The Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti is out now and you can bag yourself Titan X performance for nigh-on half the price of their top-tier GPU. It’s still retailing for around $699 (£699) but in relative terms it’s still a bit of a bargain for a serious 4K graphics card.
The numbers are in and the Titan X is toast. Check out our full, in-depth Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti review.
A few likely refreshes aside, the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is going to be the final piece of Nvidia's Pascal puzzle, the last graphics card of this generation before the green team unveils their new Volta architecture. And as a final hurrah the GTX 1080 Ti is mighty impressive, besting the Titan X in gaming performance, if only by a small margin.
In a surprising move Nvidia have specced the new GTX 1080 Ti incredibly closely to the Titan X, previously the green team’s most powerful consumer GPU, and it's also hitting retail with an MSRP of $699 (£699), a significant saving on the $1,200 (£1,179) price tag of the Titan X.
And if bagging yourself the fastest graphics card around wasn’t enough you also get either For Honor or Ghost Recon Wildlands for free as part of Nvidia’s ‘Be the Hero’ promotion.
In the US Amazon and Newegg have the best deals on the GTX 1080 Ti, with Amazon's UK counterparts looking after things there. Overclockers UK though are promising the widest range of cards on the net. They’ve got the Founders Edition card with the classic Nvidia chiller and another 30 different custom boards for pre-order, all with prices starting at £689.99.
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Because it’s specced so closely to the Titan X it’s certainly not a cheap card, but at just $699 (£699) it’s a hell of a lot less expensive than we were expecting. And with the slower Titan X still retailing on GeForce.com for $1,200 you could kinda call it a bargain. Kinda. I mean it's still pretty much $700 (£700) after all.
Nvidia have also taken a departure from their old Founders Edition shenanigans. The initial GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition card isn’t going to be demanding the extra price premium previous Founders Ed cards arrived with.
The GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition though is the first card to drop, but the partners will be shipping their own versions, with their own coolers, shortly after launch. Nvidia also aren’t restricting the Founders Edition to their own website, allowing their graphics card vendors to sell them too.
With the AMD RX Vega competition on the horizon soon it looks like Nvidia are looking to fire the first shots in what could shape up to be a real epic high-end GPU battle.
But $700 (£700) is a huge amount of cash to spend on a single component, so if the GTX 1080 Ti is too rich for your blood and you're after a new GPU today check out our guide to the best graphics cards around right now. We've picked our favourite graphics cards at a variety of price points to help you find the right GPU for you.
This is where it gets interesting and justifies that impressive pricing. The GTX 1080 Ti is almost just a rebranded Titan X. It’s using the same GP102 GPU with barely anything missing and only has one less gigabyte of video memory.
The GTX 1080 Ti has the same 3,584 CUDA core design, spread across 28 SMs. All that’s really missing from the Titan X’s core configuration are eight render output units - the 1080 Ti has 88 versus the Titan X’s 96. It’s also got the same number of texture units and the same 250W TDP.
And even though it’s missing that single gigabyte of video memory Nvidia have dropped in Micron’s latest GDDR5X memory, with performance optimisations to allow it to run at a full 11Gbps, giving the GTX 1080 Ti a massive memory bandwidth of 484Gbps, which is ever so slightly faster than the Titan X.
In terms of the GPU clocks the GTX 1080 Ti is also setup to run faster than the GP102 in the Titan X. The base clock of the new card is 1,480MHz with a boost clock of 1,582MHz. Though because it’s a Pascal GPU it’s going to have some serious overclocking headroom too. Nvidia say that a 2GHz overclocked GPU isn’t going to be beyond the realms of possibility.
And that could also have something to do with the new power system that Nvidia have dropped into the GTX 1080 Ti. The new dualFET design allows for the card to run with more power, but also to run more efficiently than the old GTX 1080.
Nvidia have also updated the Founders Edition cooler too. The vapour chamber design now has twice the cooling area, which allows you to either run the card at the same temperature for a reduction in the dB levels, or conversely run it cooler with the same aural footprint as the GTX 1080’s reference cooler design.
We were originally expecting Nvidia to release the GTX 1080 Ti with a cut down version of the GP102 from the Titan X. That would have put it slightly behind the peak Pascal card in terms of raw performance. But with it utilising almost exactly the same core configuration and with a higher boost clock and faster memory, there’s every chance that it will leave the Titan X trailing in its gaming wake.
That missing one gigabyte of video memory doesn't really make any difference at all, especially with the extra speed actually delivering more memory bandwidth than the Titan X.
It seems like a mighty overclocker too with its new cooler and power design. On stage at the recent GeForce GTX Gaming Celebration we saw the new GTX 1080 Ti running at over 2GHz but with the Founders Edition cooler running at just 66°C. That's some impressively chilled gaming performance right there.
In reality we only managed to hit just over 1.9GHz with our Founders Edition card, but that's still a pretty meaty overclock. To keep ourselves sane we kept the fan running at a sensible rate, so in terms of temperature our chip was hitting around 88°C.
Which all means it severely outperforms the laggardly GTX 1080 too. Nvidia estimate that it ought to lead the GTX 1080 by around 35% which, they say, makes it the best ‘Ti’ card they’ve ever made. In our testing we've found it beating the standard GTX 1080 by up to 50% in some 4K benchmarks.