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MSI GTX 1080 Ti Armor 11G Review

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MSI GTX 1080 Ti Armor 11G Conclusion:

From a stock performance perspective, the MSI GTX 1080 Ti Armor 11G is a beast of a card. It over delivers its rated boost clock speed by a wide margin in pretty much every game and load that I tested with. This allows it to deliver exceptional performance metrics in each and every game. I mean, the NVIDIA GTX 1080 Ti FE was a great card in its own right, but MSI takes that baseline and expands on it to drive performance a little bit further. You cannot argue with the FPS performance delivered by this card. However, as an aftermarket partner built, factory overclocked card that is the expectation. At stock speeds, there is no doubt that this card is the top performer in every test. When overclocked, the margins get a bit tighter and the GTX 1080 Ti FE does outperform the MSI Armor in a few tests, but just barely.

MSI continues to deliver cards built around its Military Class IV technology using Hi-C Caps, Super Ferrite Chokes, and solid capacitors to deliver an all-digital power supply to the cards. This one is no different in the use of that technology on a custom PCB. While MSI's King of the Hill Gaming Series cards are the upper echelon of the product stack, the Armor series offer value with many of the same features. The Armor 2X cooling solution is equipped with a pair of 100mm Torx 2.0 fans that use both standard and dispersion blades to improve airflow through the heat pipe-based Armor cooling solution. Much the same parts used on the Gaming X cards, but with a slimmer heat sink package.

Additionally, the cooling solution still gets directional airflow control to help manage airflow into the areas of the heat sink by the heat pipes to effectively handle the thermals. By using Zero Frozr tech, the Torx 2.0 fans are at a dead stop when the GPU temperature stays under 60 °C to effectively eliminate fan noise while operating in a 2G environment on the desktop. Silent is silent any way you cut it. Even when the Torx 2.0 fans hit their stride and max out at 2300RPM, they are still quieter than the fans I use in my chassis for airflow. From 1920 x 1080 to 3840 x 2160, the thermals stay in check.

Overclocking the card allows the end user to get the last bit of performance out of it. That proved challenging, but not insurmountable. This card has a lower power limit than the Founders Edition card I looked at and no over voltage control, somewhat hampering a maximum overclock. Even so, the overclock I was able to reach was good enough to drive some more performance out of the card without having to resort to a higher voltage.

Ultimately, this kind of performance comes with a cost. At $709, the GTX 1080 Ti Armor 11G is by no means a bargain proposition. However, it is neither the most or least expensive card on the market. For the features and build quality, it fits the price point perfectly. You get a good looking card that offers great performance. To really stretch this card you need to run at a resolution of 2560 x 1440 or even 3840 x 2160. Running this card at 1920 x 1080 is a bit of overkill, even when you crank up the eye candy to 11. Currently, MSI is running a promotion that gives those who purchase the GTX 1080 Ti Armor 11G a pair of games. Both For Honor and Ghost Recon Wildlands Season Pass are there for the taking to sweeten the deal. It can handle them both with plenty of FPS performance!

 

Pros:

  • Good looks 
  • Free games
  • Performance
  • Military Class IV 
  • Armor 2X cooling
  • Low noise
  • Torx 2.0 fans

 

Cons:

  • Low power limit
  • No voltage control
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