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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080Ti - evolution or revolution?

06 Jun 17

NVIDIA continue to push the power of their Pascal-based GPU’s with the GeForce GTX 1080Ti.

The GTX 1080Ti arrives only ten months after the release of the GTX 1080. But ten months is a long time in technology. Whilst the Titanium suffix means revised architecture is it evolution or revolution?

At a reported 35% extra oomph, I wasn’t convinced that the GeForce GTX 1080Ti Founders Edition would give me that much of a boost over the 1080 already in the test rig.

Whilst a 6700K PC sporting a GTX 1080 may be considered a 4K capable machine, there’s going to have to be some visual compromise to get a solid frame, especially on newer games. I run games over three 1080p monitors and for the likes of Ghost Recon: Wildlands, I have to accept that I’m not going to play on high graphics settings.

Green PC

What the GTX 1087Ti does is push the average game experience into the realm of easily being able to accommodate a 4K output. Assisted by a whopping 11GB of GDDR5X, there’s more than enough space to hold hi-res textures and effects. The 11 Gbps memory speed ensures that the images are delivered to the screen without waiting for textures to load, dropping frames or stuttering.

The 3D Mark benchmark test results for the GTX1080Ti Founders Edition showed a modest increase over the GTX1080 FE. 

Time Spy

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 TI       8102 marks

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080            6722 marks

Fire Strike Ultra

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 TI       6594 marks

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080            5095 marks

The SteamVR Performance Test stated that the GTX 1080Ti equipped test rig was performing well above the recommended level for high quality VR. The 1080TI scored an 11 (high quality).

Time Spy

For virtual reality, your system will welcome any graphical boost, and so the 1080Ti will be appreciated. With many SteamVR apps now experimenting with multi-sample rendering to improve the relatively low resolution of the Vive and Oculus kits, the extra power will go a long way towards optimising your VR experience.  

The card draws 230W, with NVIDIA recommending a 600W PSU. In this day and age, it really doesn’t hurt to have a system with at least 750W to be on the safe side, especially if you run a lot of hard drives. It’s worth bearing in mind that the 1080Ti requires both a 6-pin and an 8-pin power connection, rather than just the 8-pin required of the GTX 1080 FE.

The GTX1080Ti Founders Edition does away with DVI, offering three DisplayPort connectors and an HDMI port. I had no issues what so ever connecting three HDMI monitors via DisplayPort and an HTC Vive VR kit to the HMDI port.

Heatslink

The card retains the slick sports car-like look of the GeForce 10 fan assembly. The RGB GeForce GTX logo on the side of the card looks really smart for those of you that like to be able to see the inside of your PC.

The GeForce GTX 1080Ti does not come cheap. For many, even the most devout NVIDIA gamers, the continuous flow of new cards arriving at almost six-monthly intervals means that you really need to consider whether it’s your time to upgrade. Of course, VR and 4K aficionados will want the extra grunt the GTX1080Ti offers right now.

If you are thinking of upgrading from a GTX 1080, unless you are particularly well-heeled, you may want to wait for the next series of cards. But for someone with anything less than a GTX 1070 or GTX 980 looking to upgrade, the GeForce 1080Ti is most definitely the way to go.

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