Nvidia GTX1080 Founders Edition Review

Conclusion

nVidia GTX 1080 Founder Edition Review

Conclusion

In a word, breathless.

Normally a new GPU means a decent enough improvement over the previous generation, but not necessarily enough to be worthy of an upgrade if you have only just brought one. With the GTX 1080 it's so mind-blowingly powerful that we think it's worth buying unless you've got a pair of GTX 980 Tis sitting in your system.

The GTX 980 brought a few tricks to the party with Adaptive VSYNC and the excellent Dynamic Super Resolution. Both things that make a genuine difference to the smoothness and image quality of your gaming experience. The Pascal GPU at the heart of the GTX 1080 takes things that step further by introducing a host of technologies guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. We have Fast Sync, which promises all the high frame rates of having VSYNC off with none of the screen tearing that it introduces. GPU Boost 3.0 enhances the already excellent GPU Boost 2.0 by giving you full control over the voltage offset curve, enabling even higher clocks in situations where the GTX 1080 is twiddling its thumbs. We saw the benefits of this in our initial overclocking look, where the Pascal GPU broke the 2GHz barrier. High Dynamic Range is the latest quest from manufacturers to get us to purchase new displays, and it has a much greater chance of being adopted than 3D ever did. Higher definition and broader colour spectrums are what people demand, not things that require headwear.

Perhaps the biggest game-changer is Ansel. In a world where sharing your defining gaming moments with the world is something which has exploded, whether via the simplicity of Youtube and Twitch, or just cool screenshots on your forum of choice, Ansel frees you from the limitations of the developers camera to allow you to take a picture in any manner that you choose, and apply a whole raft of filters to it. You can automatically use the CUDA Cores to stitch together a giant flat image, or even stitch enough together to be viewable in a VR headset or utilising your smart phones virtual 3D image viewer. Although there are only a handful of games supporting this currently, it's so breathtaking that we can't wait to see it implemented in all of the popular games, and we're even more excited to discover what the creative community can do with it.

Beyond the new features the obvious stand out is the sheer performance of the GTX 1080. The "new graphics card rule of thumb" that you skip a generation just doesn't apply here. Even the cynical 'they limited the performance for business reasons' isn't a valid point as the GTX 1080 is as fast as two GTX 980s. Two. It's barely believable, and if we hadn't got pages and pages of benchmarks which prove that very point we think we'd be somewhat cautious, or just assume it's marketing speak. All of this mind-bending performance is delivered at a power draw lower than many mid-range offerings, and way below the range topping models. A GTX 980 SLI system draws 571W, whereas this, with equal performance and otherwise identical components, only draws 341W.

We're not entirely sure how nVidia have managed to produce a GPU that so comprehensively renders all that has come before it, whilst not obsolete, at least on very shaky ground. This isn't just nVidia trying to best a Radeon card, it's trying to annihilate their own too, and with great success. Low power draw, high performance, insane overclocking capabilities and a ton of genuinely useful technologies, the nVidia GTX 1080 is a complete all-rounder and easily wins our OC3D Enthusiast Award.

nVidia GTX 1080 Founder Edition Review  

You can discuss your thoughts on the Nvidia GTX1080 Review in the OC3D Forums.

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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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