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MSI GTX 1080 Ti Armor 11G Review

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MSI GTX 1080 Ti Armor 11G Testing:

Finding out just how much gaming FPS performance the MSI GTX 1080 Ti Armor 11G can deliver will consist of running it and comparison cards through the OverclockersClub.com suite of games and synthetic benchmarks. This will test the performance against many popular competitors. Comparisons will be made to cards of a range of capabilities to show where each card falls on the performance ladder. The games used are some of today's newest and most popular titles, which should be able to provide an idea of how the cards perform relative to each other.

The system specifications will remain the same throughout the testing. No adjustments will be made to the respective control panels during the testing to approximate the performance the end user can expect with a stock driver installation. I will be testing the cards at their stock speeds to see how they stack up and will test each one to find the maximum stable overclock. The cards will be placed in order from highest to lowest performance in each graph to show where they fall by comparison. Resolutions of 1920 x 1080, 2560 x 1440, and 3840 x 2160 will be used.

 

Testing Setup:

Comparison Video Cards:

 

Overclocking:

  • MSI GTX 1080 Ti Armor 11G: 2025MHz Core, 2970MHz Memory

When I looked at the GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition, I was hoping that the time between when the first 16nm FinFET silicon came off the presses and now that I would see a bit of improvement in the process to boost the average core clock speeds even higher. The short story is that the overall boost clock speed could go higher on this card, but the lower overall power limit held it back in the really intense scenes. Even with that said, MSI's GTX 1080 Ti Armor still came out ahead of the Founders Edition card most of the time when overclocked. As you can see in the screenshot below, in the GPUz chart the core clock speed is running at 1999MHz with the primary limitation being the power limit. This caused more consternation trying to find a good solid balance when overclocking the card. Balance being the key word.

By setting the cooling fan to the 100% mark, and then the power target to the 117% maximum, I started pushing the clock speeds up. The advertised factory boost clock of 1645MHz is well below the actual running clock speeds on this card from MSI. The actual boost clock speeds are in the mid 1800MHz to low 1900MHz without any manipulation of the core clock speeds. This offers a huge upside in performance when comparing to the Founders Edition card from NVIDIA. The Pascal cards I have looked at usually will run with an increase of +100MHz with a bit of voltage tuning, but setting a +100MHz increase just caused the gaming performance to fall off tremendously. Backing off and reseting the factory clocks did not resolve this performance drop. Only a reboot of the system would reset the driver and allow performance to return back to normal. Backing off to a +50MHz clock speed showed a performance increase, so I moved up from there. Finally, I ended up at a maximum boost of +71MHz. Not bad when it gives me a final max boost core clock of 2025MHz under a light graphics load. More intense loads drop the core clock speed down depending on the thermals and power limits.

Overclocking of the 11GB of high speed G5X memory was fairly easy, as the clock speed just kept scaling. The end result was a +436MHz for a final memory memory speed of 2970MHz, or an 11880MHz effective data rate. Pretty damn stout as we have seen the latest G5X scaling quite well. MSI left a little meat on the bone for the enthusiast on the core and a bit of gravy on the memory to add to the impressive factory boost clock speeds.


 

Maximum Clock Speeds:

Testing for the maximum clock speed consisted of looping Unigine Heaven 4.0 for thirty minutes each to see where the clock speeds failed when pushed. If the clock speed adjustment failed, then the clock speeds and tests were re-run until they passed a full hour of testing.

 
  • Gaming Tests:
  1. Fallout 4
  2. Battlefield 1
  3. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Wildlands
  4. Tom Clancy's The Division
  5. Hitman (2016)
  6. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  7. Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation
  8. DOOM (2016)
  9. Watch Dogs 2
  10. For Honor
  11. 3DMark
  12. VRMark

 

  • Usage:

  1. Temperatures
  2. Power Consumption



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