Date: Monday , June 26, 2017
Poseidon, the god of the sea, and also a unique video card series from ASUS. We’ve got the brand new ASUS ROG Poseidon GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Platinum Edition (ROG-POSEIDON-GTX1080TI-P11G-GAMING) video card on the test bench. This video card is a hybrid video card, capable of running on its own using air cooling, and also capable of piping through liquid cooling. Under liquid cooling you can expect cooler temperatures, silent operation, and oh yes, potentially higher overclocking. None of this comes cheap of course, ASUS MSRP is $819.99, wow.
There is a lot to explore with this video card, we must compare the "air" operation and overclock to the "liquid" overclock and thermals and the advantages liquid provides over air. To do this means a lot of testing, first on air, then on liquid in every way possible. This is a big task and we need the proper amount of time and focus to give this video card its fair shake. To that end we are splitting up the review into two parts.
The first part today is going to focus on the specifications and the gameplay experience the video card delivers out-of-the-box at 4K on air cooling. We are then going to overclock this video card as high as possible, on air cooling. We will show you the performance of a reference GTX 1080 Ti compared to this video card at its out-of-box performance on air, and its overclocked performance on air. This entire first evaluation is to get the "on air" experience so we have something to compare with once we hook up liquid cooling.
In the second evaluation we will hook up liquid cooling and take this video card to the max overclocking as much as possible on liquid cooling. We will also compare all testing results with our data from this evaluation. We will test all the thermals on liquid and compare them to the "air" numbers. By splitting this up into two reviews we can focus on every aspect of this video card and properly compare "air" versus "liquid" cooling on the video card so you will know the full advantages for your gaming experience.
Browsing through ASUS’ webpage you will find several different flavors of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti based video cards to fit different roles and price points. There is a reference design GTX 1080 Ti, and an ASUS designed Turbo version which has a low factory OC mode. Moving up the scale is the STRIX version in two different flavors with different levels of factory overclock.
If you want the highest overclockable GeForce GTX 1080 Ti video card on air only you want to look for the STRIX version. In fact, it’s quite possible the STRIX will manually overclock better on air cooling than the Poseidon will on air. The STRIX is built for the best air operation. At the top of the pile is the ROG-POSEIDON Platinum Edition GTX 1080 Ti. This is the card we are evaluating today. While it can operate just fine on air, and overclock on air, it’s built for running liquid through its guts for a superior GTX 1080 Ti experience.
One interesting feature about the ASUS ROG Poseidon GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Platinum Edition is that out of all the GTX 1080 Ti’s this one from ASUS does have the highest factory overclock.
There are two modes for the factory overclock, the "Gaming" mode and the "OC" mode. By default, out of the box, the video card runs in the "Gaming" mode. In that mode the base clock is 1595MHz and the boost clock is 1708MHz. There is a software selectable "OC" mode once you install GPU Tweak II which shifts the overclock up to 1620MHz base clock and 1733MHz boost clock. In our testing, this "OC" mode may work best under liquid cooling, while the "Gaming" mode is fine for air cooling, as our tests will show later on. For comparison a reference GTX 1080 Ti runs at a base clock of 1481MHz and a boost of 1582MHz.
For our testing we are going to test the video card at its out-of-box default "Gaming" configuration since that is what you will experience installing this video card. We will of course manually overclock.
The ASUS ROG Poseidon GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Platinum Edition uses ASUS’ next-gen DirectCU H20 hybrid cooling and Wing-Blade 0dB fan design. For liquid cooling hookups the cooler supports standard G1/4-inch terminal block. The die-cast heat dissipation plate fully covers components for cooling. The plate combines a vapor chamber and water channel design. Compared to the previous generation this next-generation has had its in-channel water-flow rate increased by 22%. A heat-pipe heatsink sits atop the plate and is enlarged for even more dissipation area. This has been increased by 40% since the last generation for better heat dissipation. The fans have IP5X certification so that the fan bearings are protected from dust ingress. The wing-blade design ensures higher static air pressure and quieter operation.
The video card uses ASUS’ Super Alloy Power II Auto-Extreme Technology. These components greatly enhance efficiency, reduce power loss and have better thermal properties. This video card uses 10+2 Phase configuration. There are two 8-pin power connectors for stable power delivery in overclocking.
Last but not least this video card supports ASUS Aura Sync RGB lighting. The lighting is on both the shroud and the backplate. On the shroud is a mirror-reflection design which gives the illusion of looking into infinity. Different effects and millions of colors can be selected via software.
There are two DisplayPort and two HDMI ports on board with DVI. The video card length is 11.73" inches long.