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How Powerful is Nvidia’s GTX 1080 Ti?

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Late last month specs for Nvidia’s upcoming GeForce GTX 1080 Ti leaked and they look like the real deal. In this video I am going to take a look at the specs, discuss them and then provide a few theoretical benchmarks.

So far the evidence suggests that Nvidia could be preparing the 1080 Ti for launch at the Consumer Electronics Show or CES for short in January 2017. This means a 3 to 4 month wait and that means the 1080 Ti will be landing roughly 8 months after the vanilla 1080. Although this seems like a delay it really isn’t, the 980 Ti followed the standard 980 after roughly the same period of time.

This will give Nvidia some time to produce more Titan X GP102 chips, as this is the silicon the 1080 Ti will be based on. The Titan X features just 2 SM units disabled for a total of 28, enabling a mind blowing 3584 CUDA cores. The 1080 Ti is expected to have another two SM units disabled for 3328 CUDA cores and 208 TMUs. That’s only a 7% reduction in cores from the $1200 GPU and still 30% more than the already very awesome GTX 1080.

For those of you wondering the fully enabled GP102 features 30 SM units for 3840 CUDA cores and this version is used by the Quadro P6000. You’d probably have to sell your car or a kidney to afford one of those so let’s get back to the gaming stuff shall we.

Out of the box the 1080 Ti should operate at a base clock of 1503 MHz which is roughly the same base frequency of the GTX 1070 and 1060. The boost clock looks to be set at 1623 MHz which is almost 100 MHz higher than the Titan X, but 100 MHz lower than the 1080. Of course these frequencies mean very little given how GPU Boost 3.0 works.

You can expect board partner card versions of the 1080 Ti, so those that feed it the optimal amount of power while keeping it cool should see their versions sustain over a 2 GHz operating frequency at all times.

There has been some controversy surrounding the memory as the leaked info from Nvidia suggests GDDR5 memory will be used rather than GDDR5X. This is further confirmed by the 8 Gbps bandwidth suggesting a base frequency of just 2 GHz and not the 2.5 GHz that the GDDR5X memory of the GTX 1080 operates at.

It seems a little crazy and rather unlikely that the faster 1080 Ti would be paired with slower memory. However if you delve a little deeper into the specs it starts to make sense. Because the 1080 Ti is using the GP102 architecture it features a 384-bit wide memory bus, while the 1080 was limited to a 256-bit bus.

This means despite being lower clocked GDDR5 memory the 1080 Ti will have a theoretical bandwidth of 384 GB/s, a 20% greater bandwidth when compared to the 1080. Not only that but the 1080 Ti is expected to receive a massive 12GB memory buffer.

So performance wise how will a 3328 CUDA core, 384 GB/s, Pascal GPU look like in the current line up? Realistically the 1080 Ti should be a good bit faster than the standard 1080 and not a great deal slower than the Titan X. I am expecting on average that the 1080 Ti will be 30% faster than the 1080 and just 7% slower than the Titan X.

 

Benchmarks

The Witcher 3

It really goes without saying but I will say it anyway, take these results with a grain of salt. They are completely fabricated based on where I think the performance will be according to the leaked specifications for the GTX 1080 Ti.

So looking at my estimated Witcher 3 results it looks like the 1080 Ti could be almost as fast as a pair of GTX 1070 SLI graphics cards at 4K. The 1080 Ti should also be a true 4K contender as we see almost a 60 fps average with the game maxed out. Adding a second card for SLI should push the average frame rate to around 90fps.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

The margins look much the same in Rise of the Tomb Raider, the 1080 Ti should fall just short of 1070 SLI cards while in SLI pushing well over 100fps should be possible. If the 1080 Ti does arrive next year with the leaked specs I will be very keen to see just how close my estimates were. It’s not rocket science so we should be pretty well on the money here.

Conclusion

Given the specifications, the GTX 1080 Ti will naturally be an expensive graphics card, especially considering the GTX 1080 currently retails for $630 with a $600 MSRP. There’s no word on exact pricing just yet, but it should end up costing $700-800. The Titan X, which is Nvidia’s most powerful graphics card, already retails for a whopping $1200.

Between now and CES 2017, Nvidia is expected to launch the GTX 1050 and, if a new report is correct, the GTX 1050 Ti. Both cards will slot beneath the $200 GTX 1060 3GB in Nvidia’s mid-range and entry-level line-up. The GTX 1050 Ti will reportedly pack 768 CUDA cores, while the GTX 1050 will use 640, down from 1280 cores in the GTX 1060.

Also on the cards, we know that AMD is preparing Vega 10 for release and consequently it should be arriving around the same time as the GTX 1080 Ti. So it will be interesting to see how the RX 490 or RX Fury or whatever we will end up calling it handles the 1080 Ti. Make no mistake Vega is going to be a beast as all indications suggest 4096 cores clocked at respectable speeds and 16GB of HBM2 memory. So it seems the GPU wars are just starting to heat up, stay tuned guys 2017 is going to be exciting.

Matt Knuppel Matt is a tech enthusiast, gym owner, and very part time gamer. In between making tech videos, he can be found watching the UFC, NBA, and AFL, as well as at music festivals and deep down rabbit holes on reddit.

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