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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition Review


NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition Closer Look:

Gaming performance is only part of the equation nowadays. To ensure you get the best possible gaming experience, NVIDIA strives to put together a whole ecosystem of support networks that leverage the strengths of the brand and the various technologies that drive the latest innovation. It's all in the name of giving us the best possible gaming with the greatest visuals. Below are just a few of the highlights that make this launch all that much more special. Rather than try and disseminate the info, I'll let NVIDIA do the heavy lifting.


"Yes, gaming has evolved. It is no longer just about playing games. It is also about artistry and expression. Introducing Ansel, a new platform for artists. A new platform for expression. And a new platform for gamers. Think of Ansel as a new camera that is integrated into your gaming experience that allows you to capture gameplay that was never before possible. Ansel revolutionizes game capture."

"You no longer have to just take the picture of what you are looking at in the game. With Ansel, you can point the camera in any direction, move it and turn it anywhere you want to compose the perfect shot.In a traditional FPS game, for example, you could only take a picture standing behind the crosshairs. With Free Camera Mode, you can pop out of your body and compose a shot from any angle and position, and then capture a 360degree picture of the game world. Once captured, that image can be viewed in a VR headset, on a PC, or with your cell phone by moving it around to view the 360degree image. It can even be viewed with your camera in VR with Google Cardboard."

Simultaneous Multi-Projection:

"The Simultaneous Multi-Projection block is a new hardware unit, which is located inside the PolyMorph Engine at the end of the geometry pipeline and right in front of the Raster Unit. As its name implies, the Simultaneous Multi-Projection (SMP) unit is responsible for generating multiple projections of a single geometry stream, as it enters the SMP engine from upstream shader stages. The Simultaneous Multi-Projection Engine is capable of processing geometry through up to 16 preconfigured projections, sharing the center of projection (the viewpoint), and with up to 2 different projection centers, offset along the X axis. Projections can be independently tilted or rotated around an axis. Since each primitive may show up in multiple projections simultaneously, the SMP engine provides multi-cast functionality, allowing the application to instruct the GPU to replicate geometry up to 32 times (16 projections x 2 projection centers) without additional application overhead as the geometry flows through the pipe."

"In all scenarios, the processing is hardware-accelerated, and the stream of data never leaves the chip. Since the multi-projection expansion happens after the geometry pipeline, the application saves all the work that would otherwise need to be performed in upstream shader stages. The savings are particularly important in geometry-heavy scenarios, such as tessellation, where running the geometry processing pipeline multiple times (once for each projection) would be prohibitively expensive. In extreme cases, the SMP engine can reduce the amount of required geometry work by up to 32x! One example application of SMP is optimal support for surround displays. The correct way to render to a surround display is with a different projection for each of the three displays, matching the display angle. This is supported directly in a single pass by Pascal SMP, by specifying three separate projections, each corresponding to the appropriately tilted monitor. Now, the user has the flexibility to choose the desired tilt for their side displays and will see their graphics rendered with geometrically correct perspectives, at a much wider field of view (FOV). Note that an application using SMP to generate surround display images must support wide FOV settings, and also use SMP API calls to enable the wider FOV."


Enhanced SLI Interface:

"Gaming enthusiasts rely on NVIDIA SLI technology to deliver the very best gaming experience at the highest screen resolutions and graphics settings. One critical ingredient to NVIDIA’s SLI technology is the SLI Bridge, which is a digital interface that transfers display data between GeForce graphics cards in a system."

"Two of these interfaces have historically been used to enable communications between three or more GPUs (i.e., 3-Way and 4-Way SLI configurations). The second SLI interface is required for these scenarios because all other GPUs need to transfer their rendered frames to the display connected to the master GPU, and up to this point each interface has been independent. Beginning with NVIDIA Pascal GPUs, the two interfaces are now linked together to improve bandwidth between GPUs. This new dual-link SLI mode allows both SLI interfaces to be used in tandem to feed one Hi-res display or multiple displays for NVIDIA Surround."

"Dual-link SLI mode is supported with a new SLI Bridge called SLI HB. The bridge facilitates high-speed data transfer between GPUs, connecting both SLI interfaces, and is the best way to achieve full SLI clock speeds with GeForce GTX 1080 GPUs running in SLI (NOTE: The GeForce GTX 1080 is also compatible with legacy SLI bridges; however, the GPU will be limited to the maximum speed of the bridge being used).Using this new SLI HB Bridge, GeForce GTX 1080’s new SLI interface runs at 650 MHz, compared to 400 MHz in previous GeForce GPUs using legacy SLI bridges. Where possible though, older SLI Bridges will also get a speed boost when used with Pascal. Specifically, custom bridges that include LED lighting will now operate at up to 650MHz when used with GTX 1080, taking advantage of Pascal’s higher speed IO."

"The GeForce GTX 1080’s new SLI subsystem provides more than double the bandwidth between GPUs compared to the SLI interface used on prior generation GeForce GTX GPUs. This is particularly important for high resolutions like 4K and 5K and surround. Since the GeForce GTX 1080 now supports different types of bridges, it is important to understand which bridges work best for the intended use case. Below is a simple table highlighting recommend configurations."


Fast Sync:

"Fast Sync is a latency-conscious alternative to traditional Vertical Sync (V-SYNC) that eliminates tearing, while allowing the GPU to render unrestrained by the refresh rate to reduce input latency."

Perspective Surround:

"Let’s take an example of a typical surround display setup, comprising three separate monitors, placed side-by-side directly next to each other. In this setup, a game would assume a wider horizontal field of view, but it would still render assuming a single, flat plane projection."


"If the user arranges their monitors to form a flat plane, the final result will be geometrically correct. However, this setup requires a large amount of desk space and offers a limited field of view. It is preferable to rotate the left and right side monitor inwards, which should dramatically increase the field of view. However, if the game is rendered assuming a single planar projection, the apparent perspective of the image will no longer be correct—it will appear excessively stretched and distorted on the sides."


"This occurs because although the displays are tilted inwards, the rendering assumes they are in a flat plane. Note that the lines of projection are unchanged although the displays have moved—so the blue lines on the edges no longer match up with the side displays. The projection no longer matches the display setup and is therefore incorrect. In order to address this issue, one option is to render each monitor separately, appropriately adjusting projection parameters to match the tilt of each display. However, this approach results in a significant increase in the rendering workload, since the scene effectively has to be rendered three times, resulting in the game engine performing 3x the scene management work, 3x the OS runtime and driver work, and 3x the GPU front end and geometry work. Instead, the Pascal SMP feature allows a single rendering pass. Perspective Surround is configured to know that there are three active projections - one for each monitor and each primitive, and will apply each of the active projections for each display on the fly. The result is a correctly rendered surround view, with no loss of performance."


VRWorks Audio:

"Traditional VR and game audio provides an accurate 3D position of the audio source within a virtual environment. For example, if an enemy on your right fires at you, you will perceive the sound as coming from your right because it will be played louder in the right channel than the left channel, and will often be played slightly earlier. This simulates the difference in arrival time and arrival energy of the first waves of sound to arrive at the player, called the direct sound. The differences in energy and arrival time of the direct sound at each ear are called binaural effects. In the real world, however, sound spreads in many directions, not just directly toward a listener. Some of that sound will bounce off surfaces and make its way to the user later than the direct sound. This is called indirect sound, reflected sound, or reverberation. The indirect sound depends on the size, shape, and material properties of the surrounding area. For instance, when walking into a small bathroom with tile walls and flooring, your footsteps will sound louder and produce more echoes compared to walking in the same bathroom with a carpeted floor and sheetrocked (drywall) walls. Sound interacts with different materials in very different ways. Some materials, like tile, reflect a large amount of sound energy, while some materials, like carpet, absorb a large amount of sound energy. NVIDIA VRWorks Audio uses ray tracing, a technique used in generating images in computer graphics to trace the path of audio propagation through a virtual scene. VRWorks Audio simulates the propagation of acoustic energy through the surrounding environment. Rays are generated to trace the direct and indirect paths along which audio can travel from a source to a listener. When these rays encounter surfaces in the scene, called the geometry, these rays are absorbed, reflected, and scattered as a function of their angle of incidence and the material properties associated with the surface they are interacting with.



All information courtesy of NVIDIA.

  1. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition: Introduction & Closer Look
  2. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition Closer Look: Continued
  3. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition: Specifications & Features
  4. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition Testing: Setup & Game Selection
  5. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition Testing: Fallout 4, Grand Theft Auto V
  6. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition Testing: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, Far Cry Primal
  7. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition Testing: Battlefield 4, The Witcher III: Wild Hunt
  8. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition Testing: Hitman (2016), Tom Clancy's The Division
  9. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition Testing: Unigine Heaven 4.0, Ashes of the Singularity, 3DMark
  10. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition Testing: Temperatures & Power Consumption
  11. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition: Conclusion
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