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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition Review

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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition Conclusion:

Looking at the performance delivered by NVIDIA's latest GPU architecture, it's hard not to like what I see during my performance testing. There is not a single test where the results over previous generations are not significant. And significant is not an exaggeration at this point in time. Depending on the game, I was not seeing the close to a two times uptick in performance over the GTX 980, but when you get down to it, the performance benefits of the GTX 1080 are never ending. It delivers smooth gameplay at every resolution from top to bottom and truly makes it fun to play at 4K resolutions without having to resort to using a pair of cards to get that FPS fix. To see it do it so effortlessly is a testament to the work that NVIDIA has done to ensure that we get the best cards for our money.

This is a generational shift in performance that allows NVIDIA to move forward with its Virtual Reality endeavors to bring that added realism to the gaming universe. While at the NVIDIA launch event, I was pleasantly surprised at how well executed the VR environment was when I had to opportunity to play through some demos. As one who gets nauseous while riding in a car or playing some fast-paced FPS games, I was expecting that I would be done in a matter of 30 seconds to a minute. However, the level of performance delivered by a system running a trio of GTX 1080 GPUs through an HTC Vive VR headset was just stunning. No nausea, no eye issues, and the sound just added to the effect.

Overclocking is going to just add to the performance curve when you take the time to play with the GTX 1080. NVIDIA offers up some cool new options that let you really get the maximum amount of clock speed that the hardware can deliver using clock speed enhancements by voltage level. Suffice to say, you can play to your heart's content. Clock speeds above 2000MHz on the Pascal core and 2700MHz+ on the Micron G5X memory are achievable at will. Normally I run the overclocking testing in our articles, but decided it needed an article of its own to be published shortly here.

The one real issue I still can't get past is the "Founders Edition" branding that puts a premium price on what, in the past, was the reference design card. NVIDIA decided that it wants to sell the GTX 1080 through its full life cycle as a premium product, which for all intents and purposes it is when you look at the design work and performance that is delivered right out of the box. With starting prices at $599 US for non Founders Edition cards, does that mean we will see cards that fully do not meet the expectation NVIDIA sets as the design to follow? Will the board partner cards that normally hit the premium pricing see prices well above the Founders Edition $699 price point? We shall see come May 27 when cards will be widely available from both NVIDIA and the AIB partners. That being said, you do get a lot for your money with the GTX 1080, even at $699.

The GTX 1080 is packing 8GB of ridiculously fast GDDR5X memory and a core that just thumps down an impressive FPS performance that is needed to deliver great gameplay in today's ever more visually appealing games. All while running the eye candy turned way up even when running at 4K. There really is no performance comparison at this time that comes close. Even the Maxwell-based fastest cards on the planet pale in comparison to the GTX 1080.

NVIDIA continues to deliver exciting technologies that get us to that next level of immersion. Its work in the VR arena is paying huge dividends that only add to the experience. Improving Surround gaming by using Perspective Surround via Simultaneous Multi-Projection technology just makes it better. Truly, this card brought me back to the screen for some gameplay. The GTX 980 Ti and Titan X are truly great performers in their own right, but the GTX 1080 goes that extra mile. After pushing this envelope, it's going to be interesting to see what the red team has to offer in this game of one-upmanship.

If you want the fastest card on the planet, then the GTX 1080 is your card.

 

Pros:

  • Game changing performance
  • Low noise
  • Cooling performance
  • Turbo Boost 3.0
  • VR Ready
  • SLI technology enhancements
  • Pricing
  • Looks
  • Craftmade

 

Cons:

  • Founders Edition pricing


 

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