Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founder's Edition
We have reached a time where running games in full settings are native 1080p and 1440p resolutions isn’t a problem. The GeForce GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 are pretty well equipped to handle that. What we mean is, if you’re gaming at 1440p resolution, its almost pointless to go anywhere higher than a GTX 1070. These Pascal GPUs can handle any game you throw at it, with all the settings cranked up to their maximum. So for these resolutions, you’re pretty much at saturation when it comes to graphics card.
The void lies in what the world is slowly moving to, 4K resolution gaming. 4K monitors are seeing a substantial rise in sales, indicating that generational shift towards these ultra high resolutions. 4K is no-doubt, the future of PC gaming. For playing 4K games smoothly, there is no single GPU in the market. You’ll either need two of Nvidia’s previous flagship GTX 1080s or Titan X Pascals, or maybe three GTX 1070s. SLI complicates things, it doesn’t scale proportionately with the horsepower, it consumes double the power, and you’ll be lucky if you don’t run into niggling issues because SLI drivers are never optimised like their standalone siblings. That is where the Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti comes in. It is targeted to fulfil 4K gaming at 60 frames per second, using a single standalone graphics processing unit.
The GTX 1080 Ti Chipset
The GTX 1080 Ti chipset is based more on the Titan X Pascal than the GTX 1080. Both the Titan X and GTX 1080 Ti are built on the GP102 chipset, while the GTX 1080 uses the GP104 chipset, the same as GTX 1070. Keep in mind, the GT102 still isn’t the biggest Pascal chipset yet. That crown will go to the immense GP100. The GTX 1080 Ti shares the same number of CUDA Cores and texture units as the Titan X. The ROPs, un-canningly have been notched down from 96 in the Titan X to 88 in the 1080 Ti. But this is still way higher than the 64 present in the GTX 1080. The 1080 Ti has a slightly higher TFLOP rate, 11.3 compared to the Titan X’s 11.
When it comes to clockspeeds, the GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition ships with a 1.48GHz base clock and a 1.58GHz boost clock. Surprisingly, the clocks are lower than what the GTX 1080 shipped with, at 1.6GHz and 1.73GHz respectively. The 1080 Ti has lowered its VRAM by 1GB to 11GB, compared to the 12GB on the Titan X. Having said that, this is the first GeForce card that uses Micron’s second-generation GDDR5X memory. This memory allows higher clocks. The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition has a TDP of 250W. This is the same as the Titan X, but 70W higher than the GTX 1080. On another note, most of Nvidia’s Ti and Titan cards carry the same TDP rating.
The GTX 1080 Ti launched on the 9th of March and is priced officially at ₹63,000. Stay tuned for updates on the street pricing, which in
India always deviates from the official pricing. Also, if you buy the card right now, you are eligible for Nvidia’s Prepare for Battle bundle. This means, you will get either a copy of For Honor or Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands for free.
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founder’s Edition
The box packaging is exactly how Nvidia has kept the packaging of its Founder’s Edition card ever since they got launched. For example, the box of the GTX 1060 Founders Edition is the same as the GTX 1080 Ti FE. Nothing to complain though, it is a nifty little box, much lower than the size of the same chipset from other manufacturers. Included in the box is a DVI to DP converter and a User’s Manual. Nvidia have tossed in a neat little sticker for the cabinet too.
Initial visual inspection reveal a card that looks just like its other Founder’s Edition cousins, with a single blower fan and cast aluminium housing. The card is about 10.5 inch long. From the outside, the GTX 1080 Ti FE might look just like its cousins, but there subtle design improvements implemented by Nvidia. This card uses a vapour chamber cooler in order to maximise the heat transfer between the different components in the GPU and the aluminium heatsink. To further increase airflow, Nvidia has completely removed the DVI port. This leaves one slot completely free to airflow.
The side of the card houses the “GEFORCE GTX” LEDs. We’ve always been a fan of these. The power connectors used are a 6 pin + 8 pin setup. Most modern power supply units should be fine with this. The SLI connectors utilise Nvidia’s High Bandwidth technology, like the rest of the GTX 10xx series. On the I/O panel, you get 3x DisplayPort 1.4 and 1 HDMI 2.0b. As mentioned earlier, Nvidia has done away with DVI ports, although they have provided a convertor if needed.
Test Setup and Methodology
We would have loved to test the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti on a 4K setup, but unfortunately, we couldn’t arrange for a 4K monitor. Here is our test bench.
CPU: Intel Core i5 6600K @ 3.90Ghz
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z270X Gaming 5
Cooling: Antec Kuhler H100 Pro
SSD: SanDisk ExtremePro 240GB
PSU: Seasonic X850
Monitor: ASUS ROG Swift PG278Q 2560×1400
OS: Windows 10 64-bit
Cabinet: CoolerMaster MasterCase Pro
Operating System: Windows 10 Pro x64
GPU Driver: 378.78 version
- All games tested have been patched to their latest version
- The OS version is latest, with all latest hotfixes and updates installed
- All scores you see are an average of 3 benchmark runs
- For games without prefixed “Benchmark” mode, a run from a manual save point was done for 1 minute.
For Temperatures and Power Consumption, we thoroughly record and analyse both the parameters during our benchmark and gaming stress runs. For idle testing, we stay on the desktop with the monitor switched on for five minutes, and then record our values. We have no significant background processes running during idle testing.
Here is our GPU-Z screenshot of the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founder’s Edition. It reads the GPU Clock at 1481 MHz and Memory Clock at 1376 MHz. The card comes with a whopping 11GB RAM, and like we mentioned above, this GDDRX5 RAM is the fastest module Nvidia has ever used in their graphic cards.
The first benchmark. We were taken back for the first time how by fast the GTX 1080 Ti is than the GTX 1080. In the Unigine Valley benchmark, it is almost a solid 33% faster than the GTX 1080.
Just like in Unigine Valley, the GTX 1080 Ti performs considerably faster than the GTX 1080, about 35% faster again. From our initial impressions, the GTX 1080 Ti is literally killing in in the benchmarks. We have never seen a GPU perform the way the 1080 Ti has.
3DMark TimeSpy is an extremely demanding benchmark, with complex graphical algorithms, almost emulating the ones from real games. The GTX 1080 Ti almost kisses the 8000 point mark. To be honest, we have never witnessed such high scores with a single GPU. It is worthy to mention how the 1080 Ti scores a massive 1500 point more than the GTX 1080.
Rise of Tomb Raider
Our first real world gaming benchmark. We maxed out the settings in Rise of Tomb Raider, something we’re usually very skeptical about because this is one power hungry game, that only the niche GPUs can handle.
RoTR has never played out as smoother than this. Playing the game at 1440p with maxed setting and a consistent frame rate of above 60 was quite an experience. There were no stutters and jitters, the entire experience was smooth as hell.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The GTX 1080 Ti FE handled the most demanding The Witcher 3 scenes with ease. Again, playing this game at a consistent fps of above 60 is a divine experience. The 1080 Ti fares a whopping 20 fps more than the GTX 1080 at 1080p. At 1440p, this is the only card that is able to run The Witcher 3 consistently above 60 fps.
The single blower does a fair enough job in keeping the GTX 1080 Ti cool under idle conditions, like the GTX 1080. We have no complaints here. 35 degrees Celsius is good idle temperature. Under load, however, the GTX 1080 Ti reached 86 degrees. If you look at the chart closely, this is the hottest card under load that we have tested. This temperature is still manageable, our main concern is, how the temperatures are affected after long term usage.
Like most of Nvidia’s Founder’s Edition cards, the GTX 1080 Ti uses extremely low power under idle conditions, namely, 12.5 Watts. This is still about 3.5 Watts higher than what the GTX 1080 uses under idle conditions. We suspect this to be a side effect of the revamped RAM modules that the GTX 1080 Ti uses. Under load, the 1080 Ti consumes about 265W, which is 15W higher than its rated TDP of 250W. A recommended power supply unit for such a graphics would be at least 800W.
The jump from 720p to 1080p to 1440p was handled quite well, if not brilliantly by graphics chip manufacturers. The same cannot be said for 4K resolutions. The sheer amount of pixels that 4K displays have, ever since the odd three or so years they’ve been mainstream, have caused much problems than previous generational resolution bumps. Graphics cards have never been able to deliver a playable 60 frames per seconds on 4K displays. With the induction of the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, that, we can confidently, has changed. We now do have a GPU that handles 4K gaming with ease.
Built on the GM102 chip, like the Titan X Pascal, the GTX 1080 Ti broke the roofs in all our benchmarks. This card offers atleast 35% higher performance than Nvidia’s GTX 1080. We’ve never seen such high 3DMark TimeSpy numbers by a single GPU ever. And the performance the 1080 Ti in The Witcher 3 is nothing short of legendary.
The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is THE card to consider if you have 4K gaming in mind. Sure, this card costs a whopping ₹63,000, but for 4K seekers, it shouldn’t be an issue, and, its the only reasonable choice they have. For those not gaming at 4K, it makes less sense to get a GTX 1080 Ti. The GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 will fulfil all 1080p and 1440p needs.
We have to end this review by mentioning how Nvidia is comprehensively dominating the graphics card performance segment, leaving its only competitor way behind. There is no competition to the GTX 1080, and with the GTX 1080 Ti, Nvidia has furthered their lead. 2016 was Nvidia’s year, and the start of 2017 already belong to Nvidia GeForce. Now, we are really excited to see where AMD’s upcoming Vega fits in. It’s going to be a hell of a year for Graphics Cards! When is it not?