Gigabyte GTX 1080 Xtreme Gaming makes life in VR easier

Gigabyte has officially announced its new top-end GeForce GTX 1080, the GTX 1080 Xtreme Gaming. The company actually revealed the new card on Twitter during Computex, but now we have some hard info to discuss. The Xtreme Gaming line represents the highest-end of Gigabyte's graphics products, and while the GTX 1080 Xtreme Gaming certainly seems to be a fine product in its own right, we think the most interesting feature of this packages is Gigabyte's new VR Link peripheral.

With VR Link, Gigabyte took a page from EVGA's playbook and stuck two HDMI ports on the front of the card. Connect these to the included 5.25" front-panel plate, and you now have two front-facing HDMI ports and a pair of USB 3.0 connectors. Having the connections for your VR headset right on the front of the machine should not only give your digital leash a bit more slack, but also make it that much easier to set up and take down.

While using VR-Link, the second and third DisplayPort connections on the back of the card are disabled. Gigabyte does say that enabling or disabling VR-Link requires a system restart, too, though that's likely a small concern for any VR-ready PC. In case you don't have a spare 5.25" bay, Gigabyte helpfully includes a rear panel bracket with the extra HDMI ports, though that arrangement is decidedly less convenient.

Even if VR isn't your thing, the GTX 1080 Xtreme Gaming is still a pretty impressive piece of kit. It upgrades the GTX 1080's power supply to a pair of 8-pin connectors, and Gigabyte boasts about the card's "Titan X-grade" 12+2-phase power delivery system. A pair of small LEDs by the power connectors will blink if the card isn't receiving clean power. Despite Gigabyte's emphasis on the power delivery, there's no word yet on final clock speeds, although the product page lists a 10MHz overclock on the memory.

The "Windforce Stack 3x" cooler is pretty fancy, too. It has the same custom fan blade design we've seen before on the 1070 G1 Gaming. The "stack" name refers to the partially-overlapping 100-mm fans, a design that keeps the card from getting too long. This design does make the cooler nearly three slots thick, but Gigabyte says the payoff is the company's best cooler yet. Naturally, the cooler includes configurable RGB LEDs.

From this vantage point, the GTX 1080 Xtreme Gaming may be one of the best options for a dedicated VR setup. The GTX 1080 has several new features (like Simultaneous Multi-Projection) dedicated to improving VR performance, and short of turning your PC backwards, this looks like the easiest way to connect and disconnect a headset.

Comments closed
    • Bensam123
    • 4 years ago

    Hopefully these fans are more impressive then the ones on the 970. They look like the same coolers just with more bling. Multiple cards with those fans are failing on me currently.

    It always seems like the thin blade models go out first.

      • ebomb808
      • 4 years ago

      The fans on the 970 don’t overlap. Additionally, this xtreme gaming card comes with an added year of warranty (4 vs 3). The German computer base had a review of the G1 gaming 1080 today and made the point that at load it was 5 dB quieter than the 980ti G1 gaming and that GB’s new fan design was much better than the Maxwell fans. However, this new overlapping fan on a wider card is new so who knows.

        • Bensam123
        • 4 years ago

        Hopefully… Asus definitely has the best coolers. They have almost full size (height) fans on their coolers in addition to heavy duty construction and I haven’t had a single one fail. The half height fans seem to go bad faster. Not sure exactly why, but it must have something to do with lubrication and size of the bearing. I had some other AMD models with similar fans (XFX) and they died about every ~six months.

        Didn’t notice the overlapping fans though. That does make me wonder if it will cause turbulence and make the fans fail prematurely. The extra strain on the rotors and as such the bearing.

        Most hardware review sites don’t test the fans out as it takes tons of hours before they start to show signs of degradation, but good to know.

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    I wish more companies would put out products that put those spare 5.25″ bays to good use. Really, what are they usually used for apart from DVD drives? USB, eSATA, etc. the list goes on and on. Most enclosures have them unless you have an SFF PC. And unless you buy a high end case the front facing USB ports are usually crap.

      • Freon
      • 4 years ago

      There seems to be a growing trend to ditching 5.25″ bays. Fractal Define S, Carbide 400Q, Core V21, etc.

      My extra-sized Air 540 has only two 5.25″ bays, when I’d say par for older midtowers was four.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 4 years ago

    how long ago did you get your 1080 unit in for review… wasn’t it like a full on month ago?

      • Wonders
      • 4 years ago

      Dude, the date is at the top of the original “In the Lab” post which you commented on literally a couple hours ago. (Maybe you missed [url=https://techreport.com/discussion/30204/intel-boosts-the-high-end-desktop-with-its-broadwell-e-cpus?post=983361<]this[/url<]? Can't blame you - it wasn't posted under "News".)

        • kamikaziechameleon
        • 4 years ago

        oh thanks!

      • trek205
      • 4 years ago

      over 3 weeks now but be careful as you will upset the butt kissers around here.

        • kamikaziechameleon
        • 4 years ago

        I wasn’t trying to be mean, just love the articles on this site and was really interested to see that. Sorry all for asking, didn’t realize you (referencing the down votes) didn’t want an article on that 1080… :^/

    • ebomb808
    • 4 years ago

    After waiting a couple weeks for AIB cards with custom coolers, and finally having one on the way soon, I’m still tempted to return what’s coming and wait for this. I have a spare 5.25″ bay and this surely looks to be more convenient with the rift. Decisions.

    • Wildchild
    • 4 years ago

    Is it me or is this generation of nVidia cards more tacky looking than usual?

      • Deanjo
      • 4 years ago

      They all look the same in use unless you are using a tacky windowed case. ;D

        • ronch
        • 4 years ago

        I’m honestly tired of all the fierce-looking graphics cards these days. Can’t they just make them look simple and functional? Or classy, perhaps?

      • NTMBK
      • 4 years ago

      Yup, they’re enormous. The Geforce 3ti was way more elegant.

      • chuckula
      • 4 years ago

      The cards all look like PCBs with a GPU, RAM, and a bunch of VRMs & capacitors.

      It’s the whacko shrouds over the HSF from AIBs that add the tacky factor.

      Here’s what I have on pre-order: [url<]http://www.evga.com/Products/Product.aspx?pn=08G-P4-6183-KR[/url<] Not overly tacky.

        • DPete27
        • 4 years ago

        I thought the EVGAs had LEDs also. No?

          • chuckula
          • 4 years ago

          The literature claims that there may be a logo LED to light up the “EVGA” which is pretty low-key by modern standards. For example, there aren’t LEDs all over the card just to have them.

          I’ll try to figure out how to turn it off!

            • slowriot
            • 4 years ago

            [url<]https://techreport.com/news/30211/evga-computex-2016-custom-pascal-cards-new-psus-and-more[/url<] The EVGA cards might be the worst offenders. That logo they put on top is the main part of the card you would see in most windowed cases. Its huge. Its stupid. They put them on all their models it seems.

            • chuckula
            • 4 years ago

            That’s it? That’s about average these days isn’t it?
            At least it identifies the model of GPU and doesn’t require extra LEDs just to locate the power connectors: [url<]http://cdn5.thinkcomputers.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/r9-furyx-6.jpg[/url<]

        • Froz
        • 4 years ago

        You really like how it looks? For me, it’s just very ugly.

      • tipoo
      • 4 years ago

      History is rife with tackier cards 😉
      I do miss the box arts on the X1000 ATI series though, some were real nice.

    • cmrcmk
    • 4 years ago

    For a moment, I hoped this was the long awaited GTX 1080 review.

    • DPete27
    • 4 years ago

    Wow, the shroud sticks up pretty far past the already tall PCB.

    • neverthehero
    • 4 years ago

    Hopefully some pricing and release date for the US will be coming forth… Having everything up front like that is going to be nice though. Having both the Vive/Rift (although haven’t tried either yet since I don’t have yet a good enough card) would be nice to be able to switch out with ease.. Looks like it is going to be this or the Asus Strix (with two HDMI slots in the back).. Anything to have to avoid adapters be it HDMI or USB.

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