Colorful iGame GeForce RTX 3080 Vulcan OC Review - Impressive Overclocking 22

Colorful iGame GeForce RTX 3080 Vulcan OC Review - Impressive Overclocking

Circuit Board Analysis »

Packaging

Package Front
Package Back


The Card

Graphics Card Front
Graphics Card Back
Graphics Card Front Angled

I like the design language of the iGame Vulcan; with a mix of various shades of gray and silver, it doesn't look too busy, but gets that gamer theme across. On the back, you'll find a high-quality metal backplate.

Graphics Card Dimensions

Dimensions of the card are 31 x 14.5 cm.

Graphics Card Height
Graphics Card Back Angled

Installation requires three slots in your system.

Monitor Outputs, Display Connectors

Display connectivity options include three standard DisplayPort 1.4a and one HDMI 2.1. Interestingly, the USB-C port for VR headsets, which NVIDIA introduced on Turing Founders Editions, has been removed—guess it didn't take off as planned. The DisplayPort 1.4a outputs support Display Stream Compression (DSC) 1.2a, which lets you connect 4K displays at 120 Hz and 8K displays at 60 Hz. Ampere can drive two 8K displays at 60 Hz with just one cable per display.

Here, you can also see the large "Turbo" button, which lets you switch between the default BIOS and the Turbo BIOS. The default BIOS runs at NVIDIA reference settings: 1710 MHz boost with a 320 W power limit. The Turbo BIOS runs at 1800 MHz boost and a 370 W power limit, a significant increase. The fan curve is a bit more aggressive on the Turbo BIOS, and both BIOSes have fan stop.

Ampere is the first GPU to support HDMI 2.1, which increases bandwidth to 48 Gbps to support higher resolutions, like 4K144 and 8K30, with a single cable. With DSC, this goes up to 4K240 and 8K120. NVIDIA's new NVENC/NVDEC video engine is optimized to handle video tasks with minimal CPU load. The highlight here is added support for AV1 decode. Just like on Turing, you may also decode MPEG-2, VC1, VP8, VP9, H.264, and H.265 natively, at up to 8K@12-bit.

The encoder is identical to Turing. It supports H.264, H.265 and lossless at up to 8K@10-bit.

Graphics Card Power Plugs

Unlike the NVIDIA Founders Edition card that introduces the new 12-pin power input, Colorful sticks to industry standard 8-pin PCIe power inputs, but there are three of them. Combined with PCIe slot power, this configuration is rated for 525 W.


A unique selling point of the Colorful iGame Vulcan OC is this 480x128 pixel LCD display, which can be flipped to make it visible when your card is mounted vertically.


Using Colorful's iGame Center software, you may display various sensors readings on the LCD, which look great. What I really like is that you can choose between a single-sensor mode, which shows a chart on the right side, and a side-by-side view, which displays two sensor values at the same time.

You may also upload your own picture with text. When the iGame Center software is not running, the LCD will display an animated Vulcan logo.


Near the back of the card, you'll find two pin headers. The first is to provide an RGB signal to other components, so they can be synced with the graphics card RGB. The second lets you connect a USB-C cable from your system to the graphics card, so you can upload images to the LCD monitor. I think it should also be able to charge your smartphone, but it won't provide any data connectivity.

Multi-GPU Area

The GeForce RTX 3080 does not support SLI. Its bigger brother, the RTX 3090, has SLI support. As both are based on the GA102 GPU, it's purely a segmentation choice. Multi-GPU really isn't supported widely anymore, so it's no big deal.

Teardown

Graphics Card Cooler Front
Graphics Card Cooler Back

Colorful's heatsink uses a vapor-chamber base paired with six heatpipes to keep the card cool. You can also see a lot of thermal pads that provide cooling for the memory chips and VRM circuitry. The mounting system is very well thought out; there is no sagging or other movement, the whole card feels like one solid piece.


The backplate is made out of metal and protects the card against damage during installation and handling. Note the integrated heatpipes, which add a little bit of extra cooling. You can also see the lighting panel for the RGB functionality.
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