Aug 10, 2022
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Here it comes The first of the X cards, and yes, it performs just as well as I had hoped. However, the card that I tested isn't even EVGA's quickest, as there's an even faster version called the FTW3 and an even faster one called the Black Edition. Because it's $50 more expensive than the Founder's Edition but offers the same performance as the Founder's Edition, we might ask ourselves whether the SC2 with iCX model ($750) is a good value for the extra money.
The cooling system and the resulting clock speeds are the most significant differences between the Founder's Edition (FE) and the SC2 card from EVGA. SC2 incorporates iCX technology, which EVGA considers a workaround for a problem they experienced with their prior generation of cards. Tl;dr: EVGA's prior GPUs had insufficient cooling on their VRM modules, leading to the development of X, which is an array of temperature sensors scattered across the card rather than just a single temperature sensor as is usually the case Totaling ten sensors, the iCX from EVGA keeps track of the graphics processing unit (GPU), the GPU's back, the power controllers, and the RAM modules.
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There are two fans (one for GPU and one for memory modules and power) that can be controlled individually based on the data from the PrecisionX programme. With the addition of a more effective heatpipe design for the VRMs, this card is a real surprise. The Founder's Edition ran at an average of 84C, even after I overclocked it. Founder's Edition cards use a "blower style" cooler, whereas SC2 cards use multiple fans to move air inside the chassis, which is a significant difference. PrecisionXOC displays iCX sensors.
Generally speaking, the card's aggressive cooling helps it to run faster than the Founder's Edition. SC2 has a 1,670MHz boost clock compared to the Founder's Edition's 1,582MHz, whereas the SC2 has a 1,566.6MHz base clock, as opposed to the Founder's Edition's 1480MHz. Keep in mind that before I even overclocked the GTX 1080 Ti SC2 with iCX, I saw it exceed 1,920 MHz under high benchmarking stress, so as always, the specs of these cards are somewhat irrelevant once Nvidia's GPU Boost 3.0 goes to work.
But EVGA restored it because the existing cooling was adequate. On top of that, the card has a cool-lit logo that can be set to either static or breathing RGB illumination. Looking behind the card, you can see some blue LEDs in the fans.
Using EVGA's Precision XOC tool, I raised the clock speed of the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti SC2 using iCX. It doesn't matter because I kept the power restriction at 100% and the temp target at 84 degrees C, which prevented the card from ever reaching that temperature. 100 MHz then raised the GPU clock speed to 2025 MHz in increments of 25 MHz. I increased the memory clock speed by 300 or 100 MHz until it reached 5805 MHz. Throughout testing, GPU temps ranged between 58 to 72, with fans running on auto-pilot hardly ever accelerating. This is only a bit better than what I could achieve with the Founder's Edition card, but since the card went up to 1987MHz, it's pretty much a tie. There aren't many surprises here because most of these top-tier GeForce cards can, in my experience, reach speeds that are fairly near to or even slightly higher than 2GHz. Thanks to the iCX sensors, one fascinating feature of PrecisionXOC is that you can view power and memory temperatures in addition to GPU temperature.