By default, this card's power target is set to a reasonable 250W. Not surprisingly, that limit is hit during our gaming and torture tests. Increasing the target (using Afterburner) to Gigabyte's theoretical 375W maximum serves no practical purpose, since the card doesn't get any faster once you exceed ~330W or so. It'd take a potent water-cooling setup to unlock additional headroom.
As mentioned on the first page of this review, our sample is somewhat of an outlier. Its GPU operates at an average voltage almost 80mV lower than other cards we've tested. The GPU Boost frequencies we observe aren't much higher as a result of the chip's extraordinary quality; the processor simply needs less voltage to get there.
What you see in the benchmarks, then, is largely identical to "normal" cards. Only our power consumption and thermal measurements end up slightly better. This is a standard retail card taken from distribution though, and not a hand-picked press sample. We simply got lucky, and the same could happen to you.
Watching the voltage as this card heats up helps explain its behavior. An impressively low 1.012V at the beginning falls even further to a maximum of 0.95V during our gaming loop. But it can also drop lower when there's a spike in utilization. The same phenomenon occurs during our stress test.
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 300W. On average, however, this card is on the same level as Nvidia's Founders Edition model, despite its higher GPU Boost frequency.
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.
Maximum Overclock Stress Test
Increasing the power target to its 375W maximum setting gives us a result just north of 340W. Also, the readings become more frenetic again. In addition to the spikes, many dips become visible as well. These are attributable to the limiting control of GPU Boost.
The peaks we observe now crest 400W. These spikes are very brief and should be easy to manage for any high-quality PSU.
Our current measurements don't reveal any abnormalities in the distribution of load on the supply rails.
Ever since the launch of AMD's Radeon RX 480, we've been asked to include this metric in our reviews. But Aorus' GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Xtreme Edition 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 only used moderately. Given the power target's adjustable ceiling, we're glad to see Gigabyte leaning hardest on the auxiliary power connectors.
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