NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Review - The Fastest Gaming Graphics Card Yet

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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti - Faster than a Titan X for Almost Half The Price

NVIDIA is officially launching its most powerful gaming graphics card today, the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. It was announced last week at the Game Developers Conference and pre-orders began shortly thereafter. However, the cards will begin shipping tomorrow, from on-line retailers, system builders, and add-in-board partners.

The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti’s specifications may elicit some quizzical looks in light of previous-gen offerings, with its odd 11GB of GDDR5X RAM and 352-bit memory interface, but rest assured this card is an absolute beast. Though its memory complement, interface, and a few blocks within the GPU are reduced versus the mighty NVIDIA Titan X, the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti makes up for its “shortcomings” with a combination of refinement and brute force.

Take a look at its main features and specifications below and we’ll explain what we mean a little later. Then saddle-up for a look at some impressive benchmark numbers...
GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Angle Shot
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
Specifications & Features

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
Graphics Processing Clusters 6
Streaming Multiprocessors 28
CUDA Cores (single precision) 3584
Texture Units 224
ROP Units 88
Base Clock 1480MHz
Boost Clock 1582MHz
Memory Clock (Data rate) 5505MHz (~11Gbps)
L2 Cache Size 2816KB 
Total Video Memory 11264 MB GDDR5X
Memory Interface 352-Bit
Total Memory Bandwidth 484 GB/s
Texture Filtering Rate (Bilinear) 331.5 GigaTexels/sec
Fabrication Process 16 nm
Transistor Count 12 Billion
Connectors 3 x Display Port, 1 x HDMI
Form Factor Dual Slot
Power Connectors One 8-Pin, One 6-Pin
Recommended Power Supply 600 Watts
Thermal Design Power (TDP) 250 Watts
Thermal Threshold 91°C
Price $699 MSRP - Find Them At Amazon.Com


Unboxing NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 1080 Ti

At its core, the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is very similar to the NVIDIA Titan X. They are both powered by the same GP102 GPU and have a similar number of active CUDA cores and texture units. The GPU used on the 1080 Ti, however, has a ROP / memory partition disabled, which results in a narrower memory bus, less memory (11GB vs. 12GB), less L2 cache (2816KB vs. 3072KB), and fewer ROP units. The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti's higher core and memory frequencies, however, make up for these differences. Here's a quick breakdown as to how it stacks up versus the Titan X and a standard GeForce GTX 1080...


GTX 1080 Ti TITAN X GTX 1080
NVIDIA GPU GP102 GP102 GP104
Architecture Pascal  Pascal  Pascal 
Number of Cores 3584 3584 2560
Core Clock (Boost) 1582 MHz 1530 MHz 1733 MHz
Memory 11GB 12GB 8GB
Memory Clock 11000 MHz 10000 MHz 10000 MHz
Memory Interface 352-bit G5X 384-bit G5X 256-bit G5X
Memory Bandwidth 484 GB/s 480 GB/s 320 GB/s
TDP 250 watts 250 watts 180 watts
Peak Compute 11.4 TFLOPS 11.0 TFLOPS 8.2 TFLOPS
Transistor Count 12B 12B 7.2B
Process Tech 16nm FinFET 16nm FinFET 16nm FinFET
MSRP $699 $1,200 $499 (New price)

To enable the higher memory frequency on the 1080 Ti, NVIDIA worked with Micron to optimize the GDDR5X memory interface and associated circuitry on the card. Power delivery and signal quality was improved, which allowed NVIDIA to crank up the memory clock to an effective 11Gbps data rate, using this premium GDDR5X memory type. Because one memory partition is disabled in the GPU, however, the memory bus connecting the GPU to the memory is slightly narrower at 352-bits wide, versus 384-bits on the Titan X - though overall memory bandwidth is actually higher for the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, due to its higher memory clock speed.

NVIDIA GP102 GPU Die Map
NVIDIA GP102 Die Map - 2 SMs Disabled On GeForce GTX 1080 Ti

The GPU powering the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti has a base clock of 1,480MHz and a boost clock of 1,582MHz, however. As we've mentioned, the GDDR5X memory on the card is clocked at 5.5GHz for an effective data rate of 11Gbps, which results in 484GB/s of peak memory bandwidth -- a slight improvement over the Titan X. At these clocks, the card also offers a peak texture fillrate of 331.5 GigaTexels/s, which is higher than a Titan X as well, but the card still falls within the same 250 watt power envelope. As such, the 1080 Ti requires 8-pin and 6-pin supplemental power feeds -- one each.

GeForce GTX 1080 Ti - Front
GeForce GTX 1080 Ti - Back
GeForce GTX 1080 Ti - Front and Back

The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founder's Edition pictured here looks like a cross between a standard 1080 and the Titan X. It has a faceted fan-shroud with black and silver elements and a see-thru window, a thin, modular back-plate, and an aggressive overall design language -- it loses the mostly black theme of the Titan X, though. Should you use GeForce GTX 1080 Ti cards in SLI mode, in adjacent slots, the rear portion of the backplate is removable to allow for better airflow between the cards, as you can see below (we have additional pictures in the gallery at the bottom of the page as well, if you'd like to see more views of the card, over and above what's shown here).

GeForce GTX 1080 Ti - Back Plate Removed
GeForce GTX 1080 Ti - Top Edge
Backplate Section Removed, Dual Power Connectors...

The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is outfitted with a die cast aluminum body which is machine finished and heat treated for additional strength and rigidity. The top edge of the card features the signature, lighted "GeForce GTX" logo that NVIDIA has been using for a while now, but partners are likely to introduce custom designs with different logos, lighting, etc. The thermal solution on the GTX 1080 Ti is similar to the Titan X's, but the vapor chamber has been redesigned for better performance.  The cooler features a radial fan and a relatively large vapor chamber linked to a dense heatsink fin array, that vents heated air outside the chassis. At the rear of the card, a second, small heatsink helps wick heat away from the VRM.

GeForce GTX 1080 Ti - Bare PCB

The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti features a 7+2-­phase, 2x dual-­FET power array for its GPU and memory, extra capacitance in its filtering circuitry, and a power delivery network on its PCB that has been optimized for low impedance. All told, these elements result in a quieter more power efficient card. The 7-phase, 2x dual-FET power design, which is comprised of 14 high-efficiency dual FETs, is capable of supplying up to 250 amps of power to the GPU, with less wasted heat than previous-gen offerings.

GeForce GTX 1080 Ti - Display Outputs
The GTX 1080 Ti Can Power Up To Four Displays Simultaneously

The outputs on the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti have been tweaked versus previously-released, Pascal-based cards too. The outputs on the 1080 Ti consist of a trio of full-sized DisplayPorts and an HDMI 2.0b output -- the DVI port is gone, but NVIDIA did include an adapter in the box should someone want to use DVI. The DisplayPorts enable support for 4K displays at 120Hz, 5K displays at 60Hz, and 8K displays at 60Hz (using two cables and multi-stream transport). Up to four display outputs can be used simultaneously for multi-monitors, VR setups, and the like.

And now, for some benchmarks and overclocking...

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