EVGA GeForce GTX1080 Review
For all of the Nvidia fans out there you will be happy to note that I finally got around to checking out a GTX1080 for mining performance. For the past several years the AMD series cards have edged out Nvidia when it comes to mining cryptocurrencies, but with the latest generation Nvidia cards certain algorithms, such as Equihash which is used with Zcash mining, perform better with Nvidia cards. The two most popular models for mining at the moment are the GTX1070 and GTX1080 series.
The Nvidia cards offer an impressive hash per watt advantage over AMD when mining Zcash, and with the recent surge in Zcash’s price, I am sure we will be seeing a lot more interest going forward.
The card I am reviewing today is a retail model I picked up at my local Best Buy. Since the Nvidia cards retail for a lot more money that the AMD GPUs typically used for mining, I wanted to be sure I could get the results I have seen elsewhere with one card before plucking down close to around 3 grand for a 5x 1080 mining rig.
The EVGA GTX1080 cost about $600 including taxes, so it will need to mine about 3 ZEC to cover both its cost and the estimated power usage over its ROI period. I am putting it in my personal gaming workstation so that I can enjoy dual usage out of it, but for ROI purposes I will use the $600 figure.
If I were to build a dedicated rig with 5 or 6 of these, I would of course need to factor in all the other components as well. At the anticipated hash-rates and reported power usage, I am looking for an under 90 day payback period, but this of course can vary a lot depending on many factors outside of the cards actual mining performance. Once factor is the overall Zcash network hash-rate which has been steadily increasing, however the price seems to be keeping up as well so it will remain to be seen if in the current environment a 90-day ROI is possible.
I used to be pretty much a straight-up Nvidia guy before cryptocurrency mining came around, and EVGA was a brand I came to know and trust. They used to offer a Lifetime warranty on their products if you registered it within 30 days of purchase, so that was one of the reasons I began to like their products, along with the fact that I never needed to take advantage of the said warranty as their cards proved to be ultra reliable. Sad to say, but times change and they now only offer a 3-year standard warranty on the higher end cards. This is still pretty good and should not be taken as a negative since it is now pretty much standard among all manufacturers, but it is still somewhat of a personal disappointment.
Fast-forward to the present, this is also probably the reason I picked up the EVGA brand versus a couple of other GTX 1080’s that were available. I am sure they would all offer similar performance, so you can probably use the results to judge all similar models. I should point out that these cards also come in other variants, such as the Ti version, which while they do offer a slight improvement in performance they also come at a premium price.
As you can see in the images, the EVGA GTX 1080 is a well build card that also has a back-plate to help support its somewhat hefty weight. The card comes packed in a foam padded box and includes a dual 6-pin to 8-pin PCIe power adapter. There is a protective film on the card which can be seen in the images that needs to be removed prior to running the card. Additional items in the box include a full sized poster and a couple of decals that can be applied to your case to help show off the graphical power contained inside. An user’s manual and driver CD is also included, but in most cases you are better off downloading the latest driver from either the EVGA or Nvidia website.
Since we are mainly interested in this Video card from a mining perspective, at least for this review, I will note that it also requires an 8-pin PCIe power connector as shown on the left.
If you remember from previous discussions, the PCIe specification allows only 75 watts to be delivered through the 6-pin connector, so if the card requires even an additional 80 watts, manufacturers will opt for the 8-pin which can deliver up to an additional 150 watts to the card. These figures of course are on top of the 75 watts that can be theoretically delivered via the PCIe slot itself, so in this case we would have a maximum potential power draw of 225 watts.
More for the gaming interests, the card also has 3 Display Port, one HDMI, and even a DVI-D connector to uplink to a monitor.