of load on the supply rails.

Load on the Motherboard Slot

Ever since the launch of AMD's Radeon RX 480, we've been asked to include this metric in our reviews. But MSI's GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X 11G gives us no reason to be concerned about load on the motherboard's 16-lane PCIe 3.0 slot. In fact, the slot is hardly used at all. Given the power target's adjustable ceiling, we're glad to see MSI leaning hardest on the auxiliary power connectors. This also simplifies the board layout a bit.

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23 comments
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  • Dark Lord of Tech
    Nice Review , thanks again.
  • Scorpionking20
    Thanks. I would love a database of clocks/temps/noise comparing differing cards. I'm looking to sidegrade my 1070's to a 1080ti, and am not in a rush. Noise bugs me a lot more than others, so I try to go for the most quiet solution...but I may be getting a Ryzen with a proper loop too, so if I did that I may get a FE card to throw into the loop...too many options.
  • FormatC
    I've already tested four cards in Germany (four more in pipeline), all other stuff is already in translation. After publishing a few more cards on US site, we will put also a kind of landing/summary page with comparable data ;)

    But I can't spoiler the other reviews results before publishing it ;)
  • zthomas
    Sound and temp is it increased with this card? .. with its own cooler how much cooler? Lots of fans pushing air.. yeah I updated my case.. has three large fans.. one thing i don't get.. I have seen nothing of temperature controls, no meters nothing to indicate temperatures inside the case.. or nothing showing use a peak times during gaming..
  • FormatC
    I can't understand your question, sorry.

    But you can monitor the GPU temperature by yourself with tools like GPU-Z or MSI Afterburner (also with an OSD). Then compare the results with my IR pictures and you have a good point to calculate the other temps by yourself. ;)
  • derekullo
    Wish it had some Titan Xp benchmarks since that's the competition.
  • FormatC
    The problem is:
    Nvidia has never sampled this card.

    I have here a Quadro P6000 and this card is similar. Due the thermal limits of Nvidias stock cooler it is not significant faster. Ok, a little bit, but not a whole universe. And Nvidia will not be amused, if I use a 5000 USD workstation card in gaming benchmarks ;)
  • LwNickV
    I have a question about Overclocking, you mention you need to "max out the voltage slider". But i saw it mentioned in another review that Voltage Slider is locked for this card. So what do you mean with that statement? Is just upping the Power Target to 330 enough to reach 2000 mhz+-?
  • lorfa
    What exactly is at the hotspot?
  • Sam Hain
    2471832 said:
    I have a question about Overclocking, you mention you need to "max out the voltage slider". But i saw it mentioned in another review that Voltage Slider is locked for this card. So what do you mean with that statement? Is just upping the Power Target to 330 enough to reach 2000 mhz+-?


    Tom's was given an unlocked version of MSI AB back in March to test an FE Ti with it and was done using H20 cooling; http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-1080-ti-water-cooling,4975-2.html They also give instructions on how to manipulate AB to access the voltage settings, until a new(er), unlocked version of AB rolls...

    "We're fortunate enough to have a version of MSI’s Afterburner utility unlocked especially for us. If you want access to similar settings before a new version of Afterburner is released, you can manually add your 1080 Ti to the third-party database using the VDDC_Generic_Detection entry under the VEN_10DE&DEV_1B06&SUBSYS_120F10DE&REV_?? key. A quick search online should turn up plenty of in-depth instructions on how to do this."

    However, you can just move the POWER-LIMIT slider to the max, along with bumping your clock settings. These aftermarket cards will crack past 2K MHz, no problem w/out touching voltage, this card included... It's a CHAMP!
  • Joonhong
    Good review. I guess it is still hard to fully enjoy UHD games with a single card. I wait for the VOLTA!
  • FormatC
    I'm playing only in UHD and have two rigs - one with a water cooled 1080 Ti and my gaming table with two water cooled 1080 non-Ti as SLI. But to be honest, the single card solution gives me the better experience. I'm really sensitive for stuttering. Games like Prey, Andromeda and Ghost Recon are running well on this oc'ed 1080 Ti in UHD (without this power-hungry Nvidia effects). It is not 100% perfect, but better than all this SLI drops und stuttering. And it's more efficient ;)
  • Fiqar_
    Great review!
  • Fiqar_
    What a beast!
  • DotNetMaster777
    The review is very nice
  • TMRichard
    Hey do you guys happen to have a review coming out for the GIGABYTE Aorus Xtreme GTX 1080 Ti? I think you'll agree that the card's clock speeds (Core and VRAM are boosted a fair amount) are wicked fast even compared to this one from MSI!
  • FormatC
    The review of the Aorus 1080 Ti Extreme Edition is already online in Germany and currently in translation. :)

    So don't worry. Also online in German are the EVGA 1080 Ti FTW3 and the Zotac 1080 Ti Amp! Extreme. Both are also in translation now. The Galax 1080 Ti EXOC Black and the Palit 1080 Ti SuperJetstream are in the Pipeline, after this I test the Asus Strix too. :)

    But atm I'm reviewing the single-slot Galax GTX 1070 Katana with a BIOS-improvement togeter with Galax ;)
  • Sam Hain
    482859 said:
    I'm playing only in UHD and have two rigs - one with a water cooled 1080 Ti and my gaming table with two water cooled 1080 non-Ti as SLI. But to be honest, the single card solution gives me the better experience. I'm really sensitive for stuttering. Games like Prey, Andromeda and Ghost Recon are running well on this oc'ed 1080 Ti in UHD (without this power-hungry Nvidia effects). It is not 100% perfect, but better than all this SLI drops und stuttering. And it's more efficient ;)


    The GTX 1080 Ti was the answer for me dropping a 2-way GTX 980 Ti setup... Great for titles that supported it BUT SLI support in newer titles is waning. With these newer GPU's getting more and more powerful, with each series release especially the top-tier ones, SLI has seen it's hey-day IMO.
  • FormatC
    I have the feeling, that Nvidia really dislike Multi-GPU and not one of the latest AA games (mostly Nvidia sponsored) was supporting it 100%.
  • WalterDisney
    This may be the card I upgrade to. Looking to get a 1080 Ti, but not sure which manufacturer to go with :(
  • Sam Hain
    2307281 said:
    This may be the card I upgrade to. Looking to get a 1080 Ti, but not sure which manufacturer to go with :(


    For the most part, the vendor versions do not vary much other than the overclock's, cooling solutions and "make-up" they slap on them from the factory, with some exceptions. However, take note of the following before deciding:

    1. effectiveness of cooling solution/fans, etc.
    2. power-phases; the more phases means more clean& consistent power to the GPU for better stability esp. if OC is your thing
    3. do your home-work on reviews of all models within your budget, both pro and customer; tom's, guru3d etc. and Newegg for customer/buyer inputs
    4. avoid brand loyalism/fanboyism to a particular brand and/or company; go with what is best rated for your dollar(s)
    5. be sure to check what kind of warranty policy is offered by the manufacturer prior to purchase
    6. be sure to read the RMA/return/refund policy of the vendor you purchase from prior to purchase, should issues arise

    This is not all inclusive but should help point you in a somewhat good direction.
  • FormatC
    1306537 said:
    ...2. power-phases; the more phases means more clean& consistent power to the GPU for better stability esp. if OC is your thing..

    This is mostly marketing and a lie (we have 19 phases - Zotac). The currect IC's doesnt't allow more than 6 or 8 separate controlled phases. The vendors are using very often the so-called phase doubling to split the current (and as follow) the heat. A card with 12 CPU "phases" owns in real only 6 phases, but each of them is splitted into 2 ciruits. I can use a 1080 Ti reference board to supply over 500 Watts without any problems. There are "only" 7 real phases and one of these is also working as load balancer between PCIe connector and mainboard. All this "better OC stability" due more phases is an urban legend and pure marketing, nothing else ;)
  • Ali_245
    hi any one got inno3d 1080 ti i chill x4 manufacturer?