EVGA GTX 1080 Classified, Hybrid, FTW, & 1070 Hands-On | Computex

By Published May 31, 2016 at 7:50 am

Computex has been an unrelenting wave of AIB partner versions of the GTX 1080, with (thus far) one non-reference GTX 1070 in the mix. We've already looked at options from MSI and ASUS, and are now shifting focus to EVGA.

EVGA's Computex line-up most immediately fronted the GTX 1080 Classified, followed by the 1080 Hybrid, 1080 FTW, 1080 SC, and GTX 1070 SC. The cards with ACX coolers – like the SC cards – have now moved to ACX 3.0, which makes a number of small-but-noteworthy changes to cooling design. Fan blades are now slightly thicker than on ACX 2.0, which (we're told) reduces noise levels by way of reducing turbulence and vibration. The ACX 3.0 cooler sticks to its round, copper heatpipes, but modifies them by filling in corners (where gaps between the heatpipe and heatsink exist) with copper.


The EVGA GTX 1080 Classified card is among the most interesting, though.

There are a few limiters with the GTX 1080 and overclocking – and we've discovered most of them – that go beyond the thermal limitations of the FE cooler. Once thermal is resolved, the GTX 1080 is next limited by VBIOS (and voltage limitations imposed by nVidia), then by power. We were not maxing out our power draw when overclocking, and that choke-point is because of the VBIOS lock. The Classified, then, should still hit similar limits even with all the VRM phases in the world (and it has a lot – 14+3 for memory). The Classified has a custom VBIOS but remains under the nVidia umbrella, so EVGA's added an EVBot hot plug for external voltage control. This is presently the only real solution to noteworthy overvolting on any 1080 video card. We'll see if it works once it's in the lab.




The Classified has an additional 8-pin power header and a custom PCB, as with the previous cards we've looked at. RGB LEDs line the faceplate and match EVGA's HB Bridge RGBW LEDs (controlled by a physical toggle). The price is TBD – or “classified,” to go for the low-hanging fruit – but should be known within weeks.

The GTX 1080 FTW & Hybrid are effectively identical cards other than the cooling solution. Both use a 10+2-phase power design and add an extra 8-pin power header. The FTW card is loaded with LEDs, as its more undoubtedly more costly Classified counterpart, and the stock clock-rate is still TBD. Price isn't, though; that's known. The EVGA GTX 1080 FTW will cost $680 – cheaper than the FE and with what should be a substantially better cooler – and acts as a mid-range card in the stack. EVGA's Hybrid pricing is still TBD, as is release date, but the cooling should land around where our DIY GTX 1080 Hybrid did.



Then there's the GTX 1080 SC, or SuperClocked model. The SC adds an extra 100MHz to the stock core clock, uses the ACX 3.0 cooler for improved noise and thermal performance (we'll validate these claims), and costs $650. That's a full $50 below the GTX 1080 Founders Edition and offers the exact same specs (same reference PCB, same 5+1 VRM) with an extra 100MHz offset and better cooler.

EVGA also had their GTX 1070 SC on display. Price is TBD on this card, as is the clock-rate offset, but we do know it'll house the ACX 3.0 cooler and will cost less than the $450 price of the Founders Edition.


As a final, quick throw-in, EVGA also presented its”Power Link” cable management utility for the Classified and FTW 1080s. This L-shaped bridge performs one function: It reroutes the power cables so that they enter the card from the side, rather than the top. A little bit neurotic, but unique.

Editorial: Steve “Lelldorianx” Burke
Video: Keegan “HornetSting” Gallick

Last modified on May 31, 2016 at 7:50 am
Steve Burke

Steve started GamersNexus back when it was just a cool name, and now it's grown into an expansive website with an overwhelming amount of features. He recalls his first difficult decision with GN's direction: "I didn't know whether or not I wanted 'Gamers' to have a possessive apostrophe -- I mean, grammatically it should, but I didn't like it in the name. It was ugly. I also had people who were typing apostrophes into the address bar - sigh. It made sense to just leave it as 'Gamers.'"

First world problems, Steve. First world problems.

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