With Nvidia’s release of the GTX 1080 Titan at $699 is it really worth the extra $150 over the original 1080. The 1080 Ti was released about 9 months after the new 10 series lineup was released. Based on the specifications it looks like it should be a significant boost up from the original 1080. The 1080 Ti would clearly be a good option to futureproof your machine, especially if you are into VR gaming. Of course, if you have bottomless pockets you can just go all-in and get Nvidias’s $1200 Titan Xp. Then you should be good for at least the next five years…maybe.
Fortunately for those of us that are monetarily impaired the release of the Ti did see the price of the Nvidia 1080 drop $50. You can even find some 1080s by Gigabyte and Asus that are sub $500. Which, honestly, you’d probably be better off doing two 1080s in SLI then buying that Titan Xp. But it’s your money, right? Back to the 1080 Ti vs 1080 you’ll notice a pretty good increase in the specs listed on Nvidia’s site between the two. Right of the bat you see an increase of 3GB of the GDDR5X memory. The rest of the spec comparisons are as follows:
You can immediately see the increase in Cores, Memory, Memory Interface, and bandwidth. The 1080 has a bit higher boost clock because of the lower memory. Max temperature, resolution and overall size are virtually the same. The Ti does draw significantly more power but that is to be expected with the increased specs. It also requires an extra 8-pin connector. However, if you’re moving up from a 970 or 980 you probably already have a PSU that can handle it. Nvidia recommends a base system wattage of at least 600 for the Ti and 500 for the 1080. Of course, based on the rest of your system you will probably need a bit more than that. So, what does this all mean?
For benchmarking I like to look at Futuremark’s 3Dmark graphics test. If you ever catch 3D Mark on a Steam sell it’s a great buy if you’re into your own benchmarking. Running 3DMarks Fire Strike Graphics test the 1080 Ti consistently comes in the lead at number one. The 1080 ranks in at number 4. Being outdone by the Titan X and Radeon Pro Duo, which are both significantly more expensive than either the Ti or the original 1080. On the benchmark the TI scored a 27620 vs the 1080’s 22050. You see a roughly 20% increase in performance from the original to the Ti. When compared on gpu.userbenchmark.com you see around a 26% increase in performance. So, you are roughly looking at between a 20-25% performance increase. Both should be taken with a little grain of salt because the original 1080 currently has far more benchmarks logged (seeing as the 1080 Ti has only been out for two months currently). However, either card can currently max out the settings on almost any recent PC game.
Even with 4k you see easily playable framerates at normal settings. You have to max out the most graphically demanding games on 4k to really push these cards to their limits. With how new VR gaming is it is difficult to tell just how capable these cards will be. Currently they have no problems running any VR games. It is difficult to tell, however, how fast the VR gaming technology will progress. I mean right now you can play some VR games on a console. Those of us of the computer gaming master race knows this means it requires almost nothing graphically to run.
So realistically you get somewhere between a 20-25% performance increase for around a 20% price increase. At least that seems like common sense. As for which one you should choose, I’d stick with the regular 1080 at the moment. It currently has more than enough power to run any current games and most likely any future games for the next couple of years. Also with the current state that VR is in the 1080 will also run that just fine. By the time VR gets to the point where it requires more power Nvidia will probably have released their 11 series. The 1080 Ti is pretty much a much more affordable version of the Titan X, putting out very similar performance. So, unless you are building an absolutely ridiculous gaming rig save yourself the $150 and buy another SSD or a watercooler.
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