The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 is the gold standard of graphics cards (update: as of September 2018 that is now the GTX 2080). Since the founder’s edition debuted, NVIDIA’s numerous partners have released different models that are unique in their own ways. Though they will give identical performance, there are still some variations in the different available cards. Choosing the best graphics card to use can become an issue as a result.  To help minimize the headache for you, we are going to look at the best GTX 1080 graphic cards as well as the reasons we consider them to be.

1. Best for Overclocking: Zotac GeForce GTX 1080 AMP Extreme

ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 AMP! Edition, ZT-P10800C-10P, 8GB GDDR5X Ice Storm...
490 Reviews
ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 AMP! Edition, ZT-P10800C-10P, 8GB GDDR5X Ice Storm...
  • New pascal architecture
  • 8gb 256-bit gddr6, 15.5gbps;
  • Virtual reality ready
  • 4k gaming

Zotac is an established name in the market and has lots of impressive graphic cards and this is certainly one of them. It is another expensive option in this roundup but it will impress you for so many reasons. Firstly, the card is definitely one of the fastest models of the GTX 1080 even though it is large and heavy. It is also always able to maintain good temperature no matter the load it is carrying. The firestorm tuning software is another feature of the card that will impress you.

  • Pros
  • Incredible overclocking potentials
  • The cooling system is very efficient
  • Cons
  • The size can be an issue for some cases
  • You will pay a hefty sum

2. Best Cooling System: EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC Gaming

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 GAMING ACX 3.0, 8GB GDDR5X, LED, DX12 OSD Support (PXOC)...
1,447 Reviews
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 GAMING ACX 3.0, 8GB GDDR5X, LED, DX12 OSD Support (PXOC)...
  • Real Base Clock: 1607 MHz / Real Boost Clock: 1733 MHz; Memory Detail: 8192MB...
  • Run Longer, Play Longer with EVGA "ACX 3.0" Cooling
  • DX12 OSD Support with EVGA Precision XOC

This is another wonderful GTX 1080 graphic card from EVGA that will blow you away. There are so many good things about this card that picking out the most significant benefit can be very hard. We can however, single out the cooling system as the most impressive of the numerous qualities. It has finned aluminum heatsink and MMCP cooling backplate that combine to ensure efficient cooling of the card. Other things that form parts of the cooling system include SHP 3.0 straight heat pipes and dual fan with 0db cooling. The biggest drawback for this GTX 1080 is honestly the software. The EVGA PrecisionXOC  can be fairly difficult to use compared to other software systems - making it harder to adjust your settings.  

On a budget? Read: Best GTX 1050 Ti

  • Pros
  • Best cooling system
  • Great for overclocking
  • Cons
  • The software EVGA PrecisionXOC is not easy to use

3. Best Budget Option: MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Gaming X

MSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1080 8GB GDDR5X SLI DirectX 12 VR Ready Graphics Card...
804 Reviews
MSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1080 8GB GDDR5X SLI DirectX 12 VR Ready Graphics Card...
  • Twin Frozr VI Thermal Design
  • Airflow Control Technology
  • TORX Fan 2.0: Supremely Silent
  • LED Control

While any GTX 1080 can hardly be considered a "budget buy" the MSI Gaming X is as close as you can get at a paltry $489.99. This card may not have the overclocking potentials of the Asus GeForce GTX 1080 8GB Rog Strix but it still offers impressive performance and manages to stay quiet while working so hard. It is a high performing budget GTX 1080 for those that want something good at a bargain price. If you're not looking to overclock often and don't want to go over budget, the Gaming X is the best GTX 1080 for you. 

Read: Best GPU for Mining

  • Pros
  • Cheapest GTX 1080
  •  It offers quiet and efficient cooling when it is not overclocked
  • Cons
  • Not the best card to overclock with

4. Best for VR Gaming: Asus GeForce GTX 1080 8GB Rog Strix

ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8GB ROG Strix Graphics Card (STRIX-GTX1080-8G-GAMING)
1,069 Reviews
ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8GB ROG Strix Graphics Card (STRIX-GTX1080-8G-GAMING)
  • 1733 MHz Boost Clock with Super Alloy Power II Delivery
  • Aura RGB Lighting on both shroud and back plate
  • New ASUS Fan Connect provides dual 4-pin GPU-controlled PWM fan headers
  • Direct CU III with 0dB fan technology and patented wing-blade fans

Asus is a big name in the market and this graphic card lives up to the expectation of what you will expect from the Taiwan tech giants. The Rog Strix has 2 VR-ready HDMI ports that that make it easy to enjoy immersive VR experiences. The first impressive thing you may notice about this card is the 3-fan setup. The MaxContact technology and well-designed heatsink also ensure that heat is properly dissipated from the GPU.

  • Pros
  • VR-ready HDMI ports
  • Great for overclocking3 fan cooling system
  • Cons
  • The fans can be very loud when working at high speed

5. Best Customer Support: EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW GAMING ACX

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW GAMING ACX 3.0, 8GB GDDR5X, RGB LED, 10CM FAN, 10...
1,413 Reviews
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW GAMING ACX 3.0, 8GB GDDR5X, RGB LED, 10CM FAN, 10...
  • Real Base Clock: 1721 MHz / Real Boost Clock: 1860 MHz; Memory Detail: 8192MB...
  • Completely adjustable RGB LED using EVGA Precision XOC;VR Ready
  • What you see is what you get! – No additional software required to achieve...
  • Double BIOS, Refer user manual below. Operating System Support : Windows 10...

Another strong EVGA entry in the GTX 1080 series. The company is also well-known for their customer support and the flexibility for warranty. Another interesting thing is that it can be relatively quiet even when it is running at top speed. In terms of design, this card is well-built and its moderate dimension and dual-slot design means that it can fit into most computer cases. It offers impressive performance but there may be some issues of overheating, especially in smaller cases which is why we'd recommend the EVGA 1080 SC. 

  • Pros
  • Incredible customer support
  • The clock rate is impressive
  • Cons
  • It may have overheating issues
  • Power consumption can be high

6. Best Software: Gigabyte GTX 1080 Xtreme Gaming

Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1080 Xtreme Gaming Premium Pack 8G Rev 2.0 Graphic Card...
1,004 Reviews
Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1080 Xtreme Gaming Premium Pack 8G Rev 2.0 Graphic Card...
  • New pascal architecture
  • 8GB 256-bit GDDR5X
  • Virtual reality ready
  • Wind force stack 3x 100mm fan cooling system

Though this card from Gigabyte may cost a little more than most cards in this list, it is still worth the extra money if when you consider the history of the company and the performance of their cards. There are some impressive things about this card but we believe the engine's software is one of the things that may attract you to this model of the GTX 1080 GPU. You can get good performance and impressive cooling power from the card but they can be improved through the use of the Extreme engine software.

  • Pros
  • Gigabyte’s Xtreme Engine software is 2nd to none
  • Decent and efficient cooling system
  • Cons
  • Relatively pricey

How to Buy the Best GTX 1080

The GTX 1080 is the best series of graphics cards behind the GTX 2080s. They are an excellent GPU for gaming that offers the right speed for the most immersive gaming experiences. One of the biggest reasons for buying a GTX 1080 is for their overclocking capabilities. 

Like other graphic cards in the market, the GeForce GTX 1080 card comes in different models and there are variations in each of the models. Getting the right card can be tough unless you are ready to research extensively. To help you to make the right choice, we have done the bulk of the research and what you will find here are some of the best models of the card.

Qualities to Look Out For

When looking for the right GTX 1080, there are some factors you need to consider. Before we discuss these properties it is important to state here that the performance you will get from the card is quite identical. Deciding on the particular model to buy is generally not as important as deciding to buy a GTX 1080 card at the first place. It is necessary, however, to consider the factors below:

Manufacturer

Different manufacturers have different ways of finishing their products so there will be slight difference in how the product will perform in certain categories. Considering the fact that manufacturers approach customer service differently, you may also want to buy graphic card from your favorite manufacturers.

Cooling system

The cooling system of the different graphic cards discussed above are different in so many ways and this will play an important role in the overall performance of the card. It is another important factor you must consider.

Compatibility

You also need to consider compatibility issues when choosing a graphic card. You need to ensure that the card will fit into your computer case. You also need to make sure that your motherboard has the necessary PCle to support the card.

How We Made Our Picks

In picking the graphic cards featured in this round-up, we considered all the factors discussed above. We researched extensively to find out what each particular card is best at to ensure that they will meet your specific need. We also checked to ensure that all the cards featured here have good reviews in major online market places. What you will find here are the best GeForce GTX 1080 graphic cards in the market.

 

About the Author Anton

Anton is the founder of 25pc. He is a huge gaming tech nerd and loves helping people save money. To find out more about him read his about me page.