Sound Testing, Pricing and Closing Thoughts
We ran the reference cooler on the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti through our standard noise testing.
Under a full load, the GTX 1080 Ti is slightly more quiet than the Titan X launched last year and just 1.0 dbA above the GTX 1080 Founders Edition card.
Though I do encourage you go through the previous benchmark pages for more detail on each result, we can summarize our experiences with the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti succinctly: it's damn fast! Compared to the Titan X, we should deltas of 0-8% in favor of the GTX 1080 Ti across both 2560×1440 and 4K resolution testing. For a card with a starting sale price $500 lower than where the Titan X launched last year, that make the performance all the more impressive.
The most important distinction lies with the GTX 1080 though. At 2560×1440, the GTX 1080 Ti ranged from 2% faster (in Grand Theft Auto V and Gears of War) to 42% faster (in Dirt Rally). The average improvement was 25% INCLUDING the 2% outliers! At 4K that average difference jumps to 36%, with Dirt Rally showing the biggest gain at 50%! These are extraordinary performance gains for a card that prices $100 more than the launch price of the GTX 1080 and $200 more than its current (reduced) price.
For AMD fans, its tough to find anything positive about where the company stands in high-end GPU discussions. The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is 94% faster (average) than the Fury X across all seven games and both resolutions we tested, nearly doubling the performance of the most recent "flagship" product bearing the Radeon name. It has been less than two years since we saw the Fury X hit the scene…AMD needs Vega to be great and to be here sooner rather than later.
Pricing and Availability
I mentioned it on the first page: the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is going to be selling for $699 starting today from both NVIDIA and it's partners. Custom cooled variants of the GTX 1080 Ti will be coming from EVGA and others in due time, with individual pricing to be determined.
- GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB – $699
- NVIDIA Titan X (Pascal) 12GB – $1199 (hard to locate)
- GeForce GTX 1080 8GB – $499 (price changes percolating currently)
- GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB – $649 (at time of GTX 1080 launch)
- Radeon Fury X 4GB – $629 (EOL, hard to locate)
With the new pricing on the GeForce GTX 1080 (and below), the whole market gets a shake up of sorts that has been a long time coming. At $699, the new GeForce GTX 1080 Ti will run you $100 more than the base MSRP of the GTX 1080 but the same as many aftermarket, custom designed GTX 1080s were selling for just last week. For that upgrade you get 30-40% better performance – that's an impressive change considering there is no direct pressure on NVIDIA from AMD…yet.
If you are are looking for the new flagship GPU to get you through your VR gaming, 4K gaming or high refresh rate gaming for 2017, you're going to be hard pressed to find a solution that is going to best the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.
When I reviewed the NVIDIA Titan X based on Pascal back in August of last year, I had to caveat every statement with something along the lines of "if you are willing to pay the premium" blah blah. At $1200, and a solid $500-600 more than the next best performance GeForce product on the market, it was tough to make the claim that ANYONE should buy that product for gaming purpose. With the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti offering nearly identical (maybe slightly better) performance than the Titan X, and for a $500 lower MSRP, those caveats no longer need apply. Yes, $699 is still incredibly expensive for a component for a gaming PC, but it is within reach of the current lineup (GTX 1080 at $499-549).
AMD needs a flagship Vega graphics card and it needs it yesterday. We are now years into an NVIDIA-only world for cards over $300 being relevant and though NVIDIA deserves credit for not launching the GTX 1080 Ti at $800-900 (really, it could have), competition only makes the market better for consumers. We continue to hear about AMD's plans for 2017 and the promises of HBM2 memory, a high-bandwidth cache controller, and double-packed math. Whether or not they can deliver on those promises has yet to be proven.
What cannot be doubted is that NVIDIA continues to create new products and iterate on a cadence that is unmatched. Yes, the GP102 GPU and the GTX 1080 Ti could have been released last year in place of the Titan X. But why would they? Why would a company cut its profit margins and not hold back cards until absolutely necessary? In the end, that's why everyone benefits from two healthy competitors.
As we near the end of Q1 2017, without a doubt NVIDIA maintains its dominance in the high end of the graphics market with the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, leading the performance pack. If you have the wallet and need for the best gaming card in the world, the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is for you.