GTX 980 Ti is still a BOSS
When NVIDIA revealed the GeForce GTX 980 Ti all those years ago, it was a great step up in performance over the vanilla GTX 980 - and even into the third month of 2017, after countless new GPU launches, that fact remains. NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 980 Ti - even in reference card form, is a beast.
Even at 4K, the two GTX 980 Ti cards in SLI are a monster pair of graphics cards, beating out the GTX 1080 Ti on its own in synthetic benchmarks like 3DMark and Heaven.
Powering the new GTX 980 Ti SLI and GTX 1080 Ti SLI setups was AMD's new Ryzen 7 1800X processor, as I thought it was a nice test to use on AMD's new 8C/16T chip in such a massive performance mix of GPUs. I will be doing some comparison tests between Intel's new Kaby Lake-based Core i7-7700K and the Ryzen 7 1800X, which is coming soon.
The Ryzen 7 1800X, even in its air-cooled state, handled the GTX 980 Ti SLI and GTX 1080 Ti SLI setups without a hitch.
Would you upgrade from a GeForce GTX 980 Ti SLI setup to a new GTX 1080 Ti SLI setup? Well, the GTX 980 Ti SLI rig is potent - but it depends on the resolution and refresh rate of your display. If you're gaming at 3440x1440, a single GTX 1080 Ti is outperforming GTX 980 Ti cards in SLI - and the dominance of the GTX 1080 Ti in high-res situations continues at 4K, slapping the GTX 980 Ti and GTX 980 Ti SLI setups in the face.
But at the end of the day, NVIDIA's new GeForce GTX 1080 Ti cards in SLI are absolutely potent. They're capable of delivering over 60FPS at 4K, which is great.
But to be honest, I was surprised at how well the GTX 980 Ti cards in SLI held up - even in 4K. They're some hidden gems in terms of brute speed, so if you've got GTX 980 Ti SLI right now, it's a hard sell for the GTX 1080 Ti SLI upgrade at $1400+ if you're gaming at anything less than 3440x1440 and 4K.
If you were looking at buying the new 4K displays with their huge 144Hz refresh rate and HDR tech, two GeForce GTX 1080 Ti cards in SLI is exactly what you need - and even then, they're not fast enough for 144FPS average at 4K. We're going to need Volta and HBM2 for 100FPS+ on a single graphics card at 4K, which won't be here until at least 2018.
For now, GTX 1080 Ti SLI is the pinnacle of consumer graphics cards - offering blistering performance, with lots of headroom for overclocking - and this is just with the Founders Edition. The custom GTX 1080 Ti cards are on their way, with MSI, GIGABYTE, EVGA, ASUS and more all waiting to deploy countless new GTX 1080 Ti cards.
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