The Conclusion

 The ConclusionDSCN1376

We have no trouble giving a big recommendation to the EVGA GTX 1080 FTW ACX 3.0.  At $679 it looks great, runs cool and is very quiet, and its out of the box performance is higher than the Founders Edition of the GTX 1080 which costs $20 more.  The only reason one might choose a reference Founder’s Edition GTX 980 Ti at $699 instead is to use 2 cards for SLI in a small case.  Or perhaps one may prefer the “look” of the built-by Nvidia reference card.

The EVGA GTX 1080 FTW ACX 3.0 runs cooler than the Founders Edition, costs less, is quieter and is built just as well from what we can tell.  Unfortunately, the lackluster performance of the Fury X in a similar price range at around $600-650 leaves it out of contention in our opinion.  The GTX 1080 is much faster and it wins every single benchmark in our 26-game benchmark suite.

EVGA GTX 1080 FTW ACX 3.0  Pros

  • The EVGA GTX 1080 FTX beats the more expensive Founders Editon in performance, and it beats its Fury X competitor in every benchmark at a similar price.
  • TDP and power draw are good and it is very quiet in comparison to almost any other high-performance video card and it is quieter than the reference GTX 1080 Founders Edition, especially when overclocked.
  • Overclockability is excellent out of the box – GPU Boost 3.0 works as advertised.
  • It is possible to use two of these cards for extreme SLI performance in games that support it.
  • The card is well-built, looks great and the LED lighting is a nice touch.
  • The GeForce Experience and GameWorks, including ShadowPlay, enhance the gaming experience.  G-SYNC helps to smooth gaming framerates by syncing the display to the GPU and allowing for smooth framerates without stuttering or tearing.

Cons

  • PrecisionX OC refused to launch for us after activation.  We probably left overclocking performance on the table by setting our overclock manually by being unable to use the advanced overclocking features it offers.

The Verdict:BTR-Award-HRec

  • If you are buying the ultimate single-GPU flagship video card right now and looking for the highest performance in a single GPU, the GTX 1080 is the only reasonable choice in its price range and the EVGA card is well deserving of its $679 price tag compared with the more expensive Founders Edition. We feel it deserves BTR’s Highly Recommended award because it is unique in design and performance as well as being among the very fastest cool and quiet air-cooled GTX 1080s.
  • We would choose the EVGA GTX 1080 FTW ACX 3.0 in every situation over the reference Founders Edition except possibly for SLI.

We do not know what the future will bring, but the GTX 1080 brings an excellent top-performer to the GeForce family and it clearly establishes itself as the very fastest single-GPU video card in the world.  On top of this, the EVGA GTX 1080 FTW ACX 3.0 is highly recommended for its excellent cooling and quietness as well as the great EVGA warranty and support.

If you currently game on an older generation video card, you will do yourself a big favor by upgrading. The move to a GTX 1080 will give you better visuals on the DX11 and DX12 pathways, and you are no doubt thinking of SLI if you want to get the very most in gaming performance. Price may be the only issue, but if you are looking for ultimate performance, the GTX 1080 is significantly faster than the Fury X.

AMD offers their own set of features including Eyefinity 2.0 and FreeSync, but their flagship Fury X as represented by the PowerColor Fury X card, simply cannot touch the raw power of the GTX 1080.  We are hoping that AMD will soon bring a new architecture flagship card to the table.

Stay tuned, there is a lot coming from us at BTR. We are in the process of preparing for another new review and are also upgrading our platform from Devil’s Canyon Core i7-4790 to Skylake’s Core i7-6770K. And don’t forget to check BTR forums.  Our tech discussions are among the best to be found anywhere!

Happy Gaming!

Mark Poppin

BTR Editor-in-Chief

 

7 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks for the review, quick question though regarding power consumption. I got this card because it was the only non-FE card available and my concern is that I didn’t realize the higher power consumption due to the overclock on the card. Is there a way via PrecisionX that you can set a power consumption target so that it doesn’t exceed the TDP of the FE version? Basically, I don’t need nor want an extra 2-4 FPS at the expense of the electrical bill cost esp when it’s near 18 cents per kilowatt hour (power+delivery charge+taxes+state/city fees), which it looks like it cost over 55 Watts for an extra 2-4 FPS in certain cases. Is that possible?

    • You’re welcome!

      You can set your own clocks in PrecisionX to whatever you like – i.e. underclock it to match the Founders Edition clocks, or even lower. You can also lower the Power Target. You can find your own “sweet spot” for clocks versus gaming performance with a little experimentation.

      Here’s a suggestion for a very useful tool that may be able to save you money since you are in an area with high electricity costs:

      http://www.p3international.com/products/p4400.html

      They often go on sale for under $25, and you can see exactly how much electricity you are using.

      • Great, thank you for the info — I also contacted EVGA and they said to set the power target to 90% to reach a max TDP of 180 Watts.

    • a bit late but i use this card with the visio M series. 65 inch

      It ummmm…

      There is no way i could describe it to you. But once you see it. You cannot unsee it.

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