ASUS RTX 3080 X Noctua OC Edition Review
Published: 23rd May 2022 | Source: ASUS | Price: |
Although it is probably reductive to use the kind of generalisations that are found more often in politics than the real world, for our purposes you'll excuse us if we resort to binary options. There are two types of people who purchase graphics cards. There are those who want the maximum performance at all costs. It could have a similar noise level to an Airbus A380 and the kind of temperatures usually reserved for the aforementioned politicians once they're sent to where they belong in the afterlife. Then there are those who want a card which provides an amount of performance typical of the architecture, and does so without leaving them deaf in one ear.
Naturally we all actually find ourselves somewhere along that sliding scale between those two extremes, but as we have to sit next to our PC for usually over a dozen hours a day testing or writing or editing, then we want it to be primarily quiet, and performance is a nice bonus. After all, modern technology has evolved to the point that even a 'bad' take on a particular piece of hardware is still good, and we know that a big brand such as ASUS is even more likely to give us one that is better than most.
All of which brings us to the ASUS X Noctua RTX 3080 OC Edition.
Performance is very much on a par with the majority of RTX 3080 cards we've reviewed. We know that there are some flagship models available that lean more towards the performance end of the spectrum than the quiet end, and those tend to generally be a bit higher in the average frame rate scores than the ASUS X Noctua, but that isn't to say it is disgraced in any way. Nicely mid-pack of a very very tightly grouped set of results.
The feather in the cap, the other string to its bow, is of course that enormous cooler containing two 25mm x 120mm Noctua NF-A12 fans. Noctua are legendary for managing to solve the problem of giving outstanding cooling ability at a low level of noise in a way that many other fan manufacturers claim to offer but so few actually deliver upon. The ASUS X Noctua RTX 3080 is no exception as you saw on our previous page. It's significantly cooler than all that have come before, and much quieter too. If you have your PC in an environment where it whirring away can be a problem to those you live/work with, then it's perfect. Heck if, like us, you have to sit next to your PC all day then you'll delight in how much quieter it can be made just by delivering a design that we've all considered as a good solution to cooling a graphics card but nobody had actually done until now. Or at least not done in anything other than a Heath Robinson manner with a third party solution.
Rarely do you hear of a product and find that the reality of it is more than you expected, but the ASUS X Noctua RTX 3080 OC Edition is everything you would hope such a union would deliver. Your ears will thank you.