The quality of the custom GeForce GTX 1080 Tis is high, without any exceptions. Every manufacturer has given their own twist to the cards, however none of them left a bad impression. That doesn't mean that we don't have our favourites however. The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Aorus Xtreme is not the cheapest card in this test, however it is the fastest and the quietest card. It only gets beaten in the throttling test by a couple of cards. If you want to get maximum performance from your card, Gigabyte - just like ASUS and MSI, by the way - offers an 'OC mode', which you can activate using the included software. In this mode the clock speeds will increase even more. Lastly, Gigabyte also offers the longest warranty period (after registration).
If you want to spend less, MSI has the best alternative. The GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X is significantly cheaper than the Gigabyte card while not being loud or slow, however it's a bit worse in every aspect. The cooling efficiency is excellent and if you tweak the fan profile you can easily get it to be as quiet or even quieter than the Gigabyte Aorus.
The ASUS Strix OC is also definitely not a bad buy at all. It's a bit faster than MSI's card, however in return it also produces more noise. You have to decide for yourself what is more important. The FanConnect feature can potentially help reduce noise in any case, since the case fans will be able to help keep temperatures low. ASUS also offers the most features in terms of RGB lighting with Aura Sync, so that is also something to keep in mind. Lastly, ASUS includes a free game if you buy the card before June 26th, so this 1080 Ti is all the more interesting, if you were planning to buy Dawn of War 3 anyway.
Lastly we have the EVGA SC2 and the Inno3D iChill X3 Ultra. EVGA has made an excellent piece of hardware for those who want to meticulously monitor their card, due to all the present sensors and included software, however due to the fact that it's a dual-slot card the fans have to work pretty hard to dissipate all the generated heat, which means that noise levels will be higher in return. Unless you really need to save space inside your case, we would not recommend the card. Inno3D really needs the bang-for-the-buck factor, however at the time of writing it is only about 10 pounds cheaper than the MSI card. In our opinion this price is too high for a reference PCB with an unimpressive cooler.
Gigabyte has taken a huge step forward with the GTX 1080 Ti Aorus and also delivers the best card in our opinion, however for those with slightly different preferences there are also the MSI GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X and ASUS GTX 1080 Ti Strix OC. The relative differences are so small, that we award all three with an Excellent Choice Award.