Nvidia announced their new top end graphics cards last week with the new GTX 1080 taking the spotlight.
Now they’ve released the white paper for the card which goes into further detail on the features and power. We already knew that the 1080 would beat a Titan X card while getting the TDP down to just 180W, a feat in itself, but focusing on VR, the top end card really shows its edge.
With the reduced wattage required, we’re looking at a single 8-pin connector on the rear of the card, a bonus for those who were thinking of upgrading from a lower card and were worried about changing their PSU.
The GP104 GPU, the brains of the machine, is a 14nm design with 4 GPC units which is how it manages to get the lower power consumption but remains faster than the current top-end card and features unique VR tools. The 2560 CUDA Cores run at speeds over 1600 MHz. That’s in comparison to the card it replaces, the GTX 980, which has 2,048 CUDA cores. The boost speed is even more impressive at 1,733MHz.
Memory, too, has been given a major increase, using GDDR5X over GDDR5 and running at 10Gbps. In theory, that’s 43% more memory bandwidth.
What does that mean in real terms? We won’t know for sure until we try the card out, but it should manage to provide more power than the Titan X and easily handle 4K at 60fps at high detail on most games, though I do have my doubts about it supporting some of the more demanding stuff at Ultra.
Both cards will support 3 way AND even 4 way SLI, though this is pretty much top end enthusiast level and they should work together with DX12’s support of SLI across different cards.
The big news is the use of Asynchronous compute, which allows computations to be done in parallel with each other, rather than waiting for one task to finish before starting another. Direct X 12 will really make this a game changer and AMD were far quicker than Nvidia to get on the bandwagon which aided their latest cards on intensive tasks. Now Nvidia have added this to the Pascal models it goes on to make things like Simultaneous Multi-Projection possible.
Nvidia’s emphasis on VR may prove to be the biggest asset for those dabbling in either the Vive or Rift. Simultaneous Multi-Projection means that the card can produce smoother images quicker thanks to being able to support the picture on both eyes simultaneously. This technology also allows the card to manipulate the angle of pictures to avoid the issue of skewed perspective when using multiple monitors.
There are plenty of other tricks up this card’s sleeve but for now this is the first generation in a long time where it seems the recommendation is to go for the new generation as the price points make trying to get a cheap previous generation card less enticing if you’re going for anything from 1080p/60fps or above.
Specs and price on the next page