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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Review: The Titan X Is Dead

By: Anthony Garreffa | NVIDIA GeForce GPU in Video Cards | Posted: Mar 9, 2017 2:00 pm
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TweakTown Rating: 100%Manufacturer: NVIDIA

GDDR5X @ 11Gbps

 

When the first rumors started circling on the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, I expected it to be a slightly gimped Titan X - with 8GB of GDDR5X on a 384-bit memory bus. But boy was I wrong. NVIDIA worked closely with Micron on tweaking G5X, with some stellar results.

 

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NVIDIA and Micron have made significant technological improvements on G5X, with advanced equalization techniques, channel optimization, minimal noise + jitter + PVT loss. As you can see from NVIDIA's press deck on GTX 1080 Ti, there's much less interference - allowing NVIDIA and Micron to crank everything... to 11.

 

 

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NVIDIA have used a much wider 352-bit memory bus, allowing the GDDR5X and its 11Gbps of bandwidth to surely set new records. We're talking about Titan X beating performance here, and for just $699. I don't know how NVIDIA have done it, but they have, again.

 

 

Improvements To The Pascal Architecture

 

NVIDIA hasn't just strapped a rocket to the back of the GTX 1080 - they've recrafted the already great Pascal GPU architecture with what Neo talked about in The Matrix Reloaded... upgrades.

 

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First up, we have Tiled Caching - a new technology that improves cache locality and reduces memory traffic. Instead of rendering the entire screen, it will render portions of the screen at a time - something that NVIDIA has also provided to previous-gen Maxwell and Pascal-based GeForce graphics cards.

 

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Alongside Tiled Caching, improved compression boosts the memory bandwidth of the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti from 484GB/sec to a meteoric 1200GB/sec - or 1.2TB/sec. Now keep in mind that the much more technologically advanced HBM2 technology is only hitting 512GB/sec or so - and with current rumors of the Radeon RX Vega not even hitting 500GB/sec with HBM2. NVIDIA has positioned themselves extremely well.

 

 

More VRAM/Frame Buffer Required

 

If we rewind back to 2014, games like Assassin's Creed IV and COD: Ghosts were referencing up to 3GB of framebuffer, while AC: Unity and GTA V were pushing 4GB in 2015 - all at 2560x1440. If we push into 2016 and look at the GTX 980 Ti - games were using up to 6GB of framebuffer at 4K, but 2017 saw them push towards 8GB with games like Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and Watch Dogs 2.

 

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Looking into the future, NVIDIA sees games like Watch Dogs 2 and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided needing up to 11GB of framebuffer for 5K gaming - but this is in 2018, and beyond.

 

 

New Cooling Tech

 

NVIDIA has a speedier Pascal-based GPU, super-fast GDDR5X memory, and a huge 35% performance improvement over the GTX 1080 - all of this pushed NVIDIA to make some tweaks to the already impressive Founders Edition cooler on the GTX 1080 Ti.

 

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The new GTX 1080 Ti features a new thermal design, with vapor chamber cooling, and 2 x cooling areas. NVIDIA has deployed 7-phase dualFET, 250A power, and 14 dualFETs. Meaning that the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition, is a beast - a totally raw, insanely fast graphics card that is ready for the games of today, and tomorrow.

 

 

Dat Efficiency, Yo

 

Seriously, all of this stuff drives me - the improvements that NVIDIA has made to the architecture, GDDR5X, and now the power delivery system, are beyond impressive.

 

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If we compare the Maxwell-based GeForce GTX 980 against the Pascal-powered GeForce GTX 1080, we begin to see the improvements NVIDIA made. On the GTX 980, the company was using MOSFETs to move everything into the GPU - with efficiency dropping to below 80% when the card consumed more than 100W of power.

 

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NVIDIA shifted to dualFET on the GTX 1080, seeing huge strides in efficiency - with the GTX 1080 not dropping to below 80% efficiency, even at up to 200W. The difference between the GTX 980 and GTX 1080 in terms of power efficiency, is day and night.

 

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Moving to the GTX 1080 Ti, where NVIDIA has tapped 2 x dualFET - seeing the efficiency improve yet again - with 83% efficiency at up to 200W of power - better than the GTX 1080, and far better than the GTX 980.

 

 

Cooler Performance Improvements @ 220W

 

We've touched on the improved cooler on the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti a little, but there are some great gains to be had. NVIDIA tested the GTX 1080 against the new GTX 1080 Ti, with the GTX 1080 hitting 95C and the cooler ramping the noise up to 32.5dBA.

 

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As the temperature of the GTX 1080 floats back down to under 90C, the noise reduction is significant with around 2.5dBA in reductions. But, the improved cooler on the GTX 1080 Ti drops both the temps and the noise levels.

 

NVIDIA has tested the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti at 32.5dBA, where it was only hitting 88C or so - compared to the 95C on the GTX 1080. But, the card is 2.5dBA quieter than the GTX 1080, and 5C cooler - hitting 82C or so and 35.5dBA - while the GTX 1080 reaches 88C at the same noise levels. Impressive stuff once again.

 

 

Best Ti EVAH

 

NVIDIA made a very big point that the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is the 'best Ti ever,' and they're right. Just look at the improvements between each Ti release - the GTX 780 to GTX 780 Ti, and the GTX 980 to GTX 980 Ti - with an 18% improvement and 25% improvement, respectively.

 

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The new GTX 1080 Ti blows both Ti releases out of the water, with a huge 35% improvement in performance over the already impressive GTX 1080. There's just nothing to complain about here at all, folks.

 

 

35% Faster Than GTX 1080

 

NVIDIA aren't joking around with the performance figure gains on the GTX 1080 Ti, as they had plenty of tests of games ranging from Crysis 3 to Battlefield 1 - at 1440p, and 4K - with low AA and higher amounts of AA. There were also games like The Division, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and more - all with 30%+ performance improvements.

 

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Our testing is coming soon, so just you wait for the excitement that is coming - and again folks, at just $699.

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