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The news broke a few days ago that MSI and ASUS were shipping GeForce GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 cards with a modified BIOS, with higher-than-normal clock speeds on the GPU.
MSI have sent me an email explaining the GeForce GTX 1080 Gaming X 8G and GTX 1070 Gaming X 8G shipping with higher speeds out of the box for the press, versus a few extra MHz slower on the retail cards. MSI has said that the MSI Gaming App isn't used by most reviewers, which is true, so they ship their GeForce GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 cards with 'OC Mode' enabled by default to the press. The retail cards on the other hand, are shipped to consumers with 'Gaming Mode' by default, which is slightly slower than the clocks on the OC Mode.
MSI has responded with links to an updated vBIOS for their GeForce GTX 1080 Gaming X 8G, and their GeForce GTX 1070 Gaming X 8G - so that they'll both spool up to the 'OC Modes' which are 1607MHz Base, and 1797MHz on Boost compared to 1582MHz Base and 1771MHz on Boost with Gaming Mode.
We're only a week away from the launch of the AMD Radeon RX 480, with its release on June 29, and now it's being reported that AMD has plenty of RX 480s on hand and that supply is "strong" on the first Polaris-based card to hit the market. NVIDIA recently dropped the price on its Maxwell-based range, including the GeForce GTX 980 Ti, GTX 980 and even the GTX 970.
NVIDIA has hit a huge snag recently with their GeForce GTX 1070/1080, with global shortages and price hikes on their GP104-based offerings. With NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 1080 is $850+ right now, and even $1999 on eBay at one point for EVGA's GeForce GTX 1080 FTW ACX 3.0 card, AMD could really hit NVIDIA where it hurts if they have a strong supply of their Radeon RX 480, and can keep at the $199 price.
There won't be partner cards at launch, with AMD being the only one selling them on June 29 - AIB partner cards with custom PCBs and coolers will arrive in July. SAPPHIRE, XFX, and many others have cards planned - with samples floating down here to my GPU labs in the coming weeks.
We know that AMD's Radeon RX 480 will be capable of 1.5GHz and more on manual overclocking, but now we have leaked shots from the production line, and shots of the cooler being removed.
The Radeon RX 480 features a single 75mm blower fan that directs air towards the aluminum fin heat sink, with a copper contact heat plate placed on top of the GPU die. This pushes the heat out of the back of the card, with AIB partner cards seeing open air solutions, with dual- and triple-fan cooling solutions.
AMD's reference design of the RX 480 doesn't feature backplate, but some of the AIB cards will use one - such as XFX and SAPPHIRE, both designing their own backplates for their custom RX 480s. XFX uses a backplate that covers the entire length of the rear of the card, while SAPPHIRE's take on the backplate covers just the PCB.
If you haven't heard, ASUS and MSI are involved in a heated battle with the companies reportedly sending out tweaked GeForce GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 cards to the press, with higher clocks than what are advertised on the box.
Well, EVGA has come out swinging with a new 'What You See Is What You Get' campaign and website, with the website stating: "EVGA was one of the first video card companies to offer overclocked video cards, and since day one EVGA always delivered the exact same products to reviewers as well as customers. EVGA does not "fake" reviews or send out products with "tweaked" clockspeeds to reviewers. With EVGA Superclocked, FTW and Classified video cards, what you see is what you get".
Our EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW ACX 3.0 card is here, and will be reviewed later this week - so I'm excited to see what the clock speeds are out of the box. It's great to see EVGA coming out and doing this, as it puts a huge flag in the ground for authenticity and transparency for the company - which is something great to see.
Computex 2016 - Finally, our last video on Computex 2016 now that I'm not so busy and running around doing 15 trillion things at once - is of NVIDIA's huge 'booth' at the Grand Hyatt during Computex.
The company was showcasing its next-gen, Pascal-based GeForce GTX 1070 and GeForce GTX 1080 video cards, as well as it's huge push into VR. Not only that, but NVIDIA detailed Ansel with some truly beautiful pictures hanging on walls taken in-game, as well as huge VR Experience rooms where we got to play a bunch of games.
The energy in the room was intense, with gamers and everyone else enjoying themselves. What was your favorite part of the 10-minute video?
GIGABYTE has had some of the most impressive showings of GeForce GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 cards, especially with the super-fast GeForce GTX 1080 Xtreme Gaming card, which has a manual OC of up to 2.3GHz on the GP104. Yeah, insane.
Well, now we have the GTX 1070 Windforce OC video card, as well as the GTX 1070 G1 Gaming card - both of which are on their way to my lab. The GTX 1070 Windforce OC features a single 8-pin PCIe power connector, with a dual-fan cooler with two 90mm fans that will keep the card nice and cool under those heavy gaming sessions.
GIGABYTE's GeForce GTX 1070 Windforce OC has a maximum Boost clock of 1582MHz in its OC mode, while the Gaming mode has the Boost hitting 1556MHz. There's the usual 8GB of GDDR5 clocked at 8GHz on the 256-bit memory bus, and the same 3 x DP1.4 ports, 1 x HDMI 2.0b and 1 x DVI.
Quite the surprise has hit the internet over the weekend, with a Swedish gaming notebook manufacturer IVY listing their new notebooks powered by NVIDIA's unannounced GeForce GTX 1080M.
If you pre-order the new IVY gaming notebook before June 26, you'll receive a 3000 SEK rebate, with the full price of the IVY 17P notebook being 24,000 SEK. The first shipments of the GTX 1080M-powered notebooks are expected on July 29, with the second wave arriving on August 12. This means we should expect NVIDIA to unveil its GeForce GTX 1080M sometime next month, unless IVY has made a serious typo and hasn't retracted or edited it yet.
An interesting tidbit has hit the internet, with Hardware.fr's Damien Triolet claiming that ASUS and MSI are sending GTX 1080s to the press with modified BIOSes. The modified BIOS is enabling more power on the review samples, which are provided boosted performance - and thus, better reviews.
The report claims that the optimized BIOSes are common in the industry, with manufacturers encouraging GPU reviewers to enable special overclocking presets before reviewing the cards, reports VideoCardz. Now, I've been reviewing GPUs for nearly two years with TweakTown, and I've never been approached once by a company asking to do this - so I don't know where that part of the claim is coming from.
Hardware.fr's Damien Triolet adds that he asks manufacturers to provide retail BIOSes for his testing, with manufacturers not being too happy about having to provide the software. The two cards on the table in the middle of this debacle are the new MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Gaming X 8G (with our review on that card here) and the ASUS GTX 1070 Strix. We tested the MSI card and our sample was being overclocked past a certain speed, but I underclocked it to its advertised Boost clocks for my testing. I presumed it was the EVGA Precision X software playing around with the clocks, but maybe MSI has sent an overclocked card - so I thought I'd do some digging on my own.
We've had a few of the custom GeForce GTX 1080 cards come through our labs so far, with our first review being the MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Gaming X 8G, and it being a totally silent GTX 1080 experience. Well, GIGABYTE is now teasing their upcoming GTX 1080 Xtreme Gaming video card, which will be one of the fastest GTX 1080s released yet. GIGABYTE's new beast is teasing a huge GPU overclock, right up to 2.3GHz on the GPU... which is simply amazing.
GIGABYTE has used a totally custom PCB with Titan X style chokes and capacitors, with a dust/moisture/corrosion resistant PCB coating. The company has also used a 12+2 phase VRM that makes great use of GIGABYTE's Ultra Durable class components so that the card doesn't buckle under the pressure of the extreme overclocking. But we're not even at the best part yet.
GIGABYTE's new GeForce GTX 1080 Xtreme Gaming has an AIO liquid cooler, which allows the GP104-powered GPU and its 2560 CUDA cores to be cranked all the way up to 1936MHz on Boost, out of the box. The 8GB of GDDR5X is cranked up from 10GHz to 10.4GHz, providing 333.4GB/sec of memory bandwidth over the GTX 1080 Founders Edition memory bandwidth of 320GB/sec.
In the midst of NVIDIA experiencing stock shortages of the GeForce GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 in our exclusive story, news has just broken that AMD's upcoming Radeon RX 480 can hit 1.5GHz, and higher. The Radeon RX 480 is expected to fight directly against the HBM1-based Radeon R9 Nano, and the GTX 980 which just had a $25 price drop.
If we think about AMD hitting the $199 price point with the RX 480, and it being able to be toe-and-toe with the R9 Nano and GTX 980, we're looking at one of the best price/performance video cards ever released. Additionally, with some huge OC headroom included, it could be an even better card - especially if gamers can hit 1.5GHz+. The new Radeon RX 480 will supposedly reach 1.4GHz on its GPU easily, with 1.5GHz not far away and only a little additional tweaking required.
The RX 480 "Beast Mode" cards will include 6+8-pin PCIe power connectors for additional juice and overclocking headroom, and will be able to hit 1.5GHz right out of the box. We should expect the likes of SAPPHIRE, ASUS, MSI and the rest of the AIB partners to really hit these speeds. Considering the Radeon RX 480 only consumes 100W of power under gaming loads, and only hits 60C, we should be in for quite the surprise from AMD in a few weeks time.