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 two corporations’ final collaboration was an RTX 3070, however now they’ve introduced a decidedly fanatic tier card: an RTX 3080.
According to 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.” Apart from the flowery cooling, it’s a comparatively normal 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 possibility with the Noctua heatsink.
The card will go on sale “starting early June 2022,” although whether or not you’ll be capable to purchase one is one other query completely, with chip shortages and inventory wonkiness nonetheless plaguing the GPU market. In an ideal world, you wouldn’t need to compete with crypto miners for the cardboard — like most Nvidia playing cards these days it’s a Lite Hash Rate model with lowering mining capabilities. Though, provided that hackers have found a way around that, the bets could also be off there.
There is a technique the cardboard isn’t fairly normal: it’s large. For one, Noctua’s “custom-engineered unified heatsink” is thicker than Asus’ normal one, in accordance with a webpage breaking down its efficiency versus common playing cards. It’s additionally obtained literal desktop followers in it: Noctua’s NF-A12x25 PWM model. This results in it being round 3.25-inches thick, in accordance with Asus’ spec sheet, nearly an inch thicker than the company’s triple-fan Strix 3080. That means it’ll take up a whopping 4 slots in your PC — and nonetheless have a tiny little bit of overhang into the following slot’s house.
For some folks, that will not be price it. One of my co-workers, for instance, looks like there needs to be a extra attention-grabbing or higher resolution than simply sticking some full-size followers on it and calling it a day. He in all probability wouldn’t be significantly impressed wanting on the efficiency specs both; the Noctua 3080 has an “OC Mode” increase clock of 1815MHz and a “Gaming Mode” increase clock of 1785MHz. That’s just about the identical as Asus’ normal 3080s, however the Strix model places out considerably larger 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 doable. 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 operating 3 levels Celsius cooler on the GPU cores. When the cooler’s operating all out, it says, Noctua’s will probably be 1 diploma Celsius cooler and eight.6 dB(A) quieter.
For individuals who need efficiency however don’t wish to hear it (hello, it’s me), it might be a great possibility — or at the very least that was the consensus with the 3070 version of this card. We’ll seemingly have to attend till unbiased testers get their palms on it to see if Noctua’s cooler can keep quiet whereas attempting to include the 3080’s vital energy.
As for pricing, Noctua’s press release 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 on the pricing of the 3070 version, the Noctua version will seemingly include a value premium; on Newegg, an Asus Dual RTX 3070 V2 OC goes for around $760, the place the Noctua OC Edition goes for $854. Asus’ Strix mannequin, which has larger increase 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 quite yet.
There’s additionally the query of whether or not you must even be shopping for a high-end 30-series card at this level. There are rumors that Nvidia’s going to release the 4090 in July, kicking off its subsequent era of playing cards. Given how lengthy it’s been for the reason that 3080 was launched, it might be fairly some time earlier than we see a Noctua-equipped 4090.