Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Explored
The latest graphics card to emerge from Nvidia’s foundries is the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti – and that Ti suffix means that this is an extremely potent bit of technology.
Nvidia only lavishes that Ti lettering on its most impressive cards, and the new GTX 1080 Ti is a range-topping beast that raises the bar for single-GPU performance.
We’ve got the largest range of graphics cards here at Overclockers UK, and they’re ready to scythe through games at 4K and beyond – so read on to find out everything about this new card and exactly why you should be excited.
The GTX 1080 Ti is the icing on Nvidia’s Pascal-powered cake – a flagship GPU card that’s set to continue Nvidia’s dominance after a triumphant 2016.
Pascal is a remarkable bit of technology that reduces the manufacturing process from 28nm to 16nm – a vital improvement. Pascal-powered chips have fins attached to horizontal planes, which means that they can be included vertically – a huge change from previous generations.
This fundamentally improved structure makes the entire chip more efficient, which means that Nvidia can do more with less. Pascal cards pump out more performance while consuming less electricity than last year’s counterparts.
Nvidia has paired its improved transistor and manufacturing design with more granularity elsewhere. Its CUDA cores are now organised into smaller groups, which means tasks can be delegated with more precision – another step that improves performance while reducing electricity consumption.
Nvidia’s new cards now pick and choose between graphic and computing workloads, and a new technology called Lens Matched Shading saves on workload by not rendering pixels that won’t be seen. And then there’s Simultaneous Multi-Projection, which allows scenes to be rendered in several different viewpoints at once – a huge boost for VR.
There’s one more big change: GDDR5X memory. This improves on the traditional GDDR5 by using a far wider bus, which means that cards can deliver huge bandwidth while running at comparatively efficient speeds when compared to GDDR5.
The GTX 1080 Ti Explored
The GTX 1080 Ti is made from Nvidia’s GP102 chip, which is the firm’s biggest Pascal part – it was also used for the monster Titan X. This time around, though, Nvidia is able to use a year’s worth of experience to make the GTX 1080 Ti cheaper and better.
The GP102 core and Ti designation means that this card has a fearsome specification. The GTX 1080 Ti has 3,584 stream processors and 12 billion transistors – between 30% and 40% more than the standard GTX 1080.
The GTX 1080 Ti is clocked at a monster 1,481MHz with a boost figure of 1,582MHz. Those speeds are slightly slower than the GTX 1080, but they’re still higher than most cards on the market – and Nvidia’s cards tend to boost beyond the firm’s quoted figures, anyway.
The new card also marks the first time we’ve seen Nvidia’s second-generation of GDDR5X memory. The GTX 1080 Ti has 11GB of this incredible VRAM, and it delivers about 10% more speed than the last generation – and that was already a huge improvement over the conventional GDDR5.
Nvidia says that these huge numbers will provide a 35% performance improvement over the GTX 980 Ti, and with about 30% more computing power than the GTX 1080.
This card is a beast, and comparing it to the GTX 980 Ti only drives the point home. The GTX 980 Ti had 8 billion transistors on a 601mm2 die, while the GTX 1080 Ti delivers its 12 billion transistors on a 471mm2 die. The older card had 2,816 stream processors – but the new card has 3,584.
The GTX 980 Ti offered 336GB/s of memory bandwidth, while the new Ti serves up 484GB/s, and the GTX 980 Ti’s overall bandwidth result of 5.6 TFLOPS is easily beaten by the GTX 1080 Ti’s 10.6 TFLOPS.
And, impressively, there’s the power consumption. The GTX 1080 Ti’s top TDP rating of 250W is unchanged from the GTX 980 Ti, despite the new card offering so much more.
What To Expect
The GTX 1080 Ti is a monster graphics card that’ll satiate the most demanding gamers. It’s designed to tackle any task: the latest games will run smoothly at 4K, and it’ll scythe through titles on VR headsets and widescreen monitors. Multi-monitor rigs won’t cause the GTX 1080 Ti a problem, and neither will G-Sync – so you’ll enjoy butter-smooth gaming, no matter how you play.
One of these cards will handle virtually any game, while two of them will destroy absolutely everything in their path. This level of performance isn’t cheap, with Nvidia launching this card at £699, with board partner prices varying depending on the GPU. Count yourself lucky, though – the Titan X launched at a mighty £1,099 in August 2016.
It also means that the GTX 1080 Ti is a big, beefy GPU. These cards have a 250W TDP, which means they require an eight-pin and six-pin power connector. It also means they need ample cooling, so don’t expect board partners to release smaller versions – instead, anticipate the marketplace to be filled with long, heavy cards with dual- and triple-fan arrangements.
The new card doesn’t just deliver technological improvements. The GTX 1080 plugs-and-plays with every top VR headset, and it can easily capture 360° images – the best way to show off your games. Vapor chamber cooling delivers revolutionary performance on the Founders’ Edition version of the card, and the improved GeForce Experience 3.0 software is the perfect way for staying in touch with driver updates, gaming competitions and the latest improvements.
Our Favourite Cards
We’ve picked out a trio of GTX 1080 Ti cards that are guaranteed to give your PC a Pascal-powered boost in the latest games.
The EVGA Founders’ Edition model costs £739 and uses Nvidia’s stunning metal design, with angled edges and see-through sections to show off the vapor-chamber cooler underneath. That’s not the only great thing about this card – EVGA also allows its users to remove the cooler, so it’s an ideal option if you’d like to build a bespoke water-cooling setup around the card.
Spending £809 will get you the Zotac GTX 1080 Ti Amp Extreme Spectre RGB. That name is a mouthful, and this card is a beast: the GTX 1080 Ti’s base clock has been given a hefty overclock, with a huge improvement delivered to the boost clock – and the memory has been overclocked, too. The GTX 1080 Ti is a potent part, and this tweaked version of the card will deliver even better framerates in the most demanding games.
Our final recommendation comes from Inno3D, and £799 its iChill X4 AIR BOSS edition takes the GTX 1080 Ti and gives it some turbo-charged design. This stunning GTX 1080 Ti variant has three large fans along its main side and a fourth smaller fan on top, and it’s got incredible lighting to really show off the hardware – and it’s overclocked, too, so you won’t have any qualms about performance.
Overclockers UK doesn’t just have the country’s best range of GTX 1080 Ti cards – we’ve also got loads of Pascal-powered PCs that’ll satisfy the keenest of gamers.
Our best value GTX 1080 Ti machine is the Titan Gladius, which costs £1,875. It’s a powerful rig that pairs Nvidia’s latest card with an overclocked Core i5 processor, an Intel SSD and 16GB of memory – and it even comes with water-cooling for the CPU. It’s also one of our most customisable rigs, with almost every component able to be tweaked or improved – perfect for shaving some cash off the price or adding more hardware.
Taking a step up means investing in a machine from the Overclockers UK Infini8 range – and few are better than the Toxicity. This £3,940 machine includes two GTX 1080 Ti cards in SLI, which means that this PC will run any gaming task – and that’s not all. This monster comes with an overclocked Core i7 processor, bespoke water-cooling and loads of storage, and many of its components can still be customised.
Our top machines are hand-built by 8Pack himself, and the £5,024 Asteroid is one of his finest creations. This small-form-factor system packs a big punch, and the inclusion of a GTX 1080 Ti means this small PC can tackle any top title at any resolution. It’s a stunning machine with a case made of custom acrylic and bespoke water-cooling, and the top-tier GPU is paired with an overclocked Core i7 processor and record-breaking storage.
The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is one of the best graphics cards ever made, so it’s no surprise that the tech world is heaping praise on this new card – and that board partners are already releasing incredible tweaked versions of the chip.
Overclockers UK doesn’t just stock the best board partner cards – we’ve got a huge range of GTX 1080 Ti PCs, too. There’s no better place to kit yourself out with Nvidia’s latest flagship, so look no further.