“Are you guys ready?” asked CEO Jen-Hsun Huang during NVIDIA’s keynote at GDC. Few moments later, the world was introduced to the highly-anticipated GeForce GTX 1080 Ti – the world’s most powerful graphics card.
NVIDIA finally took the curtains off the enthusiast-class GPU, which launches next week on March 10 priced at $699 MSRP. NVIDIA’s Founders Edition will retail at the same price as custom variants, but availability of the latter will follow sometime after.
As you would expect, GTX 1080 Ti represents one of the best graphics card that NVIDIA has to offer to its consumer audience, but even beyond that, the Ti is actually the fastest consumer graphics card from NVIDIA, beating even the $1200 TITAN X in performance. It features the same GP102 chip that powers the TITAN X, and aside from 88 ROPs and 352-bit memory interface, GTX 1080 Ti retains a near full configuration of the chip. The way NVIDIA has managed to surpass its $1200 graphics card is thanks to two things: faster memory and faster clockspeed.
NVIDIA is equipping the GTX 1080 Ti with 11GB of Micron’s GDDR5X memory that runs at 11Gbps, compared to the 10Gbps chips found in GTX 1080. And speaking of GTX 1080, NVIDIA is also updating its now former performance king, but more on that later. So faster memory and a Boost Clock of 1.6 GHz are what helps the Ti trump its TITAN X brother. NVIDIA also talked about how games are becoming increasingly VRAM hungry, and that with 11GB the GPU has plenty of memory available to tackle future games.
GTX 1080 Ti is touted as the best Ti card ever with over 35% performance improvement over GTX 1080, compared to 25% difference between GTX 980 and GTX 980 Ti, and 18% difference between GTX 780 and GTX 780 Ti. Hailing as the fastest GPU on the market, GTX 1080 Ti has effectively killed off TITAN X. Sure the big brother packs an extra gigabyte of VRAM but that can be easily overlooked, considering GTX 1080 Ti is not only faster but a lot cheaper and consumes less power with a TDP of 220W, compared to TITAN X’s 250W TDP.
Coming to GTX 1080, the new 11Gbps modules will make their way into last year’s GPU, and GTX 1060 will receive similar treatment with an update to 9Gbps GDDR5 modules. Custom cards will be available with a sticker on box that specifies the presence of the new memory. Both GPUs have also been slashed to $499 and $349, respectively.