Gigabyte Aorus GeForce RTX 3080 XTREME review

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AORUS GeForce RTX 3080 XTREME  10G review

In this review, we benchmark the GeForce RTX 3080 AORUS XTREME 10G  from Gigabyte; yes AORUS is back with their super-premium model loaded with cooling, an LCD screen, and among the best factory tweaks available on the market.With their aim to perform at low acoustics combined with a beautiful design card that comes with a dual BIOS, one silent mode, and one gaming (perf) mode, let's start this review, shall we? 

It was 2017 when Ampere as a GPU architecture surfaced onto the web, and up-to earlier this year, NVIDIA has not listed this name in any of its roadmaps on the consumer side. It was with military-level secrecy that the Ampere consumer part was developed. Ampere, of course, is the base unit of electric current in the international system of units. But the GPU is named after André-Marie Ampère, a French mathematician and physicist, considered the father of electrodynamics. NVIDIA has a track record of naming their GPU architectures after mathematicians and physicists or closely related fields, of naming a few; Pascal, Fermi, Kepler, Maxwell, and more recently, Turing. While it was no secret that the new GPUs would be based on Ampere, we've seen much discussion about fabrication nodes, architecture, and specifications. Still, everybody seems to have forgotten that Ampere already launched earlier this year for the HPC market. The first product based on Ampere was the NVIDIA Tesla A100, outfitted with a GA100 Ampere GPU based on 7nm fabricated at TSMC; that product holds 54 billion transistors 6912 shader cores.  September 1st of the year 2020, NVIDIA announced three Ampere graphics cards in its initial launch wave. A week before announcements, specifications of the GeForce RTX 3080 and 3090 took a twist; the shader core count doubled up from what everybody expected.  The GPUs are fabricated on an 8nm node derived from Samsung. This process further develops Samsung's 10nm process; no EUV is applied in production just yet. The first wave of announcements would see the GeForce RTX 3080 and 3090 being released first, and as a bit of a surprise, the GeForce RTX 3070 would be arriving in roughly the same timeframe as well. The initial Ampere for consumers launch entails the GeForce RTX 3070 8GB GDDR6, RTX 3080 10GB GDDR6X, and a 24GB GDDR6X based flagship, the GeForce RTX 3090. The lineup brings Gen2 ray-tracing cores and the 3rd iteration tensor cores. These cards will all be PCIe 4.0 interface compatible and offer HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 1.4a.

The overhauled AORUS XTREME series GeForce RTX 3080 is once again fitted with that NVIDIA GA102 GPU; it has a nice 8704 Shader cores activated and is paired with 10GB of all-new GDDR6X graphics memory. GIGABYTE (the company behind the AORUS brand) equipped the card with a semi-passive design; the three fans start to spin and cool once the GPU warms up. The card is beefed up pretty extreme. As explained, it has a dual BIOS with gaming performance and silent mode. Make no mistake; both modes offer the same performance, just at different temperatures and acoustics.

AORUS increased the power allowance as well as the turbo clock frequency. This card has a clock speed of 1905 MHz, the fastest on the market. The memory runs stock at 19 Gbps effective. XTREME has been fitted with a new 'MAX-Covered cooling', which basically means they slapped on the biggest cooler they could find, as this one is thick alright. Next to that, it makes use of 2x 115mm and 1x100mm blade stack fans. That last one sits in the middle and is an alternatingly spinning unit. 

This RTX 3080 also has a higher TGP value listed at 420W. To juice up such hefty values, the cards have been fitted with 3x 8 (6+2) pins, creating an issue with some power supplies cables and power-wise. So it would be best if you had at least a proper 750 Watt PSU for this graphics card.  Weighing in at roughly 2kg, this baby is heavy and big, L=319 W=140 H=70 mm. Once the PC is active, it is a thing of beauty, alright ... Next page, please.


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