MSI GeForce GTX 1080 SEA HAWK X review

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Product Showcase

Product Showcase

Let's start with our photo-shoot. A few pages that show the ins and outs with photos, all taken with an in-house photo-shoot of course.


The MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Sea Hawk X is quite something, and that special feel starts at the packaging. Sea Hawk obviously refers towards the aeronautic theme that the more special MSI graphics cards serve, in this case the Sea Hawk helicopter that is used by the U.S. Navy so much. 


Once we open and unbox the packaging we spot the card and the radiator. This is a closed loop cooling system, meaning the kit is ready to go and factory filled with coolant. 
Albeit the card has a bit of a simplistic design (aesthetically) the card has a very nice matte black color and that will complement PCs that are black and have a bit of a dark theme going on. Admittedly, in a dark PC the product looks 10x better opposed to the naked photos.


As board partners are allowed to release the 1080 model cards in their own configurations you will see many versions, mostly based on customized PCB/component and the obviously mandatory different cooling solutions. The MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Sea Hawk X has default clock frequencies of 1822 MHz (boost) / 1683 (base) MHz with a reference clocked 8192 MB GDDR5X / 10108 MHz effective data-rate on the memory. As you can see the soft cloth sleeve wrapped tubing lead to the radiator (120mm) with awesome LED lit yet silent fan. The card itself still has an active fan is it will cool down the memory and VRM area as well.


The Sea Hawk X is a dual-slot solution, and hey check out the backside where there is a sturdy metal back-plate mounted. Also you can see it already, the one 8-pin power connector. This card is using a reference founders edition PCB, ironically enough yet the Sea Hawk X is the most tweakable card we have had out hands on. A 5 phase power supply is responsible for supplying the GP104-400 GPU with power. An additional power phase is dedicated to the board’s GDDR5X memory. 


The card will have a power design of roughly 180 Watts, but due to the higher clocks and tweaking design please add another 20 extra Watts. We say 190~200 Watts is a steady value. Albeit the GPU is liquid cooled the fan will exhaust residual VRM and memory heat at the front-side, which as you can see has a proper huge mesh. The GeForce GTX 1080 is DisplayPort 1.2 certified and DP 1.3/1.4 Ready, enabling support for 4K displays at 120Hz, 5K displays at 60Hz, and 8K displays at 60Hz (using two cables). This model includes three DisplayPort connectors, one HDMI 2.0b connector, and one dual-link DVI connector. Up to four display heads can be driven simultaneously from one card. The GTX 1080 display pipeline supports HDR gaming, as well as video encoding and decoding. New to Pascal is HDR Video (4K@60 10/12b HEVC Decode), HDR Record/Stream (4K@60 10b HEVC Encode), and HDR Interface Support (DP 1.4).

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