After almost a year of different rumors, Nvidia announced the GTX 1080 Ti last week along with a few other announcements at GDC. Recently GTX 1080 owners were most likely disappointed to hear about the price drops for the GTX 1080 and the new faster 1080’s as well. Not to mention the new GTX 1080 Ti is promised to be 35% faster than the GTX 1080. That in itself is really exciting because that is a big performance jump but given all of the launches this year, 2017 is looking like an exciting year for gaming and enthusiasts hardware. Well, today the NDA drops and I can finally dive into the performance of the new video card. Nvidia sent over the GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition, but I hope to see what the aftermarket cards can do as well here soon.

Product Name: Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition

Review Sample Provided by: Nvidia

Written by: Wes

Pictures by: Wes

Amazon Link: HERE

 

Before jumping into our coverage I did want to include a copy of the GPUz from when I did our testing. This way everyone can see the clock speeds, BIOS revision, and driver version for future comparison.

Gpuz

 


GTX 1080 Ti

I suspect a lot of you caught the Nvidia presentation when they introduced the GTX 1080 Ti so I will try to keep this section quick and to the point but I did want to run through the specifications, what's different, and how it fits into Nvidia’s product lineup. But first, if you didn’t check out the presentation, here it is

Nvidia had a lot to announce this year on both the software and hardware sides. I can’t even touch on them all, but one that I really liked was their new Nvidia Aftermath. This is a new tool that is designed to help developers better identify the causes of crashes. A lot of times it isn’t very clear when a crash is CPU or GPU based so they collaborated with Microsoft on this one. Basically, it can be shipped with games and gamers have the option to upload the logs so you don’t have to have any additional privacy concerns. Better logs and ways to identify game crashes is a great thing, though. Hopefully, it helps lead to more stable games.

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Another big introduction was Shadowplay Highlights. Shadowplay has been around for a while now and Nvidia continues to expand on its functionality. Highlights are especially interesting to me, though. I never remember what the commands are to save a video when I think about it and normally I never even think to try to save a cool highlight after it happens. The idea here is to have an SDK where games can automatically tell Shadowplay to save a highlight after an important moment happens in the game. A lot of games already have on screen displays and audio files for things like pentakills, big kill streaks, and other big moments. This could work with that and record a video of them happening for you. Then at the end of the game, you can edit the video down, set the resolution, and upload the video to any of your preferred services.  

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They also had a video showing off Shadowplay Highlights.

Then they had a few hardware announcements as well. The GTX 1080 Ti being the main one of course but two others slipped under the radar for a lot of people. They have opened up the option for card manufacturers to now use the same 11Gbps GDDR5X from the Ti on their GTX 1080’s as well. The same for the GTX 1060’s where they went from 8Gbps GDDR5 to 9Gbps GDDR5. Nvidia themselves aren’t bringing out new Founders Edition models, but this should mean a few refreshed GTX 1080’s and GTX 1060’s in the near future as well giving part of their lineup a bump. With that, they also announced a price drop on the GTX 1080 MSRP down to $499 from the original $599 MSRP. This is of course just the base price but Nvidia did later follow suit and drop the pricing of their GTX 1080 FE on their website down to $549 and the GTX 1070 FE dropped $50 as well down to $399 even though there wasn’t an official MSRP drop for the 1070. It seems they want to lower the price premium for the Founders Edition cards. For the GTX 1080 Ti they also announced that there would be no premium at all for the Founders Edition, given the backlash after the 1080 launch over the price premiums and none of the aftermarket cards coming in at the lower MSRPs, this should make a lot of people happy.

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Speaking of the GTX 1080 Ti, what's that all about. Well, in short, they have basically taken the same GP102 GPU from the Titan X Pascal and used it for the GTX 1080 Ti. They didn’t cut it down at all meaning the Ti get the same 3584 CUDA cores, this is just over 1000 more than the GTX 1080. The number of texture units matches as well with only the ROP (Render Output Unit) count dropping from 96 down to 88. In fact, they even went higher on the GPU clock speeds over the Titan X with the GTX 1080 Ti running at 1480MHz over the Titan X’s 1417MHz for base clocks. The Boost clocks are also similarly higher for the Ti. Those numbers are all crazy but for the past week, nearly everyone's focus has been on the odd vRAM capacity. Where the Titan XP has 12GB the 1080 Ti has 11GB. Nvidia even missed out on all of the Spinal Tap jokes with the GTX 1080 Ti having 11GB in VRAM and 11Gbps in memory clock speed. Here is a look at the numbers from the Titan X, 1080 Ti, 1080, and even the older 980 TI.

Titan X (P)

GTX 1080 Ti

GTX 1080

GTX 980 Ti

CUDA Cores

3584

3584

2560

2816

Texture Units

224

224

160

176

ROPs

96

88

64

96

Core Clock

1417MHz

1480MHz

1607MHz

1000MHz

Boost Clock

1531MHz

1582MHz

1733MHz

1075MHz

Memory Clock

10Gbps

11Gbps

10Gbps

7Gbps

Memory Type

GDDR5X

GDDR5X

GDDR5X

GDDR5

Memory Bus Width

384-bit

352-bit

256-bit

384-bit

VRAM

12GB

11GB

8GB

6GB

TDP

250W

250W

180W

250W

GPU

GP102

GP102

GP104

GM200

Transistor Count

12B

12B

7.2B

8B

Manufacturing Process

16nm FinFET

16nm FinFET

16nm FinFET

28nm

Launch Price

$1200

$699

MSRP: $599

Founders $699

$649

A lot of people might be wondering why they even needed to with that much VRAM, most people aren’t using that right now in games, right? Well, Nvidia touched on that explaining that they see 5K being the next step past 4k resolutions and that with games like Watch Dogs 2 already pushing the limits of the 8GB VRAM of the GTX 1080. At 5k the same games are right up at 11GB in VRAM.

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The additional CUDA cores really show when you take a look at the block diagrams comparing the GTX 1080 and the GTX 1080 Ti.

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The new card also bumps the TDP up to 250 watts where the GTX 1080 only ran at 180 watts. This isn’t a big surprise, typically 250 watts is where the flagship cards land. When we see flagship cards with a lower TDP Nvidia normally seems to have a little extra ready to bring out later on. They did, however, double the number of 2x dualFETs on the power delivery side of the card. With that, they were able to improve the already improved power efficiency of the GTX 1080 that introduced the 2x dualFETs. Nvidia had power curves to show the efficiency as the power usage scales up, obviously ending earlier for the 180-watt TDP of the GTX 1080 but you can see the Ti being more efficient across the board.

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Packaging

With Nvidia selling their own Founders Edition cards along side of all of the other custom boards, it also means when we get sampling like this we now get the full packaging to go along with it. So let’s see how Nvidia has packaged everything. The box is the same as the GTX 1080 Founders Edition with the zoomed in render of the cooler across the front. The standard GeForce GTX branding with the model number wraps around the side to the front. All in all the box is very clean. The box opens up by sliding the top off and inside you will find the GTX 1080 Ti in all of its glory chilling in a foam cutout with its static protective bag around it.

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Next to the card, Nvidia also included some documentation in a slide out bundle. You get a quick start guide and a support guide but most people know how to install their card. Also with them is a cardstock paper that says Welcome to GeForce GTX Gaming on the front. Inside of it, they mention their GeFrorce Experience software and they have included a metal case badge. There is a warning to not put it on your pets or in your sibling's hair as well.

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Then unlike previous cards, there is also a small box you can pull out that comes with a DisplayPort to DVI adapter. I will get into this later but this is because the GTX 1080 Ti has dropped the DVI connector altogether. Including an adapter is nice but remember this adapter only does 1080p 60FPS, so those who need a dual link DVI connection are going to be out of luck.

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Card Layout and Photos

At first glance, the GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition doesn’t look any different than the GTX 1080 Founders Editions did. You get the same all metal enclosure on a blower cooler. It has the same angular shapes, silver and black theme, and the acrylic window that shows the black heatsink behind it. So I forgive you for thinking that Nvidia just slapped the same cooling solution on the new card and carved the extra Ti into the side. That said the Ti does feel a little added on, the GTX 1080 part is still centered where it should have dropped down with the addition of the two letters, they must have been saving a little money on tooling there.

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Even working our way around the edges there isn’t anything that looks changed. That said, it does also mean that the GTX 1080 Ti is still a good blower solution, like the previous card with the sealed top and bottom helps push the air out the back of your PC with a little also going out the other end with that small heatsink at the end. This does mean that our painting instructions for the GTX 1080 Founders Editions will still apply to this card, so be the first to customize your new GTX 1080 Ti.

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The heatsink still has a curve to its shape to best fit the shape of the card and to take advantage of every possible bit of the surface area for extra cooling. But even still this is actually the same as the GTX 1080, I originally thought it was new but a detailed look through our teardown photos of the 1080 showed it had the same shape as well. They do use a copper baseplate on the heatsink with a vapor chamber to help spread the heat out across the entire heatsink before the blower fan pushes air down across the length of the heatsink. Packing everything into the standard form factor with a blower fan doesn’t leave a lot of room for a heatsink. This is why aftermarket cards see a big jump in cooling when they don’t have to do a blower design and are able to make the card an inch taller to fit huge heatsinks and fans.

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Up on the top edge, the card still has the standard backlit GeForce GTX logo with the green finish on it. I’ve been begging for it for a long time, but an RGB solution here would be amazing. Or at least an option to switch to a more neutral color that will fit in builds that green looks bad on. Then, of course, the card has a double SLI post for SLI support. Nvidia is only recommending dual SLI and this is where most of their support will revolve around but like the GTX 1080 you can still use an enthusiast key to unlock 3 and 4 card SLI configurations, but don’t expect much support.

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Now power connection is an area where the new GTX 1080 Ti is very different than the GTX 1080. Where one 8-pin was enough to power the GTX 1080 with its 180-watt TDP, the GTX 1080 Ti has an 8-pin and a 6-pin. This helps power the 250-watt TDP. Deeper inside they also changed things. The GTX 1080 had a dual FET power design where the 1080 Ti has double that with a 7-phase 2x dual-FET power design to help push the higher wattage.

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The backplate design for the GTX 1080 Ti is the basically the same as the GTX 1080 with the exception of the Ti added on to the product name on it. The name looks upside down for our photos but it will be readable when the card is installed in your normal cases. The backplate is a thick aluminum and it is held in place with all of those tiny screws. The design is split in half to allow anyone who plans on running the cards in SLI up against each other to open up a little breathing room for the fan. This is less of an issue these days with dual SLI normally being the max, but it’s a nice option to have to keep from suffocating your card in a multi-card configuration.

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Last but not least we have the PCI slot end of the card where we can see the display connection. This is where Nvidia made the biggest and most controversial choice. They still have the triangle vent design that I still think could be opened up for better ventilation. But they dropped the DVI connection that used to run on the second row to open up all of that airflow. You still have one HDMI port and three DisplayPorts but for a lot of people, myself included there is always that one monitor that needs DVI. In my case, I could get away with using the included DisplayPort to DVI adapter but if that is your main monitor there is a good chance you are going to need a dual-link cable for the additional bandwidth for a high refresh rate (anything over 60) or a higher resolution. A lot of the eBay Korean 1440p monitors for example only support DVI. So while I think that DVI is on its way out and the space was needed for airflow, I do wish the adapter option supported dual-link. Getting a proper adapter for this might end up costing up to $115 so it is something to consider.

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Our Test Rig and Procedures

Our Test Rig

CPU

Intel i7-5960X

Live Pricing

Memory

Kingston HyperX FURY Black 32GB Quad Channel Kit 2666 MHz

Live Pricing

Motherboard

Gigabyte X99-SOC Champion 

Live Pricing

Cooling

Noctua NH-U12S Cooler

Live Pricing

Power Supply

Thermaltake 850w

Live Pricing

Storage

Kingston Hyper X Savage 960GB SSD

Live Pricing

Case

Dimastech Test Bench

Live Pricing

OS

Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

Live Pricing

Our Testing Procedures

3DMark

The same goes for the most current version of 3DMark using the Fire Strike benchmark in normal, extreme, and ultra settings

Unigine Valley Benchmark 1.0

Using the Extreme HD preset to get an average FPS

Catzilla 4k

Default tests for 1080p, 1440p, and 4k resolutions using the overall score for each as our result

SteamVR

Default SteamVR test using Average Quality score

VRMark

Orange and Blue rooms tested, use Average FPS for the result

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Tests are done using the built-in benchmark at High and Ultra graphic settings at both 1080p and 1440p resolutions.

DOOM

Doom is tested on the Ultra quality setting. Tests are run at 1080p and 1440p using both OpenGL and Vulkan. The benchmark is a basic one using just the average FPS in the opening scene.

HITMAN 2016

Fullscreen with V-Sync turned off Detail, Texture Quality, Shadow Maps, and Shadow Resolution all set to their highest settings. We test using both DX11 and DX12 at both 1080p and 1440p resolutions.

Ashes of the Singularity

Built-in benchmark ran at 1080p and 1440p with graphics settings set to the “Crazy” setting with the exception of turning off V-Sync Mode. The benchmark scenario is set to GPU Focused and we use the Average Framerate for All Batches as the result. Tests are run both in DX11 and DX12

The Division

Built-in benchmark ran at 1080p and 1440p with graphics settings set to the default “Ultra” setting with the exception of turning off V-Sync Mode

Bioshock Infinite 

Using the Adrenaline Action Benchmark Tool we run Bioshock Infinite on the “Xtreme” quality setting. This has a resolution of 1920x1080, FXAA turned on, Ultra Texture detail, 16x Aniso Texture Filtering, Ultra Dynamic Shadows, Normal Postprocessing, Light Shafts on, Ambient Occlusion set to ultra, and the Level of Detail set to Ultra as well. We also run this same test at 2560x1440 using the same settings as mentioned above.

Tomb Raider

Using the Adrenaline Action Benchmark Tool we run Tomb Raider on the “Xtreme” quality setting. This has a resolution of 1920x1080, Exclusive Fullscreen turned on, Anti-Aliasing set to 2xSSAA, Texture Quality set to Ultra, Texture Aniso set to 16x Aniso, Hair Quality set to TressFX, Shadow set to Normal, Shadow Resolution on High, Ultra SSAO, Ultra Depth of Field, High Reflection quality, Ultra LOD scale, Post-Processing On, High Precision RT turned on, and Tessellation is also turned on.  We also run this same test at 2560x1440 using the same settings as mentioned above.

Hitman: Absolution

Using the Adrenaline Action Benchmark Tool we run Hitman: Absolution on the “Xtreme” quality setting other than the MSAA setting is turned down from 8x to 2x. That setting puts the resolution at 1920x1080, MSAA is set to 2x, Texture Quality is set to High, Texture Aniso is set to 16x, Shadows are on Ultra, SSA is set to high, Global Illumination is turned on, Reflections are set to High, FXAA is on, Level of Detail is set to Ultra, Depth of Field is high, Tessellation is turned on, and Bloom is set to normal. We also run this same test at 2560x1440 using the same settings as mentioned above, except on the “high” setting.

Sleeping Dogs

Using the Adrenaline Action Benchmark Tool we run Sleeping Dogs on the “Xtreme” quality setting. That means our resolution is set to 1920x1080, Anti-Aliasing is set to Extreme, Texture Quality is set to High-Res, Shadow Quality is High, Shadow Filter is set to high, SSAO is set to High, Motion Blur Level is set to High, and World Density is set to Extreme. We also run this same test at 2560x1440 using the same settings as mentioned above.

Total War: ROME II

Ultra-setting tested at 1920x1080 and 2560x1440, built in forest benchmark

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

Using the built-in benchmark we test with ultra settings at 1440p

Sniper Elite 3

Ultra-setting tested at 1920x1080 and 2560x1440, built in benchmark

Thief

Tested using the “Very High” setting at 1920x1080 and 2560x1440, with Vsync turned off

Folding at Home 2.2

Using the Folding at Home benchmark 2.2.5 set to OpenCL, WU set to dhfr, and run length set to the default 60 seconds. We test at both double and single precision and use the score at the result

CompuBenchCL

Video Composition and Bitcoin tests

Unigine Valley Benchmark 1.0 heat testing

We run through Unigine Valley using the “Extreme HD” preset for 30 minutes to test in game cooling performance with the fan speed set to auto then again with the fan set to 100%.

Power Usage

Using Unreal Valley Benchmark 1.0, we get our “load” power usage number from the peak power usage during our test. We get our numbers from a Kill-A-Watt connected to the test benches power cord.

Noise Testing

Our Noise testing is done using a decibel meter 18 inches away from the video card on the bottom/fan side of the card. We test at both 50% and 100% fan speeds. The 100% test isn’t a representation of typical in-game noise levels, but it will show you how loud a card can be if you run it at its highest setting or if it gets very hot. This is done using a Protmex PT02 Sound Meter that is rated IEC651 type 2 and ANSI S1.4 type 2. Tests are done set weighted to A and set to a slow response using the max function. Ambient noise level in the testing area is 33.3 decibels using the test settings.

 


Synthetic Benchmarks

To start off my testing I always like to take a look at a few of the different synthetic benchmarks. Most of them don’t show actual in game performance, but they are very consistent and good for comparing from card to card. I especially like 3DMark for this with their Fire Strike and Time Spy benchmarks. With Time Spy we see DX12 performance and Fire Strike we get a good look at all three resolutions in DX11. The results in all four tests weren’t really a big surprise. When compared to the GTX 1080, the 1080 Ti completely blows it away in performance at all resolutions and in both DX11 and 12. In fact, the performance gap gets wider as the resolutions go up. The 1080 Ti ends up falling in below the GTX 1070 in SLI and above the GTX 980 in SLI. The GTX 1080 and the RX 480 in Crossfire aren’t even in the same range. That puts the 1080 Ti up at the top of the single card performance for our tests. Of course, these don’t include a Titan XP though.

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In Valley benchmark the last few times I have tested SLI it hasn’t supported it so here the GTX 1080 Ti comes in at the top. It runs 25 FPS faster than the GTX 1080 as well, pushing it up into the range of performance that people with high refresh rate monitors are looking to get.

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Next, I take a look again across three different resolutions but this time using Catzilla. The results are again similar to 3DMark. The 1080 Ti pulls ahead even more as the resolutions go up due to its higher frame buffer and the higher memory bus. The two 1080’s in SLI are still well ahead here though showing that the 1080 Ti is beatable, you just need two GTX 1080’s and working SLI support lol.

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For the last few tests, I take a look at VR performance. This and 4k is really what the GTX 1080 Ti is focused on. VR performance needs do have a big range, though. For the basic games we have these days, the 1080 Ti scores a full 11 like the GTX 1080 in SteamVR and the VRMark results are similar on the orange room test. In the blue room test where they are testing today's highest graphics in a VR environment the 1080 Ti still only gets 66FPS, lower than the 90 FPS requirement for smooth VR gameplay so there is still room for improvement needed before we get to photorealistic VR gaming.

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In-Game Benchmarks

Now that we have an idea of how the cards stand compared to each other, it’s finally time to get down to the in-game performance numbers. To do that I ran through our entire in-game benchmark test suite. The suite has 13 different games tested at both 1080p and 1440p at their highest settings. Four of the games are also tested in more than one configuration to see the difference between DX11 and DX12 performance or in the case of the most recent addition, DOOM I test out both OpenGL and Vulkan performance. The problem is, with so many results it can be a little too much to take in. To help with that I have condensed our results into two graphs, one for 1080p and the other for 1440p. All of our games are run at their max settings and we use the average FPS as the end result. The graphs below are broken down into three FPS ranges to represent unplayable (below 30), playable but not ideal (30 to 60), and ideal (over 60 FPS). So what did I find from those results?

Well, lets just put it this way. I actually had to change our playability graphs because the GTX 1080 Ti came in over 60 FPS on every single game tested at both resolutions. The truth is while our benchmark suite is demanding, it really needs more VR and 4k testing to really push the limits of the 1080 Ti. I added 120 FPS results to the graphs to help show just how well the card would also perform for people running today's high refresh rate monitors like 120, 144, and even 240 Hz offerings.

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As always I also include the actual graphs for each of the games tested. Typically there is a short list of things that I think people should check out but really the performance was fairly consistent with the GTX 1080 Ti with it coming in ahead of the GTX 1080 in every test and GTX 1080 SLI when it works still being faster. Hitman: Absolution proved to be a little weird on top of being dated. The 1440p results were in line with what I would expect them to be but at 1080p there was clearly a problem. DirectX 12 performance was consistently better than DX11 performance in the games that I tested both. The same goes for DOOM when testing OpenGL and Vulkan, Vulkan gave the 1080 Ti a boost as well. DOOM was another game that proved that the GTX 1080 Ti so words more than is needed for 1080p and even 1440p gaming, the card actually found the FPS limit of the game peaking at 200 on both 1080p tests with the FPS never dropping below 200 at all.

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Compute Benchmarks

I always like to check out compute performance, especially with higher ends cards like the GTX 1080 Ti because even beyond gaming there are performance benefits for running a dedicated GPU. Typically I like to take a look at Folding at Home performance to see single and double precision results but there still seems to be an issue with the test running at all with the current Nvidia drivers. Because of that, I had to skip those tests and jump right into CompubenchCL. I started with the Video Composition benchmark that tests at what FPS the card can render video and the GTX 1080 Ti unsurprisingly dominated here with a score of 183.01 FPS. The GTX 1080 was 50 FPS lower and even the overclocked RX 480’s that performed really well in the past couldn’t keep up.

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In the Bitcoin mining test, the results were similar with an impressive 1431.7 MHash/s making the GTX 1080 Ti a good buy for data mining when looking for a single card. Cards like the RX 480 and GTX 1070 are still both better options. I did some quick math using pricing on Newegg and the breakdown of MHash per dollar spent is around 2.05 for the GTX 1080 Ti and as follows for a few other cards. The tiny GTX 1060 Superclocked from EVGA looks like the best overall value, but keep in mind you also have to figure how much each bench/motherboard/CPU costs as well when going with lower output cards in higher quantities.

GTX 1080 Ti 2.05/$

GTX 1080 2.16/$

GTX 1070 2.23/$

RX 480 8GB 1.33/$

GTX 1060 6GB 2.52/$

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Cooling, Noise, and Power

For the last section, I like to take a look at some of the other important aspects of video cards that sometimes get forgotten about when people are mostly (and justifiably) worried about gaming performance. The first of those tests is to take a look at overall power usage. We already know the GTX 1080 Ti has a 250-watt TDP compared to the 180 TDP of the GTX 1080 so going in we know it's going to pull more. To test it I loop through Valley Benchmark while noting the peak wattage pulled from our test bench using a Kill-A-Watt. This includes the power draw of the whole system and it isn’t exactly a low wattage system so keep that in mind. The GTX 1080 Ti ended up pulling a total of 380 watts at the plug compared to the 283 of the GTX 1080 on the same system. This put the GTX 1080 Ti at the top of the charts for a single card, with just the RX 470 and RX 480’s pulling more when paired up in Crossfire. The 1080 Ti, however, pulls power just like it performs so unlike all of the other power efficient cards Pascal cards we have seen in the past year, you do need to make sure you have the power to push it when you pick one up, especially if you are considering an SLI configuration in the future.

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This section has been recently refreshed after our decibel meter died, but it is better off for it with a more accurate meter and a slightly better testing methodology. It does, however, mean that the number of cards tested was low, in fact before this review it was just one card. I did, however, bust out a few other cards to fill in the numbers a little to get a better idea of where the GTX 1080 Ti stands. In my regular testing, I was a little concerned that the card sounded significantly louder than the previous Pascal cards. Well, the numbers did confirm this as well with only the RX480 reference design being louder at full speed and the 1080 Ti being the loudest at 50% fan speed. To see what was going on here I added a new graph as well showing the fan speeds of each of the cards tested when running at 100% fan speed. There was no way removing the DVI port would make the GTX 1080 Ti louder. Well, the fan speeds helped fill in why. The GTX 1080 Ti seems to be using the same fan or at least fan speeds as the GTX 980 Ti where the GTX 1080 and 1070 Founders Editions ran at a lower RPM. The GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition isn’t going to make you go deaf, but I would at least make sure to keep in mind it's going to make a little additional noise.

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For my last test, I wanted to take a look at the cooling performance of the card. With Nvidia talking about cooling improvements and even in their demo their card was running at 66 degrees so I came into my testing with high hopes. After running through heaven benchmark with the stock fan settings it was clear that the card they used was not running at stock fan speeds. My card leveled off at a toasty 86 degrees, putting at the top of my charts. Typically Nvidia designed coolers aim for 80 degrees so I was surprised to see the 1080 Ti run any higher than that really but it was solid at those temperatures. I then wanted to see how good the cooling could be so I cranked the fan up to 100% and ran the same test and it peaked at 63 degrees. This shows that the card is capable of running much cooler and with that, there is room for a little overclocking even with the stock cooling configuration though it will be a balance between noise and fan speeds at that point. It should be especially interesting to see how the aftermarket cards perform, clearly the cranked up card with its 250-watt TDP does put out the heat, keeping it cool will be the biggest challenge.

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Overall and Final Verdict

So I don’t think it comes as a surprise to anyone that the GTX 1080 Ti is a monster of a card. The GTX 1080 was unmatched on the market with the exception of the ultra expensive Titan XP and the GTX 1080 Ti basically robbed the Titan XP of its GP102 GPU, 11 of its 12 gigs of VRAM, and all but a few ROPs as well. All while running at a higher GPU and memory clock speeds. I actually had to redo a few different aspects of our in game performance graphs after it came in with the first perfect score in our 1080p and 1440p testing. The reality is the GTX 1080 Ti is really designed for 4k and ultra-wide resolutions as well as high detail VR and high refresh rate gaming. Each of those subsections is a bit of a nitch with the exception of high refresh rate gaming but all together that actually make up a decent market share of people who could potentially benefit from the high performance and high VRAM of the GTX 1080 Ti.

They did make a few changes to the Founders Edition when compared to the GTX 1080 but from the outside, they look alike. You get the same solid metal design and styling that is at least in my opinion better than a lot of the aftermarket cards. What they did change might not leave some people happy. For starters, they dropped the DVI port to open up addition cooling and I think a lot of people are going to be surprised when they get their card in and it's missing. Thankfully they did include an adapter, but it has limitations on resolution and refresh rate, so it is really limited to being used with a secondary monitor. They also bumped up the fan speed and with that the noise levels when compared to the GTX 1080 FE. Even with that, the temps are still higher, the 250-watt TDP of the card is warm.

What I think most people should be excited about, even if you aren’t picking up a GTX 1080 Ti, is what it does to the rest of the market in 2017. Nvidia has without a doubt set the bar for AMD to try to beat with the upcoming Vega cards and it is a high bar. 2017 is looking like it will be a great year for gamers and enthusiasts. Hardware like the GTX 1080 Ti pushes the limits and spurs competition in the market. With AMD doing the same to Intel with their new Ryzen CPUs as well this should bring hardware prices down and raise up the level of high end as well. We have already seen the GTX 1080 drop in price and the Founders Edition cards all dropped in addition to that. Building a high end 8 core CPU with a monster GPU has dropped in price over $1200 in the past few weeks, bringing the true enthusiast parts back down in reach of the people who were building mid-range builds before. The GTX 1080 Ti is really the only option for anyone looking to game at 4k or to finally play today's high detail games at 120-144hz smoothly. At a whopping $699 it is not a cheap card, but you are getting the biggest jump in performance for a Ti I’ve ever seen. In Fire Strike, I saw a 30% improvement at 1080p and just under 34% at 4k. For those worried about the downsides of the Founders Edition card, most aftermarket cards should fix all of the issues so you can always go that direction as well.

fv5tophonors

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Author Bio
garfi3ld
Author: garfi3ldWebsite: https://lanoc.org
Editor-in-chief
You might call him obsessed or just a hardcore geek. Wes's obsession with gaming hardware and gadgets isn't anything new, he could be found taking things apart even as a child. When not poking around in PC's he can be found playing League of Legends, Awesomenauts, or Civilization 5 or watching a wide variety of TV shows and Movies. A car guy at heart, the same things that draw him into tweaking cars apply when building good looking fast computers. If you are interested in writing for Wes here at LanOC you can reach out to him directly using our contact form.

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