On June 2nd, 2021 NVIDIA launched its GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Founders Edition video card. A day later, add-in-board partner video cards released their video cards. It’s now time for the AIBs (add-in-board partners) to have their turn, and in that vein, we have a GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3080 Ti EAGLE 12G GV-N308TEAGLE-12GD video card to review today.
This is our first retail custom video card reviewed here based on the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti GPU. When we say this is a retail card, we mean it, we paid for shipping and borrowed from a generous forum user. This person bought this video card from winning a Newegg shuffle for, get this, $1,195! That’s right, UNDER MSRP of $1,199. We want to give this person a big thank you for lending us your card to put through the wringer, and we appreciate it. It doesn’t get more retail than this. We are excited to see what this GIGABYTE variant offers.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti
First a little bit about the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti itself. NVIDIA launched it on June 3rd, 2021, with an MSRP of $1,199. It is important to keep in mind that NVIDIA is not a manufacturer for the add-in-board partners, only the Founders Edition, so manufacturers like GIGABYTE still decide their own MSRPs.
The GeForce RTX 3080 Ti is built on Samsung 8nm GA102-225 die based on the NVIDIA Ampere architecture. It consists of 80 SMs, 10,240 CUDA cores, 112 ROPs, 320 TMUs, 80 RT Cores (2nd gen), and 320 Tensor Cores (3rd gen). The base clock is 1365MHz and the boost clock is 1665MHz. It has 12GB of GDDR6X memory at 19GHz on a 384-bit memory bus providing 912GB/s of memory bandwidth. TDP is 350W.
GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3080 Ti EAGLE 12G
Today’s video card review is a most interesting one, instead of reviewing the top-of-the-line SKU or model, we are actually reviewing the lowest-end SKU/model. When it comes down to it, any SKU or model you can get your hands on is good news. The lower-end SKUs typically are more prevalent, as the higher-end SKUs have a higher demand. These base SKUs, we’ll call them, can still be worth it because oftentimes, like is the case with our video card, it has a custom build with custom cooling and GIGABYTE features.
The GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3080 Ti EAGLE 12G sits at the base, and right above it is an “OC” model that has a factory overclock, but the same cooler. Ours does not have a factory overclock, it operates at the NVIDIA reference boost clock of 1665MHz. The OC version of the EAGLE runs at 1680MHz factory overclock, not really a huge difference. Above the EAGLE is the VISION, then the GAMING, then the MASTER, then the XTREME, and finally the water-cooled versions.
Since the clock speed and specifications are the same as the Founders Edition, let’s get to what separates this card from it. That comes down to the build and design. GIGABYTE has customized the PCB hardware components and given the video card its own heatsink and fan design, along with RGB Fusion 2.0.
This video card features GIGABYTE’s WINDFORCE 3X cooling system with alternate spinning fans. There are three fans total, two of them are 90mm and one is 80mm. The fans have a unique fan blade design. Airflow is split by the triangular fan edge and guided smoothly through 3D stripe curves on the fan surface.
The fans also spin in the opposite direction of the fan next to each other to reduce the turbulence of adjacent fans and increase air pressure. A Graphene nano lubricant is used to extend the life of the fans by 2.1x, which is close to the life of double ball bearings but with a quieter sound profile. The fans also support GIGABYTE 3D Active Fan which will keep the fans off when the GPU is in a low load or low power game.
The heatsink consists of seven composite copper heat pipes and a large copper plate directly touches the GPU. This copper plate not only touches the GPU but also the VRAM to cool them. GIGABYTE Screen Cooling is used to allow air flow to pass through cooling the heatpipes further and allowing better heat dissipation. There is a full metal back plate on this video card. It also acts as extra structure to make the video card less bendy and more solid. The back plate is raised and vented so heat won’t get trapped.
GIGABYTE is using better power phase designs to allow MOSFETs to operate at lower temperatures. There is over-temperature protection built-in and load balancing for each MOSFET. GIGABYTE’s Ultra Durable certified chokes and capacitors are also being used to provide longer life. The PCB design uses a fully automated production process to ensure top quality and eliminates sharp protrusions of the solder connectors.
GIGABYTE has also infused its RGB Fusion 2.0 into the video card. It has 16.7M color customizable options and many lighting effects. You can also synchronize lighting with other AORUS devices. The software AORUS Engine is supported to control overclocking abilities, including Voltage, and the RGB configuration.
That brings us to the size of the video card, it is much larger than the Founders Edition. It measures 12.5 inches in length, 5 inches in width, and is 2.7 slots high or 2.2 inches. For power it requires two 8-pin power connectors and GIGABYTE recommends a 750W PSU. For connectivity, it has three DisplayPorts 1.4a and 2 HDMI 2.1 ports. That’s quite a bit of connectivity.