Although technically the Titan Xp is the most powerful graphics card in the world right now, even those with deep pockets are more likely to opt for the still-expensive, but far-more-affordable GTX 1080 Ti. The Corsair Hydro GFX GTX 1080 Ti, however, goes a long way to closing that performance gap.
Built atop an MSI GTX 1080 Ti, Corsair’s aftermarket solution retools the cooling system for an impressive closed- loop setup. The cooling block features a “micro-fin” copper plate which provides fast and efficient heat transfer. The warm water that leaves the block then heads through the short rubber tubing to a slimline 120mm radiator which should fit at the back or on the ceiling of most PC cases.
Cooling the radiator down is a Corsair ML Series PWM fan that uses “magnetic levitation” and custom engineered rotors to reduce its noise output. A secondary, more traditional coaxial fan is located in the main shroud, which aids cooling of the memory and voltage regulators.
Beyond cutting the operating temperature, that extra cooling helps make the factory overclock possible. The Hydro GFX GTX has a boosted clock of 1,683MHz when in OC mode — 101MHz more than the stock 1080 Ti. Its memory has been overclocked a little more aggressively, running at 11,124MHz in OC mode, versus 11,008MHz on the Founders Edition.
Those improvements lead to as much as a 10 percent improvement in overall performance, according to Corsair, though we will want to see how that plays out in the real world. Stil, with temperatures said to barely peak above 40 degrees Celsius, with some tweaks you could take this rendition of the 1080 Ti even higher.
In case the idea of water cooling puts off prospective buyers of Corsair’s new solution, its landing page includes a handy guide for how easy the installation actually is: Install the GPU, attach the radiator and cooling fan to your case and attach the fan’s power connector. As the site says, “bam, done.”
The card is available on Corsair’s site for $800, which is around $100 more than a standard GTX 1080 Ti.
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