Overclocking the GTX 1080 Ti LIGHTNING Z
The inclusion of 11GB of GDDR5X on the GTX 1080 Ti is great, and even at its stock 11Gbps bandwidth, it's more than enough for high-res gaming. Some games enjoy higher memory bandwidth numbers, which is where overclocking the GTX 1080 Ti GDDR5X comes into play.
Off to MSI Afterburner I go, and I crank up the speeds of the GDDR5X while looping benchmarks in the background. I thought I'd push the GPU past 2050MHz, but I reached a wall at 2037MHz. Even with the voltage pushed all the way to 100% the GPU clock couldn't get above 2040MHz on my sample without failing. The entire time, even with voltages at 100% increase, the MSI GTX 1080 Ti LIGHTNING Z was running at 65C maximum - the fans, at 49% (1250RPM or so).
I could overclock the hell out of the GDDR5X, though... where I hit 6000MHz (up from 5500MHz) and providing us with 12Gbps (up from 11Gbps). At 12Gbps, we have 528.9GB/sec of memory bandwidth, which is massive considering even HBM1 on the AMD Radeon R9 Fury X had 512GB/sec of memory bandwidth... and it was freakin' HBM.
GDDR5X is a monster in the memory bandwidth department, and it shows when you push it past 12Gbps and reach nearly 530GB/sec of memory bandwidth.
NVIDIA locks down the Pascal-based GP102 pretty damn well under GPU Boost 3.0, which is why there needs to be unlocked voltages to push past 2050MHz on the GTX 1080 Ti. This is where the LN2 mode switch, an exclusive on the MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti LIGHTNING Z, comes into play. Overclockers using LN2 could flick this switch, and possibly see large gains in the OC headroom on the GP102 chip.
If they do, I'll do a follow-up piece on LN2 overclocking and its additional performance and GPU overclocking headroom.
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