GeForce GTX 1070 / 1080 Founders Edition Explained

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There seems to be quite some confusion about the announcements Nvidia made by offering a "Founders edition" graphics card. Let's explain what exactly it is.

Actually at the press-event this weekend, we the press have been pretty skeptical about the SKU naming as it confuses people. So what is the founders edition ? It's really simple, the founders edition is simply the reference design, yet with Nvidia's premium cooler. That's it ... and that's all. However it is 100 USD more expensive as the AIB partners could offer it at. And therein is the confusion to be found. Nvidia miscommunicated the message somewhat as everybody expected a 'reference design' and then another SKU called the 'Founders edition'. What feels rather wrong is that they are asking a 100 USD price premium for what they call the 'Founders Edition'. The product is in fact your standard reference card. The reason behind this is that Nvidia feels the product just isn't a normal reference card anymore, their reference cards these days are premium quality products with an expensive niche cooler.

Here's where the confusion started, everybody assumed the Founders Edition would be a special edition card. 

So, there's no special binning for this series and the clock-frequencies are the same as reference. All this this even confused yours truly at the announcement. So the Founders edition is a reference card. Nvidia however has applied it with their 'premium' vapor chamber cooler. Nvidia just makes the founders edition (reference), the other cards will be AIB/AIC products. The founder edition cards are not factory overclocked, are not binned and it is not a limited edition or anything.

NVIDIA simply feels a reference design is not a just name anymore, and feels it is offering a premium quality product - hence founders edition.

The Founders edition is a 100 bucks more expensive ? Yep, AIB cards from ASUS, Palit, Zotac, MSI and Gigabyte etc can sell their cards and designs a 100 bucks cheaper compared to the founders edition. So yes, the reference design card (=founders edition) could be more expensive opposed to the AIB cards.

In short:

The Reference design = The Founder's Edition.

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