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March 10, 2017

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition Review



NVIDIA has officially launched its flagship GTX 1080 Ti today and compared to all the unbox and teases from a few days ago, this is probably the moment that you all have been waiting for - the performance benchmarks. Let's dive in and see what kind of crazy performance does the GTX 1080 Ti yields to support the claims of '35% faster than GTX 1080 and faster than Titan X Pascal'.

Specifications


GTX 1080 Ti
NVIDIA Titan X (Pascal)
GTX 1080
CUDA Cores
3584
3584
2560
Texture Units
298
224
160
ROPs
96
96
64
Core Clock
1481MHz
1417MHz
1607MHz
Boost Clock
1582MHz
1531MHz
1733MHz
TFLOPs (FMA)
11.5 TFLOPs
11 TFLOPs
9 TFLOPs
Memory Clock
11Gbps GDDR5X
10Gbps GDDR5X
10Gbps GDDR5X
Memory Bus Width
352-bit
384-bit
256-bit
VRAM
11GB
12GB
8GB
Price
$699
$1200
$599


From the specification above, we can clearly see where the claim of '35% faster than a GTX 1080 and faster  than Titan X Pascal' comes from. Sharing the same amount of CUDA cores as the Titan X Pascal, the GTX 1080 Ti appears to have more texture units, higher core clock and boost clock, faster GDDR5X memory clock. 

Appearance



Appearance wise, the differences between both the GTX 1080 and GTX 1080 Ti aren't that significant at first glance, as both card shares the similar shroud design, cooler, as well as the back plate. 



As for the power requirement, unlike the GTX 1080 that requires only a minimum requirement of 500W power supply with a single 8-pin PCIe power connector, the GTX 1080 Ti comes just as close to the Titan X Pascal which rated TDP of 250W, a minimum requirement for power supply at 600W with at least 1 x 6-pin and 1 x 8-pin PCIe power connector.



At the back of the card, the first thing you'll probably notice is the absent of the DVI-D connector on the GTX 1080 Ti. As there are Titan X Pascal users complained about the card running hot on 94°C, the GTX 1080 Ti which shares similar specification runs just as hot at 91°C. We can assume that the removal of the DVI-D connector is meant to improve the heat dissipation by making more space for the hot air to be expelled from the back of the card.

Performance Test

Test Rig Configuration
CPU Cooler
Raijintek Triton 240
CPU
Intel Core i7 7700K @4.6GHz
Motherboard
MSI Z270 Gaming M7
Memory
Apacer Commando DDR4 8GB
Primary Hard Drive
Intel 520 Series 240GB SSD
Power Supply
Be Quiet! Straight Power 10 600W
Chassis
Cooler Master Test Bench V1.0

We mounted the GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition and GTX 1080 Founders Edition on our test bench as above and each and every benchmark is conducted in a room of about 30C° ambient temperature.

Performance 

We ran a few AAA titles in our possession on a selected settings at 1080p and 1440p, which is considered as high for much of our test as usual.The final result of each benchmark is presented in the form of the graph below:



Overclocking

We gave the 3DMark Fire Strike a quick run with both the GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition and GTX 1080 Founders Edition running at its highest achievable GPU core clock and memory clock that is stable enough to be able to complete each of the benchmark with the following values:




GTX 1080 
GTX 1080 Ti
GPU Core Clock
248
166
Memory Clock
556
405
Power Gain
20%
20%

We've also done a quick comparison with the basic 3DMark Fire Strike result for a GTX 980 Ti and GTX 980 Ti on SLI configuration:


Temperature

We're using FurMark 1.18.0 from ozone3d.net for thermal test with resolution 2560 x 1440, 8X MSAA and full screen for 30 minutes each under ambient temperature of 30°C (±1°C).  


Verdict

The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition alone is capable of handling most of the AAA titles easily without overclocking and the numbers we're getting from the games benchmark is enough to verify the 35% faster than a GTX 1080 claim. The overclocking headroom is slightly lesser than the GTX 1080, but the effective boost clock of 2062MHz from the GTX 1080 Ti is still an impressive result that can easily put the GTX 1080 to shame. 

While everything seems too good to be true for the GTX 1080 Ti, do note that the load temperature on stock (86°C) is enough for you to make a perfectly slow-cooked egg. So if you're planning to build yourself a small form factor gaming powerhouse with this card, make sure that the ITX chassis of your choice comes with a good ventilation design, i.e SilverStone Sugo SG13.

Just before revealing the GTX 1080 Ti, NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang has specifically mentioned that the GTX Titan X Pascal is the current best GPU money can buy. With its specifications that puts it in the GTX Titan X Pascal territory and almost half the price, the GTX 1080 Ti is basically a budget Titan X Pascal in disguise. Given that you have the budget to go for the current best GPU money can buy, the GTX 1080 Ti is the definitely the one to go for.

Pros
  • Combination of both aesthetics and solid build quality
  • At least 30% faster than a GTX 1080
  • Decent overclocking headroom 
  • Comes with DisplayPort male to DVI-D female adapter
  • Performs better than Titan X Pascal, cost half the price
Cons
  • Still costly
  • Load temperature is high even before overclocking

 
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