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Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti review

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GTX 1080 Ti review
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Summary

Our Score:

9

Pros

  • Epic 4K performance
  • Very overclockable
  • Fastest consumer card you can buy

Cons

  • Power hog
  • Price-cut GTX 1080 more attractive

Key Features

  • GP-102 GPU
  • 3854 CUDA cores
  • 1.6GHz boost clock
  • 11GB GDDR5 X memory at 11GHz
  • 3x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI (DP-DVI adapter in box)
  • Founders Edition
  • TDP: 250W
  • Manufacturer: Nvidia
  • Review Price: £699.00

What is the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti?

The 1080 Ti represents the pinnacle of Nvidia's 2016/17 graphics card line-up, pitching itself as a 4K-and-beyond graphics card. It sits at the top of the range, £200 more expensive than the recently price-dropped GTX 1080 and £300 below the similarly-specified Titan X, which is all but irrelevant now for gamers.

This is the third “80 Ti” card Nvidia has introduced, following the 780 Ti and 980 Ti. The Ti brand normally means a £100 premium over the regular “80” card, but with performance that looks forward to the next generation of games and monitors – and that’s exactly what the 1080 Ti is. This monstrous card is what Nvidia hopes will carry early adopters into the era of next-gen VR, high-refresh-rate 4K gaming and even 5K.

It’s the most expensive Ti product ever, but for those who can stump up the cash, it’s a card that really looks to the future.

GTX 1080 Ti – Specs and Technology

The seventh consumer card to launch using Nvidia’s Pascal technology, you’d expect the 1080 Ti to be the most refined yet. From the spec sheet, things look very good indeed.

Related: Best graphics card

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 1

Despite what the name might suggest, this isn't simply an enhanced GTX 1080; this is a completely different card with a different chip on board. Indeed, it shares its DNA – and its GP102 GPU – with the £1,000 Titan X 2016.

This means you get a full whack of 12 billion transistors and 3,854 CUDA cores. Other, more technical specifications vary slightly, but for all intents and purposes, this is almost identical to the Titan X with a few improvements. The factory default boost clock is higher at 1.6GHz (overclockable to 2GHz and beyond), and you get 11GB of GDDR5X running at a 10% higher clock speed of 11GHz (11Gbps).

This is both more and faster memory than the GTX 1080, which makes do with 8GB of 10Gbps memory. Note that the latter has had its price cut substantially since the launch of the Ti.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 5

You’ll notice that the Ti has 1GB less memory than the Titan X, a shortcoming that’s made up for by the increased data speeds. This leads to an effective data rate of 484GB/sec, which is a smidgen faster than the Titan X’s 480GB/sec.

So what else is new? On this card, the Founders Edition that launches first, there’s a refined internal design with a better power delivery system for more efficient and cooler running. Also, the blower fan design and settings have been tweaked to make the card that little bit quieter.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 4

At the rear of the 1080 Ti there are three DisplayPort 1.4 ports alongside an HDMI 2.0 port. You also get a DisplayPort to DVI adapter in the box – handy if you have a monitor that only accepts this standard.

Related: Best desktop PCs

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 8

Externally, the design is identical to the Titan X, with die-cast aluminium and sharp edges, a green light-up GeForce GTX logo and black accents in a dual-slot configuration. It’s rather attractive, if entirely predictable.

Personally, I'd hold out for third-party interpretations from the likes of EVGA, Asus and MSI. The Founders Edition cards are always slightly cheaper than third-party rivals, but offer slightly lower performance.

Related: Best gaming PC specs to build yourself

Turn the page for the results of benchmarking.

shadowhedgehogz

March 11, 2017, 9:14 am

I wouldn't say the 4K performance is "EPIC" personally, quite a lot of games have low minimum fps in the reviews.. however if you don't mind lowering some settings and not playing intensive online games, it looks great.

Looks like an awesome 2560 x 1440 144/165hz card though.

DardaniaLion

March 12, 2017, 9:22 am

I really expected the ram to be 16GB. I think graphics cards need to move fast and get more power every year. Make each card 500% faster than the older version. Ohh wait, it's not good because then they wont make good money. SAD!

Yassin

March 18, 2017, 7:36 pm

This is one of the dumbest comments I've ever seen on a tech site. For one thing, it's VRAM not RAM and having 11GB of it is already more than any game needs in 4k. If they had to make each card 5x faster than the previous, then you would see a new card out maybe once every several years with nothing in between.

DardaniaLion

March 18, 2017, 8:26 pm

I know it is Vram which is for Video Ram. I'm with computers since 2000. That is what I want to happen. We should not need to update cards every year like iphones. Graphics card should be like CPU, changing every 3-5 years. Anyway, the world has billions of people. Can't make all of them understand the facts.

Shizmoo

March 21, 2017, 4:34 am

Cant even hit the 144/165hz cap on max settings. I hate realizing how much money I wasted on parts until down the road after dropping the cash. Twice im the fool. This time Im stuck with a 1440p 165hz monitor that wont see max settings at that hz for another year or two. Im just going to wait 5-10 years until a card can handle that at 4k. Would be a fraction of that if profits werent trying to be maximized like the other person said about iphone bullshit.

Ben V

March 21, 2017, 8:05 am

Don't know which was dumber, your first comment or the second, gotta agree with yassin here.

If you have been with computers since 2000 it means you are still a kid, how is that an argument in your favor? Noone needs to upgrade cards every year, the 600 series runs every game at high-max settings at 1080p with some having to be dumbed down because of the vram requirement like mordor, including the benchmarked games on this same post. If you upgraded to a higher res, yes you had to upgrade in the past 3-5 years, otherwise you just spent money on 2-3 different cards to raise your e-dick. That's how it is, I only upgraded my 670 this year and that was because I bought the new wacom studio pro and wanted to get into vr stuff since the tablet supports 3d modeling might aswell get support on my desktop too. If that didn't happen I'd probably stick to it until the 1080ti dropped the price.

I honestly changed my cpu more times in the past 2 decades than my gpu, but thats because I actually need a good cpu for my line of work, which gamers don't need unless you are playing total war lol.

Ben V

March 21, 2017, 8:09 am

Its actually kind of funny that they are marketing 4k gaming, when the hardware can't handle it properly yet. Im sure in 2-3 years we will see some proper performance for the top end cards, but right now it's not worth the investement unless you have the money and go for an sli/crossfire setup.

DardaniaLion

March 21, 2017, 1:43 pm

Why am I a kid? I build computers every day and sell them. I have been building computers for the past 15 years. Considering me dumb because I can see that companies like nvidia are focused only on your wallet, is really sad.

Fact is that hardware is far behind software. What's the point to make a game so powerful when there is no graphics card that plays it to the max. Had this case with Doom and also with the first Far Cry. An example is wii switch. That new Zelda game is very slow. Again my point is a fact. Software or games are aiming way too far while hardware can't cope or simply don't want to.

Why give the option Max settings when it will slow down at Very high?

You're another case who I don't really have to waste more time to explain things.

You're another person who I see every day. Playing games on computers with 75Hz refresh rates and wont see the difference when moving to 144Hz.

I am starting to believe that people can't use their six sense properly to analyze things 100%.

Brian Valdez

March 22, 2017, 1:05 am

Having to upgrade a GPU only every 3-5 years means there wasn't much improvement in the 1-2 years prior. The only reason you don't see people upgrading CPU/MB all the time is because there really isn't a good reason too as CPU performance improvement has only been marginal at best.

SigFloyd

March 24, 2017, 7:23 pm

I must be getting bottle necked somewhere. In Obduction I'm getting sub 60 in some areas on ultra settings at 1080p. In Far Cry Primal's benchmark (also on ultra) I get a minimum of 61 and max of 110 or so. No AA in either case. My previous card was a stock 980, which is clearly slower than the 1080 Ti so it's still a noticable upgrade, but damn do I feel a tad disappointed. I suspect it might be either my CPU or some weird shenanigans going on with my PSU. Or maybe I might need to reformat and reinstall Windows.

Win 7 64
16 GB RAM
i7 4790
Astro GD 750W PSU

Renz

April 1, 2017, 3:04 am

It's like saying computers need to be 500% faster after a year, so if that happens now you can't sell as much computers as you usually do.

Do you know how MUCH a die shrinking process on the GPUs nowadays, say from 22nm to 16n? It costs billions of dollars. They are just making enough money to fund for it.

Peter Den Gamer

April 2, 2017, 5:42 pm

From my experience I notice hardware becomes 200% faster after about 4 years. So a 500% increase over 3-5 years is BS comment to make.

blindexecutioner

April 4, 2017, 7:49 pm

It really depends on what you're playing though. I mean Doom on a 1080 was at the 144 cap all the time and with gsync it didn't matter if it went below that. I think a Ti is the perfect card for a 144hz gsync monitor

Cpt Obvious

April 26, 2017, 12:59 am

"You're another person who I see every day. Playing games on computers with 75Hz refresh rates and wont see the difference when moving to 144Hz."

This isn't actually true and is telling of your poor level of education on the matter.

If you're on a game like Hearthstone, sure, play it on your 1998 LG 18" flat panel. Who cares... But if you're playing a game like CS:GO (or any fast paced competitive game), there is most definitely a difference.

There are two differences, but both effectively the same end result. Frame grabbing being the most common reference. The more often the frames available for the monitor to grab are refreshed the more fluid the experience will be. A similar scenario is also true with 144hz, but more of a biological component.

You're being called a kid because you've been in computers for what is effectively 16 years. For comparison, my first dedicated graphics card was a 3DFX Voodoo, 3DFX didn't even exist as a company when you entered the fray. lol

DardaniaLion

April 26, 2017, 10:42 am

I'm away from 75Hz monitor when Asus made the first monitor with 120Hz. Now I have the ROG Swift PG258Q which has 240Hz. No, people call me a kid because they don't have a brain to think what I am saying.

It's like you start to eat without chewing the food or without letting it being digested by your stomach. Of course people throw meaningless statements if they don't understand what I am saying.

ONCE again, I am a person who follows news for new hardware and software. I am not stuck in the past for the sake of GOD, people should stop acting like animals.

Pfewww

Wohlever

April 26, 2017, 3:28 pm

It's the 4790 i7

sire williams

May 21, 2017, 6:52 am

its neither, its that you are not putting enough load on your 1080ti, therefore more workload is sent to the CPU causing a bottleneck. just crank up the resolution to 4k and it will fix itself... how do i know ?, i had the same exact problem, upgraded from a 980 to a 1080ti and noticed it wasn't like the others even with an i7 6700k, so i finally changed the resolution to 4k instead of 1080p and bam much better performance. even just playing at 2k will help with the bottleneck. you just need to put more stress on your card, its not that your computer hardware is outdated, its that the 1080ti is overpowered.

Mark Nicholson

June 21, 2017, 12:08 am

lol, errr no it isnt the 4790 is still a beast of a processor, the guy just needs to play at a resolution of at least 1440p to get the best out of the card. thanks for the LOL

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