Nvidia GTX1080 Founders Edition Review

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nVidia GTX 1080 Founder Edition Review

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Before we get a look at some of the other new elements to the GTX 1080 besides the whoppingly fast core clock and mind-bendingly large throughput of the new GDDR5X Memory, let's take a shufti at the latest card to make you consider selling your first born, the GTX 1080. 

When you've spent as long as nVidia have in getting their brand solidified in the mind of the world it's not a great surprise to see them sticking to the lurid lime green that is their trademark. We can't think of any other manufacturer that we'd let get away with such a horrible colour choice, but at the very least it's distinctive. Anyone checking their phone for Instagram and wondering where it's gone will understand the importance of retaining a brand identity that's readily recognised.

Out of the box the cooler is vaguely similar to that of the most recent nVidia graphics cards with the silver and black aesthetic dominating things.

nVidia GTX 1080 Founder Edition Review     nVidia GTX 1080 Founder Edition Review  

It is quickly apparent that this isn't just a rehash of an old favourite though. There are angles, edges and carefully sculpted air-flow designs everywhere. The GTX 1080 is designed with multi-card users in mind, and the slab-sided coolers of old were notorious for reducing the main card to a heat soak. Thankfully this new design ensures that even recent lottery winners can be comforted knowing all of their cards will receive equal amounts of fresh air to keep them cool. We think it looks gorgeous. It reminds us of a Lamborghini Aventador and that has to be a good thing.

nVidia GTX 1080 Founder Edition Review     nVidia GTX 1080 Founder Edition Review  

No your eyes do not deceive you. By reducing the transistor size still further and enhancing the efficiency of the Pascal GPU, nVidia have managed to drop the TDP of the GTX 1080 down to 180W. Or, to put it another way, this is a card with the theoretical capability of two SLI GTX 980s but running from a single 8-pin PCIe power input.

The backplate dispenses with the holes, gaps and general 'afterthought' nature of the backplates on the Maxwell cards and brings a singular sheet to the attention of creative types everywhere. We can't wait to see what the partner suppliers do with such a huge canvas. 

nVidia GTX 1080 Founder Edition Review     nVidia GTX 1080 Founder Edition Review  

Doesn't the GTX 1080 look gorgeous. From this angle you get a really good feel for the angles built into the shroud, designed to keep the air flowing in all the right places. The radial fan and vapor chamber working in sync to make sure that you have the maximum thermal headroom available for your overclocking shenanigans.

Three DisplayPort adaptors are found alongside the regular HDMI and DVI-D ports. Although in our single card testing this wont really be utilised, it's interesting to note that nVidia are finally supporting multiple display outputs from a multi-GPU setup. Or, in other words, if you're running three monitors and two cards you can plug other monitors into the other card. Useful.

nVidia GTX 1080 Founder Edition Review     nVidia GTX 1080 Founder Edition Review  

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Most Recent Comments

21-05-2016, 09:46:21

B0GiE
Nice review and card. I think I will wait for the GTX 1080 Ti though. Quote

21-05-2016, 09:54:21

rickyjb
Quote:
Originally Posted by B0GiE View Post
Nice review and card. I think I will wait for the GTX 1080 Ti though.
think this will be the same for a lot of people.Quote

21-05-2016, 10:01:45

RobM
Tom was this done in a closed case or an open test bench?
never mind I just saw its inside the case but was the side on?Quote

21-05-2016, 10:03:25

MiNo
Rocking a GTX780 this is very tempting indeed.

However, may I ask if it is possible to include OC scores also?

I'm comparing the 1080 scores with the (better) OC 980ti's and there are hardly any difference at all.

Looking at 2560x1440 resolution, the difference in Bioshock is 3 (three!) FPS and in Tomb Raider it is 6 (six!). As the numbers are in the >100 range we are talking a few percentage points difference. Less than 5% improvement.

To me, that means the 1080 'FE' is identical in performance to the best aftermarket version of the 980ti.

Or am I missing something?

PS: I'm *SO* looking forward to see what the chip can do with a bit more power and a bit more cooling!Quote

21-05-2016, 10:28:04

AngryGoldfish
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiNo View Post
Rocking a GTX780 this is very tempting indeed.

However, may I ask if it is possible to include OC scores also?

I'm comparing the 1080 scores with the (better) OC 980ti's and there are hardly any difference at all.

Looking at 2560x1440 resolution, the difference in Bioshock is 3 (three!) FPS and in Tomb Raider it is 6 (six!). As the numbers are in the >100 range we are talking a few percentage points difference. Less than 5% improvement.

To me, that means the 1080 'FE' is identical in performance to the best aftermarket version of the 980ti.

Or am I missing something?

PS: I'm *SO* looking forward to see what the chip can do with a bit more power and a bit more cooling!
I can't remember whether Tom ever mentioned it in his early review, but that 980ti overclocked card he had absolutely denominated any other overclocked 980ti I'd ever seen. Like, I don't know how it was that powerful. It must have been in the top 5% of overclockers, not just reaching really high frequencies but actually scaling in equal measure. Maxwell cards scaled oddly—they didn't always scale equally. One 980ti at 1500/8000Mhz could be vastly different than another 980ti at the same clocks. Some of that was due to the annoying nature of GPU Boost 2.0 and the card throttling, but I found throttling by the normal 13Mhz every now and again did not amount to the kind of variances we are seeing here. Tom's 980ti was ridiculously powerful, far more than any other 980ti I'd seen reviewed. Maybe a Kingpin or HOF on water hit those numbers, but not that I've seen. To emphasis that point, check out Tomb Raider—the ASUS 980 SLI setup is equal to his 980ti OC card. That's ridiculous and no other review I've seen shows anywhere near that kind of performance from a single 980ti. Also, Tom's AMD Fury performance numbers were always behind what others were getting, including myself. This shows how a particular driver and card can vary widely. Something was at play there that caused such vastly different results.Quote
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