For the last few months, I've been ramping up towards a big change for the content that I do here at TweakTown, as I wasn't content with 'just' benchmarking 4K and 3440x1440 resolutions. I wanted to push into 8K but needed a slew of new hardware to pull it off.
Off I went securing a bunch of new hardware to run 7680x4320, which began with the Core i7-7700K (and then will continue with the new Core i9 processors, and the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X sitting next to me). For now, I'm going to be using the Core i7-7700K overclocked to 5GHz as it's more suited to gaming, while the Threadripper 1950X CPU will be tested in our next article.
We'll have detailed specs on the system used on the next page, but onto the resolution that we're testing here: 8K. 8K might seem like it's twice as much as 4K, because - well, 4+4 = 8... but it's far more pixels than you think. 8K is 4x the pixels of 4K and 16x the pixels of 1080p. This means if you look at your 1080p TV, you'd have to have 16 of them to have the pixels that are bursting around the place at 8K. It's an incredible feat.
I have Dell's new UP3218K display, which is the only native 8K monitor on the market. There are other tests done on other sites and by YouTubers at "8K", but it's not native 8K. You can run 8K by running 200% resolution on your game on a 4K monitor (200% on top of 4K renders the game at 7680x4320), but it's still not native.
Then there's NVIDIA's Dynamic Super Resolution (DSR) and AMD's Virtual Super Resolution (VSR). These technologies are the same as running 200% at 4K, rendering the game at 8K. But, it's nowhere near the same as running it on a native 8K panel which requires 2 x DP 1.4 cables just to run.
8K: More Than Just A Number
Dell's impressive UP3218K is a huge 32-inch monitor with a native resolution of 7680x4320, which when sitting in front of it, feels like it's almost perfect.
We purchased the Dell UP3218K ourselves, which rings in with an MSRP of $4999 - but is on special right now at Dell for "just" $3899. Not bad considering how absolutely amazing this display is. As much as I want to sit here and write about the Dell UP3218K, this isn't what we're here for: we're here for the performance of 8K benchmarking and gaming on TITAN Xp in SLI, right?!
First, let's get the resolution and its pixel domination out of the way.
As you can see from this handy image, 1080p is super small compared to 4K - and absolutely tiny compared to 8K. Looking at the is-it-even-there resolution of 1280x720 that most console games run at (and now we're finally shifting into 1080p on consoles), 8K absolutely blows them away.
The GPU requirements of running games at 8K is nothing short of STAGGERING. You really do need GeForce GTX 1080 Ti cards in SLI minimum, and even then you're not guaranteed to hit 60FPS.
I reached out to my friends at NVIDIA and asked for two of their freakin' unbelievably fast TITAN Xp graphics cards, and just a couple of days later they were in my hands. Props to NVIDIA for getting the TITAN Xp graphics cards down to Australia from California so fast.
TITAN Xp: HOLY BALLS FAST
TITAN Xp: The World's Fastest Graphics Card
NVIDIA has absolutely dominated enthusiast graphics cards for the last few years, turning their TITAN X line of cards into the enthusiasts cards beyond GeForce GTX series cards. The GTX 1080 Ti is a beast, but NVIDIA has unlocked even more potential from Pascal on TITAN Xp.
NVIDIA already dialed everything up to 11 for the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, but they had some room left to move with Pascal for TITAN Xp. The full 3840 CUDA cores are featured on TITAN Xp, with 12GB of GDDR5X at an incredible 11.4Gbps (up from 11Gbps on GTX 1080 Ti).
The 12GB of GDDR5X is on a wide 384-bit memory bus (up from 352-bit on GTX 1080 Ti) which provides a whopping 547.7GB/sec of memory bandwidth. If we compare this to the "next-gen" HBM2 that AMD deployed on their new Radeon RX Vega 64 graphics card, with a 2048-bit memory bus, the 8GB of HBM2 on RX Vega 64 has just 484GB/sec of memory bandwidth.
NVIDIA provides SLI support for up to 4-way TITAN Xp graphics cards, something we plan to do - especially if this article does well enough, we can ask NVIDIA for another two TITAN Xp graphics cards to ensure we can hit 60FPS at 8K... which isn't easy.
Dell UP3218K: Best Display Ever?!
Dell UP3218K First Impressions
I've been a big fan of Dell monitors over the years, using their original FP2405W back in my professional gaming days. It was a glorious display that could be overclocked to 100Hz before 120/144/165Hz monitors were a thing. It was a great display, and it was the start of Dell entering the gaming market (without entering it at the same time).
Dell's latest beyond enthusiast display is the amazing UP3218K, their new 32-inch 8K monitor that has 1.07 billion colors and a native resolution of 7680x4320 @ 60Hz. It's f***ing balls to the wall amazing. It rocks an IPS panel with its 16:9 aspect ratio and 6ms (gray-to-gray) response time not being too bad for gaming either. I slipped in some Quake Champions, DOOM, and even PUBG in 8K... and in short, it was glorious.
Dell has thrown everything into the UP3218K, including the kitchen sink - heck, you could render a kitchen sink in better quality than your eyes will see a real one. Other than the native 7680 x 4320 resolution and 60Hz refresh rate, the detailed tech specs are impressive:
Benchmarks So Far
8K Benchmarking... Not Good, Yet
Our 8K benchmarking will be an influx of change for the next few weeks, but with some preliminary benchmark results, we can see how a single NVIDIA TITAN Xp graphics card handles 7680x4320.
The TITAN Xp was benchmarked against the older TITAN X(P) and the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, as well as AMD's new Radeon RX Vega 64 Liquid Cooled Edition graphics card. We have some very interesting results to share, and you might just be surprised with what the RX Vega 64 is capable of.
We ran a handful of benchmarks including Unigine Heaven for our synthetic test, while running Metro: Last Light Redux, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Far Cry Primal and Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. I will be adding more benchmarks to this list, but for now, let's check out the performance.
Rise of the Tomb Raider is one of the best looking games on the market, a truly gorgeous game - and a wonder to benchmark. The team at Crystal Dynamics made a very scalable PC game that plays really well testing graphics cards. We've got DX11 and DX12 results in one here, showing the slight strengths of running DX12 mode.
Far Cry Primal is a game built on the impressive Dunia Engine 2 with wide open, beautiful environments. It might look stunning, but the performance is actually quite good - but most cards will be stressed at 1440p, and especially so at 4K and beyond.
You can buy Far Cry Primal at Amazon.
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is one of the most graphically intensive games we test, with Monolith using their own Lithtech engine to power the game. When cranked up to maximum detail, it will chew through your GPU and its VRAM like it's nothing.
Metro: Last Light Redux comes from developer 4A Games, making the Redux version of Metro: Last Light the 'definitive' version of the game. Redux had a fresh coat of paint on the already impressive 4A Engine, and it really pushes our GPUs to their limits.
Ultra Graphics: Too Much @ 8K
The cards that we've got here for testing include the best from both AMD and NVIDIA, so we have the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, TITAN X(P), TITAN Xp (the new 2017 model) and AMD's flagship Radeon RX Vega 64 Liquid Cooled Edition.
Would you look at that? TITAN Xp is a freakin' monster but still struggles at 7680x4320. We don't breach 20FPS for four of the tests, while Shadow of Mordor gets close to 30FPS... other than that, unplayable is the demonstration here at 8K.
NVIDIA's super-fast TITAN Xp graphics card is the champion of Metro: Last Light Redux @ 8K, and even though it's just 14.5FPS... it beats out the 12.5FPS on both the TITAN X(P) and the GTX 1080 Ti. It leaves the Radeon RX Vega 64 LCE in its dust, with just 10.5FPS in comparison.
If we look at Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, which really squeezes the memory controller, memory bandwidth, and the VRAM itself... TITAN Xp wins. We have 26.6FPS average versus the 24.7FPS on the GTX 1080 Ti, and just 19.4FPS on the RX Vega 64 LCE.
The next step I'll be taking with 8K benchmarking will be dropping the in-game visual settings to Medium, which should increase the performance of the games before we jump into multi-GPU configurations with our TITAN Xp graphics cards in SLI.
We Aren't Ready For 8K Gaming, Yet
I didn't buy a $4000+ display to game at 8K smoothly. I purchased display because I'm a super-enthusiast. I want the best without compromises, and here I am... with a 32-inch display with a freakin' native res of 7680x4320. It's almost too much, and I love it.
This is the world of enthusiasts, and I'm also someone who spends most of their hobby money on technology. But would I recommend an 8K display for gamers right now? No. Absolutely not.
- Are you someone who sits in front of a display all day?
- Are you a content creator?
- Are you a super-enthusiast?
- Have you ever spent $4000 on a high-end monitor in the past?
If you answered yes to any of that, then the Dell UP3218K and the world of 8K is open to you. I sit in front of a display for a living and the Dell UP3218K in Windows 10 with 175% DPI scaling is actually damn good. It's not too small, but it provides a large increase in desktop real estate while displaying beyond crisp colors and sharpness.
More To Come
We can't wrap up 8K gaming and workstation use in a single article, so this will be a huge series we'll be doing. Soon I'll be getting some data for Destiny 2 up, Battlegrounds, Battlefield 1, and much more. This is where things will get more exciting, as we'll shift away from using our Core i7-7700K processor @ 5GHz, to other CPU combinations.
There will be some comparisons between Ryzen 3 and Core i3 processors, Ryzen 5 and Core i5 processors, and Ryzen 7 and Core i7 processors. There is also a Core i7-7740K processor sitting here that I'm waiting on an X299 motherboard for, as well as X399 ready to go with AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X and its 16C/32T of CPU power.
The one big takeaway from the 8K display for gaming is that 4K gaming is absolutely incredible on it, which is from multiple angles: the Dell UP3218K is a 32-inch panel, much bigger than the traditional 28-inch 4K gaming displays out there. Secondly, the color and sharpness on the Dell UP3218K is literally out of this world. Looking at any other display feels like a disservice after using the UP3218K.
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