At the time, many speculated that the Founders Edition card would be specially designated to offer higher overclocking performance, or that it would be factory overclocked by Nvidia themselves. As it seems, the Founders Edition is not nearly as special: it’s just a regular reference designed card.
So why would you need to pay an additional $100 (or $70 within the case of the GTX 1070) on the Founders Edition card once it does not offer any real performance advantage? Well, that’s a smart question, and Nvidia has some interesting answers.
Basically, Nvidia feels as if their reference design is the best version of the GTX 1080 and GTX 1070. They want to own their design on the marketplace for the life of the card, which is why you will be able to purchase Founders Edition cards from Nvidia directly.
At the same time, Nvidia doesn’t need to compete directly with board partners, which is why partners will sell their variants of the card for fewer. If Nvidia sold their version at the same worth as partners’ versions, this would impact the sales of partners and their relationship with Nvidia.
From this perspective it seems as though Nvidia knows the Founders Edition are going to be a distinct segment product for those who are not involved concerning rating and need the initial design of these cards. It’s almost a given that budget acutely aware buyers can get a much better deal getting a custom cooled, factory overclocked card for a worth nearer to the MSRP than Founders Edition.
— NVIDIA (@nvidia) May 7, 2016
However Nvidia will have one advantage up their sleeve, and that’s timing. It seems as although you will be able to get a Founders Edition card a lot of earlier than a partner custom-built card, so if you extremely need a new GTX 1080 or GTX 1070 previous others, you can pay somewhat a lot of to induce an early reference design. But like with previous launches, those who need a custom card may have to be compelled to wait a couple of months before partners polish and deliver their designs.