The march of third-party RTX 3080s continues. Each new graphics card brings with it new options and it can be hard to figure out which card is right for you. I’ve been going hands on with different third-party cards to find out exactly what sets them apart. Today, I’m looking at the Gigabyte RTX 3080 Eagle OC 10G. It’s factory overclocked and comes equipped with the company’s new Windforce 3X cooling system. Coming in at the same $699 price as the Founders Edition, should this be the RTX 3080 that finds its way onto your wishlist?
[widget path=”global/article/imagegallery” parameters=”albumSlug=gigabyte-rtx-3080-eagle-oc-10g&captions=true”]
Design and Features
The Eagle sets itself apart right from the get-go. It’s near in size to the RTX 3080 Founders Edition at 12.5 inches long and 5 inches wide, but it’s unassuming compared to most other third-party cards I’ve seen. I’m not a huge fan of its boxy design, preferring a bit more flash for such a pricey component, but if you like to keep things simple, this is a good option that won’t distract you mid-match. There’s a touch of customizable RGB above the center fan, but it’s subdued enough that you may not even notice it without a vertical mount.
Like every RTX 3080, the Eagle is a build-upon of Nvidia’s reference design (you can read my thoughts on the Nvidia RTX 3080 Founders Edition here). It features the same improved RTX system and doubled CUDA core count (8704 total) and 10GB of GDDR6X memory, clocked to 19GHz. Running on a 320-bit bus, that brings the total bandwidth up to an incredible 760 GB/s. Compared to the reference spec, it features a 45MHz overclock, bringing the out-of-box boost speed to 1755MHz. Don’t let that fool you, though: with Nvidia’s GPU Boost technology, the Eagle routinely clocks itself up to just over 1900MHz without any tweaks whatsoever, offering extra performance over the default clock might indicate. It’s also PCI-E 4.0 compatible, so you can easily pair it with either Ryzen or Intel builds.
The card comes bearing Gigabyte’s new Windforce 3X cooling system. Like many current RTX 3080 models, it features three fans over a large heatsink. Gigabyte’s solution uses two larger 90mm fans in the center and rear of the card and a smaller 80mm fan near the mount, each lined with ridges to guide airflow smoothly down onto the heatsink. The center fan spins in the opposite direction to decrease turbulence and better dissipate heat. The sink offers an impressive seven heat pipes and a large copper surface that makes direct contact with the GPU and video memory to draw heat away. Like the Founders Edition, Gigabyte isn’t trapping heat with a solid backplate and instead uses a screened back where it overhangs the PCB for easy passthrough.
In practice, this system works well. Throughout my testing, I recorded a peak temperature of 69C, which is two degrees lower than the RTX 3080 Founders Edition. The default fan curve is more aggressive than others I’ve encountered so far (approximately 1:1 between 60-70C), so I wasn’t able to lower it further without adding a significant amount of noise. At stock speeds, the fan is also rather quiet, blending nicely with the fans in my system like the RTX 3080 Founders Edition.
Gigabyte also claims to use high quality components to better support overclocking. While that level of component analysis is outside of our testing here at IGN, it’s clear that the card offers decent thermal headroom for overclocking, but also lacks advanced features like the third 8-pin power adapter found on the MSI RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio.
With the controversy surrounding instability with many launch RTX 3080s, I am happy to report that the sample I tested was stable throughout testing. I experienced a single crash in Metro Exodus; however, I believe this was related to a resolution scaling preset I forgot to disable within the Nvidia Control Panel. Once that setting was reset, the card ran smoothly at the expected level of performance for upwards of 50 benchmark passes across eleven additional games.
With the breakdown out of the way, let’s get to how it performed.
To test the Gigabyte RTX 3080 Eagle OC 10G, I ran it through our test suite, which includes a selection of synthetic and in-game benchmarks. All tests were performed before overclocks at stock speeds. Here’s how it performed.
[widget path=”global/article/imagegallery” parameters=”albumSlug=gigabyte-rtx-3080-eagle-oc-10g-benchmarks&captions=true”]
As I’ve explored in other reviews, here’s how the Eagle OC 10G compares to last generations RTX 2080 Super and the RTX 3080 Founders Edition.
Like any RTX 3080, the Gigabyte Eagle OC offers a massive leap in performance over the RTX 2080 Super. Compared to the RTX 3080 Founders Edition, the results are much more narrow, but the Eagle maintains a slight edge.
Taken as a whole, however, the results between each RTX 3080 have been very similar. This is a direct result of Nvidia’s GPU Boost which automatically overclocks each card to its thermal and power thresholds. Because of this, the competition between models is dulled somewhat, with much of the differentiating factors coming down to thermals, acoustics, and overclocking potential.
In this way, the Eagle is a competitive card but does oscillate back and forth between overperforming and underperforming the RTX 3080 Founders Edition. Bear in mind that the FE is itself an overclocked card and not a true reference model, but this does indicate that the performance is largely similar. Similarly, the RTX 3080 Eagle goes back and forth with the other RTX 3080s I’ve tested. If you’re willing to overclock, it’s likely the gaps I observed could be closed further if not eradicated altogether at the expense of some power draw.
The Gigabyte RTX 3080 Eagle OC 10G has an MSRP of $699, the same price as the Founders Edition.
This article was originally published by IGN.COM