Nvidia’s monstrous new GeForce GTX 1080 and 1070 kick more ass than a Titan X – PCWorld

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Austin, Texas— “This is the… largest chip project endeavor in the history of humanity, with a budget of several billion dollars,” Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said proudly onstage, a smile on his face. “I’m pretty sure you can go to Mars [for that budget].” And the result? Nvidia says its new GeForce GTX 1080 is far faster than the Titan X, the fastest single-GPU graphics card in the world today—and even faster than two GTX 980s in SLI.

And with that “irresponsible level of performance,” the next-generation graphics card wars are officially on. Hot damn.

That sort of performance and efficiency drives home the graphical glories enabled by the long-awaited leap to 16-nanometer process technology in GPU transistors. After four long years of being stuck on the 28nm transistor process node, both of the big graphical powerhouses in PC gaming are finally transitioning to GPU architectures with smaller transistors—Nvidia with the Pascal GPU in the GTX 1080 and GTX 1070, and AMD with Polaris, which is built on a 14nm process. These advances should bring greater power efficiency and performance to both vendors’ graphics cards. 

AMD’s early Polaris demos showed off its power-efficiency advantages—like running Star Wars Battlefront at 1080p at just 86 watts of full system power, compared to 140 watts on an otherwise identical system running Nvidia’s GTX 950. Team Green opted to come out with the big guns blazing. Again: The GeForce GTX 1080 will be faster than two GTX 980s in SLI, according to Huang. And the GTX 1070 will out-punch a Titan X for roughly a third of the Titan X’s price. (It’s important to note, however, that Nvidia didn’t reveal the resolutions these benchmarks were run.)

GeForce gtx 1080 Brad Chacos

The GeForce GTX 1080 features 8GB of RAM, HDMI 2.0B and DisplayPort 1.4 and twice the performance of Nvidia’s fastest GPU. And get this: It’s all powered by a single 8-pin power connector.

Hot. Damn.

The GeForce GTX 1080 is Nvidia’s first consumer graphics cards built around the 16-nanometer manufacturing process—a technological leap bolstered by the addition of FinFET technology as first revealed in the monstrous Tesla P100 in April.

Unlike the Tesla P100, the GeForce GTX 1080 skips the revolutionary high-bandwidth memory first revealed in AMD’s Fury lineup. Instead, it features 8GB of Micron’s new GDDR5X technology—essentially a more advanced version of the GDDR5 memory used in graphics cards for years now—clocked at a whopping 10Gbps. Before you shake your head in disappointment, the first-gen HBM available today is limited to 4GB in capacity, and second-gen HBM2 (and its higher capacities) isn’t expected to land until the beginning of 2017. Even AMD’s next HBM-equipped graphics cards won’t launch until 2017.

Huang didn’t reveal many technical details, but Epic’s Tim Sweeney took the stage to run a demo of the studio’s upcoming MOBA Paragon. At the end of the demo, Huang called for a overlay of the system’s specifications to be pulled up. The GeForce GTX 1080 was clocked at a whopping 2,114MHz—one of the highest GPU clock speeds ever recorded, Huang said—yet it remained an icy-cool 67 degrees Celsius. “Its overclockability is just incredible,” Huang boasted.

Nvidia’s monstrous new GeForce GTX 1080 and 1070 kick more ass than a Titan X – PCWorld