Nvidia launched its newest gaming GPU earlier this month and it is a PC gamer’s dream. Initial reviews of the latest and greatest in their long-respected line of graphics cards have been unanimously positive, and it even seems to be living up to its claim as “the new king” of GPUs. The GeForce GTX 1080 is not only faster than its gaming-class competitors, it is also cheaper than many of the graphics cards claiming to provide similar power ranges. As the PC gaming world continues to make moves towards enhanced 4K technology and VR, Nvidia is trying (and succeeding) to keep themselves one step ahead of the rest.
Prior to the release of the GTX 1080, the powerful Titan X (another member of Nvidia’s GeForce line) undoubtedly held the crown in the graphics world. It was the first single-GPU graphics card capable of gaming at 4K without having to resort to a multiple-card setup and, at the time, was “the most advanced GPU the world [had] ever seen”. The 1080, with its impressive list of specs, blows the Titan X away in nearly every category. To start with, it’s the first consumer card built using the company’s ridiculously fast Pascal graphics processor. This equates to a GPU that is 70 percent faster than its predecessor, the GTX 980, and 25 to 30 percent faster than the Titan X. In terms of pure, unbridled Hertz, the 1080 leaves its predecessors in the dust. It has a base clock of 1.61GHz and runs up to 1.73GHz in turbo boost mode. The onboard Pascal GP104 GPU has a significant impact on increased speed and power, offering 7.2 billion transistors, 20 streaming multiprocessors with 128 cores each and 2560 CUDA cores. Cutting-edge memory technology also plays a part in setting the GTX 1080 apart from the pack. Nvidia opted to incorporate the new GDDR5X memory into their GPU, which runs faster and more efficiently than the GDDR5 memory found on most graphics cards.
In addition to utilizing a slew of revolutionary advancements, the GTX 1080 boasts some impressive new software features as well. “Simultaneous multi-projection” is a term Nvidia uses to describe a family of new technologies that improve how images are rendered in multi-monitor setups, boost in-game frame rates by rendering the edges of the screen at lower resolution, and dramatically improve VR rendering efficiency. Which, in lament’s terms, translates to giving you the most badass PC gaming experience ever. The Ansel interface essentially functions as an in-game 3D camera system, allowing the user to pause the game, manipulate the camera view around the current environment and even take a snapshot, which can then be edited and enhanced using various filters and effects. Fast Sync, another new feature, can be used to reduce screen tearing without introducing extra latency.
While the GTX 1080 will cost you a pretty penny ($599 retail, or $699 for the founders edition), it still comes in far below other graphics cards in its class. Plus, initial tests indicate it actually outperforms the $1,000 Titan X; making it a virtual steal, all things being relative. One thing is for sure – the GTX 1080 delivers a gaming experience like no other graphics card that has come before it.
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