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Gigabyte’s GTX 1080 Xtreme Edition GPU may zoom past Founder’s Edition model

Why it matters to you

Gigabyte will offer a GTX 1080 solution that's faster than the reference model but cheaper than the refreshed Titan X.

This week during the DreamHack Leipzig 2017 convention in Germany, Gigabyte held a special press event to showcase new products to be released under the Aorus label. The portfolio included six new gaming motherboards for the Intel Z270 chipset, new laptops, and a new graphics card: the Aorus GeForce GTX 1080 Xtreme Edition 8G slated to hit store shelves soon.

According to the specifications, the new card is overclocked right out of the box, offering two modes: Gaming and Overclocked. Here are the speeds for the graphics chip, the accompanying 8GB of on-board GDDR5X video memory, and also the reference GTX 1080 board just for comparison:

GPU Memory
Nvidia’s Reference Base Speed: 1,607MHz 10,000MHz
Nvidia’s Reference Boost Speed: 1,733MHz N/A
Gaming Mode Base Speed: 1,759MHz 10,206MHz
Gaming Mode Boost Speed: 1,898MHz N/A
Overclocked Mode Base Speed: 1,784MHz 10,400MHz
Overclocked Mode Boost Speed: 1,936MHz N/A

Now here are the remaining hardware specs of the new card:

Architecture: Pascal
Process technology: 16nm
CUDA Cores: 2,560
Memory Bus: 256-bit
Memory Bandwidth: 320GB per second
Card Bus: PCI Express 3.0 x16
I/O Ports (Standard Mode): 1x Dual-Link DVI-D
3x DisplayPort 1.4
1x HDMI 2.0b
I/O Ports (VR Mode): 3x DisplayPort 1.4
3x HDMI 2.0b
Digital max resolution: 7,680 x 4,320 @ 60Hz
Multi-view: 4
Recommended Power Supply: 500 watts with two 8-pin external connectors

According to Gigabyte, the GTX 1080 Aorus Xtreme Edition 8G outperforms the GTX 1080 Founder’s Edition and the GTX 980Ti reference card in three popular PC games. In a 64-bit Windows 7 test bed featuring an Intel i7-4790K processor, 16GB of system memory, and a 128GB SSD, the card was found to be 5 percent faster than the Founder’s Edition card in Overwatch, 10 percent faster in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and 5 percent faster in Grand Theft Auto V.

More: Gigabyte introduces new GeForce GTX 1050/Ti half-height cards for tiny PCs

Keeping the card cool under the overclocked conditions is the job of the company’s Windforce “stacked” cooling system, consisting of three 100mm fans residing over two large, finned heatsinks. Along with heat pipes, a large copper base plate resides on the front of the card to dissipate most of the heat away from the graphics chip and on-board memory via direct contact. Another large copper plate resides on the back to pull heat away from the back of the graphics chip.

On the lighting front, the card has an illuminated Aorus logo on the side, an illuminated logo on the back, and four stripes converging to the Aorus logo residing over the middle cooling fan. Configurable through Gigabyte’s free software, users can choose the right colors to match the system’s overall color scheme, and select from five lighting effects consisting of Cycling, Consistent, Flash, Dual Flash, and Breathing.

The card also includes an Aorus VR Link component, which Gigabyte boasts as the only output technology currently on the market that supports four display combinations for virtual reality without the need for an additional adapter. Aorus VR Link adds two HDMI ports to the side of the card, enabling the following video output configurations:

Setup 1 Setup 2 Setup 3 Setup 4
VR Headset (HDMI) VR Headset (HDMI) VR Headset (HDMI) VR Headset (HDMI)
DisplayPort HDMI HDMI HDMI
DisplayPort HDMI DisplayPort
DisplayPort DisplayPort

Right now, there’s no official word on availability and pricing, but the company is expected to launch the card in February for somewhere around $800 here in the United States. The card will come with a 4-year warranty that must be activated by registering the card online.