Galax GeForce GTX 1080 HOF 8GB (Hall of Fame) Review – The White Beast!
Galax GTX 1080 HOF Packaging and Closer Look
The Galax GTX 1080 HOF is cradled inside a nice white box; it’s not as huge compared to other GTX 1070/1080’s box from other companies, but it’s a little bit longer. I find the art box of their Hall of Fame editions better compared to their non- HOF. The package includes two dual 6-pin to 8-pin PCIe adapter, a user manual and some reading materials, a “do not disturb signage”, driver CD and a FlexHold HOF support stick.
The GTX 1080 HOF is huge and heavy, but it looks great specially the front cooler shroud. Too bad they didn’t place any RGB lighting effect on that section. But even without any RGBs, it still looks great. The front cooler shroud is made of primarily plastic while the backplate is all aluminum with a nice brushed surface texture. The backplate do get hot specially when in full load, thus there is a caution sign.
The card measures 317mm x 137mm x 55mm without its bracket, meanwhile it will measure to 330mm x 152mm x 55mm with its bracket. It will also occupy 2.5 slots, so make sure you have enough room in your system. The Galax GTX 1080 HOF is also quite heavy just like the Zotac GTX 1070 AMP! Extreme we reviewed before. This is because of its full armor protection; not only you get a triple fan setup with aluminum backplate, but there is also a sheet of aluminum that acts as a heatsink for other internal components like the VRAM and MOSFETs. Galax does have a solution to prevent the card from sagging.
The output ports are pretty much standard. You get a DVI-D port, an HDMI port, and three DisplayPorts 1.4. The GTX 1080 HOF supports multi-monitor setup, up to 4 monitors connected simultaneously. It also supports a maximum digital resolution of 4096×2160 and maximum VGA resolution of 2048×1536. You might also notice the button like or switch sticking-out on the output port section. At first I thought it was an instant OC switch, but that button is actually sort of an instant boost for the fans. Pressing that button will instantly increase the RPM of the fans to 3000+ RPM, thus pushing more air into the aluminum fin stacks and heatsink and cooling the components faster. However, turning on that fan boost does result into a loud and very audible fan noise.
If you are having sagging issues due to the card’s weight, Galax has a solution for it. The package includes a FlexHold HOF support stick that will help support the cards weight and prevent it from sagging. There are mounting holes on the front side and rear side of the GTX 1080 HOF. Just choose where you want to place the support stick. The stick is actually retractable depending on the size of your case. However, for smaller or compact cases, the support stick might not fit inside. I wasn’t able to install the support stick on my In Win 805 case. It could fit in, but I have to remove the drive cage which is not an option since I have hard drives installed. I think it would be better if Galax made the shortest length of the support stick a little shorter, it’s retractable anyway.
Removing the front cooler shroud was very easy and if you take a closer look, there are a total of 5 heatpipes transporting the heat from the copper base to the two large aluminum fin stacks. Also, most of the weight of the Galax 1080 HOF is obviously coming from the cooler. My only caveat with the cooler is that the fans don’t stop even when the load is light or no load at all. But the fans do run very silent even in full load.
Most of the components on the PCB are cooled by a large aluminum sheet, including the VRAMs and MOSFETs. This is very important actually. I’m not sure if you have read the news that some GTX 1080/1070 died because of overheating issues specially on the MOSFET or VRM section. That’s why it’s important to cool not only the GPU die and the VRAM, but the rest of heat generating components as well.
Here’s how the under-side of the backplate and aluminum sheet looks like. The backplate doesn’t make any contacts on the PCB as it only supports and protect the back side of the card. But you can see some thermal pads on the aluminum sheet that absorbs the heat and cool the other components on the PCB.
The PCB of the Galax GTX 1080 HOF is all white as well. It would actually look silly if only the cooler and backplate were light colors. The Galax 1080 HOF sports a total of 15 (12+3) digital power phase, a 12 layer PCB layout, and Galax added some anti-noise inductance and ultra-low ESR feature on the card. I don’t hear any coil-whine from this sample as well.
Here’s a closer look at the GP104-400-A1 die that is the heart of the Galax GTX 1080 HOF. The GP104 is produced on a 16nm fabrication process by TSMC. It has a die size of 314 mm² and a transistor count of 7.1 billion. Galax is using Micron’s GDDR5X MT58K256M32JA-100 6JA77 D9TXS memory chips. There are a total of 8 GDDR5X chips for 8GB of memory. These memory chips are rated to run at a speed of 10Gbps.
Nest page let’s take a look at Galax’s XtremeTuner Plus graphics card utility.