Gainward GTX1070 & GTX1080 GLH Phoenix Review
Published: 7th July 2016 | Source: Gainward | Price: £450 & £675 |
The Gainward Phoenix GTX cards. Tons of good with a single subjective bad.
Let's do the bad first. Those looks. Ouch. The curvy red edge is lovely, we like that. We're not too keen on the bronze/gold/something coloured accent though. It just doesn't work at all. It is, however, fortunately tucked at the inside edge of the cards and and thus requires some serious neck bending to be able to see it when the cards are in situ. The logo on the side is more of an issue. We've long railed against the idiocy of having anything that is based upon the cards temperatures or loading rather than a nice simple single colour, let alone going into the world of RGB-based lighting that has recently become the standard for hardware everywhere. In the case of the Gainward cards it tends to be green 99% of the time which going against their own red based hues. It's not good. White, or even red, would be tolerable. Hell the ability to set the colour yourself would be fine. In its current incarnation it's a card best used rather than looked at. *edit* Gainward have informed us there is a newer version of their software that now allows you to control the light on the side of the card. Sadly the older version is what comes on the CD with the card, so if you do end up purchasing one of these grab the latest version from their website.
Certainly the using of it is an absolute joy. The Golden Sample arm of the Gainward range has always been home to some seriously capable hardware and both the Phoenix GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 spank the competition. It's not even close. Usually when you have a couple of cards you'll find that one is better than the other or, with modern technology, that the underlying hardware is so consistent that it is extremely difficult to stand out from the other vendors cards. Not so with the Phoenix. Both types, and in every single benchmark, rock out happily at the head of the graphs. Not by the tenth of a frame either, usually by a handful, which in modern terms is a gap you could park a Cosmos 2 in.
It's not a case of Gainward sacrificing everything on the altar of performance either. Power draw is nice and low and that two-and-a-half slot cooler keeps temperatures below 70°C, which is great news for your ears - it's really quiet and passively cooled below a 60c - as well as giving you plenty of headroom if you wish to push the clockspeed boat even further than Gainward already do. You only have to look at the consistency of the average boost clocks on the GTX 1070 to get a feel for how relentless the performance of the Phoenix cards are.
Looks are subjective. Maybe you think they look great. What isn't subjective is the performance though, and by that yardstick the Gainward Phoenix cards bestride the graphics card world like a colossus. Spectacular performance, quiet operation, low power usage. In every measurable the Gainward's are top and that's why they win the OC3D Performance Award.