Gigabyte Aorus GTX 1080 Ti Xtreme Gaming 11 GB Review 32

Gigabyte Aorus GTX 1080 Ti Xtreme Gaming 11 GB Review




The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is a mean machine based on NVIDIA's second biggest implementation of its "Pascal" architecture, the 16 nm "GP102" silicon. This is the same chip that drives the TITAN X Pascal. The GTX 1080 Ti features the same number of CUDA cores as the latest TITAN, at 3,584 spread across 28 streaming multiprocessors. There is some cost-cutting here, but none that is designed to lower performance - the chip has a slightly narrower memory bus at 352 bit; that's one memory chip less than what you'd find on the TITAN X Pascal. The total memory amount is hence 11 GB. A cluster of ROPs is also disabled, so you now get 88 ROPs (as opposed to the 96 ROPs on the TITAN). The memory chips are, however, clocked 10% higher to make up for the 8.3% narrower memory bus. This move also translates into cost savings due to the lack of a 12th memory chip and probably better yields for the GP102 chip.

The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Xtreme Gaming is marketed under the AORUS brand, which Gigabyte created for gaming graphics cards with RGB lighting. It is built around a triple-slot, triple-fan thermal solution, featuring a large overclock to a base clock of 1607 MHz out of the box. Memory is overclocked as well, and the card is priced $50 over reference.

GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Market Segment Analysis
GTX 980 Ti
Radeon R9
Fury X
GTX 1070
GTX 1080
GTX 1080 Ti
Gigabyte GTX 1080
Ti Xtreme Gaming
Titan XP
Shader Units2816409619202560358435843584
Graphics ProcessorGM200FijiGP104GP104GP102GP102GP102
Memory Size6 GB4 GB8 GB8 GB11 GB11 GB12 GB
Memory Bus Width384 bit4096 bit256 bit256 bit352 bit352 bit384 bit
Core Clock1000 MHz+1050 MHz1506 MHz+1607 MHz+1481 MHz+1607 MHz+1418 MHz+
Memory Clock1750 MHz500 MHz2002 MHz1251 MHz1376 MHz1404 MHz1251 MHz


Package Front
Package Back

You will receive:
  • Graphics card
  • Documentation
  • PCIe 6-pin to 8-pin adapter
  • Gigabyte case badge

The Card

Graphics Card Front
Graphics Card Back

Gigabyte's card looks big and menacing, but also a bit plasticky, despite the cooler's frame consisting of several metal pieces. On the back, you will find a metal backplate with the AORUS logo. Dimensions of the card are 29.0 cm x 14.0 cm.

You will find adjustable RGB lighting on the Gigabyte GTX 1080 Ti AORUS Xtreme.

Graphics Card Height

Installation requires three slots in your system. This is a full triple-slot design, unlike other board partners which use 2.5 slots to keep some spacing for airflow in SLI configurations.

Monitor Outputs, Display Connectors

Display connectivity options include a DVI port, two HDMI ports, and three DisplayPorts. An additional HDMI port is available on the other side of the card, not far from the power connectors. It's nice to see that the DVI port has been brought back, which was missing on the GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition.

Gigabyte uses an automatic switch chip to achieve this functionality. Either the DVI port or the two HDMI ports can be active. All remaining outputs, which includes one HDMI port, are always enabled. Switching requires a system restart because a different VBIOS has to be loaded, which happens automatically when a connected monitor is detected during reboot.

Unlike previous-generation NVIDIA cards, the DVI port no longer includes the analog signal, so you'll have to use an active adapter. NVIDIA also updated DisplayPort to be 1.2 certified and 1.3/1.4 ready, which enables support for 4K at 120 Hz and 5K @ 60 Hz, or 8K @ 60 Hz with two cables.

The GPU also comes with an HDMI sound device. It is HDMI 2.0b compatible, which supports HD audio and Blu-ray 3D movies. The GPU's video-encoding unit has been updated to support HEVC at 10-bit and 12-bit.

Multi-GPU Area

With Pascal, NVIDIA made some changes to how SLI works. In a nutshell, for 4K at 60 Hz and above, NVIDIA recommends new high-bandwidth SLI bridges it dubbed "SLI HB." These bridges occupy both SLI fingers. Traditional triple- and quad-SLI setups are gone as well. Only certain benchmarks can run more than the dual-SLI setup to which all games are limited.

When installed inside the case, there is a little bit of sagging on the right side of the card, near the power connectors. It is nothing alarming, though.

Graphics Card Teardown PCB Front
Graphics Card Teardown PCB Back

Pictured above are the front and back, showing the disassembled board. High-res versions are also available (front, back).

A Closer Look

Graphics Card Cooler Front
Graphics Card Cooler Back

Gigabytes's thermal solution uses six heatpipes to keep the GPU cool. You can also see various thermal pads here, which provide cooling for the memory chips and VRM circuitry.

The backplate is made from metal and protects the card during installation and handling. It also has the RGB-lit AORUS logo and some thermal pads to provide a little bit of extra cooling for the backside of the card.

Graphics Card Power Plugs

Gigabyte has upgraded the power input of their GTX 1080 Ti to two 8-pins. This input configuration is specified for up to 375 watts of power draw.

The uPI uP9511R is the same voltage controller as on the GTX 1080 and GTX 1070.

Graphics Card Memory Chips

The GDDR5X memory chips are made by Micron and are marked with "D9VRL," which decodes to MT58K256M321JA-110. They are specified to run at 1375 MHz (11,000 MHz GDDR5X effective).

Graphics Chip GPU

NVIDIA's GP102 graphics processor is the company's second-largest chip using the Pascal architecture. It is produced on a 16 nm process at TSMC, Taiwan, with a transistor count of 12 billion and a die size of 471 mm².
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