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EVGA Kingpin GTX1080ti samples refused unless tested with LN2 (only)

Yesterday one of our news team Damien Cox wrote a story on the new EVGA GTX1080ti Kingpin card. The excitment for this card seems so high that we have been bombarded with emails and comments on our social media about KitGuru getting one to review. This card may be priced at $1,000, but there are clearly plenty of KitGuru readers interested in buying a sample.

We contacted EVGA about getting a sample for review and their reply indicated that they would only be sampling press who strictly use LN2 (Liquid Nitrogen). Its the first time we have heard a marketing executive state that Liquid nitrogen was a prerequisite for reviewing a graphics card.

Jan Jonas – EVGA marketing executive expanded in email “As for the KINGPING, we request to review it with LN2, as this card is expecially designed for extrem OC and show its strong side there. Would you be able to test it with LN2 only?”.

So this would indicate that not only do EVGA want LN2 results but they don’t want us to publish any test data from their supplied triple fan cooling solution. We are well known for delivering a lot of fine detail and analysis in our graphics card reviews, but surely this wouldn’t be a possible issue?

World class overclockers such as 8Pack use LN2 on a regular basis – there is no doubt it can deliver some incredible results with capable hardware so we understand the point Jan is making, but do any of the buying public interested in this card actually use LN2? What about that triple fan cooler that EVGA are bundling with the card?

As Damien said last night on KitGuru ‘The first thing that stands out is the iCX cooling system, that packs a mouthful of features to keep the card as cool as possible. It consists of an edge-plated PCB with a vented heatsink and efficient heatpipe layout, while the die-cast baseplate and backplate are paired with directed airflow chambers that stem from the trio of fans, helping to disperse heat effectively.’

Is there not a viable reason to be analysing this cooler as part of the package EVGA are selling? If the card is designed strictly only for LN2, then would it not make more sense to ditch the air cooler completely and drop the price or supply a cheap cooler that can be used for pre testing and then easily removed? If you are benchmarking with LN2 its going to be immediately redundant and an expense you don’t need. EVGA do focus on the capabilities of their air cooler in the press releases.

This is a more interesting question to tackle I feel.

We recently ran a poll and while 22% of our readers said that they would spend more than £500 on a graphics card, only a tiny 4% said they would remove the cooling system for watercooling. LN2 doesn’t even stack up in the real world as a permanent cooling solution for a gamer.

Are EVGA being very shortsighted with this kind of marketing strategy? Are you interested in buying this card and more importantly are you using LN2? Would getting test data from a LN2 cooled card be of any use to you back in the real world? If KitGuru published a review only highlighting LN2 performance and not results from the supplied cooling system surely that would be seen as substandard buying advice for our readers.

We would love to hear your views on this.

Discuss this on our Facebook page, over HERE.


KitGuru says: EVGA say they want this card tested with Liquid Nitrogen – and nothing else. Its certainly going to showcase the card in the best possible light, but does it make any sense to their main customer base?

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