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EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review

EVGA nails its GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 w/iCX cooler, with one of the best GTX 1080 graphics cards yet.

@anthony256
Published Thu, Apr 6 2017 6:15 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 6:58 PM CST
Rating: 94%Manufacturer: EVGA

Introduction

EVGA isn't a stranger to the high-end graphics card market, and with its first release of GeForce GTX 1080 graphics cards - the cooling system wasn't perfect. It forced EVGA to rethink their cooling strategy, which is where moved towards their new iCX cooling technology - and now, the GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 w/iCX graphics card.

You'd think that the discovery of an issue with their cooling would see EVGA tweak the cooling system, and re-release the card - but no, the company prides itself on high-quality products. EVGA went back to the drawing board with its new iCX technology, as it's not just a new cooler - it is a combination of a new PCB, thermal modules, LEDs, and their great Precision XOC software.

We'll go into detail on both EVGA's upgrades to the card, as the iCX cooling tech isn't just a cooler - it has many different new parts and features. All of this builds into the hype of the upcoming GeForce GTX 1080 Ti from EVGA, which should rock the same iCX cooling technology. It looks great, performs silently - and overclocks like a boss past 2.1GHz on the GPU.

EVGA's New iCX Tech Isn't JUST a Cooler Upgrade

EVGA isn't just calling the new GTX 1080 SC2 iCX a big upgrade for nothing; there really are some significant changes that the company has made under the cooling tech hood.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 01 | TweakTown.com
VIEW GALLERY - 66 IMAGES

For starters, there are nine sensors on the GTX 1080 SC2 iCX, which are all picked up on EVGA's Precision XOC software.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 02 | TweakTown.com

You've got asynchronous fan control, which lets one of the two fans on the card spin up - so you can tweak it to your liking, for a mix of performance and silence.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 03 | TweakTown.com

EVGA goes into detail with the improvements, as the first fan is cooling the GPU, while the right one is cooling the power/memory - meaning the GPU fan speed is determined by the GPU temperature and the same for the power/memory on the card.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 04 | TweakTown.com

You've got full control with EVGA Precision XOC - and damn is it a powerful piece of software for your graphics card.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 05 | TweakTown.com

The LEDs on the top of the GTX 1080 SC2 iCX are customizable, and on their own - they provide an interactive thermal display system, that changes color depending on the loads on the GPU and RAM.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 06 | TweakTown.com

Another nice touch by EVGA.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 07 | TweakTown.com

Some serious work went into the cooling technology in iCX by EVGA's engineers.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 08 | TweakTown.com

The backplate looks GREAT in person.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 09 | TweakTown.com

Now to play some more games!

Detailed Look

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 10 | TweakTown.com
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 11 | TweakTown.com

EVGA knows how to make their product stylish, inside, and out - and on the packaging.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 199 | TweakTown.com

The new and improved iCX cooler looks great, with the GPU/power/RAM temperature LEDs in the middle that are flanked by EVGA's massive display - and then 'SC2' in the corner as this is the SuperClocked 2 version of EVGA's GeForce GTX 1080 range.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 14 | TweakTown.com

EVGA makes good use of the dual-slot design to use a 'display' with LEDs, and three letters - G, P, and M. G is for GPU, P is for power, M is for memory (RAM). Each of these letters has three colors it can cycle through: blue for cool, green for running warmer, and red for full load/hotter. You can tweak these using EVGA's own Precision XOC software, as well.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 15 | TweakTown.com

A single 8-pin PCIe power connector is all you need on EVGA's GeForce GTX 1080 SC2 iCX.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 17 | TweakTown.com

The serious heat sink fin array, up close - it runs across the entire card.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 13 | TweakTown.com

See?

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 18 | TweakTown.com

The backplate helps keep the card and all of its components cool, but it doesn't have to look boring - EVGA keeps up its style on the back of the GTX 1080 SC2 iCX.

Test System Specs

I've recently edited my GPU test bed, which was powered by the Intel Core i7-5960X processor, and shifted into the arms of Kaby Lake and Intel's new Core i7-7700K. GIGABYTE hooked us up with their awesome new AORUS Z270X-Gaming 9 motherboard, which is the heart and soul of my new GPU test platform.

Detailed Tech Specs

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-7700K
  • Cooler: Nocua U12S
  • MB: AORUS Z270X-Gaming 9
  • RAM: 16GB (2x8GB) G.SKILL Trident Z 4000MHz DDR4
  • SSD: 1TB OCZ RD400 NVMe M.2
  • PSU: Corsair AX1500i
  • Chassis: In Win X-Frame

Detailed Look

There's a bigger article I've got coming that will detail the new system, but for now - here are some shots I've taken of the new system in action:

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 150 | TweakTown.com
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 151 | TweakTown.com
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 152 | TweakTown.com
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 153 | TweakTown.com
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 154 | TweakTown.com
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 155 | TweakTown.com
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 156 | TweakTown.com

Benchmarks - Synthetic

3DMark Fire Strike - 1080p

3DMark has been a staple benchmark for years now, all the way back to when The Matrix was released and Futuremark had bullet time inspired benchmarks. 3DMark is the perfect tool to see if your system - most important, your CPU and GPU - is performing as it should. You can search results for your GPU, to see if it falls in line with other systems based on similar hardware.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 21 | TweakTown.com

3DMark Fire Strike - 1440p

3DMark has been a staple benchmark for years now, all the way back to when The Matrix was released and Futuremark had bullet time inspired benchmarks. 3DMark is the perfect tool to see if your system - most important, your CPU and GPU - is performing as it should. You can search results for your GPU, to see if it falls in line with other systems based on similar hardware.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 31 | TweakTown.com

3DMark Fire Strike - 4K

3DMark has been a staple benchmark for years now, all the way back to when The Matrix was released and Futuremark had bullet time inspired benchmarks. 3DMark is the perfect tool to see if your system - most important, your CPU and GPU - is performing as it should. You can search results for your GPU, to see if it falls in line with other systems based on similar hardware.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 41 | TweakTown.com

Heaven - 1080p

Heaven is an intensive GPU benchmark that really pushes your silicon to its limits. It's another favorite of ours as it has some great scaling for multi-GPU testing, and it's great for getting your GPU to 100% for power and noise testing.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 20 | TweakTown.com

Heaven - 1440p

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 30 | TweakTown.com

Heaven - 4K

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 40 | TweakTown.com

Heaven - 3440x1440

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 50 | TweakTown.com

Benchmarks - 1080p

1080p Benchmarks

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 106 | TweakTown.com

Ubisoft's latest installment in the Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon series is Ghost Recon Wildlands, an open world tactical shooter with some of the best graphics on the market, with Ubisoft Paris using a modified version of the AnvilNext engine.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 25 | TweakTown.com
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 102 | TweakTown.com

Rise of the Tomb Raider is one of the best looking games on the market, a truly gorgeous game - and a wonder to benchmark. The team at Crystal Dynamics made a very scalable PC game that plays really well testing graphics cards. We've got DX11 and DX12 results in one here, showing the slight strengths of running DX12 mode.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 24 | TweakTown.com
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 101 | TweakTown.com

Far Cry Primal is a game built on the impressive Dunia Engine 2 with wide open, beautiful environments. It might look stunning, but the performance is actually quite good - but most cards will be stressed at 1440p, and especially so at 4K and beyond.

You can buy Far Cry Primal at Amazon.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 22 | TweakTown.com
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 103 | TweakTown.com

Rainbow Six: Siege has been a strong entry into the franchise, popular for its realistic feel and great graphics. Stable as a rock for benchmarking, right up to 3440x1440 and 4K.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 23 | TweakTown.com
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 104 | TweakTown.com

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is one of the most graphically intensive games we test, with Monolith using their own Lithtech engine to power the game. When cranked up to maximum detail, it will chew through your GPU and its VRAM like it's nothing.

You can buy Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor at Amazon.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 27 | TweakTown.com
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 105 | TweakTown.com

Metro: Last Light Redux comes from developer 4A Games, making the Redux version of Metro: Last Light the 'definitive' version of the game. Redux had a fresh coat of paint on the already impressive 4A Engine, and it really pushes our GPUs to their limits.

You can buy Metro: Last Light Redux at Amazon.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 26 | TweakTown.com

Benchmarks - 1440p

1440p Benchmarks

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 106 | TweakTown.com

Ubisoft's latest installment in the Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon series is Ghost Recon Wildlands, an open world tactical shooter with some of the best graphics on the market, with Ubisoft Paris using a modified version of the AnvilNext engine.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 35 | TweakTown.com
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 102 | TweakTown.com

Rise of the Tomb Raider is one of the best looking games on the market, a truly gorgeous game - and a wonder to benchmark. The team at Crystal Dynamics made a very scalable PC game that plays really well testing graphics cards. We've got DX11 and DX12 results in one here, showing the slight strengths of running DX12 mode.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 34 | TweakTown.com
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 101 | TweakTown.com

Far Cry Primal is a game built on the impressive Dunia Engine 2 with wide open, beautiful environments. It might look stunning, but the performance is actually quite good - but most cards will be stressed at 1440p, and especially so at 4K and beyond.

You can buy Far Cry Primal at Amazon.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 32 | TweakTown.com
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 103 | TweakTown.com

Rainbow Six: Siege has been a strong entry into the franchise, popular for its realistic feel and great graphics. Stable as a rock for benchmarking, right up to 3440x1440 and 4K.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 33 | TweakTown.com
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 104 | TweakTown.com

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is one of the most graphically intensive games we test, with Monolith using their own Lithtech engine to power the game. When cranked up to maximum detail, it will chew through your GPU and its VRAM like it's nothing.

You can buy Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor at Amazon.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 37 | TweakTown.com
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 105 | TweakTown.com

Metro: Last Light Redux comes from developer 4A Games, making the Redux version of Metro: Last Light the 'definitive' version of the game. Redux had a fresh coat of paint on the already impressive 4A Engine, and it really pushes our GPUs to their limits.

You can buy Metro: Last Light Redux at Amazon.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 36 | TweakTown.com

Benchmarks - 4K

4K Benchmarks

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 106 | TweakTown.com

Ubisoft's latest installment in the Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon series is Ghost Recon Wildlands, an open world tactical shooter with some of the best graphics on the market, with Ubisoft Paris using a modified version of the AnvilNext engine.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 52 | TweakTown.com
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 102 | TweakTown.com

Rise of the Tomb Raider is one of the best looking games on the market, a truly gorgeous game - and a wonder to benchmark. The team at Crystal Dynamics made a very scalable PC game that plays really well testing graphics cards. We've got DX11 and DX12 results in one here, showing the slight strengths of running DX12 mode.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 44 | TweakTown.com
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 101 | TweakTown.com

Far Cry Primal is a game built on the impressive Dunia Engine 2 with wide open, beautiful environments. It might look stunning, but the performance is actually quite good - but most cards will be stressed at 1440p, and especially so at 4K and beyond.

You can buy Far Cry Primal at Amazon.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 42 | TweakTown.com
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 103 | TweakTown.com

Rainbow Six: Siege has been a strong entry into the franchise, popular for its realistic feel and great graphics. Stable as a rock for benchmarking, right up to 3440x1440 and 4K.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 43 | TweakTown.com
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 104 | TweakTown.com

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is one of the most graphically intensive games we test, with Monolith using their own Lithtech engine to power the game. When cranked up to maximum detail, it will chew through your GPU and its VRAM like it's nothing.

You can buy Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor at Amazon.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 47 | TweakTown.com
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 105 | TweakTown.com

Metro: Last Light Redux comes from developer 4A Games, making the Redux version of Metro: Last Light the 'definitive' version of the game. Redux had a fresh coat of paint on the already impressive 4A Engine, and it really pushes our GPUs to their limits.

You can buy Metro: Last Light Redux at Amazon.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 56 | TweakTown.com

Benchmarks - 3440x1440

3440x1440 Benchmarks

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 106 | TweakTown.com

Ubisoft's latest installment in the Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon series is Ghost Recon Wildlands, an open world tactical shooter with some of the best graphics on the market, with Ubisoft Paris using a modified version of the AnvilNext engine.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 54 | TweakTown.com
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 102 | TweakTown.com

Rise of the Tomb Raider is one of the best looking games on the market, a truly gorgeous game - and a wonder to benchmark. The team at Crystal Dynamics made a very scalable PC game that plays really well testing graphics cards. We've got DX11 and DX12 results in one here, showing the slight strengths of running DX12 mode.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 53 | TweakTown.com
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 101 | TweakTown.com

Far Cry Primal is a game built on the impressive Dunia Engine 2 with wide open, beautiful environments. It might look stunning, but the performance is actually quite good - but most cards will be stressed at 1440p, and especially so at 4K and beyond.

You can buy Far Cry Primal at Amazon.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 51 | TweakTown.com
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 104 | TweakTown.com

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is one of the most graphically intensive games we test, with Monolith using their own Lithtech engine to power the game. When cranked up to maximum detail, it will chew through your GPU and its VRAM like it's nothing.

You can buy Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor at Amazon.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 56 | TweakTown.com
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 105 | TweakTown.com

Metro: Last Light Redux comes from developer 4A Games, making the Redux version of Metro: Last Light the 'definitive' version of the game. Redux had a fresh coat of paint on the already impressive 4A Engine, and it really pushes our GPUs to their limits.

You can buy Metro: Last Light Redux at Amazon.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 555 | TweakTown.com

Benchmarks - DX12

DX12 Benchmarks

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 102 | TweakTown.com

Rise of the Tomb Raider is one of the best looking games on the market, a truly gorgeous game - and a wonder to benchmark. The team at Crystal Dynamics made a very scalable PC game that plays really well testing graphics cards. We've got DX11 and DX12 results in one here, showing the slight strengths of running DX12 mode.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 81 | TweakTown.com
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 82 | TweakTown.com
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 83 | TweakTown.com
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 84 | TweakTown.com

3DMark TimeSpy (DX12) 1440p

3DMark has been a staple benchmark for years now, all the way back to when The Matrix was released and Futuremark had bullet time inspired benchmarks. 3DMark is the perfect tool to see if your system - most important, your CPU and GPU - is performing as it should. You can search results for your GPU, to see if it falls in line with other systems based on similar hardware.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 80 | TweakTown.com

Performance Analysis & Final Thoughts

Performance Analysis

While NVIDIA's new GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is ripping it up in the performance charts, the GTX 1080 is still a great graphics card - and EVGA's custom GTX 1080 SC2 iCX is a few FPS faster in all of our tests, and much quieter than the GTX 1080 Founders Edition.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 16 | TweakTown.com

4K gaming is somewhat of a possibility on Ultra detail with EVGA's GeForce GTX 1080 SC2 iCX, with 40-50FPS average on most of our games, and just like every other GTX 1080 - if you drop some of the in-game visual settings down, you'll hit 60FPS average without a problem.

But I would recommend the EVGA GTX 1080 SC2 iCX for 3440x1440 gaming, as you're getting closer to 70-80FPS average. Again, with some detail drops you could get 100FPS average - perfect for the 3440x1440 @ 100Hz G-Sync displays on the market like the Acer Predator X34. 3440x1440 @ 100FPS is an awesome experience, something completely capable on the EVGA GTX 1080 SC2 iCX.

Final Thoughts

EVGA has done so much in the months between the first wave of custom GeForce GTX 1080 graphics cards, and the iCX-powered release. We have a top to bottom replacement of technology and services, and how much they intertwine with EVGA's awesome Precision XOC software.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SuperClocked 2 (with iCX) Review 15 | TweakTown.com

I could push the card up to 2200MHz without many problems and still maintain 61C maximum temperature while the fans spun at under 1000RPM. These results are astounding when you consider EVGA opted for a dual-slot design with a single 8-pin PCIe power connector. These two facts alone make it my favorite GTX 1080 so far, as it's thinner than its competitors, and requires just a single 8-pin PCIe power connector.

EVGA has once again shown its dominance in making enthusiast level graphics cards with the GTX 1080 SC2 iCX, and if they can do all of these little improvements to their cooling technology in just a few months, what will they have on the next-gen cards? EVGA continues to impress, and moving into the upcoming custom GTX 1080 Ti graphics cards is going to be an interesting journey. A journey that I'm excited to embark on with EVGA.

TweakTown award
Performance (overclocking, power)90%
Quality (build, design, cooling)95%
General Features (display outputs, etc)95%
Bundle, Packaging & Software95%
Overall94%

The Bottom Line: EVGA is all class with the GTX 1080 SC2 iCX, with a major upgrade in its cooling technology with iCX. The best dual-slot GeForce GTX 1080 money can buy, with 2.2GHz GPU overclocking potential and silent gaming, EVGA hits yet another home run.

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Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

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