The PC gaming world has a new king of graphics. Nvidia's new top-of-the-line GeForce GTX 1080 Ti handily beats the $800 GeForce GTX 1080 that we already love, bringing the lion's share of power from the $1600 developer- and supercomputing-friendly Titan X to a slightly more affordable graphics card.
35 per cent faster than the existing GTX 1080 according to Nvidia's benchmarks, the Ti has 3584 CUDA cores, and 11GB of GDDR5X RAM running at 11Gbps. The GTX 1080 Ti — at least Nvidia's own Founder's Edition — still uses the same vapor chamber cooler as the GTX 1080, from what we've seen so far. It's a good (blower-style) cooler, so we're not disappointed — after a stress test on stage it was sitting at 62 degrees Celsius.
Using a few on-chip technologies, Nvidia says the GTX 1080 Ti can, in some instances, be even faster than the currently-fastest Titan X: things like a tiling cache in that 11GB frame buffer will mean that rendering is done more efficiently: not just raw power, but power used more effectively. It didn't talk about the card's stock core and boost clocks, though, except to say that the card running demonstrations was running at 2GHz.
It's super-overclockable, Nvidia says but even out of the box it's 35 per cent faster than GTX 1080, and therefore also faster than Titan X. Expect 20 per cent overclocks, we're told, within the thermal envelope of the stock cooler.
Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang was on stage to announce the new card, as he often is when it comes to the company's high-profile tech. PC gaming is thriving, Huang says. 600 million Twitch viewers, 100 million MOBA players, 200 million GeForce card users. Huang didn't exactly hold back his excitement, telling the world he had "something new: let's call it the ultimate GeForce. Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive."
We're still waiting on an Australian price tag and any indication of local availability. Going on Titan X and GTX 1080 prices, though, we'd expect it to launch around the $1200 price point in Australia and eventually settle to around $1000 once stock floods the country. It'll be priced at $US699 internationally, and it'll be out internationally next week — full production is already underway.
It's almost Time. That's what Nvidia is telling us in preparation for its keynote at GDC 2017, and it doesn't take a genius to work out that it's going to take the opportunity to introduce a new, top-of-the-line consumer graphics card to replace the powerful GTX 1080 — unsurprisingly called the GTX 1080 Ti.
In front of thousands, the pitch sounded good. Bring PC gaming to the hundreds of millions who can't, or haven't experienced it before. It's a sensible, reasonable goal for a publicly listed company like NVIDIA to aim at. And the idea of putting a gaming PC in the cloud has a certain logic to it. Problem is, we've been here before. It didn't work.