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Power, Temperatures & GTX 1080's Limited Headroom
Temperature-wise the Gigabyte GTX 1080 G1 Gaming is a significant improvement over the Founders Edition. In my Corsair Carbide 600C case, the load temperature never exceeded 74 degrees. When paired with a similar spec Mini-ITX system build in the Silverstone RVZ01, load temperatures never exceeded 76 degrees.
Given that the Founders Edition quickly hits 83 degrees and then begins to throttle, that is a great result for Gigabyte. Though the improved thermals did nothing to help overclocking performance or performance in general, as a result the G1 Gaming is no faster than our overclocked Founders Edition GTX 1080.
Here we see power consumption when testing with The Witcher 3 has been increased by 4% as the G1 Gaming consumed slightly more power than the stock GTX 980.
This time, we see a marginal 1% increase in power consumption for the Gigabyte GTX 1080 G1 Gaming over the Nvidia Founders Edition graphics card.
Finally, a 3% increase in power consumption for the G1 Gaming over the Founders Edition graphics card can be seen when testing with Just Cause 3.
Having seen first-hand how well the Founders Edition performed last month, we were expecting board partners to take the GTX 1080 GPU and run with it. Instead it appears the Founders Edition successfully extracted all the performance the 1080 GPU is capable of delivering – which honestly is still a lot more than we expected for this new generation before Pascal made its big entrance.
Those who held out for the partner boards such as the Gigabyte G1 Gaming in the hope of squeezing a bit more performance, that's not going to happen. Pricing will be more attractive eventually, but with short supply of cards at launch across the board, the market forces are keeping prices above the suggested retail level.
We won't judge the business side of things, but it will be interesting to see how things play out in the coming year as Nvidia becomes a de-facto competitor in the retail space. By selling directly to consumers and releasing the so-called "Founders Edition" cards first and making board partners wait two weeks, Nvidia purposely stole some of the thunder on this release. They were also the only ones able to cash in on early adopters who would otherwise have splurged on cards like Gigabyte's upcoming Xtreme edition.
At $650, compared to the Founders Edition price of $700, it's not a huge difference, but once availability starts to pick up, gamers should be able to get the GTX 1080 G1 Gaming priced at or very close to $600.
So if you are set on spending some $600-plus dollars and looking to get the best GPU on the market, the Gigabyte GTX 1080 G1 Gaming presents an awesome offering, capable of delivering previously unseen performance, while remaining cool and quiet. So, while it's not significantly better than the Founders Edition version, you are still getting slightly more performance at a slightly more attractive price.