ASUS RTX 3080 Noctua OC Edition Preview
ASUS + Noctua + RTX 3080 – Is this a dream GPU for silence freaks?
That’s right, ASUS and Noctua have teamed up to create an RTX 3080 graphics card, bringing together the technical expertise of ASUS and the thermal engineering glory of Noctua to create something unique. With this team-up, both companies have claimed that they have created the “quietest air-cooled graphics card in its class”, which is a pretty bold claim given how many companies compete within today’s GPU market.
By teaming up with Noctua, ASUS aimed to deliver two things, RTX 3080 performance with low noise levels, and GPU thermals that are better than their existing RTX 3080 models. Yes, this new GPU is arriving towards the end of the RTX 30 series’ lifespan, but the benefits of Noctua’s thermal engineering promises to be something that makes it worth waiting for.
Are those two 120mm cooling fans?
Yes, this graphics card is cooled by two full-sized case-grade NF-A12x25 PWM fans, Noctua’s highest performing PC case fans. They come in Noctua’s iconic brown/beige colour scheme and give the RTX 3080 Noctua Edition a lot of additional heft.Â
These fans are both thicker and larger than the fans found on most graphics cards, properties that help deliver increased airflow and static pressure at low fan speeds. While their thickness could be an issue for some system builders, others will love to see this graphics card dominate their enclosures with its heft.Â
With case-sized 120mm fans and a thicker than usual heatsink, the RTX 3080 Noctua Edition is a huge graphics card. Noctua has confirmed to us that this graphics card is 4.3 slots thick, possible making this graphics card the thickest RTX 3080 on the market.
If you place this graphics card within your system, good luck fitting in many other add-on cards. You will need five free PCIe slots to fit this monster into your system, anything less and this graphics card simply will not fit.
While it is awesome to see a single graphics card fill up the space within our test system, this heft will be a downside for those who use multiple add-on cards inside their systems. While this GPU promises to be cool and quiet, it doesn’t promise to be small. If you need a lot of add-on cards, you may need to consider another graphics card, or reconsider which add-on cards you need. Perhaps that old sound card can be replace with a DAC?