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World’s fastest graphics card 2016 – nVidia GeForce GTX 1080

Jen-Hsun Huang was a microprocessor designer at AMD when he left the company in 1993 to co-found nVidia with Chris Malachowsky and Curtis Priem. Today, nVidia is not only AMD’s biggest competitor in the graphics card market but is the largest company in its field. And that’s a good place to be, considering that video gaming is a $100 billion-a-year business, twice the size of the film industry.

What made nVidia so big and profitable? Being a step ahead of the competition for most of the time and more than often scooping the title of “World’s fastest graphics card.”

For the record, in 2012, the world’s fastest graphics card was the GTX 690; in 2013, the GTX 780 Ti ; in 2014, the GTX Titan Black held the title until the Radeon HD 7990 UltraHD came along; in early 2015, the crown was claimed by the GTX Titan X, only to be whisked away by the GeForce GTX 980 Ti.

World’s fastest graphics card – nVidia GeForce GTX 1080.

How fast is the GTX 1080? Twice as fast as the Titan X. nVidia claims it has better performance than two GTX 980s in SLI. Or as Huang himself put it, “It’s insane. The 1080 is insane. It’s almost irresponsible amounts of performance.”

PC World uses the key phrases “Ludricous speed” and “Overclocks like a beast” in their article The 10 key things you need to know (about the GeForce GTX 1080 and GTX 1070). On GTX 1080, they state –

While the GTX 1080 offers clock speeds hundreds of megahertz higher than the GTX 980 out of the box—with a max boost clock of 1733MHz—Nvidia showed a Paragon demo running on a GTX 1080 overclocked to a blistering 2114MHz. And it was air-cooled, and still running at a comparatively chilly 67 degrees Celsius.

nVidia GeForce GTX 1080

nVidia GeForce GTX 1080 specifications

“GeForce GTX 1080 is best suited for resolutions up to and including 3840 x 2160. We recommend a High-End Processor and 16GB of RAM for Optimal Performance.”

“Our Pascal-based GPUs feature enhanced asynchronous compute, and are the first to harness the power of 8GB of Micron’s new GDDR5X memory. The GTX 1080 is the first gaming GPUs designed for the 16nm FinFET 3D process.”

That’s from the horse’s mouth. And, really, if that does not explain it enough, here are the full specs –

nVidia GeForce GTX 1080 specs:
Pascal P104
16nm FinFET
Cuda cores: 2560
Base clock: 1607MHz
Boost clock: 1733MHz
Memory speed: 10Gbps
Memory: 8GB GDDR5X
Memory interface width: 256-bit
Memory bandwidth: 320GB/sec
Maximum digital resolution: 7680 x 4320 @ 60Hz
Display connectors: DP 1.4, HDMI 2.0b, DL-DVI
Power: 180W
Recommended system power: 500W
VR, G-Sync, GameStream, SLI, Vulcan API Ready
DirectX 12 API with feature level 12_1
OpenGL 4.5
Bus support PCIe 3.0
Maximum GPU temperature 94 degree Celsius
Height 111.15 mm (4.376″)
Length 266.7 mm (10.5″)
Width 2-slot
OS supported: Windows 7-10, Linux, FreeBSDx86

Did you notice that?! 10Gbps! Max res 7680 x 4320 @ 60Hz. Impressive.

And did you notice the GDDR5X? Usman Pirzada of WCCF Tech explains that extra X –

GDDR5X is based on the GDDR5 standard and primarily doubles the prefetch of the standard 32 Bit wide memory access; the GDDR5X supports 64 Bit wide (double the prefetch) memory access, theoretically doubling the memory bandwidth.

Impressive stuff indeed.

4K and more

With 4K resolution as the new standard, 8K gaming around the corner and VR taking off, the emphasis of new GPU technology is on, well, virtual reality. Furthermore, nVidia’s Simultaneous Multi-Projection technology provides aspect-corrected rendering.

In this video, Huang shows off The Division, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and Mirror’s Edge Catalyst running maxed out at 60Hz before introducing the GeForce GTX 1080.

GPU competition

You say, “Not so fast!”

You’re heard. This is about the fastest GPU out of the box. Even nVidia admits that they have a nitrogen-cooled Maxwell GPU that outruns this offering. You’ll also find gamer experts that do incredible speeds with highly-tweaked Radeon cards as well. Point taken.

But what about the new AMD Polaris, the Arctic Island GPU? It is based on the 14nm architecture with the Greenland, Ellesmere and Baffin GNC (Graphics Core Next) version 1.3 instruction sets.

As it turns out, the new AMD FinFETT GPUs feature GDDR5+ instead of GDDR5X memory and is be aimed at the mainstream desktop market instead of the high-end gaming sector. While the Polaris chips support both HDMI 2.0a and DisplayPort 1.3, you’ll have to wait until 2017, when AMD plans to introduce their Vega HBM2 set.

Thus said, there is no doubt that the R9 480X will interesting competition for the GTX 1080.

Big screen vs little screen

All this marvelous technology by nVidia and AMD helped the video gaming market along to the massive size it is today. However, the biggest growth in video gaming lies in the little screen, the smartphone screen. And none of the big chip makers, including Intel, has yet to make it in mobile CPU or GPU. That playground, alas, belongs Apple, ARM and Qualcomm.

Be that as it may, it is hard to beat the fun you can have on an evening in front of a big monitor, with a computer with fast CPU, lots of RAM, a gaming mouse and gaming keyboard, good coffee – hot or cold – and, of course, maxing the latest GPU to the utmost res.

Enjoy the game!

10/05/2016. Category: Gadgets. Topic: .

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