EVGA 1080 FTW2 Review. We’re going to check out the EVGA 1080 FTW2 graphics card. We’ll find out how it performs in a number of game benchmarks at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k resolutions, as well as find out how hot and loud it gets under full load, and finally decide if it’s worth buying for the price. Inside the box we’ve got the card itself, a couple of 6 to 8 pin power adapters, and your usual manual and warranty info. Let’s take a quick look at the card itself, starting with the front.
There are two fans which are surrounded by LEDs, more on that later. On the back there’s a full backplate featuring the EVGA logo and bunch of ventilation holes. Along the top there are two 8 pin power connectors, and the SLI connectors. We can also see some of the large heatsink, and of course the EVGA Geforce GTX 1080 FTW2 text which is lit up by LEDs.
On the rear of the card we can see that it takes up two PCIe slots, and features three DisplayPort 1.4 outputs, HDMI 2.0 and DVI-D port. Towards the end of the card we can see the end of the heat sink and some more EVGA branding. The dimensions of the card are 26.6cm in length by 12.8cm in height, and it weighs 1.15KG. I haven’t had any issues with the card sagging at all in two different systems, so it’s not too big or heavy.
The lighting can be adjusted through EVGA’s Precision XOC software, and there are a number of effects including a static colour, pulse on and off, breathing, and rainbow. The speeds and colours of the effects can also be controlled. As for the specs like other 1080’s it’s got 2,560 CUDA cores, a 10GHz memory clock with 8GB of GDDR5X memory. It’s got a base clock speed of 1721MHz and a boost clock speed of 1860MHz. In most cases I found it running at around 1940MHz while gaming, and I was able to overclock it to 2063MHz, more on that in the benchmarks.
EVGA recommend a 500 watt power supply, and advise the card will draw 215 watts. The system that I’m testing in has an Intel 8700K overclocked to 5.1GHz. I’m using the best CPU that I can for gaming in order to reduce it being a limiting factor in the benchmarks. The system also has 16GB of DDR4 memory running at 2,666MHz, and is running Windows 10 with all updates to date applied along with Nvidia’s 388.71 drivers. With all that in mind let’s take a look at the benchmark results at stock speeds.
PUBG was tested with version 1.0, they claim to have made some performance improvements with this latest edition, however as usual keep in mind that this game is difficult to benchmark as it greatly depends on what’s going on in the game. With that said at 1080p we’re almost always averaging 144 FPS which is the artificial cap of the game, only at ultra do we drop below this. At 1440p we’re still getting close to the max frame rate at the lower setting levels, while max settings are still able to get us over 60 FPS at the 1% low which is decent. 4K drops down quite a bit at all settings levels, playing at medium or lower allowed us to sit at 60 FPS even for the 1% lows which is alright considering most 4K monitors only run at 60Hz anyway, and I personally play at very low so it’s fine for me.
Shadow of War at 1080p is getting really high frame rates, even at ultra we’re getting over 100 FPS on average. Things step down a little at 1440p, but otherwise the frame rates are still pretty good. At 4K the ultra settings are very close to the very high settings, while medium or lower are required to reach 60 FPS.
The Witcher 3 at 1080p is going pretty well, the ultra and high results would have been even higher with hairworks off but I left it on to try and stress the card a bit. At 1440p even at ultra settings we’re once again able to get above 60 FPS at the 1% lows. 4K still felt fairly smooth and played great, however you’ll probably want to drop the settings down a little from max for a better experience.
I’ve found Watchdogs 2 to be pretty resource intensive, but at 1080p it’s running extremely smooth, even at max settings we’re getting above 60 FPS on the 1% lows. At 1440p you could still play at ultra settings without any major problems, I don’t think you need a solid 60 FPS to enjoy this game. At 4K though it’s noticeably choppy at the higher settings levels, you’d probably want to play at high or lower settings here. Rise of the Tomb Raider at 1080p is getting over 144 FPS even at max settings, so no problems running at that resolution. At 1440p the results don’t drop down too far, we’re still averaging 100 FPS at max settings. Once again at 4K things drop down quite a bit in comparison to the previous resolutions, although it still appears that you can get 60 FPS at high or lower settings.
Ghost Recon is another a fairly resource intensive game, at 1080p it’s doing quite well even at max settings. Moving up to 1440p there’s a bit of a decrease but nothing too serious, when going up to 4k the frame rates drop down quite a lot, however at high or lower settings it’s not too terrible and is at least playable. DOOM at 1080p is getting above 120 FPS even for the 1% lows with ultra settings, so it’s running extremely smooth with no issues. When we move up to 1440p at ultra settings the average frame rate drops over 40 FPS, but the 1% lows only drop 20, so again it’s still nice and smooth at max settings. At 4K the results basically half, and to be honest this isn’t too much of a problem when you consider that at the moment 4K monitors are primarily available at 60Hz anyway, in any case even at max settings I still thought it ran well.
In Ashes of the Singularity there wasn’t really that much of a difference at the lower setting levels regardless of the resolution tested with, the frame rate drops down much more at the higher setting levels when we go to 1440p and 4k. As mentioned I was able to overclock the card by 120Mhz and get to 2063MHz without any problems, I’ve only tested the Witcher 3 at 4K to show the slight differences. As the overclocking potential will differ card to card, I haven’t spent the extra time to show how this compares in all of the games tested, as we can see here that it’s only making a small improvement. With the gaming benchmarks out of the way let’s check out some synthetic tests, here are the results of Heaven benchmark from Unigine at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k, and here are the results for Valley benchmark from Unigine, also at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k.
In 3DMark’s Fire strike we got a score of 19,843 while Time spy was able to reach 7,819, pretty nice. Alright so we can see the card is performing quite nicely, but how is it doing in terms of heat and sound output? With an ambient room temperature of 23 degrees celcius it was idling at 38c with both fans off, and while under full load it never passed 73c which I found pretty impressive, especially considering that the fans didn’t get very loud either.
The fans are asynchronous, meaning that they can spin up and down independently of each other, and under testing I found that the first one even start spinning until the GPU was 65c, while the second started at 72c. The fan curves can also be adjusted independently of each other through EVGA’s software, I left mine on default for this testing, so expect even cooler results if you’re happy with more noise. Here’s what the backplate looked like at idle using a thermal camera, we can see that it warms up quite a bit and gets fairly hot under full load. At idle, so while the fans on the card weren’t even moving, the entire system volume was around 46 decibels, and here’s what that sounded like. While under full load it only rose around half a decibel or so, and here’s what that sounded like.
So even under full load the card isn’t actually adding that much additional sound to the system. It’s important to note that I have a fair few other fans in the system, so these results are only useful for comparing against each other here. Additionally the temperatures and therefore sounds will increase depending on the temperature of the room it’s being run in, we’ve just entered summer here so I’m pretty happy with these results.
The card goes for around $850 AUD here in Australia or $600 USD from Newegg at the time of recording. I bought mine from Newegg, and even with shipping from the US it ended up being about $100 cheaper than buying here in Australia. While there are definitely cheaper 1080’s available, there are also more expensive ones and I mostly picked this one because I read it had decent cooling performance which I’ve proven to be true, and I just personally liked the look of it.
Overall I think it’s performing quite well while remaining fairly cool and quiet. We were able to run many games at 4K 60 FPS, although the settings need to be turned down a bit in most cases for a smooth experience. If you’re looking to get into 4K gaming while I’d say the 1080 is capable and definitely the minimum, I’d probably instead look at the 1080Ti. So what did you guys think of the EVGA 1080 FTW2 graphics card?
Be sure to let me know your thoughts down in the comments, and leave a share this post if you found it useful.