Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti assessment: the numbers are in and the Titan X is toast. Hail to the 4K king

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Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti review

Nvidia have performed the unattainable in creating the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. I’m not speaking about making a board able to besting their supercomputer-powered Titan X and I’m not speaking about dropping the quickest GDDR5X graphics reminiscence onto the board and turning it as much as 11Gbps both, although they’re each spectacular engineering feats. No, I’m speaking about the way in which Nvidia have managed some psychological advertising and marketing manipulation to make a $700 (£700) graphics card look like a discount.

With nice energy comes nice accountability. The accountability to be sure you’ve acquired the best SSD to get you into the sport shortly to indicate off your graphics card.

The GTX 1080 Ti is the ultimate piece of the puzzle on the subject of the Pascal technology of GeForce graphics playing cards, and suits within the sizable hole between the GTX 1080 and the mighty new Titan Xp.

Nvidia are additionally becoming GTX 1080 and GTX 1060 chips with speedy new memory, to create new overclocking-friendly playing cards, however regardless of rumours of a extra thorough refresh later within the 12 months that is basically it for brand new Pascal boards. Roll on Volta

The highly effective, environment friendly structure has had a superb run although, and the GTX 1080 Ti is trying like the perfect of the lot.

Click on the fast hyperlinks under to get to the juicy bits.

Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti specs

Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti specs

As presumably the ultimate hurrah of the Pascal structure the GTX 1080 Ti is a really acquainted card, made much more so by its putting resemblance to the Titan X. We had initially anticipated Nvidia to comply with their earlier Titan>Ti kind by chopping a couple of chunks of logic out of the large chip to squeeze it down right into a extra price-friendly, consumer-focused kind. Not a little bit of it…

Nvidia have just about simply rebadged the Titan X and practically halved its value. To that finish the GTX 1080 Ti is rocking the identical 16nm FinFET GP102 GPU with 12 billion transistors and the identical three,584 CUDA cores inside it. 

Those cores are arrayed throughout 28 streaming microprocessors (SMs) in six graphics processing clusters. The full core configuration although is ever so barely completely different from the Titan X. Despite having the identical three,584 cores and 224 texture models, Nvidia have reduce the variety of render output models (ROPs) to 88, down from 96. They’ve additionally made a slight incision into the cache and eliminated a small quantity of that too – the L2 cache on the Titan X stands at three,072Okay, whereas the GTX 1080 Ti has 2,816Okay of L2.

Things are most completely different on the reminiscence facet, although the essential spec change isn’t really the drop from 12GB to 11GB of GDDR5X. Working with reminiscence maestros, Micron, Nvidia have dropped the quickest high-capacity graphics reminiscence round onto the GTX 1080 Ti’s PCB. This new iteration of GDDR5X reminiscence has a normal working frequency of 5,505MHz and an 11Gbps information fee. That means regardless of really having much less reminiscence, and thus a smaller aggregated reminiscence bus (352-bit as an alternative of the Titan X’s 384-bit), the GTX 1080 Ti comes with a complete reminiscence bandwidth of 484GB/s. That could solely be 4GB/s quicker than the Titan X, however that’s nonetheless spectacular.

Nvidia GP102 GPU block diagram

Nvidia have additionally boosted the cooling and energy componentry surrounding the beefy GP102 GPU that varieties the beating coronary heart of the GTX 1080 Ti. The new 7-phase dual-FET design spreads the facility load greater than the Titan X and permits for much less energy leakage (realised in GPU phrases as warmth) and a cleaner provide of juice. This is partly how Nvidia have been in a position to ship the usual GTX 1080 Ti playing cards with a better out-of-the-box enhance clock than the Titan X.

The reference, Founders Edition cooler incorporates a new vapour chamber and an total design which Nvidia declare presents twice the airflow space the GTX 1080’s Founders Edition has. The further exhaust space wanted to spice up the airflow does although imply there’s no DVI connection on the cardboard’s I/O plate.

Nvidia does provide a DisplayPort to DVI adapter nevertheless, for individuals who can’t surrender their old-school displays. I’ve nonetheless acquired a beautiful 30-inch IPS Dell display that wants a DVI connection so I can completely sympathise…

Interestingly although, regardless of the additional energy and cooling engineering efforts, the thermal threshold of the chip has really been lowered from its Titan X days. The Titan X will solely begin throttling its chip when the silicon tops 94°C, whereas the GTX 1080 Ti will begin reining in its GPU at 91°C.

Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti benchmarks

Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti benchmarks

Nvidia Pascal GPU performance


Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti efficiency

Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti performance

So there it’s, in orange and blue: the GTX 1080 Ti is quicker in-game than Pascal’s Titan X. It’s solely ever by a few frames per second on common at most, however the reality there’s a efficiency delta leaning in the direction of the newer, cheaper card in any respect is deeply spectacular.

It should go with out saying then which means it additionally provides the GTX 1080 a robust shoeing within the gaming efficiency stakes too. Nvidia have been calling this the perfect Ti card they’ve ever produced for the actual fact they estimated a 35% efficiency enhance over the GTX 1080 with the brand new GTX 1080 Ti, however in our testing that’s trying like a quite conservative assertion.

At instances, particularly at 4K, we’ve been seeing efficiency effectively over 50% greater utilizing the GTX 1080 Ti. The $200 value distinction between the 2 playing cards then does genuinely provide a severe body fee improve for the cash, giving a transparent delineation between Nvidia’s high two consumer-focused GPUs. If you’re sticking with a 1440p monitor the GTX 1080 will see you proper, but when your focus is mounted firmly on 4K screens – or above – then the GTX 1080 Ti is the one card it’s essential contemplate proper now.

While there isn’t a lot of a distinction within the gaming efficiency of the GTX 1080 Ti and the Titan X, there does appear to be within the total energy draw. We measured the utmost platform energy draw from the wall throughout intensive 3D testing and the GTX 1080 Ti appeared a superb bit extra thirsty than the Titan X. Given the upper GPU clockspeeds and the elevated reminiscence frequency although that’s most likely not shocking. When you’ve acquired a chip is massive and complicated because the GP102 GPU the facility draw will increase dramatically as you push it more durable and more durable.

Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti overclocking

That’s evident in our overclocking testing too. At our peak GPU and reminiscence frequencies each the GTX 1080 Ti and Titan X push effectively over the 400W peak. Sadly although I used to be unable to get both GP102 chips above the 2GHz overclocking mark Jen-Hsun Huang had been exhibiting off on stage on the GDC unveiling of the GTX 1080 Ti.

Still, hitting a GPU offset of +150MHz and +190MHz for the Ti and Titan X respectively isn’t unhealthy and meant each playing cards have been usually (due to frequency/energy variance) working at round 1,911MHz in-game.

On the reminiscence facet the GTX 1080 Ti’s newly-minted Micron GDDR5X reminiscence is able to being pushed lots additional than that of the Titan X. I used to be nonetheless in a position to coax the older card’s reminiscence up above the 11Gbps mark, however on the Ti I virtually hit 12Gbps. Despite that although, with each playing cards working at their most overclock, the Titan X really maintained the very slightest efficiency lead over the GTX 1080 Ti.

This is the place the GTX 1080 Ti’s new cooler comes into play although. The Titan X will get extremely blowy when you begin cranking up the clocks, whereas the GTX 1080 Ti is noticeably quieter. It’s undoubtedly not really quiet although, whenever you get above 50% fan velocity you’ll actually find out about it. We’ll be trying to the board companions and their bespoke cooling arrays to vary that.

Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti verdict

Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti verdict

For all of the little particulars of this assessment, the cache, GPU and reminiscence variations, all it’s essential know is Nvidia have created a graphics card with all the facility of their flagship Titan X for nearly half the value. So yeah, for all of your 4K wants look no additional. Shouldn’t have actually bothered writing all that different stuff, ought to I? This might’ve simply been a 140 character Twitter assessment…

There remains to be the truth that, whereas compared with the $1,200 Titan X the $699 GTX 1080 Ti appears like a discount, we’re nonetheless speaking a couple of consumer-focused graphics card that prices $700. That’s an enormous sum of money, and simply because the professional-level Titan X has been priced at that time it doesn’t imply we ought to just accept that high-end graphics playing cards aimed on the client market ought to value the perfect a part of a grand.

And, bear in mind, that $699 is the bottom MSRP – Nvidia’s board companions will seemingly be transport GTX 1080 Ti playing cards all the way in which as much as $800 and above. 

Kudos to Nvidia although for lastly giving up on the Pascal technology’s reference card/Founders Edition pricing shenanigans, however we’re nonetheless going to see some critically costly GTX 1080 Ti playing cards within the coming months.

The straight GTX 1080’s recently-announced value drop, nevertheless, makes that a much more tempting GPU for anybody not but trying to make the transfer to 4K. At 1440p and 1080p the GTX 1080 is greater than sufficient GPU for even probably the most discerning of avid gamers. And even at 4K it nonetheless manages some fairly wholesome body charges, particularly in case you’re sensible together with your graphics and post-processing settings.

But nonetheless, for these of us with out the posh of a 4K monitor or an offshore checking account registered within the Cayman Islands, the ~$200 / £200 mark is the place we glance to for our graphics playing cards. And that is the place the now aggressively-priced 8GB AMD RX 480 might be your greatest wager.

These are fascinating instances although and I’ve little question the specs and pricing of the GTX 1080 Ti are at the very least partly associated to the perceived competitors AMD’s new RX Vega GPU might deliver to the high-end GPU market when it releases at Computex in May/June. 

But what of the Titan X? The GTX 1080 Ti is sort of a large silicon middle-finger to anybody who dropped the money on a Titan X, but additionally leaves the abruptly irrelevant card useless within the water. There’s merely no level, no profit, to selecting the Titan X over the Ti. And that’s a primary; the Ti playing cards have at all times been mighty near their Titan compatriots, however have usually maintained a slight lead, even when simply of their prolonged body buffer.

Which is why Nvidia subsequently launched the Titan Xp a short time after the GTX 1080 Ti launch fuss had died down. As predicted it makes use of the complete GP102 core Nvidia fitted out their high Quadro playing cards with.

For most of us although the GTX 1080 Ti remains to be the perfect high-end 4K graphics card round. It’s nonetheless priced past the attain of regular avid gamers, but when your pockets is fats and also you’re aiming for the very best resolutions in gaming then that is the GPU for you. Hell, you may decide up two of them for under barely greater than you may spend on a model newTitan Xp.