NVIDIA’s Battlefront II Game Ready driver version 388.31 shipped this week in preparation for the game’s worldwide launch. In possibly more positive news for the vast number of redditors enraged by EA’s defense of grinding, the driver is also updated for Injustice 2 compatibility and boasts double-digit % performance increases in Destiny 2 at higher resolutions.

Battlefront 2 is the headliner for this driver release, but this chart is about all NVIDIA has to say on the subject for now:

Everyone’s been asking why the GTX 1070 Ti exists, noting that the flanking GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 cards largely invalidated its narrow price positioning. In a span of $100-$150, nVidia manages to segment three products, thus spurring the questions. We think the opposite: The 1070 Ti has plenty of reason to exist, but the 1080 is the now less-desirable of the options. Regardless of which (largely irrelevant) viewpoint you take, there is now a 1070, a 1070 Ti, and a 1080, and they’re all close enough that one doesn’t need to live. One should die – it’s just a matter of which. The 1070 doesn’t make sense to be killed – it’s too far from the GTX 1080, at 1920 vs. 2560 cores, and fills a lower-end market. The 1070 Ti is brand new, so that’s not dying today. The 1080, though, has been encroached upon by the 1070 Ti, just one SM and some Micron memory shy of being a full ten digits higher in numerical nomenclature.

For the basics, the GTX 1070 Ti is functionally a GTX 1080, just with one SM neutered. NVidia has removed a single simultaneous multiprocessor, which contains 128 CUDA cores and 12 texture map units, and has therefore dropped us down to 2432 CUDA cores total. This is in opposition to 2560 cores on the 1080 and 1920 cores on the 1070. The GTX 1070 Ti is much closer in relation to a 1080 than a 1070, and its $450-$480 average list price reinforces that, as GTX 1080s were available in that range before the mining explosion (when on sale, granted).

Buildzoid returns with an analysis of the Colorful GTX 1070 Ti Vulcan X PCB and VRM, including some brief discussion on shorting the shunts of the new 1070 Ti card. Colorful is attempting to get into the Western market, and the GTX 1070 Ti launch will be their maiden voyage in that attempt. We received the Vulcan X card first -- for which we presently have no MSRP -- and tore it down a few days ago. Our PCB analysis, embedded below, takes an XOCer's look at the VRM quality and implementation.

Learn more below:

NVIDIA just posted its 388.10 drivers for Wolfenstein II, building on the earlier-launched 388.0 driver update for Destiny II. Aside from hotfixes, the driver package does not change any core functionality or performance of nVidia GTX cards. This is similar to AMD's latest hotfix for its Vega cards on Destiny II: Only download and install 388.10 if you are actively running into issues with the game at hand.

On its forums, an nVidia representative posted:

NVidia’s much-rumored GTX 1070 Ti will launch on November 2, 2017, with initial information disseminated today. The 1070 Ti uses a GP104-300 GPU, slotted between the GP104-400 and GP104-200 of the 1080 and 1070 (respectively), and therefore uses the same silicon as we’ve seen before. This is likely the final Pascal launch before leading into Volta, and is seemingly the response to AMD’s Vega 56 challenger of the GTX 1070 non-Ti.

The 1070 Ti is slightly cut-down from the 1080, the former of which runs 19 SMs for 2432 CUDA cores (at 128 shaders per SM), with the latter running 20 SMs. The result is what will likely amount to clock differences, primarily, as the 1070 Ti operates 1607/1683MHz for its clock speeds, and AIB partners are not permitted to offer pre-overclocked versions. For all intents and purposes, outside of the usual cooling, VRM, and silicon quality differences (random, at best), all AIB partner cards will perform identically in out-of-box states. Silicon quality will amount to the biggest differences, with cooler quality – anything with an exceptionally bad cooler, primarily – differentiating the rest.

As we understand it now, users will be able to manually overclock the 1070 Ti with software. See the specs below:

As stated in the video intro, this benchmark contains some cool data that was exciting to work with. We don’t normally accumulate enough data to run historical trend plots across various driver or game revisions, but our initial Destiny 2 pre-launch benchmarks enabled us to compare that data against the game’s official launch. Bridging our pre-launch beta benchmarks with similar testing methods for the Destiny 2 PC launch, including driver changes, makes it easier to analyze the deviation between CPU, driver, and game code optimizations.

Recapping the previous tests, we already ran a wide suite of Destiny 2 benchmarks that included performance scaling tests in PvP multiplayer, campaign/co-op multiplayer, and various levels/worlds in the game. Find some of that content below:

NOTE: Our Destiny 2 CPU benchmark is now live.

Some of our original graphics optimization work also carried forward, allowing us to better pinpoint Depth of Field on Highest as one of the major culprits to AMD’s performance. This has changed somewhat with launch, as you’ll find below.

We’re sticking with FXAA for testing. Bungie ended up removing MSAA entirely, as the technique has been buggy since the beta, and left only SMAA and FXAA in its place.

MSI GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio Shown

Saturday, 23 September 2017

MSI is still building GTX 1080 Ti models, it seems. The Pascal 1080 Ti series has to be one of the most prolific AIB partner cards in a long time: EVGA has an insurmountable catalogue, at this point, ASUS and Gigabyte branched-out 1080 Ti units, and MSI is now adding a triple-fan cooler that seems to be taking some of Zotac's style

The new MSI GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio will join the company's existing line of cards, including the Gaming X, Gaming Z, Lightning X, Lightning Z, Seahawk, et al. The Gaming X Trio switches from "Twin Frozr" to a triple-fan cooler, using two fans of larger size (they look to be 90mm, maybe 100mm) and one of smaller size, located centrally. Unlike some of the competition, all three fans spin in the same direction and use the same blade design, just different sizes.

Taking apart EVGA's GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 Hybrid isn't too different from the process for all the company's other cards: Two types of Phillips head screws are used in abundance for the backplate, the removal of which effectively dismantles the entire card. Wider-thread screws are used for the shroud, with thinner screws used for areas where the backplate is secured to front-side heatsinks (rather than the plastic shroud).

That's what we did when we got back from our PAX trip -- we dismantled the FTW3 Hybrid. We don't have any immediate plans to review this card, particularly since its conclusions -- aside from thermals -- will be the same as our FTW3 review, but we wanted to at least have a look at the design.

Ask GN returns for its 54th episode – we’ve gotten more consistent than ever – to discuss Noctua fan manufacturing locations (China & Taiwan), thermal pads vs. thermal paste usage on MOSFETs, Vega 10-bit support, and a couple other items.

A few of the items from this week peer into GN’s behind-the-scenes workings, as several viewers and readers have been curious about our staff, whether we keep products, or why we “waste” GPUs by using them for things other than mining.

As always, timestamps below the embed.

This week's hardware news recap gives us a break from Vega -- if a brief one -- so that we can discussed nVidia's multi-chip GPU white paper, AMD's Ryzen Threadripper CPUs (1920X + 1950X), the R3 CPUs, and new fabs for Samsung. This discussion also bleeds over into DRAM shortages and NAND prices, particularly relating to Micron's fab "event" from last week.

The show notes are below the embedded video, for folks who prefer the notes and sources.

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