To start off my testing I like to take a look at a variety of synthetic benchmarks. While they don’t give a great idea of what you can expect for performance in game, they do offer us consistent tests to compare the GTX 1080 to other cards. In addition to the tests I’ve always included, with both Nvidia and AMD introducing new cards I took the chance to update the tests we run and added two new programs and four new tests, doubling the number of synthetic benchmarks we use. In addition, I should also point out that just as I started testing the GTX 1080, our old video card test bench died. Upgrading the dated bench was already being planned, but I had to throw together a new test bench and with that some of our results won’t be consistent. By retesting our GTX 980 Ti and GTX 780 results I was able to confirm that our Synthetic benchmarks are consistent though and don’t require a graph reset like our in-game tests. This is because in 3DMark we have always used the GPU score, not the overall score that takes into account CPU performance at all.
So our first tests were with 3DMark. I ran the GTX 1080 in all three Fire Strike benchmarks to get a good idea of performance at 1080p (performance), 1440p(extreme), and 4k(ultra). Across all three the GTX 1080 outperformed every other single card that we have tested. In fact, it wasn’t even close, especially in the performance setting. The single GTX 1080 did perform very close to the two GTX 980’s in SLI as well.
Next, I ran Unigine’s Valley Benchmark, this is the same test that I use for our power and heat testing because it is a little longer running and we are able to put it on loop as well. This is run at 1080p and once again the GTX 1080 stomped everything else we have tested with the exception of the GTX 980’s in SLI. The Titan X and GTX 980 Ti are nearly 15 FPS slower and those cards are worlds above everything else as well.
Our next test was completely new. I added Catzilla because it has consistent tests at all three resolutions just like 3DMark and frankly because my wife loves the monster cat in the benchmark that is destroying the city. I will be filling in new results later as I get to retesting, but I was able to at least get the GTX 1080 tested along with the GTX 980 Ti and the aged GTX 780. Across all three the GTX 1080 dominated, just like on our previous tests.
Our last benchmark is a simple one, but a sign of things to come. I added the SteamVR test to start off our Virtual Reality testing. In the future, we will be adding more tests as they are introduced, but for now people have been using the SteamVR test as a way to find out if you can expect your video card to handle the ultra-demanding VR. The GTX 1080 received the tests top score of 11 where the GTX 980 Ti was still in the green but did not cap out the test. If you are running the older GTX 780 though, you better not be expecting to jump into VR just yet.