The Gtx 1080 has been around for over a year and a half now. Based on Nvidia’s latest Pascal architecture the Gtx 1080 is a strong card perfectly suited for 1440p and eventually 4K gaming. For those who are looking for a high-end card but do not want to spend the extra money to get a Gtx 1080Ti, the Gtx 1080 will not disappoint in terms of performance.
The mining issue has caused GPU prices to go up and while it is definitely not a good period to buy graphics cards, the Gtx 1080’s price is stable compared to the Gtx 1070 which can be found for around the same price. The release of AMD’s Vega 64 and its lack of aftermarket GPUs and high prices and the inflated prices of the Gtx 1070 make the Gtx 1080 a strong contestant for the best value card on the market right now.
There are many Gtx 1080 versions on the market and it can be really difficult to choose a version which is both price-efficient and quality-built. A cheap Gtx 1080 that caught my attention is Gigabyte’s Windforce Gtx 1080. Apart from being a very power efficient card, you can find it for a fairly good price compared to more expensive editions of the same card.
But let us get on to the actual review of the card:
Specifications and Characteristics
Gigabyte’s Gtx 1080 Windforce edition comes with a base clock of 1632 and 1657 (Gaming Mode/OC Mode) and with a boost clock of 1771 and 1797 respectively. Nvidia’s GPU Boost 3.0 allows it to boost up to almost 2 GHz on the core without applying any manual overclock.
It comes equipped with the latest GDDR5X memory with a 256-bit bus, supporting 10 GB/s. The GPU supports a resolution up to 8k at 60 Hz. With 2560 Cuda Cores and a standard memory size of 8Gb, you get what you would get from any other Gtx 1080.
Gigabyte’s Gtx 1080 Windforce edition has 1x 8-pin power connector keeping power consumption to the minimum while still yielding excellent overclocking results (more to that later).
The Windforce edition is exactly the same as Gigabyte’s G1 Gaming with a less out-of-the-box overclock and without the RGB functions of the G1 Gaming. Gigabyte decided to release a cheaper version of the G1 Gaming but instead of cutting off performance making this one worse than the G1 Gaming, they decided to solely remove the RGB which means that it is the same card without any performance differences. If you do not care about RGB and do not want to spend an extra 20-30$ on RGB Lighting, you will not miss out on anything by buying the Windforce edition.
As with any Gtx 1080, you can expect high-performance gaming with the Gigabyte Gtx 1080 Windforce edition. The Gtx 1080 is overkill at 1080p resolution and is intended for 1440p gaming and even 4K gaming if you are willing to turn down a few settings. I had no problem hitting over 100fps on most games on Ultra settings in 1440p. With a few settings turned down to High from Ultra you will hit 144fps with ease. Combine this card with a 1440p 144 Hz monitor and you will have an amazing gaming experience.
Of course, if you are not willing to make any compromises and want the perfect 2k 144Hz or 4K 60hz experience, you should invest in a Gtx 1080ti instead. Nevertheless, the Gtx 1080 is a very strong card and should have you covered for the next couple of years.
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The Gigabyte Gtx 1080 Windforce gives you plenty of connectivity options. The card features 3x Display Port connections on the back of the card, 1x HDMI 2.0 connector as well as 1x DVI-D connector, allowing you to connect up to 3 monitors.
The card features 3x Windforce fans with the middle fan spinning in a different direction for better heat distribution. The fans are 3D Active which means they will not turn on unless they reach a certain temperature, which equals to less power consumption and longevity of the fans.
The heat pipes have been designed to touch the GPU directly allowing for better heat dissipation and, therefore, better performance due to lower temperatures during gaming sessions. I am using this card for quite some time and the maximum temperature the card has reached is 70 degrees Celcius, which is amazing considering how well this card overclocks. Even after manually overclocking the card, temperatures will not exceed 70 degrees Celcius.
Overclocking and Stability
Considering the fact that overclocking varies from GPU to GPU and depends on the silicon lottery, I am more than happy with the overclocking results of the Gigabyte Gtx 1080 Windforce. While the card crushed with a +200 core overclock I managed to get a stable +180 on the core and +800 on the memory, the latter being an amazing number seeing most people not getting more than +500 on the memory.
A +800 memory overclock translates into 5805 Mhz of memory. Multiply this number by two and you get 11,6 Gb/s of memory bandwidth from the standard 10 Gb/s. With +180 on the core, I managed to hit a stable 2038 Mhz with the card not exceeding the 70 Degrees threshold, without having to tweak voltages at all.
Considering these results I believe that the Gigabyte Gtx 1080 Windforce overclocks pretty well while still staying very cool under load.
Gigabyte has launched its own overclocking utility which lets you adjust core and memory clock, power delivery as well as choose between the three modes: OC Mode, Gaming Mode and Eco Mode for those who want an additional boost without having to manually overclock the card. It is called “Xtreme Engine Utility” and while it can help get some extra performance out of the card, it is pretty weak compared to better overclocking utilities like MSI Afterburner or EVGA’s OC Precision X.
I am not a big fan of Gigabyte’s offering and can not recommend it to you either. If you are into overclocking, I recommend you stick with MSI Afterburner or OC Precision X.
Gigabyte’s Windforce black and orange design make this card a great choice which will fit into any color-oriented build. Instead of the double orange lines on the G1 Gaming Edition, the standard Windforce version features single orange lines right above and under the fans. The “Windforce” logo is embedded at the front of the card and stands out especially after installing the GPU.
The simple but efficient blade fan design is eye-pleasing and gives the card’s slick design an extra touch of eye-candy. A beautiful metal back plate not only makes the card good looking but also improves heat dissipation helping the card to stay cool under load. In the middle of the backplate, you can see the “Gigabyte” logo with big white letters, which adds a nice antithesis to the black color of the backplate.
In my opinion, the design is simple but slick and aesthetically pleasing making this card a perfect fit for any build.
Packaging and Accessories
The packaging is basic and contains nothing more than a disc with the latest drivers (which are outdated by the time you will get the card) and the other basic drivers you would be better off downloading from the official website.
On the front side of the box, you will see the official Gigabyte Windforce logo featuring a mechanical eye and the name of the card (Geforce Gtx 1080) while on the back you get an overview of the card’s characteristics which I described earlier. Nothing exceptional here, just basic stuff.
Once you open it, you get a black box embedded with the word “Windforce” containing a quick user guide and the CD with the drivers and utility. Beneath this black box, you will find the card itself.
Besides the mediocre overclocking utility, and the absence of RGB Lighting which is understandable due to its lower price compared to the G1 Gaming edition and its basic packaging, the Gigabyte Windforce Gtx 1080 is a great card which stays extremely cool while gaming and its overclocking performance is as good as (if not slightly better) than more expensive Gtx 1080 versions like MSI’s, EVGA’s or even Gigabyte’s Aorus.
Additionally, the Gigabyte Gtx 1080 Windforce offers a simple but slick design, perfect for any color-oriented build. The combination of black and orange and the beautifully designed backplate will not disappoint you after installing this powerhouse in your rig.
If you have been looking for a cheap Gtx 1080 which matches the performance of more expensive aftermarket 1080’s and can live without RGB Lightning, the Gigabyte Gtx 1080 Windforce is the perfect card for you.
I am happy with my purchase and I am sure you will be, too.
Check out my review of Gigabyte’s Aorus Gtx 1080Ti by clicking here
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Would you buy a Gtx 1080? Do you think the card is still worth buying? Let me know in the comment section below.