The GeForce GTX 1080 is the first consumer-targeted graphics card which Nvidia has built on it’s Pascal Architecture. This makes the card very special in itself. What makes it even more special are the incredibly smooth frame rates it delivers at almost all resolutions.
The face that this type of performance could be possible at the competitive price of $699, is good enough for most people to run out and buy one. But before you do so, let’s take a closer look at what currently is the most powerful GPU on the market.
The first thing that you notice when you unbox a graphics card is it’s design. It is obvious from the moment you first look at the card, that, Nvidia has spent a lot of time and energy to make sure it looks fancy.
The outer case features a sexy aluminum body with lots of cuts, giving it the edgy feel. You could probably compare it to a hulking supercar from Lamborghini or Koenigsegg. Compared to this body design, the ports (3 DisplayPorts, 1 HDMI port and 1 DVI port) look rather tame.
Even the large fan located in the center of the device that we have come to expect, does the unexpected by wrapping itself with a silver strip. This strip not only makes the card more robotic, but it makes up the vapor chamber cooler, which is supposed to provide better cooling than a regular air-cooled card.
Considering how much detail goes into making this card look sexy, it’s almost a shame that it would spend most of it’s life hidden inside a rig.
Speaking of rigs and cards, the setup process is as easy as it can get. All you have to do is secure the card into its PCIe slot with a single screw, and connect a single 8-pin power connector. Due to the size of the card itself, a simple process like this can become quite problematic for people who’s rigs don’t have enough space for this monster.
Once you take care of that, all that remains is downloading a few Nvidia drivers. For a card with the promise of such exceptional performance, the quick setup process feels a bit underwhelming. However, it just goes to show how much Nvidia values the precious time of gamers.
With the basic stuff out of the way, it is time to move onto the real test, performance. It’s the duty of every new graphics card to blast it’s predecessors out of the way, and the 1080 does just that.
When tested on the synthetic 3DMark Fire Strike benchmark at 1080p resolution, the 1080 scores 17,852, easily destroying the older GTX 980 Ti and GTX 980 who only get up to 15,269 and 12,704 respectively.
Even in the more demanding 4K test, the 1080 manages to stay on the top, achieving 6,992, while the 980 Ti and 980 can only muster 4,187 and 3,048, respectively.
Since the graphics card was clearly born with 4K ambitions, it is prudent that it be tested for 4K gaming. When tested under maximum level settings, the card easily manages an average of 40+ FPS in almost all games, which include Tomb Raider, GTA, Witcher 3, Fallout 4, Assassin’s Creed, The Division, Doom etc.
Now it is understandable that most gamers would scoff at anything less than 60 FPS, but considering all the factors, it’s not that bad. Besides, once the software updates start rolling it, we can expect the performance to get more smooth.
The GTX 1080 is definitely a beast of a graphics card. Whether it lives up to the hype or not will only be determined down the road, once the developers have had the chance to play with all the possibilities of 4K and VR gaming.
For now, it’s more of a take it or leave it kind of deal, with no pressure to upgrade ASAP. But, if you actually are considering an upgrade, the price point, performance and efficiency of this card makes it the obvious choice.