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.
Live Pricing: HERE