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Nvidia announces GTX 1080 Ti: Faster than a Titan X, $699

I’m here in San Francisco and Nvidia has just launched the long-rumoured GTX 1080 Ti. While I and other tech journos got a sneak preview of the card earlier in the day, Jen-Hsun of Nvidia made the announcement public in an event live-streamed from The Regency Centre.

To cut right to the chase, the Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti is very similar, in terms of on-paper specs and physical appearance, to the Titan X (P). Both cards have 3584 CUDA cores, 28 SMs, 224 texture units and 12 billion transistors.

However, the 1080 Ti does have less ROPs – 88 – while the Titan X has 96. This suggests that the 1080 Ti is essentially a Titan X but with a single memory chip disabled. This would explain why the 1080 Ti has 11GB of GDDR5X VRAM, too, compared with the 12GB found on the Titan X.

(Editorial continues after the gallery.)

GTX 1080 Ti Announcement Gallery

(Pictures taken by Dominic Moass: Copyright KitGuru.)

Above you can see all the slides shown by Nvidia at the 1080 Ti press event in San Francisco today.

Going into more detail about some highlighted features, let’s start with the memory. Nvidia told us that the 1080 Ti uses ‘next-gen’ GDDR5X VRAM from Micron that operates over a 352-bit bus – slightly less than the 384-bit bus found on the Titan X. However, the next-gen GDDR5X memory is faster than the Titan X’s VRAM, thanks to its 11Gbps (effective) transfer rate. It is this faster GDDR5X – plus the chip’s overclocking headroom – which, Nvidia says, makes the 1080 Ti faster than a Titan X.

In terms of VRAM capacity, the 1080 Ti features 11GB of memory. It may be a strange number, but it makes sense as the 1080 Ti uses the same GP102 chip as the Titan X but with a single memory controller disabled. Nvidia were keen to emphasise that more and more games are now using more and more VRAM, though, so the added capacity over the GTX 1080 should offer tangible benefits.

Importantly, the 1080 Ti should offer a solid boost in game performance over a GTX 1080, too. According to Nvidia’s testing – which we will validate ourselves in our own review – the 1080 Ti performs 35% faster than a 1080, making it the ‘best Ti ever’ in terms of relative performance between all the xx80 and the xx80 Ti cards.

Speaking of performance, the 1080 Ti is helped by the fact that its out-of-the-box boost clock is around 1600MHz, while it was also demonstrated with its core clock running beyond 2GHz, remaining perfectly stable.

Nvidia has also tweaked the Founders Edition cooler to offer better thermal performance at lower noise levels. This could be useful for those with small-form-factor systems, or those who want to run 2 cards in SLI.

One last area of interest is that the Founders Edition cards will have the same MSRP as third-party cards from companies such as EVGA, ASUS and Gigabyte. This marks a change in strategy from Nvidia, as, at launch, the GTX 1080 Founders Edition had a $100 premium over third-party cards.

Perhaps the most impressive thing is the price. It costs just $699 – nearly half the price of the Titan X at launch, but offering better performance. We will have to wait for a confirmed UK price, but given the weak state of the pound, anything below £649 is probably unrealistic.

Jen-Hsun announced it will be available from next week.

KitGuru says: For $699, the 1080 Ti looks fantastic. Faster than a Titan X, it should offer top-notch 4K gaming performance. Stay tuned for our review coming soon!

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