EVGA GTX 1080 Ti SC2 iCX Review
Published: 7th May 2017 | Source: EVGA | Price: |
As is so often the case when we're reviewing a top end item of hardware the performance speaks for itself. Telling you that if you buy a GTX 1080 Ti you'll get fantastically smooth frame rates at outstanding levels of image quality is hardly new information, and the EVGA SC2 continues this excellent run of performance.
However, there are a few strings to its bow that go above and beyond the performance factor and make it worthy of a place on anyone's shortlist.
Firstly we have to dispense with the elephant in the room. Yes, the previous generation of EVGA graphics cards had some issues. But EVGA haven't swept them under the carpet and pretended they didn't exist. Instead they have gone above and beyond the call of duty in ensuring that such an eventuality wont occur again. The SC2 iCX has nine different temperature monitoring points, and has LEDs that will show you if one of those temperatures is creeping too high. We know that an LED indicator isn't exactly new, but the manner in which EVGA have implemented their solution is, which brings us to our second piece of good news.
So often GPU variable lighting is related to the actual load placed upon the card, which usually meant it was either green on the desktop or red because you were gaming. EVGA have tied it into the temperatures instead and, here is the clever bit, allowed us to see the thresholds and the colours. We've said for years that if the colours are able to be changed, give us control of it, and EVGA have definitely done so. This means that those of you who are a little paranoid can have it bright red at barely any temperature at all, whilst those of you who despise being told what's going on by their graphics card can set them all the same colour and ignore it entirely. All the benefits of a visual warning and all the benefits of a RGB lighting. Speaking of colours we've only just complained about the "it's black and red" nature of the MSI Gaming X, so we particularly like the EVGA solution where the majority of cards will reach vendors in the neutral silver, but if you had a particular desire for a shade you can buy it from them and have a green one, or turquoise, or red or white or black.
The final bit of excellence comes from the inclusion of a fuse. It's like a belt and braces. There is little possibility of the card overheating to a critical point but in case it does it's only going to be the fuse that blows and not the entire thing. Anyone with any experience of electrics knows that changing a fuse is a darn sight cheaper and easier than replacing any internals, and this is infinitely truer in the complex world of computer components. All the kudos points to EVGA for this.
About the only negative we have is that the thinness of the cooling solution means it isn't the quietest graphics card we've tested. Don't misunderstand, it isn't loud, just if you're one of those people who are particularly sensitive to the sound of your fans spinning then you'll hear this, but only in the same way that you would hear the majority of graphics cards.
With great performance at an affordable - as much as any GTX 1080 Ti is affordable - price tag and a whole host of fantastic features to ensure the long term health of your purchase, the EVGA GTX 1080 Ti SC2 is worthy of our OC3D Enthusiast Award. Excellent.