Welcome to AORUS
GIGABYTE was one of the best AIB partners for NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 10 series, with a strong line up of graphics cards, where at its peak, was led by the GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1080 Xtreme Gaming.
The company has since rebranded its enthusiast product line with the AORUS brand, something we've seen before in gaming laptops - and now, in their graphics card range. The flagship product from the company is the new AORUS GeForce GTX 1080 Xtreme Edition 8G, which sees a blend of everything the company learned with its former, and current graphics cards - with a touch of AORUS.
The AORUS GeForce GTX 1080 Xtreme Edition 8G is mostly the same as the GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1080 Xtreme Gaming, except that there are some tweaks to its design, cooling technology, and packaging.
This article will be a preview of things to come, with a full review of the card against multiple other cards coming in around a week or so.
Detailed Look - AORUS Goes BIG
AORUS kicks off its new line of graphics cards with the GTX 1080 Xtreme Edition 8G and an overclocked GPU, with two modes: Gaming and OC mode. Gaming mode will clock the GPU at 1759/1898MHz for base and boost, respectively, while the OC mode will overclock things up to 1784/1936MHz for base and boost, respectively.
Personally, I don't like massive graphics cards unless there's a reason - and GIGABYTE provides that reason with the AORUS GeForce GTX 1080 Xtreme Edition 8G. We have a gigantic cooler that looks ridiculous, but it keeps the graphics card nice and cool through the toughest loads. I was throwing the card through 1440p 165Hz testing, and it wasn't breaking a sweat.
The 3 x 100mm fans that are on the card look menacing, but they keep the card cool - anything under 60C, and the fans won't spin. That's how I like my high-end/enthusiast gaming - fast, but quiet. There's no need for big cards with massive fans to be loud because the AORUS cooling tech is more than good enough at its job.
AORUS uses a large copper base plate on the GPU and VRAM, which is why it's so damn wide, but it has enough heat pipes to keep the entire GPU and VRAM cool, even when it's overclocked.
The difference between the GPU copper plate/metal plate with a thermal pad and just the metal plate is there - and it's a huge difference.
AORUS cooling uses an 'alternative spinning fan design' where the middle fan spins in the reverse direction, a method that optimizes the airflow that allows for improved heat dissipation - keeping those temps as low as they can go.
We also have double ball bearing structure, with an improved heat endurance and efficiency over sleeve structure, leading to longer lasting graphics cards.
AORUS includes a LED fan indicator on the top of the graphics card, so if the GPU doesn't reach its desired temperature - the fans will stop, thus - FAN STOP as the LED.
One of the better features that AORUS goes for with their GTX 1080 Xtreme Edition 8G is the inclusion of an extra two HDMI 2.0 ports.
These two additional HDMI 2.0 ports can be used to connect VR headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive to the graphics card which lets you hook up four monitors total.
Another nice touch is the LED power indicators, which will be white if the PCIe power connectors are disconnected, and they'll blink when your PSU is acting up.
Final Thoughts... For Now
I used the AORUS GeForce GTX 1080 Xtreme Edition 8G for around a week with benchmarking and gaming but didn't have the time to get the full review written before I made yet another Australia / US trip tomorrow morning.
First impressions? Awesome.
GIGABYTE has shifted right into the AORUS brand perfectly with a solid line of gaming laptops, and now, the start of a new line of graphics cards - and of course, leading with the GTX 1080 Xtreme Edition 8G. This card looks like a beast, performs like a beast, and is a beast.
I was splitting my time between multiple resolutions and games stress testing it out, where I gamed at:
- 2560x1440 @ 165Hz
- 3840x2160 @ 60Hz
- 3440x1440 @ 100Hz
I was playing H1Z1: King of the Kill, Overwatch, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and more - all without any problems. On my 1440p 165Hz display, I needed to turn down some of the graphics in games to hit 165FPS, but that's not something that should surprise you. On the 4K display, I didn't tweak any in-game visual settings and easily hit 60FPS - and the 3440x1440 panel had me changing just a few settings to maintain 100FPS.
My first impressions of the card are nothing but praise. It ran at under 65C the entire time I benchmarked and gamed on it, stayed virtually silent the entire time as well with the fans only spinning up a few times during benchmark runs.
The improved cooling technology that GIGABYTE has deployed on the AORUS GeForce GTX 1080 Xtreme Edition 8G is good enough to keep the GP104 GPU cool - 65C is a great achievement under load.
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