Water cooling has long been the realm of a few brave DIY enthusiasts for a few decades now and only recently has started being available to many. Even still, most enthusiasts are faced with a dilemma, keep your warranty intact and hope you have a decent air cooler on your GPU, or throw a water block on to not only cool the GPU, but also the burn of instantly voiding any and all warranties. A few manufacturers have responded with factory water-blocked cards, but then you HAVE to water cool or you can’t even power it on safely. Enter ASUS with the Poseidon series, part air cooler, part water block, and all business.
On November 2nd Nvidia released yet another SKU this time the GTX 1070 Ti and Asus sent us their ASUS Strix GeForce GTX 1070 Ti STRIX Advanced 8G GAMING 8GB (STRIX-GTX1070TI-A8G-GAMING) which is a 3 fan variant of the 1070 Ti. Now when Asus releases a Strix card you can believe they mean business and this beauty is filled with premium features. Starting with the Asus Strix Strix GTX 1070 Ti Advanced Gaming 8GB cores totaling 2432 a mere 128 shaders less than the mighty GTX 1080 performance will be similar to the GTX 1080 but perhaps a couple of FPS less, so by specifications the true differences between a GTX 1080 and a GTX 1070 Ti is the GTX 1070 gets GDDR5 and 2432 shaders while the GTX 1080 gets 2530 shaders and GDDR5X. Since most games and applications don’t saturate the current memory bandwidth performance differences should be minimal.
If your first reaction to the picture above was “Sweet, a new Lightning card!” we won’t fault you, even though there IS one of those out there too. FROZR fans on a GPU are nothing new to MSI, but slapping three of them on a card has mostly been the realm of their Lightning series cards, not the Gaming X class. MSI brings Nvidia’s Pascal based 1080Ti its Premium air cooling solution, all-metal back plate, VR friendly output configuration, Mystic Lighting, and perhaps the most important thing of all to anyone tired of red and black, a more neutral color scheme.
When EVGA releases an FTW2 gaming video card it’s time to set up and take notice, well it’s time to sit up and take notice and EVGA has released the EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti 8GB FTW2 GAMING. The 2432 shaders on the EVGA GTX 1070 Ti are just 128 shaders short of a GTX 1080 so performance is going to be close to identical. Now of course by now most enthusiasts know that the GTX 1070 Ti series has GDDR5 at 8GHz effective and the GTX 1080 has GDDR5X at 10GHz effective. Most applications and games don’t saturate even the 8GHz speed so in testing we’ve found that GDDR5X is good for benches but gaming not much gain over GDDR5. The EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti 8GB FTW2 GAMING is the flagship GTX 1070 Ti packed with drool worthy features like Dual BIOS, RGB LEDs, 10 + 2 phase power, two 8-pin PCIe connectors and a maximum wattage draw of 235 massive watts to feed their top end GTX 1070 Ti. Base core clock is 1607MHz and boost is 1683MHz which is plenty but you better believe this beauty will far exceed those clocks with a little TLC from EVGA Precision XOC and if you’re new to OCing then EVGA OC Scanner will search and destroy the optimal OC for you.
There are video cards and then there are those rare creatures that when you open the box and the hairs stand up on the back of your neck and you know that geeky goodness looking you in the face is The Video Card. Well, Zotac sent in one of those critters with the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1070 Ti 8GB AMP! EXTREME Edition. This 2 ½ slot 3 fan monster sports 2432 Cuda Cores (Shaders), 8GB GDDR5 across a 256-bit bus with a base clock of 1607MHz and a boost clock of 1683MHz but that specification doesn’t mean much in this case. Zotac put their mojo on the GTX 1070 Ti AMP! EXTREME Edition and the core is factory tested at +150 which would make it (at a minimum) 1757MHz and the boost clock would be 1833MHz. Believe us when we say that’s conservative we won’t spill the beans yet but let’s just say the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1070 Ti 8GB AMP! EXTREME Edition beat that factory tested OC a tiny bit. (If tiny is an elephants name anyway).
Amidst a rumor mill storm of epic proportions, Nvidia announced the GTX 1070Ti making the new card official. Our sample is a gorgeous MSI GTX 1070Ti Gaming Twin Frozer VI in typical MSI Red and Black. Pushing an amazing 2432 Cuda Cores on the 1070Ti compared to the 1080 which pushes 2560 Cuda Cores the 1070Ti gives up a mere 128 Cuda Cores. Now the GTX 1070 boasted 1920 Cuda Cores so the MSI 1070Ti Gaming w/Twin Frozer VI gains 512 Cuda cores over its little brother the GTX 1070. The slight snip and clip done on the GTX 1080 to make it a 1070Ti is so small that the GTX 1070Ti is more akin to the GTX 1080 than the GTX 1070 which should shut down some of the rumor mill trolls quite efficiently.
When EVGA releases a top of the (consumer) line graphics card it’s time to wake up and smell the capacitors. EVGA was kind enough to send us an EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti SC2 GAMING 11GB GDDR5X, with ICX technology and any day that happens it’s time for the happy dance! To get a bit geeky we are talking a GP 102-350 core boasting 3584 Cuda Cores with 224 TMU’s, 88 ROPS, 11GB GDDR5X running across a 352 Bit-Bus. Frankly, that’s more graphics computing power than 90% of end users are likely to ever have or need.