The Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti can hit 2.1GHz with water cooling

Now that Nvidia’s top-end GTX 1080 Ti is in-market, lovers have begun testing, to see simply how a lot efficiency they will wring out of the core. To date, the GPU has confirmed to high out round 1.9GHz in best-case situations, with a typical enhance clock of round 1.6GHz. However how far can that be pushed?

That’s what the parents at Tom’s Hardware needed to know, so that they constructed a customized water cooling loop to see how far the GTX 1080 Ti might be pushed. Effectively, that, and since they weren’t significantly happy with the GPU’s total noise degree underneath load. Customized water cooling loops aren’t one thing I’ve gotten to play with fairly often, however I’ve constructed one after I examined the CryoVenom R9 290 simply over three years in the past (we used the identical rig for testing a pair of Asus Poseidon GTX 780s as properly).

Like all of Nvidia’s trendy graphics playing cards, the GTX 1080 Ti makes use of GPU Enhance to set its base clock (1480MHz), enhance clock (1582MHz), and max enhance clock (1900MHz). How excessive the GPU really clocks relies on the standard of the chip and the enclosure it’s put in in. Tom’s and Eurogamer each suggest that the GPU can hit a max enhance clock of 1850-1900MHz, however it may possibly’t maintain it very lengthy. Anandtech reviews common clock speeds from 1620MHz to 1746MHz relying on the sport.

Constructing a customized water loop modified that. By drastically decreasing the temperature of the GPU, THG was in a position to considerably enhance its common clock charge, permitting it to hit a steady and steady 2.1GHz. So how did that impression efficiency?


The good points listed here are pretty nominal, to be fairly trustworthy. The sport’s body charge undoubtedly improves, however solely by ~20% in contrast with a 50% enhance in GPU clock (from 1.4GHz to 2.1GHz). This is only one title and never each recreation responds equally properly to GPU clock will increase — there are at all times circumstances of video games that scale in accordance with a number of components, fairly than simply pushing the GPU more durable. Nonetheless, an additional 20% in a recreation operating on probably the most highly effective GPU you should purchase isn’t any small factor. That’s sufficient of a body charge enhance to make the distinction between clean and jerky play in nook circumstances in a extra aggressive title.

The opposite main benefit of water cooling in contrast with air is that it’s largely silent. You’ll get some very low pump noise and the occasional gurgle. That’s just about it, and operating your GPU at 40-45C even underneath full load is fairly cool.

On the identical time, although, the appearance of Turbo speeds from AMD and Nvidia have made it more durable to guage what sort of overclocking headroom avid gamers can moderately anticipate. After I examined the GTX 1070 I used to be initially upset with its overclocking, till I spotted the core was hitting 1900MHz+ by itself. The 1080 Ti is able to related bursts, although it apparently has extra bother holding them. However when a GPU’s clock charge bounces from recreation to recreation and second to second, and when firms have reserved clock speeds for themselves properly above the official “Enhance” clock, it leaves much less room for overclocking.

After I reviewed the CryoVenom, I famous with approval that the chip had gone from a 950MHz base clock all the way in which to 1225MHz, a rise of 30%. If you happen to calculate the GTX 1080 Ti’s equal overclocking from its official enhance clock of 1582MHz, the chip is 1.32x quicker with water. Calculated from the typical clock pace Anandtech noticed, it might be 1.25x quicker with water. Calculated from its personal most enhance clock, which it apparently can hit for restricted durations, it’s an anemic 10.5% quicker.

If nothing else, this means lovers must watch out when calculating how a lot to put money into overclocking tools and what they take into account a “good end result” to be. And, after all, the nice outdated days when GPUs may usually be pushed by 40-50% out of the field, with minimal cooler modifications, are as over for GPUs as they’re for CPUs. Water or no water, overclocking simply doesn’t scale the way in which it used to.

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