A monster card at a reasonably attractive price, this is the current undisputed king of graphics cards.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition.
We’ll cut to the chase here: this is literally the most powerful consumer graphics card on the planet right now.
It is also a card with a lot of firsts to its name. It is the first to be based on the 16nm FinFET process, the first to feature GDDr5X memory, and also the first to have a discrete hardware component dedicated to enabling multiple perspectives from a single viewpoint. The list goes on.
it is also the crown jewel of NViDiA’s brand new Pascal GPu architecture (we haven’t seen a new architecture since Maxwell first debuted in early 2014). All in all, this means bleeding edge performance, markedly lower power consumption, and a ton of new features that enable smoother and more immersive gaming experiences across a wide range of scenarios.
NViDiA has wasted no time in marketing the card as faster than the GeForce GtX titan X, last generation’s flagship (and also a prohibitively expensive card). After running the GTX 1080 through our gaming benchmarks, we can safely say that the titan X has indeed been dethroned. in 3DMark, the GeForce GtX 1080 was around 20 percent faster than the titan X in the more demanding Fire strike extreme and ultra benchmarks, which is quite a feat considering that it only costs us$599 to the titan X’s us$999. in more recent titles like Hitman, it was approximately 33 percent faster than the titan X, and an eye-popping 62 percent faster than 2014’s GeForce GTX 980. that’s a huge leap in the space of a year and a half if you ask us.
One of the more impressive improvements lies in its DirectX 12 performance. this is brought about largely by Pascal’s enhanced support for asynchronous compute, which refers to the ability to process compute and graphics workloads simultaneously. While previous NVIDIA cards displayed virtually no improvements – and sometimes even performance drops – when moving from DirectX 11 to 12, the GeForce GtX 1080 demonstrated a 19 percent increase in Ashes of the singularity.
Power consumption figures are equally attractive. At load, our total system power consumption came to around 286 watts, down from 353 watts on the GeForce GtX titan X. the blowerstyle fan on the card was also able to cool the card fairly effectively. Although we observed a peak temperature of 82 degrees celsius, the thermostat was more apt to hover around the 60 degree mark, dropping to around 40 degrees in a matter of seconds once the card stopped working so hard.
And despite its aggressive base clock of 1,607MHz, there turned out to be a lot of overclocking headroom left on the card to exploit as well. We managed to hit a maximum boost clock of 2,114MHz on air cooling, which gave us around a 10 percent boost in performance in 3DMark.
Other key additions include GPu Boost 3.0 and Fast sync, which are calculated to maximize performance and provide a smoother, low latency gaming experience in less demanding games respectively.
Then there’s the inclusion of GDDR5X memory, which is basically a faster version of traditional GDDR5. While we were a bit disappointed not to see the inclusion of HBM2 memory, GDDR5X still provides a boost in memory bandwidth that allows the card to offer competitive performance in bandwidth-hungry applications like virtual reality.
GDDR5X uses a quad-data rate (QDR) bus instead of GDDR5’s double-data rate (DDR) bus, which effectively doubles the rate at which data can be transmitted, all without needing to raise clock speeds. The card’s 8GB of GDDR5X memory is clocked at an impressive 10,000MHz, which translates into around 320GB/s of bandwidth.
Finally, there’s the Founders Edition card itself, which sports a solidly built diecast aluminium body and a “faceted” design characterized by aggressive, angular lines. NVIDIA has also upgraded the internal circuitry with a 5-phase power delivery circuit and tweaks for less voltage noise, changes aimed at improving overclocking performance. Like everything else, it’s a huge step up from what NVIDIA delivered in previous years (which was already solid to begin with).
AT A GLANCE
Gpu Transistor Count 7.2 billion
Core Clock 1,607MHz
Memory 8GB GDDr5X
Memory Clock 10,000MHz
The card has a TDP of just 180 watts and requires
only a single 8-pin Pcie connector.
The blower-style fan exhausts heat out the back
of the chassis.