Overclocking the EVGA GTX 1080 FTW ACX 3.0+
Overclocking the Pascal GTX 1080 and the EVGA GTX 1080 FTW is not as easy as overclocking the GeForce TITAN X, the GTX 980, or any other Maxwell architecture-based card. We already overclocked the Founders Edition of the GTX 1080 with PrecisionX OC and you can read about our results here.
Unfortunately, we were unable to upgrade to the latest version of PrecisionX OC as it has activation issues for some users, and it refused to launch. EVGA is aware of our issues but for now, we are still stuck with the Beta Reviewer’s Edition 4 which is not completely stable. This means that we could not use the Scanner to set or fine tune our overclock, but we were forced to set it manually. We expect that PrecisionX OC should be able to get a higher overclock than we managed.
In line with BTR’s overclocking policy, we only set the Temperature and Power Target sliders to their maximum and did not adjust the fan profile nor add any extra voltage. This are the clocks that we get just above idle.
This is the maximum overclock that we achieved with the Founders Edition
Ultimately, the final stable overclock for BTR’s GTX 1080 sample is +190MHz core offset leading to an average boost over 1950MHz and a +400MHz memory offset resulting in a 5400MHz memory clock. This is with a power target of +110% (not 120% which is unstable) and a temperature target of 91C. However, there were 2 problematic games out of 26 games that required an adjustment downward – GTA V (which has always been extremely sensitive to all overclocking) and Ashes of the Singularity (which has been somewhat problematic for Nvidia cards) which required lowering the offset by 20MHz to +170MHz offset.
The EVGA GTX 1080 FTW is already overclocked from the EVGA factory. The EVGA FTW’s card’s base clock is 1721MHz, up 114MHz over the reference Founders Edition base clock, and the EVGA boost clock is 1860MHz, 127MHz higher than Nvidia’s guaranteed minimum reference boost of 1733MHz. We also managed a completely stable additional +55MHz offset on the EVGA card’s core and an extra +100MHz offset on the FTW’s memory which turned out to be somewhat problematic for a couple of games.
UPDATED 06/23/16: As in the screenshot above, we looped Heaven 3.0 continuously, and the worst case is pictured with the fan speed at ~1570 rpm and the temperature at 77C in a very warm testing environment (80F). The fan speed and voltage were left on auto and the FTW never throttled.
We eventually settled on +55MHz core offset and +100MHz offset to the memory as +300 was stable, but even an offset of +200 lowered the performance results. We still achieved a steady GPU 3.0 locked-on Boost of 2012MHz, or +51MHz higher than with the Founders Edition, and at a much cooler temperature and lower fan speed/noise – all using the automatic profiles and without adding any extra voltage. We believe we could have done even better with the latest version of PrecisionX OC, but it refused to activate and launch for us. Maximum boost was 2050MHz.
You can download PrecisionX directly here: www.evga.com/precision where you can download it for free. It is also available for free on Steam.
A note about Memory Overclocking
The EVGA GTX 1080 FTW didn’t overclock as well with its GDDR5X as our sample of the Founders Edition which was able to gain performance with a +300MHz offset. In contrast, the FTW lost performance at +200MHz although it remained stable. In fact, one game – Mirror’s Edge Catalyst – lost significant performance with our +100MHz memory offset and we benchmarked it on our charts without a memory overclock, choosing to only overclock the core +55MHz. Two other games – Dragon’s Age Inquisition and Assassin’s Creed Syndicate – didn’t lose any performance with the +100MHz memory offset, but gained a very slight performance gain without it, so we showed those results on our chart.
We would recommend that each end user test any memory overclock very thoroughly before deciding on it. If the memory clocks are set even slightly high, the performance may drop. In most cases, based on our experience with the EVGA GTX 1080 FTW, we might even advise against any memory overclock because of the very slight gains experienced with it.
Let’s head to the performance charts to see how the EVGA GTX 1080 FTW compares with Founders Edition, with Fury X, and with the top cards of Summer, 2016.