Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Overclocking the Strix GTX 1080

Level 15

Owners of the new Strix GTX 1080 can attest that it’s an amazing graphics card with a respectable level of performance. But have you ever wondered to yourself if you’re getting the most out of it? The Strix GTX 1080 performs extremely well with boost clocks exceeding the 2GHz barrier. But I can bet that not many users are running their graphics card at peak performance much less know that there is still some gas in the tank. That’s the thing about performance. It’s so addictive. Having lots of it simply makes us want more of it. If you’re reading this guide, you’re probably curious to know how much extra performance you’re losing out on your Strix GTX 1080. Without further ado, let’s begin.

Overclocking Preparation
Squeezing very last drop of performance from your Strix GTX 1080 requires having the correct tools. Essentially you only need two programs to overclock your graphics card: one to make the real-time changes and monitor the graphics card’s vitals and the other to test the overclock’s stability.

To overclock our Strix GTX 1080, we will be using GPU Tweak II, ASUS' own in-house overclocking utility. It's good at what it does and there are certain functions that were developed specifically for ASUS graphics cards which are not available in other utilities.

When it comes to testing for stability, each user swears by a different program. In my case, I like using the Unigine Heaven 4.0 benchmark since it puts an insanely, high graphical load on the graphics card. What I have noticed is that if my overclock is stable in Heaven 4.0, it’s pretty much stable in the more demanding games. As always nothing is written in stone, so feel free to use the program of your choice for stability testing.

Testing The Strix GTX 1080 At Stock Settings
Although many users tend to overlook this part, I’m a firm believer that one should always test the graphics card at stock before overclocking it. You will obtain important insight about your Strix GTX 1080 like what kind of performance you’re getting at stock and more importantly, the thermal conditions that the graphics card is in.


Let's start by running Unigine Heaven and GPU Tweak II. Make sure you have the Monitor window up for GPU Tweak II. Now proceed to select the Extreme preset for Heaven and let it do its thing. Once the program starts, press the F9 key to initiate the benchmark function.


If your graphics card manages to finish the benchmark run, then you're on the right track. While the Strix GTX 1080 is guaranteed to reach a frequency of 1936MHz on paper, we all know that it has no problem boosting beyond that number. My particular sample boosts to 2050MHz in real-world usage. However, your mileage will vary.

The next parameter that we need to analyze is the GPU Temperature. So scroll down the Monitor window to find that information. GPU Temperature is one of the two factors that can hinder your overclocking experience. It’s important to keep the GPU's temperature below 80C at all times or the graphics card will start to throttle. In my case, my card gets around 70C which leaves me with some good headroom for overclocking.

Overclocking the GPU Clock
ASUS has hidden some of the more advanced options in GPU Tweak II. We will need to enable these options before we can start going crazy with the Strix GTX 1080.


Once you're on the home screen, click the Professional Mode icon on the bottom right to switch over to a more advanced interface. Then click the cog icon on the upper right of the program to gain access to the program’s options. Scroll down and tick the Overclocking range enhancement option. Click Apply and you will be taken back to the home screen.


There are a few settings that we must change to ensure that the thermals and power usage won't limit us from finding our maximum overclock for our Strix GTX 1080.

  • Increase the GPU Voltage (%) to 100% for maximum voltage frequency.
  • Increase the Fan Speed (%) to 100% as well so that temperatures won’t be a problem.
  • Increase the Power Target (%) to 120% to allocate more power to the graphics card and increase its TDP.
  • Increase the GPU Temp Target (C) to 92C to allow for higher throttle temperature.


Let’s concentrate on overclocking the GPU Clock first. So for now we will be tweaking the GPU Boost Clock (MHz) option. Increase the GPU clock by 15MHz then run the Heaven 4.0 benchmark. Then repeat until you run into instability.

Instability usually shows itself in form of:

  • NVIDIA driver crashes
  • Application crashes
  • Visual artifacts
  • System lock ups

If you fall victim to any of these symptoms, restart your system and start decreasing the GPU Boost Clock by 1MHz to 5MHz, depending on your patience, until you are able to complete the benchmark.


My Strix GTX 1080, in particular, has a maximum GPU Boost Clock of 2152MHz. That’s a good 100MHz increase which isn’t too shabby at all. But we're not finished yet. We still need to overclock the Memory Clock to get us even more performance.

Overclocking The Memory Clock
So we took care of the Core and we’re one step closer to our final overclock. Now we'll be working with the Memory Clock (MHz) option.


Since the memory is a lot more forgiving so we can get away with using bigger increments. I use increments of 100MHz. Basically repeat the same process as we used to overclock the GPU Clock. When instability starts to appear, start decreasing your Memory Clock by 10MHz until you find your stable overclock.


By now you should have your maximum stable overclock for your Strix GTX 1080. I managed to get my sample to 2152MHz on the core and 11460MHz on the memory.

If you thought that this is the end of the line. Then you're wrong. Remember that no stress test can substitute real word usage. So I would recommend that you test your overclock in different games as well. If you experience instability, you know what to do.

Tuning The Fan Curve
During the entire overclocking process we've kept the Fan Speed at 100% so that high temperatures wouldn't be an issue. While that might give us the lowest temperatures, it’s also impractical to be running our fans at full throttle during daily usage. Besides it’s highly unlikely that our graphics card will be taxed at 100% all the time.


Change the Fan Speed (%) option from 100% back to Auto. The fan curve programmed into the Strix GTX 1080 will now dictate how fast the fan will spin. In most situations, this is more than sufficient. Now is the time to fire up some of your favorite games for real world testing.


After gaming for a few, my Strix GTX 1080 got as hot as 74C. If your temperatures are too high for your taste, you can use a more aggressive fan curve for sure.


Start by changing the Fan Speed (%) option from Auto to User Define. Then click the cog icon on the right to open the fan curve window.


By default, this is how the fan curve looks like for the Strix GTX 1080. Basically the fans will start spinning when the GPU temperature hits 55C and they will continue to increase in speed in a linear fashion.

To add points to the graph, just left click on the part of the line where you want to add the point. Then just move the point up or down. Unfortunately, there’s no magic setting for this part of the guide. The perfect fan curve to achieve a balance between cooling and silence will vary from user to user depending on the ambient temperature and the case that houses the Strix GTX 1080. You will just have to experiment and see which works the best for you. Once you’re satisfied, click the Save button to finish up.

Applying The Finishing Touches
Now that we've finished overclocking our Strix GTX 1080 and tweaking the fan curve, the last step is to save our hard work to a profile.


Go to the home screen and locate the plus icon that's below the Profile section on the left side. Click it and the program will prompt you to provide a name for the profile. Once you've chosen a suitable name, hit the Enter key and the profile will be saved.


Navigate back to the program options and tick the following options:

  • Automatically start GPU Tweak II when I log on to Windows
  • Minimize GPU Tweak II when it starts
  • Apply settings each time GPU Tweak II starts

That's all, folks! I hope this guide was of use to you. If you have any feedback, feel free to drop it in this thread.

Chino wrote:
If you look at the specifications sheet, the Strix GTX 1080 OC model has an official GPU boost of 1936 MHz. So stability is guaranteed up until that point. Any extra megahertz that you manage to squeeze out of the graphics card is considered overclocking. Your sample doesn't seem to be stable at 2050MHz at higher resolutions. What you can do is downclock the GPU Clock to maybe around 2000MHz - 2025MHz to find your stable frequency.

That doesn't really make sense though does it. Why would the card advertise having an oc mode that it cannot run. What is the limiting factor here? It cant be the mhz as it runs the higher clocks fine at a lower res. If I know why it's crashing at higher loads I can attempt to do something about it

Azazl187 wrote:
That doesn't really make sense though does it. Why would the card advertise having an oc mode that it cannot run.

As far as ASUS is concerned, OC Mode implies running at 1936MHz. In your case, the graphics card runs absolutely fine at that frequency.

Azazl187 wrote:
What is the limiting factor here?

Luck of the draw. Each GPU is unique. Some overclocks better than others.

thanks a million dude. definitely going to try this overclock as i just bought my new 1080 strix. does overclocking overall improve the visual and stability side of games.
Is there a need to overclock even if games are running constantly smooth 60fps +. My specs are
CPU: 3770k 3.9GHz boost
GPU: 1080 GTX Asus Strix
MOBO: Asus Maximus Formula V
PSU: Corsair HX1000
RAM: Corsair dominator 1333MHz boost to 1936Mhz
H100 Corsair Cooler

Can someone answer this?
if I do not touch the bar voltage in gpu tweak II , the OC that i do is safe right? is it still the stock voltage? ask this because, what about the fast gpu degradation when we put it at 100?

Hey all. Long time lurker, first time poster. 😄

So this is my first attempt at OC'ing my Strix 1080 and I want to make sure I did it right, because my real world testing was an epic fail.

I have the 1835 MHz boost clock version, not the OC edition, but I assume you can still tweak this card. Following Chino's excellent guide, and using Unigine Heaven 4.0 for benchmarking, I was able to get the GPU Clock to 2000 and the Memory Clock up to 11460, which I thought was very respectable. The temps never got above 60 C with the fan at 100%.

I then did some real world testing: I launched Ghost Recon Wildlands. The game kept crashing/freezing on me and I had to restart each time. The only way the game would run is when I put the card back to stock settings.

So, couple of questions:

  • Did I do anything wrong by OC'ing this card?
  • Is it possible the game is just jacked up (it's still pretty new to market) and perhaps I should try testing with a more stable game?


Windows 10 64 bit
Intel Core i7 6700K 4.00 GHz Unlocked Quad Core Skylake
Asus Z170-DELUXE LGA-1151
Asus PG278Q Monitor
Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB (2x16GB) DDR4 DRAM 2666MHz
Corsair AX760 Power Supply
Nvidia driver version 378.78

Anyone can explain what is happen if your overclock on memory is too high I am newbie and try to understand. My gtx 1080 was on gpu boost 1945mhz and memory 10900mhz (setting in Tweak II) and game start to crash.

I think I solve it out I did overclock memory speed too high. I set it on 10800 Mhz and everything is great... so far 😄

Hi guys,

So the most I can seem to get out of my card is about 32mhz extra.The strange thing is when I boost heaven up it picks up that my card is running at 2098MHZ, but the software says it's just running at 1930mhz.

is there some kind of a boost mode activated here? If so how can I disable?

Just started out with 490mhz on the memory seems ok?

Thanks in advance.

Hi Azaz1187

If you haven't already you could try increasing the voltage to 100%.

On my ROG Strix 1070 it only adds another .03v which is hardly anything, I'm not sure what the max voltage for the ROG Strix 1080 is but it barely affects temps and might let you hit 2100MHz+.

If you try it let us know how it goes. 🙂

Nate152 wrote:
Hi Azaz1187

If you haven't already you could try increasing the voltage to 100%.

On my ROG Strix 1070 it only adds another .03v which is hardly anything, I'm not sure what the max voltage for the ROG Strix 1080 is but it barely affects temps and might let you hit 2100MHz+.

If you try it let us know how it goes. 🙂

Thanks for the suggestion. I have switched over to MSI afterburner as it seems like a much more stable overclocker. The card doesnt seem to care whether i adjust the slider to +100% or not really, the power delivery to the chip is always between 1.040v - 1.062v. All i have to do is slide up the power limit to 120% and the temp limit to 92 and the GPU boost seems to do the rest. The issue i have here is it boosts upto 2062 and then starts decreasing as the temps rise. When the card gets upto around 70 degrees the clock speed drops to 2000mhz. During one benchmark set at the extreme pre-set and 4k resolution the driver crashes about 3 or 4 times, each time it crashes the screen goes black and then comes back saying the driver has recovered.

This is with 0mhz overclock on the GPU main chip and +500 on the memory which seems fine. Im pretty sure i have a problem somewhere as the drivers should not be crashing when the card is set like this and just GPU boost is in charge of the over clocking

Level 15
Just to discard it being a software issue, I would do a fresh Windows installation. Do not install any Windows updates or other programs. Just install the necessary drivers for the motherboard and NVIDIA driver. Clear your CMOS to bring your system back at stock defaults as well and test your graphics card.