GIGABYTE AORUS GTX 1080 Ti XTREME Edition 11G Graphics Card Review

A Closer Look

The AORUS GTX 1080 Ti XTREME EDITION has three RGB lighting zones. The first being the X over the center of the WINDFORCE STACK 3X Cooler. The second RGB zone is the AORUS logo on the side of the card. The last RGB zone is the large FALCON head logo on the backplate.

The AORUS logo on the side of the card is one of the RGB zones on the AORUS GTX 1080 Ti. This is true for both models.

The AORUS GTX 1080 Ti is a beautiful card. It’s WINDFORCE 3x 100mm, stacked fan design allows for greater and smoother airflow. The three 100mm fans provide more heatsink coverage than 3x 80mm fans, and perform on average 10% better. The middle fan spins in the reverse direction of the two end fans. This helps to optimize the airflow to dissipate the heat faster for higher performance at a lower temperature. The airflow is split by the triangle fan edge, and forced through the 3D stripe curve on the fan surface, increasing the airflow by up to 23% more than traditional fans.

The AORUS GTX 1080 Ti is a 2 ½ slot GPU. This is due to the massive heatsink that sits under the 3 100mm WINDFORCE fans. Directly over the center fan is the AORUS Falcon head logo. RGB lighting form an X over the center fan, with the AORUS logo in the dead center of the RGB X. Unlike other board partner cards, the shroud on the AORUS GTX 1080 Ti for both the regular and the XTREME Edition is made up of aluminum, not plastic. This is a great feature and hints toward the overall build quality of the card.

The AORUS GTX 1080 Ti has 3 HDMI ports, with two in the front of the card and one on the rear. The card also has 3 x DisplayPorts and a single DVI-D port that can be converted to HDMI. AORUS VR Link features 1 extra front-facing and 2 rear HDMI ports, letting you connect a VR device and up to 2 HDMI monitors at the same time without having to swap cables.

The AORUS GTX 1080 Ti has two 8-pin power connectors for both the Standard and the XTREME Edition.

The AORUS GTX 1080 Ti officially supports 2-way SLI. However, synthetic benchmarks such as Fire Strike and Time Spy do support 3 and 4-way SLI.

Here is the copper block on the back plate of the XTREME Edition AORUS GTX 1080 Ti. The direction of the stripes on the backplate is not just for aesthetics. The direction of the lines on the copper plate will help to increase the cooling performance by directing airflow across the back of the card.

Here is the copper block on the back plate of the AORUS GTX 1080 Ti, which has the same basic function as the copper plate on the XTREME EDITION 1080 Ti. The copper plate helps to direct air flow.

On the XTREME Edition AORUS GTX 1080 Ti, the AORUS Falcon head is RGB backlit and takes up a third of the back plate.

The AORUS logo on the regular AORUS GTX 1080 Ti is much smaller than on the XTREME EDITION, and it’s also printed, not RGB.

The AORUS logo looks great on the back plate and the large copper plate adds to the aesthetic.

The AORUS logo is located on several spots on the card, including the side, back plate and on the center of the cooler, as seen in this photo.

When compared to sleeve bearings, the double ball bearing structure of the WINDFORCE fans have better heat endurance. All AORUS branded graphics cards are equipped with 3D-Active Fan. The fans will remain off when the GPU is under a set load or temperature for low power gaming. The FAN STOP LED will indicate when the fans have stopped.

A close up of the GeForce Pascal, or GP-102 GPU, at the heart of the AORUS GTX 1080 Ti.

The GP-102 GPU on the 1080 Ti has 3584 Cuda Cores and 11 GB of GDDR5X running at 11 Gbps on a 352 bit memory bus.

The AORUS XTREME EDITION 1080 Ti has 12 + 2 power phases.

The cooler on the AORUS 1080 it is made up of Composite Heatpipes. The composite heat-pipes combines both thermal conductivity and phase transition for better managing the transfer of heat. This increases overall cooling capacity by up to 29%.

The heat sink sits at different heights, at different spots. This is to ensure maximum contact with the PCB and its components. This will help to better cool the card.

The large copper base plate makes contact with both the GPU and Memory.

The thermal pads on the PCB are very thick.

The rear of the card has an extra HDMI port for use with a VR headset and or GIGABYTE’s VR LINK.

The card has 2 x 8-pin connectors.

The angular and unequal fins height does not only channel the airflow through the fins and enlarge the contact surface but also results in a lower noise level and better cooling capacity.

High Bandwidth (HB) SLI Bridge

The HB SLI bridge uses 2 SLI fingers on the PCB of each card and essentially doubles the available bandwidth between them. Only NVIDIA’s 10 series cards support HB SLI. Also, officially only 2-way SLI is supported and HB SLI runs at 650 MHz, while legacy SLI interface runs at slower 400 MHz.

Electrically there is little difference between the regular SLI bridge and the SLI HB bridge. It is like two regular bridges combined in one PCB. The signal quality of the bridge is improved, however, as the HB SLI bridge has an adjusted trace-length to make sure all traces on the bridge have the same length. The older generation Pro SLI bridges can still be used for resolutions up to and including 4k. However, for resolutions beyond 4k a HB SLI bridge is required.

The AORUS SLI Bridge I used not only matched the cards, but can also be synced up with the cards and an AORUS motherboard. This can be done in either the RGB Fusion software, or the AORUS Graphics Engine.

The front of the packaging for the AORUS HB SLI Bridge.

The rear of the package shows that this is a single slot bridge.

The bridge comes packed in soft foam and covered with protective plastic.

The AORUS SLI Bridge has RGB lighting with RB Fusion support and support for the AORUS GRAPHICS ENGINE.

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