I'm considering upgrading from my EVGA 1080 Ti SC2 Hybrid, which has served me well for almost two years. It runs cool and quiet, and, for those reasons, I'm only interested in GPUs with a Closed Loop Cooler (CLC).
I have no interest in building a full custom loop, and have already discarded the options from MSI (Sea Hawk X - too ugly), Asus (ROG Matrix - not sold on their integrated solution) and the other EVGA alternatives (Kingpin - too expensive - and XC Hybrid - not worth it compared to the FTW3 Ultra and also not available where I live).
That leaves us with the aforementioned Aorus Xtreme Waterforce and EVGA FTW3 Ultra Hybrid. Here's my list of pros and cons between the two:
Aorus Xtreme Waterforce
+ Slightly higher boost clock - 1770Mhz (same as the EVGA Kingpin), versus 1755Mhz on the FTW3 Ultra. Allegedly, both have binned chips, but a higher boost clock is usually indicative of better overclocking performance;
+ Bigger radiator - 240mm (with two 120mm RGB fans), versus 120mm (with one regular fan) on the FTW3 Ultra;
+ More HDMI outputs - 3 in total, versus 1 on the FTW3 Ultra. Useful to me, since my PC is connected to a TV through an AVR, and running a single HDMI cable through the AVR can cause issues with some non-standard resolutions and refresh rates not being supported by that device. That could potentially be solved by connecting one HDMI directly to the TV, and another to the AVR, for multi-channel audio;
+ Slightly cheaper than the FTW3 Ultra.
- A bigger radiator means that I'd need a new case. My NZXT S340 Elite only has room for one 280mm rad, and that space is taken by a Corsair H110i. I was planning on purchasing a new case along with a new processor and a new 360mm cooler - but only next year, when Intel's upcoming line of CPUs is likely going to be released;
- Can take up to 30 business days to be delivered.
The Waterforce has an all-around cooling solution that cools not only the GPU, but also the VRAM and MOSFET. The FTW3 Ultra, on the other hand, offers a hybrid solution, with liquid only cooling the GPU itself, and a fan for the other components. I'm not sure which one is better. An all-around solution sounds good in paper, but can cause the GPU to become warmer due to the shared cooling. EVGA's blower fan is barely used on my 1080 Ti, in comparison, as VRAM and MOSFET can handle more heat than the GPU.
EVGA FTW3 Ultra
+ Already familiar with the brand, know what to expect from the product (never owned anything from Gigabyte before);
+ Replacing my current GPU is a matter of unplugging the old card and plugging in the new one, no other changes required;
+ Readily available.
- The opposite of the Waterforce's pros.
May be able to use an "unofficial" BIOS with it? The FTW3 Ultra allows for switching between two BIOS. Not sure if that means being able to use [the BIOS designed to increase the power limit in Turing GPUs](https://xdevs.com/guide/2080ti_kpe/
), or if that's limited to the Kingpin variant;
Again, not sure which card would end up running cooler: the Waterforce, with its bigger rad, but all-in-one cooling system; or the FTW3 Ultra, with its smaller rad, but hybrid solution of CLC plus blower fan.
What do you guys think? I'm all ears (or, in this case, eyes).