There Will Be No Reference GTX 1080 from Nvidia, But Only the $700 “Founder’s Edition”
Recently, Nvidia revealed its next generation Pascal based GTX 1000-series graphics cards. During the unveiling event, CEO Jen-Hsun Huang indicated that the flagship GTX 1080 would ship in a few different versions, with the “reference” card priced at an affordable $599 MSRP, while the “Founder`s Edition” will retail for around $699. Based upon the stage presentation, the latter also boasts a mark of higher overclocking support.
At this point, you may be wondering about the difference between the reference and Founder`s Edition of the GTX 1080. Well, generally speaking, they are basically the same, with Nvidia having only replaced one name with the other. Which brings us to the conclusion that there won`t exist two GTX 1080 models, but only the “Founder’s Edition.”
To make things clear, Nvidia hasn`t made any cheaper card than the $700 edition, which ships first. The chip maker is making one official GTX 1080 and one GTX 1070 model. Moreover, the “Founder`s Edition” is neither specially binned nor pre-overclocked.
Nvidia has opted for a new cooler design for its Founder`s Edition–which is in fact the “reference cooler.” This new cooler is somewhat identical to the previous reference models, while also featuring a VRM blower fan, a large alloy heatsink under the shroud, and vapor chamber cooling, as well. Moreover, the card isn`t “limited edition,” meaning it will run production throughout the life of the product line.
Moving to the pricing, the GTX 1080`s $600 MSRP will allow vendors like MSI, EVGA, ASUS, and others to build cards cheaper than Nvidia`s own reference, or “Founder`s Edition.” They will be able to customize cards with their own coolers on them, and overclock differently as they`ve done with previous generations.
To conclude, there will be just one GTX 1080 card from Nvidia, and that is the “Founder`s Edition” which will be sold directly by the manufacturer. Though shortly after the May 27th launch date, AIB partners will launch their own cheaper custom versions.