NVidia GTX 1080 Specs Exceed Performance of SLI 980s, Uses G5X VRAM

By Published May 06, 2016 at 9:28 pm
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Austin, Texas this weekend hosted nVidia's Pascal GTX 1080 unveil event, headed-up by nVidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang and dotted with high-end demo rigs from well-known case modders (including BS Mods). The week's #OrderOf10 event prefaced tonight's press conference – a puzzle we solved just ahead of the show – and ultimately unlocked a count-down timer that unintentionally coincided with Dreamhack US. Tonight, nVidia announced its new GeForce Pascal architecture GPUs, including the GTX 1080 video cards.

The Pascal architecture was first unveiled at GTC a few years back, when nVidia's roadmap through 2018 was posted (concluding with Volta). Earlier this morning, we published a Pascal architecture deep-dive that fully detailed the new Pascal SM (Streaming Multiprocessor) and memory subsystem as it relates to GP100. Although GP100 belongs exclusively to the Tesla P100 Accelerator Card, Pascal as an architecture applies globally to the platform – and that includes the imminent GeForce cards. Pascal as it relates to GeForce is almost certainly running a “lite” version of the architecture, but will carry-over potential game-changers from the GP100. A 16nm FinFET process node from TSMC heralds nVidia's move away from the 28nm process that both major GPU manufacturers have resided on for the past few years. Other changes, like a reduction in cores-per-SM while increasing or maintaining warp schedulers and dispatch units, will work with this datapath organization change to improve overall efficiency and performance-per-watt of Pascal.

If this architecture discussion interests you, we'd urge you to read our deep-dive on Pascal.

(Article title & content updated).

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Huang started the event with an introduction to four key points for the presentation:

  • New Art Form

  • New Sound

  • New King

  • New Tech 

New Art Form - “Ansel” In-Game Photography

Huang introduced us to the work of Joshua Taylor, Leonardo Sang, James Pollock, and Duncan Harris, who have committed substantial personal effort to “in-game photography.” NVidia introduced its in-game photography system dubbed “Ansel,” permitting players to free-fly cameras within games, apply filters (vignettes, HDR, so forth), dump EXR to the framebuffer for SFX, and render “Super Rez” at 32x higher resolution than what is seen on the monitor.

The tool also allows for full 360-stereo screenshots, allowing for later panning and isolation of key points. Huang said, “imagine just one click – and that 'click' is no longer Prt Scrn.”

NVidia used The Witness as its demonstration title. Water prohibited movement in the demo, and so the team resorted to free-flight camera for positioning, resolution up-scaling for quality increments, and then took 360-surround “photos” for later observation in VR HMDs.

NVidia announced its release of an accompanying mobile application using Google Cardboard to view 360-degree screenshots.

Paragon, No Man's Sky, Unreal Tournament, Law Breakers, The Division, and The Witness will all include in-game support of Ansel.

VRWorks Audio & nVidia VR Funhouse

VRWorks Audio is a path-trace audio solution for virtual reality HMDs, tying into PhysX to calculate physically-based haptics and acoustic models based on geometric data. The Optix engine will perform real-time path-traced audio for audio processing, bypassing modern limitations of direct positional audio. Sound waves propagated through air interact with the environment; in this regard, stadia and hallways emit different echoic resonance and affect real-time perception of the atmosphere.

This HMD tie-in means that physically-based acoustics simulation will integrate with game titles to accurately simulate acoustic atmospheres in-game.

A new “nVidia VR Funhouse” presents a physically-based environment for demonstration of the new technology, among others. It's effectively an arcade-carnival hybrid with classic fairgrounds games for VR play.

All of these demos were revealed to be running on the GTX 1080 video card, with an R&D budget of several billion dollars.

GTX 1080 Unveil

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The GTX 1080 runs on nVidia's Pascal architecture, a point Huang emphasized with the introduction of G5X memory (built by Micron). Each memory signal is 100 pico seconds wide (the time it takes light to travel one inch), allowing a significant performance increase over Maxwell's GDDR5 limitations. “GDDR5X,” now called “G5X,” moves nVidia toward the new 13~14Gb/s memory platform and off of the 8Gb per die GDDR5 speeds.

The GTX 1080 posts a 180W TDP with an ~83% power efficiency after conversion to DC power. The GTX 1080 sees a 100mV power ripple – a major efficiency offering that promises stability overhaul to fluctuation clockrates of current-gen cards.

Performance promises exceed 2x GTX 980s in SLI and 1x Titan X. The GTX 1080 sees a ~4.5x performance gain over the GTX 960, or roughly a ~2x gain over the GTX 980. There is roughly a 20% gain over the Titan X in performance output.

Clockrates on air post 2.1GHz (2114MHz) with MemCLK of 5508MHz and a GPU temperature (absolute) 67C.

GTX 1080 Specs

The GTX 1080 will cost $600 (special edition for $700 with high-end OC support). Launch is May 27. Specs are below:

  • 9TFLOPS
  • 8GB G5X
  • DP1.4 HDR 4K@120Hz
  • HDMI 2.0B 4K@60Hz
  • DL-DVI
  • Over 2GHz overclocking, vapor chamber cooling
  • 8GB framebuffer, 10Gbps quad-data rate
  • 16nm FinFET
  • 7.2B transistors
  • 2560 cores

Update: New SLI bridge shown in BSMods case mod above. This is an official bridge.

GTX 1070 for $380

Launch is June 10. Specs as below:

  • 6.5TFLOPS
  • 8GB G5

No other specs at this time.

GTX 1080 Price & Release Date

This article will be update as we retrieve additional information over the next 30-60 minutes, including potential release dates and inevitable prices.

Update: Availability starting today.

Update: Pascal is capable of performing a single-pass multi-projection computations for surround-view rendering without additional overhead.

Update: Article title updated. Not 2x performance (but increased performance over 2x 980s).

Editorial: Steve "Lelldorianx" Burke
Forthcoming Video: Keegan "HornetSting" Gallick

Last modified on May 06, 2016 at 9:28 pm
Steve Burke

Steve started GamersNexus back when it was just a cool name, and now it's grown into an expansive website with an overwhelming amount of features. He recalls his first difficult decision with GN's direction: "I didn't know whether or not I wanted 'Gamers' to have a possessive apostrophe -- I mean, grammatically it should, but I didn't like it in the name. It was ugly. I also had people who were typing apostrophes into the address bar - sigh. It made sense to just leave it as 'Gamers.'"

First world problems, Steve. First world problems.

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