16nm FinFET... PHWOAR
Guys - this is where the massive increase is, the impressive new 16nm FinFET process that NVIDIA used on the GeForce GTX 1080. TSMC is the company manufacturing the GP104 GPUs on their 16nm FinFET node, and it's beyond good. The GeForce GTX 1080 and its GP104 GPU has more transistors, can have its clock speed cranked far higher, and with it improved power efficiency. Mixing this into a huge bowl with NVIDIA's new Pascal architecture, and you have the most exciting video card ever released.
We've been sitting on the 28nm node for five years now, and while both AMD and NVIDIA have squeezed more than we thought possible from the 28nm node, it's about time we moved on. The 16nm FinFET process is an incredible step, and if the GTX 1080 is just the beginning of that, we're positively excited to see what the future holds for video cards with 14nm/16nm technology.
GDDR5X... DOUBLE PHWOAR
In the months leading up to the GeForce GTX 1080 launch, most people thought NVIDIA would be using HBM1 or HBM2 memory - and in the end, the company went with neither. Instead, NVIDIA opted for Micron's new GDDR5X memory.
GDDR5X offers quite a significant increase in bandwidth over GDDR5, with GDDR5 hitting a huge brick wall at around 7Gbps and now GDDR5X reaching 10Gbps of bandwidth. Even with its relatively small 256-bit memory bus, the GeForce GTX 1080 still pumps 320GB/sec of memory bandwidth. Also, the GTX 1080 has 43% more memory bandwidth than the GTX 980, and if we take into consideration the architectural improvements that Pascal provides with memory compression, the GTX 1080 has around 1.7x the effective memory bandwidth compared to the GTX 980.
DisplayPort 1.4 & HDMI 2.0b Allow for 8K 60Hz, and 4K 120Hz
DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI 2.0b are super exciting, as they'll allow for higher resolution displays, as well as even higher refresh rates. DP1.3/1.4 is capable of powering 4K 120Hz, up from the 4K 60Hz standard right now. Even more so, DP1.3/1.4 will enable 5K @ 60Hz (which right now requires two DP cables), and 8K 60Hz (with two cables).
The GeForce GTX 1080 has 3 x DP connectors, 1 x HDMI 2.0b and a dual-link DVI connector, with the GTX 1080 capable of running four displays simultaneously. Not only that, but we have HDR support on the GTX 1080, as well as video encoding and decoding. Pascal supports HDR video (4K@60 10/12b HECV Decode), HDR record/stream (4K@60 10b HECV Encode), and HDR Interface Support (DP1.4).
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