Does the GeForce GTX 1080 Handle 11,520 x 2160?
I've been counting the days away until we have a single-GPU solution capable of playing games on 3 x 4K displays, and thought that might have come early with the GeForce GTX Titan X, but it's the GTX 1080 that impresses me the most. The reason? We have all of this power in a video card that requires just 1 x 8-pin PCIe power connector, compared to the rest of the cards we tested that require two PCIe power connectors.
Does the performance live up to what we expected? Yes, it does. The GTX 1080 beats every other card we tested in every single test, which is a huge win for NVIDIA. We have a card that handles 11,520 x 2160 better than the $999 Titan X, and the HBM1-powered Radeon R9 Fury X. It goes to show the world that you don't need HBM for the high resolutions like 11,520 x 2160, unless the games are specifically coded to take advantage of the higher-speed HBM1/2 technology.
In games like Far Cry Primal, the GeForce GTX 1080 was pumping away at 17FPS average, and while that's far from playable, it beat the Titan X by 3FPS (or 21%). It smashes the Radeon R9 Fury X, as AMD's best could only manage 7FPS - hitting its framebuffer and tripping over itself, losing out to the GTX 1080 by... 142.8%. The GTX 1080 provides over twice the performance in Far Cry Primal compared to the Fury X at 11,520 x 2160, that's something worth writing home about when it comes to the next-gen cards needing 6GB of VRAM or more.
Right now there's only a very small handful of people who would be gaming on a monstrous 11,520 x 2160 resolution as cost is a big roadblock there. We're looking at around $500 each for some decent G-Sync or FreeSync 4K monitors, and then the GPU power required is going to cost another $1500 or so on top to begin to get close to 60FPS.
It's something for the ultra enthusiasts and super hardcore gamers with a little more money than most, but another interesting angle to look at these 11,520 x 2160 results is to think where resolutions will be a few years from now. We're getting close to 8K becoming a reality, with a native resolution of 7680 x 3840, this triple 4K monitor setup is actually rendering less pixels, meaning 8K is going to require even more grunt required than 11,520 x 2160.
This is a big reason I do these benchmarks, is a big of 'this is what we're able to achieve now on today's video cards' and 'this is also a resolution we'll be surpassing with the next step in displays, to 8K'. Right now, we're going to need 2 x GeForce GTX 1080 cards in SLI to even get close to 60FPS, with not much hardware on the market capable of driving 60FPS, no matter how many cards you throw into a multi-GPU setup.
8K is going to require at least 200-300% more GPU horsepower than we have now if we want to begin thinking of rendering 8K at 30FPS... let alone 60FPS. Don't even get me started on 120Hz or higher 8K displays, because we simply don't have the tech right now capable of that.
This is where NVIDIA's next-gen Volta architecture and AMD's newer-than-Polaris architecture, Vega, will come into play. HBM2 is going to be a big push behind that, as I think the displays by then will really require truly next-gen GPUs, capable of driving in today's terms; 1080p x 24 screens @ 60FPS... that's not easy, at all.
But, you know what? It drives me. It drives the passion behind me, and I can't wait to see what graphics hardware can be released in the next year or two with the 14/16nm node, HBM2 technology, and the new Polaris and Volta architectures from NVIDIA and the Polaris and Vega architectures from AMD. Bring on 8K and even 16K at 240FPS, okay?
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