Asus has teamed up with famend fan producer Noctua as soon as once more to make a big brown and tan graphics card that ought to pump out frames whereas staying comparatively quiet. The 2 firms’ final collaboration was an RTX 3070, however now they’ve introduced a decidedly fanatic tier card: an RTX 3080.

Based on Noctua’s press release, the cardboard options two 120mm followers and a customized heatsink, making it “the quietest air-cooled graphics card in its class.” Aside from the flowery cooling, it’s a comparatively commonplace Asus graphics card with two BIOS profiles, a backplate, and 10GB of GDDR6X RAM. There are 3080s with 12GB of reminiscence, however that doesn’t appear to be an choice with the Noctua heatsink.

The cardboard will go on sale “starting early June 2022,” although whether or not you’ll be capable to purchase one is one other query solely, with chip shortages and inventory wonkiness nonetheless plaguing the GPU market. In an ideal world, you wouldn’t must compete with crypto miners for the cardboard — like most Nvidia playing cards these days it’s a Lite Hash Price mannequin with lowering mining capabilities. Although, provided that hackers have found a way around that, the bets could also be off there.

There’s a technique the cardboard isn’t fairly commonplace: it’s huge. For one, Noctua’s “custom-engineered unified heatsink” is thicker than Asus’ commonplace one, based on a webpage breaking down its efficiency versus common playing cards. It’s additionally received literal desktop followers in it: Noctua’s NF-A12x25 PWM model. This results in it being round 3.25-inches thick, based on Asus’ spec sheet, virtually an inch thicker than the company’s triple-fan Strix 3080. Which means it’ll take up a whopping 4 slots in your PC — and nonetheless have a tiny little bit of overhang into the subsequent slot’s house.

You need to be down with the thickness if you would like this card.
Picture: Asus

For some folks, that might not be value it. Certainly one of my co-workers, for instance, looks like there must be a extra fascinating or higher resolution than simply sticking some full-size followers on it and calling it a day. He in all probability wouldn’t be notably impressed trying on the efficiency specs both; the Noctua 3080 has an “OC Mode” enhance clock of 1815MHz and a “Gaming Mode” enhance clock of 1785MHz. That’s just about the identical as Asus’ commonplace 3080s, however the Strix model places out considerably greater numbers: 1935MHz in OC Mode and 1905MHz in Gaming Mode.

Noctua isn’t normally about redline efficiency, although; it’s about good efficiency whereas making as little noise as attainable. Noctua says that “at typical auto-speed fan settings” its 3080 will probably be 4.5 dB(A) quieter than Asus’ TUF-series mannequin, whereas working 3 levels Celsius cooler on the GPU cores. When the cooler’s working all out, it says, Noctua’s will probably be 1 diploma Celsius cooler and eight.6 dB(A) quieter.


Noctua’s shade scheme is an acquired style, however just about anyone can respect the corporate’s cooling experience.
Picture: Asus

For individuals who need efficiency however don’t wish to hear it (hello, it’s me), it may very well be choice — or a minimum of that was the consensus with the 3070 version of this card. We’ll seemingly have to attend till impartial testers get their fingers on it to see if Noctua’s cooler can keep quiet whereas attempting to comprise the 3080’s vital energy.

As for pricing, Noctua’s press launch says to “contact your local ASUS representative for further information on pricing,” and Asus’ web site doesn’t have pricing data. Asus’ “entry-level” 3080s are going for around $850, and the fancier fashions can cost close to $1,100.

Based mostly on the pricing of the 3070 version, the Noctua version will seemingly include a worth premium; on Newegg, an Asus Twin RTX 3070 V2 OC goes for around $760, the place the Noctua OC Version goes for $854. Asus’ Strix mannequin, which has greater enhance clocks than each fashions, goes for $806. Do take these comparisons with a grain of salt; they’re third-party retailer costs (although the identical third-party retailer), and we’re not fairly out of the bizarre-o GPU pricing woods fairly but.

There’s additionally the query of whether or not it is best to even be shopping for a high-end 30-series card at this level. There are rumors that Nvidia’s going to launch the 4090 in July, kicking off its subsequent technology of playing cards. Given how lengthy it’s been for the reason that 3080 was launched, it may very well be fairly some time earlier than we see a Noctua-equipped 4090.

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