October 3

Best GTX 1080

The Great Mining Crisis of 2017/2018 will be remembered among gaming-folk as a time of great turmoil when to find a GPU was nigh on impossible and even those that could be found were worth almost their weight in gold.

And yet, all dark ages must come to pass, and with the sudden, but inevitable fall in Bitcoin value by mid-2018, gamers the world over rejoiced as they could once again purchase top-of-the-line gaming graphics cards without splashing insane amounts of cash – or getting suspicious 2nd hand models that spent the last year mining 24/7.

Back in the days of 2018, if you wanted to go mid-to-high range, Nvidia was pretty much the only game in town. It wasn’t until 2019 that we have seen some new moves by AMD with Vega and Navi, as well as Nvidia, with their RTX series of cards, which still reign supreme. However, if you are not interested in RTX technology yet (due to the handful of games that support it currently), there is quite a choice in the previous generation’s top tier.

GTX 1080 was and still is a great card for high-refresh 1080p gaming and has no problems taking modern titles over 60 fps in 1440p. It is also a very capable 4k option if that is where your gaming desires lie. We have prepared a list of some of the best choices out there, so let us dive right in.

Alternatively, check out the top GTX 1070 models for a more affordable solution.

Best Choice: ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8GB ROG Strix

Pros & Cons

  • Additional HDMI output to use with your VR setup
  • Excellent performance
  • Great temperatures under load
  • To achieve the maximum overclock, users have to jump through hoops

Key Features:

  • Clock speed (Boost): 1670 (1835) MHz,
  • VRAM: 8 GB of GDDR5 at 10.1 Gbps
  • Memory Bus: 256 bits
  • Power: 1 x 8 pin + 1 x 6 pin PCI-E
  • Dimensions: 11.73 x 5.28 x 1.57 in (29.8 x 13.4 x 4 cm)
  • Connectivity: 1 x DVI, 2 x DP, 2 x HDMI

ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8GB ROG Strix Review

Asus ROG series generally yields quality products across the board. This card is no different – a good all-rounder that looks good, has good overclocking abilities and keeps it cool under load.

What has to be said is that ASUS did not make it easy for users to reach the max potential of this card. With the need to download additional ASUS-made GPU Tweak II, it requires a bit more than plug-and-play from the customers. At least today you can find the updated version of the software directly on ASUS’s website unlike when it initially came out.

Still, this card is our card of choice. Sleek, quiet, with excellent overclocking abilities (albeit after a bit of tinkering with software) and it is not even the most expensive on our lost.

Premium Pick: EVGA GTX 1080 Classified GAMING ACX 3.0

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Pros & Cons

  • Extra power-phases for stable power delivery when overclocking
  • Hardware monitor probes for voltage/temperature
  • Excellent cooling solution
  • Not the highest overclocker, although the extras would suggest so

Key Features:

  • Clock speed (Boost): 1721(1860) MHz,
  • VRAM: 8 GB of GDDR5 at 10 Gbps
  • Memory Bus: 256 bits
  • Power: 2 x 8 pin PCI-E
  • Dimensions: 10.5 x 5.94 x 2 in (26.6 x 15 x 5 cm)
  • Connectivity:  1 x DVI, 3 x DP, 1 x HDMI

EVGA GTX 1080 Classified GAMING ACX 3.0 Review

This EVGA model has some additional bells and whistles to make it better at higher speeds. The additional power-phases are there to enable your card to deliver higher clock boosts for longer.

It has a great cooling solution as well, which competes directly with the EVGA Hybrid 1080 model, using water cooling. Both cards are quite cool, however, the Classified model manages to keep it’s clocks high for longer and even manages to be faster at identical overclock levels. Great job by EVGA to outdo themselves.

Still, at the price of $919 it might be a little out of your price range. For those who want to dabble in overclocking (or even like to mod their cards) this might be the best choice due to its additional power options.

Best Value: ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 AMP! Edition

Pros & Cons

  • Good overall card
  • Excellent value for money
  • Zotac’s FREEZE feature is inconsistent
  • Chance of coil whine in some cards

Key Features:

  • Clock speed (Boost): 1683 (1822) MHz,
  • VRAM: 8 GB of GDDR5 at 10 Gbps
  • Memory Bus: 256 bits
  • Power: 2 x 8 pin PCI-E
  • Dimensions: 10.5 x 4.3 x 1.4 in (26.6 x 10.9 x 5 cm)
  • Connectivity: 1 x DVI, 3 x DP, 1 x HDMI
  • Icestorm dual fan

ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 AMP! Edition Review

A lot of gamers are looking for best-bang-for-buck over anything else and Zotac has been the company to deliver that quite often. This time the dual-fan package is keeping up with the competition very well when it comes to performance, being on par with most of the presented models, while its cost has taken a significant cut.

Those of you who are keen on very quiet cards might notice that this one is a bit of a mixed bag. While the FREEZE feature should be keeping the fans from turning until a certain working temperature is reached, it sometimes starts turning them briefly and then stops again, which might be a bit distracting.

Coil whine is present at higher fan speeds, but it might be just a case of certain cards, as we cannot test all of them. Bottom line is that the drawbacks are a small thing compared to quite a large difference in price this Zotac model offers.

Best VR: Gigabyte GTX 1080 Xtreme Gaming

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Pros & Cons

  • 2 additional HDMI ports really make a difference in ease of use for your VR needs
  • Very quiet
  • Low temperatures due to the triple fan design
  • Not a great overclocker compared to some other cards

Key Features: 

  • Clock speed (Boost): 1784 (1898) MHz,
  • VRAM: 8 GB of GDDR5 at 10.4 Gbps
  • Memory Bus: 256 bits
  • Power: 2 x 8 pin PCI-E
  • Dimensions: 11.3 x 5.51 x 2.24 in (28,7 x 14 x 5,7 cm)
  • Connectivity: 1 x DVI, 3 x DP, 1 x HDMI + 2 x HDMI (for front panel)
  • Windforce Stack Blade Triple Fan

Gigabyte GTX 1080 Xtreme Gaming Review

Although Gigabyte later updated this model with an Extreme Edition, this was from the get go a solid product. The triple fan design makes it cool and quiet. It does overclock, but it is not among the best entries in this list.

What it does excel at is the connectivity – it has 2 additional HDMI ports on the internal side of the card which can be connected to your front panel for easy HDMI access. Those who are using VR headsets will appreciate this move by Gigabyte very much, as it reduces the number of times you have to dive into the cable-infested darkness behind your computer desk/TV stand.

Gigabyte GTX 1080 Extreme Gaming is a Jack-of-all-trades and the additional VR options really set her apart from the other models.

Best Dual Fan: MSI GTX 1080 GAMING X+ 8G

Pros & Cons

  • Faster-than-regular VRAM at 11 Gbps
  • Keeping it cool with only two fans
  • Increased performance compared to previous cards
  • The increase in performance is not noticeable in games across the board

Key Features:

  • Clock speed (Boost): 1683 (1847) MHz,
  • VRAM: 8 GB of GDDR5X at 11 Gbps
  • Memory Bus: 256 bits
  • Power: 1 x 6 pin + 1 x 8 pin PCI-E
  • Dimensions: 13.6 x 10.6 x 3.3 in (34.5 x 26.9 x 8.3 cm)
  • Connectivity:  1 x DVI, 3 x DP, 1 x HDMI
  • Twin Frozr VI dual fan

MSI GTX 1080 GAMING X+ 8G Review

Gaming X model of 1080 was already a solid 1080 card with improvements in the design and especially in the cooling solution, one of the first third party models to appear after the Founders’ Editions. The X+ models bring a little more to the table with slightly faster VRAM.

When nVidia made the GDDR5X option available on GTX cards, MSI was the first to upgrade their offer with the X+ model, giving it a slight edge over other 1080 models and possibly future-proofing it a little more. Unfortunately, the gains depend on the game and in most cases are represented in a few percentages when it comes to fps differences.

All in all, not a great buy if you are looking to upgrade from a regular 1080, but certainly a viable candidate if you are coming from a lower tier card.


GTX 1080: Buying Guide

The fact that Nvidia’s Pascal architecture was so ahead of its time ensures that the GTX 1080 is a GPU that can still battle it out with much newer generations, including the new RTX cards. Let us take a look at some things you should be paying attention to when purchasing these graphics cards.

Power connectors

These are powerful and power-hungry cards and they will require a lot of energy when under full load. This is why they have either a 2 x 8 pin connector or 1 x 6 pin + 1 x 8 pin connectors. Make sure your power supply can deliver enough juice and has all the required connections before you decide on one of these models.

ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 fans


The best thing about GPU versions made by Nvidia’s AIB partners (Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, EVGA, Zotac, and others) is that the GPUs made by these companies often come with a factory overclock, which brings the cards close to their maximum.

Although the technology already offers significant boost clocks, you can always give it an additional push and get the most out of your card, should you desire to do so. If you are new to overclocking, be sure to consult our GPU overclocking guide.


Since the listed GPUs offer three types of ports: DVI,  DP (DisplayPort) and HDMI, you probably have the necessary port on your monitor or TV. However, if you have a multi-monitor setup you should make sure that you have enough ports of a certain type. If you are considering getting a new monitor alongside your new card, check out the handy guide to the best gaming monitors on the market.

ZOTAC GTX 1080 Ti AMP! Extreme Edition

If you are a proud owner of a VR headset that requires HDMI connection, make sure you choose accordingly, as some cards (like the Gigabyte one listed above) will provide additional options for VR.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a GTX 1080 worth it in 2019?

As one of the top cards from previous years, it can more than hold its own against all but the highest range cards that are coming out now.

Is GTX 1080 4k good?

That depends on the game you are playing, your settings and the refresh rate you are trying to hit. With a little bit of tinkering, most modern games can achieve a stable 4k/60 with some of the eye candy turned off.

What’s the difference between 1080 and 1080TI?

The main difference is that 1080Ti has almost 30% more CUDA cores and 3 GB more of video memory, for a total of 11 GB, making it more powerful, as well as more expensive. If you would like to know more, here is our guide to the best GTX 1080Ti cards.

nvidia gtx 1080ti

What is the best graphics card for 1080p gaming?

If you are playing at 1080p almost any graphic card today will prove capable to run games, however, if you are looking to play at high refresh rates and at ultra quality settings you might want to check out our guide to the best graphics card for gaming.

Is RTX better than GTX

RTX cards are more powerful than the GTX ones, as well as more expensive, however, they also offer an additional feature that GTX cards do not have – ray tracing. At this time, ray tracing is only supported by a handful of games, but Nvidia is working with game developers to increase this number.

If you are looking to future proof your purchase and want to spend the money, then RTX is a better choice. If you are satisfied with the level of performance you can get from a GTX card, don’t worry about missing out.


GTX 1080 can still pack a solid punch in 2019 and there is no reason not to get one if you have it in your sights and it should keep providing top-notch results in gaming (especially 1080p and 1440p gaming) for years to come. However, if you would like to consider something in the more budget range, we got you covered there as well with midrange quality 1070 Ti cards, as well as some great budget GPU choices.


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About the author

Bojan Djordjevic