The GTX 1080 – Still Good in 2021? [Reviews & Guide]

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Whereas I do know that the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 isn’t precisely a ‘price range’ GPU by right now’s requirements, particularly with the latest GPU pricing spikes because of cryptocurrency and ongoing provide points. Nevertheless, as soon as this bubble bursts and costs begin to come again down, the 1080 will begin to drop in worth as a result of lack of {hardware} DXR acceleration. In preparation for the inevitable, let’s check out the Nvidia Geforce GTX 1080, and see the way it holds up in conventional rasterization efficiency for quite a lot of video games throughout quite a lot of genres! Strap in, as a result of it’s an fascinating story to say the least!

The Specs of the GP104 Chip

Let’s begin our exploration of the GTX 1080 by looking on the energy traits of the cardboard, and break down what precisely you’ll want for those who’re planning on selecting certainly one of these playing cards up. With a rated TDP of 180W, this card is definitely not that dangerous when in comparison with the newest spherical of releases from Nvidia. Even in comparison with the older RTX 2080, this card is way more environment friendly because of the dearth of additional mounted operate {hardware}, and an general decrease variety of cores. The cardboard’s minimal PSU requirement is rated at 450W, nonetheless I’d go for no less than a 500W unit simply to be protected, and depart your self some headroom for overclocking, too.

Outputs on this mannequin, which is the Founders Version, embody a single DVI and HDMI port, together with 3 show ports. It drives my two displays by way of Show Port superbly, and is kind of the Nvidia gold commonplace for outputs. It’s price noting as effectively that this card lacks a USB-C connection on it, as discovered within the 20 Collection, nonetheless this additionally eliminated on the 30 collection, so even a present gen improve would price you this function. Energy connectors are additionally affordable right here, with this mannequin requiring a single 8-pin PCIe energy connector. There are some variations right here between distributors, so ensure you verify the mannequin you’re looking at shopping for to see if it requires extra. That is simply the reference mannequin, and it’s one thing that AIBs can alter of their designs.

GTX 1080 Specs GraphOur mannequin is totally unlocked, and due to this fact options the GP104-400-A1 die, that means we get the complete 2,560 energetic CUDA cores, together with the GDDR5X reminiscence controllers.  This interprets to twenty Pascal SMs, with a 256-bit Quad Information Charge reminiscence feeding them. Conventional Twin Information Charge (DDR) and its bandwidth-savvy brother GDDR handle to transmit two bits per clock when transferring information on a reminiscence bus. The swap GDDR5X permits for prefetch sizes of 16 bits, versus the usual G5’s 8 bits per clock. In principle, this makes for a 25% enhance in efficiency general over the standard GDDR5 configuration discovered on the GTX 1070. By way of real-world efficiency, because of this general texture element will load sooner on the 1080, whereas alpha textures present in particle results will probably be allowed to saturate extra bandwidth. This interprets to general smoother efficiency in bandwidth-heavy scenes, and likewise helps to feed extra information into and out of the cores, resulting in extra being processed inside a given time frame. The 160 Texture Mapping Models, which absorb loads of bandwidth on the reminiscence subsystems, are paired with 64 Raster Operation Pipelines, that means extra information will be concurrently tracked and calculated. All of this, mixed with the G5X, provides the GTX 1080 extra headroom over its competitors from the period, and helps to maintain this card a bit nearer to the current-day competitors than different playing cards of its era!

One other core spec I believe is necessary to say is the final function of Pascal, which limits its efficiency in loads of modern-day integer-driven workloads. When taking a look at Pascal from an architectural standpoint, CUDA cores are primarily a paired Integer ALU and Floating Level succesful ALU, the place just one ALU could possibly be actively engaged on information per clock cycle. Because of this scheduling needed to make choices that traded integer energy for floating level energy, and vice versa. With Turing, this was modified, and each the integer and floating-point unit could possibly be energetic and making calculations throughout the identical cycle. Ampere constructed on this, nonetheless used cluster multithreading to bump floating level efficiency. This makes excellent sense, as integer directions are a lot much less frequent in gaming workloads, particularly in a graphics card, however the downside remains to be current. This places Pascal at an obstacle when it comes to concurrently computing blended information varieties, however is unlikely to have an effect on efficiency in a noticeable method exterior of benchmarks and ray traced workloads. The cardboard can also be fairly a bit behind the RTX 3080 with regards to CUDA core counts, however the clock speeds ought to permit the 1080 to remain in competition with the decrease core depend elements.

One factor I notably needed to convey up on this overview is overclocking. I do know that not everybody who buys this card goes to wish to put extra work into both modding or tinkering with settings, however the efficiency on the desk is measurable. Once we get to the benchmarks, you’re going to get a greater concept as to how this impacts issues. I’m going to be testing the 1080 with each its inventory cooler, after which with my modded water cooler. The inventory efficiency is extra indicative of what you get out of the field, because the frequencies don’t get an opportunity to ramp up because of thermal limitations. In reality, for those who had been to have a look at the clock pace of the cardboard, you’d see it enhance as much as round 1800 MHz, which by all means isn’t gradual. With our Kraken G12 mod, although, we’re in a position to get that as much as and over 2 GHz with ease, together with a pleasant little reminiscence overclock. This permits for an approximate 14% enhance in general computational throughput on the cores, and the reminiscence overclock will assist to maintain our cores fed with data. Temperatures throughout an prolonged gaming session additionally weren’t something to write down house about when utilizing the inventory cooler, hovering at 70°C and above fairly persistently, with the fan pace ramped as much as match. With our water cooling mod, core temps by no means exceeded 70°C in any workload, and be mindful we’re operating our 2 GHz overclock, in addition to solely utilizing a 120mm AIO. Temperatures might theoretically be improved by means of growing radiator measurement; the purpose of diminishing returns will depend on which particular card you’re making an attempt to mod, however appears to be something above a 120mm for this particular card. In the event you’re trying out a third-party mannequin, then this form of mod is type of pointless, however the possibility remains to be there. I positively advocate doing this $70 cooling improve for those who’re trying to get the utmost efficiency you possibly can out of this card! It additionally appears type of cool, and can be simple to color for those who needed to get into that form of factor!

Transferring away from overclocking, let’s check out our testing methodology, in addition to the specs of the machine we’ll be utilizing to check each our inventory and water-cooled 1080. All video games had been examined at 1440p on their ‘Excessive’ presets over a 10-minute gameplay session. The specs for our take a look at machine are that of a comparatively high-end system for 2021, with an i9-9900k on the coronary heart of our construct. This chip, when paired with an MSI z390-a Professional motherboard, was in a position to comfortably clock to five GHz, and our Corsair h115i was in a position to preserve every thing beneath 80°C. Take into account that we’re operating an AVX offset of -2, although. All of our exams had been additionally run with my aspect panel eliminated, in order that I might have quick access to the cardboard. This additionally represents a best-case situation, with contemporary air being comparatively ample because of this. We’ve bought fairly just a few benchmarks to debate, so with none additional ado, let’s dive into the efficiency of the GTX 1080, and check out the way it holds up in 2021!

bench specs graphRecreation Efficiency

Apex Legends

I began these benchmarks off by trying out Apex Legends, a battle royale recreation operating on a modified model of the Supply Engine. Although we’re operating at 1440p, this recreation performs phenomenally regardless of which configuration you go along with. In reality, the hybrid mod solely gave us an additional 8 frames on common, and also you’d nonetheless get superior framerates on the inventory cooler. This merely illustrates how the cardboard can carry out when pushed to its limits! The grouping of values was additionally related between the 2 setups, indicating that our overclock labored in enhancing the minimal pace and particularly the common pace. It was enjoyable to play within the Titanfall universe on the 1080, and like Titanfall 2 this recreation is a blast to play because of the wonderful efficiency on supply!

Ark: Survival Advanced

Ark: Survival Advanced was playable on the 1080, however the expertise wasn’t precisely clean. Take a look at the minimal framerates, and also you’ll see that it doesn’t present a lot variance in any respect, main me to imagine that this recreation is healthier performed at both decrease settings or a decrease decision. In reality, for those who flip down the settings to low, you wouldn’t get any of the bizarre body skips when dinosaurs spawn on-screen, and the feather animations on a lot of the creatures received’t trigger your efficiency to tank. Don’t get me improper, the sport appears unbelievable on these excessive settings, however the 1080 is just unable to deal with this degree of element. Turning your settings down is advisable, and being good about which setting you’re tweaking ought to can help you preserve loads of the visible identification of the sport whereas nonetheless holding efficiency inside an optimum vary!

Black Ops Chilly Battle

Transferring onto our second shooter, Black Ops Chilly Battle carried out effectively on the GTX 1080, with a median of 87 FPS when utilizing the inventory cooler. As soon as once more, the recorded efficiency uplift between the inventory and modded playing cards is sort of inside the margin of error, giving the impression that the sport wasn’t performing all that in a different way. What I did discover nonetheless, particularly throughout gunfights, is that the sport stuttered much less when the overclocked hybrid mod was in place, and though it’s arduous to quantify with out a frametime graph, the general really feel of the sport was improved by our mod. It’s positively price trying out the 1080, whether or not modded or not, for those who’re trying to get into some 1440p Chilly Battle motion!

Crysis 3

Whereas admittedly a considerably outdated recreation, Crysis 3 carried out admirably on the 1080, pulling in a median of 96 FPS when utilizing inventory settings. Although the sport is getting outdated, the graphics on show listed here are past spectacular, and the truth that this recreation functioned on consoles in any respect actually exhibits how way more optimized this recreation is over its predecessors. This has all evidently paid off, as our 1080 by no means dropped beneath 60 FPS, that means that it’s playable at 60Hz and above. This may increasingly even warrant a excessive refresh charge monitor with G-Sync or Free-Sync inbuilt! It was a blast to reexperience this recreation from my childhood, and at 1440p and 60 FPS I used to be in a position to benefit from the luscious environments in a method I by no means have earlier than!

CS:GO

I used the CPU exercise that’s CS:GO to gauge how a lot headroom we’re giving the CPU with our GPU overclock. Although the averages are mainly inside the margin of error, the utmost framerate exhibits that we’re letting our i9 stretch its legs a measurable quantity extra, as we had been in a position to obtain a 4% enhance over the inventory configuration. This interprets to larger framerates at factors that had been beforehand GPU-bound, and permits our card to pump out just a few additional frames right here and there. It’s truly type of fascinating to have a look at, as the info exhibits that we’re reaching larger framerates general than with out our overclock. This proves our overclock is sticking and really hitting the targets we’re setting, which simply goes to point out that this card can pummel CS:GO for those who’re a excessive refresh charge aggressive gamer!

Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077 truly choke-slammed our 1080, bringing the common down to only 31 FPS. Decreasing settings would clearly assist to extend this, nonetheless it’s price noting that our hybrid mod allowed our card to carry out higher, particularly when contemplating how low these framerates are. Although the sport remains to be playable, I’d personally set the decision to 1080p and name it a day. You’ll most likely have the ability to flip some settings to extremely as effectively, however the efficiency on supply is simply not sufficient to energy this recreation at 1440p. Even our overclock, which averaged at 34 FPS, exhibits simply how demanding this recreation is, as a result of we weren’t in a position to merely brute pressure it. Both method, this kills the expertise you’d in any other case be getting on a final gen console, and like I discussed, additionally leaves the door open to reducing the decision and chasing these larger framerates!

Doom Everlasting

Transferring on to Vulkan efficiency, and Doom Everlasting averaged a past playable 115 FPS on the GTX 1080. The one factor I assumed was price commenting on right here was a wierd stuttering impact that will happen firstly of every degree. It might freeze for a second, then go proper again to being clean as butter. It’s a wierd efficiency quirk, however our 1080 was in a position to energy by means of. When overclocked with our Hybrid Mod, we achieved a median of 126, which for a few of you rocking 120Hz displays is the distinction between hitting a refresh or not! Allow the dynamic decision scaler within the settings menu, and the sport will lock to 60 FPS, and look adequate to move for native 1440p, particularly in movement. Like all our earlier video games, Doom Everlasting benefitted significantly from reducing the decision to 1080p, and maxing the sport out whereas remaining above 60 FPS was an actual sight to behold!

Far Cry 5

Far Cry 5, an open world first individual shooter, carried out excellently on the 1080, with the inventory card pulling in a median of 95 FPS. The sport general felt improbable to play, and carried out easily regardless of some occasional hitching proven within the minimums. This might even presumably permit for settings to be raised one other notch. Although the overclock didn’t present that a lot of a lift, the bump we did see made the sport extra playable general, and is certainly advisable for those who’re eyeing certainly one of these playing cards to play by means of this recreation. It’s evidently a superb card with regards to Far Cry 5, and I’d fortunately play this recreation all day lengthy on the 1080!

Gears of Battle 5

Gears of Battle 5, a recreation constructed on Unreal Engine 4, is a graphical masterpiece, and is a surprising show of the capabilities of recent pc {hardware}. With a median of 83 FPS, the GTX 1080 is greater than able to dealing with this recreation, nonetheless there are some spots the place efficiency can range. The minimums present this properly, and the general unfold of the values exhibits an analogous general profile between the inventory card and the hybrid mod. In reality, the hybrid mod allowed the cardboard to render 4 extra frames on common, and bumped our most up by 5 frames. As soon as once more, I’d say that the mod is a worthwhile funding for those who’re trying to play Gears 5, however it’s not a mandatory improve by any means. It’s general a enjoyable recreation, and I’ve been taking part in by means of it just lately on this {hardware}, and man it’s a blast to chainsaw Locusts in 1440p 60 FPS goodness!

Grand Theft Auto 5

The now 8-year-old Grand Theft Auto 5 carried out effectively on the inventory card, pulling a median of 108 FPS, with the hybrid mod pushing that as much as 115 FPS. Wanting on the minimums, and I can comfortably say that GTA at 80+ FPS is a killer expertise, and the hilarity that ensues is all of the extra humorous at 1440p. I’ll admit, I’m not a large Grand Theft Auto fan, however it was amusing to drive round Los Santos and blow stuff up, though the explosions did trigger just a few multi-second stutters. This solely occurred twice throughout my gameplay session, nonetheless exterior of that they had been unnoticeable, and had been effectively and really hidden by the wonderful efficiency at hand. GTA 5 might even be playable at 4K on this card, so long as you’re prepared to show down settings or stick with a decrease framerate!

Participant Unknown’s Battlegrounds

Our second battle royale recreation, Participant Unknown’s Battlegrounds, is one other Unreal Engine 4 title. Like Gears of Battle, PUBG performs very effectively given the decision and settings. Like our earlier overview, if Fortnite is extra your factor, then efficiency right here will look even higher, though a median of 123 FPS is tough to argue with! Our hybrid mod additionally helped our card out by a noticeable margin, with a stable 6.5% enchancment in common framerates. Take into account that efficiency would additionally enhance with a drop in decision or graphics settings, so for those who’re trying to recreation at 144Hz and past, the GTX 1080 is pleased to oblige, so long as it’s at 1080p.

Rainbow Six Siege

A brand new title to our take a look at suite, Rainbow Six Siege carried out very effectively, and with these runs by means of the built-in benchmark, it’s simple to see that the cardboard shreds by means of this recreation. For the reason that GTX 1080 is youthful than the sport itself, that is all type of to be anticipated. I do know this recreation, like CS:GO, has a ton of aggressive excessive refresh charge players who depend on each body to be excellent. Whereas Rainbow Six Siege doesn’t run in addition to Counter Strike, this recreation appears to be equally extra CPU-driven, particularly at 1440p and past. Even 4K was potential right here, because of the Reconstruction filter! It truly appears stunningly near a local picture, and it shaves loads of time without work the render price range because you’re not rendering each single pixel within the body. It really works effectively each technically and visually, and I’ve to offer props to Ubisoft for this implementation. This offers our 1080 an opportunity to compete with the large boys, with out truly having to render the identical frames!

Name of Responsibility: Warzone

Coming to the top of our take a look at suite, Name of Responsibility: Warzone carried out effectively sufficient to earn an endorsement for gaming at 1440p. Although it’s not sufficient to drive a 120Hz show, with a median of 83 FPS, and minimums coming in at above 30 FPS, the sport by no means dropped to unplayable ranges. It’s price noting, nonetheless, that the minimums truly occurred through the drop-in section of the match, and like in PUBG, they weren’t sustained all through everything of the sport session. Verdansk was a blast to expertise in 1440p, and it was good having the ability to see gamers at a better distance than I usually would. The gunfights didn’t trigger body drops or stutter, and the general engine appears to scale effectively regardless of which graphics card you’re taking part in with. The truth that I can go right into a recreation in opposition to console gamers and use larger refresh charges can also be type of enjoyable, particularly when, like me, you’re not good on the recreation, and no one has purpose bot-like accuracy.

Conclusions

Total, the GTX 1080 is a robust graphics card that packs tons of computational energy in one thing the dimensions of a PCI-e card. Nevertheless, even when the cardboard is highly effective, is it actually price trying into and even shopping for in 2021? In brief, I’d say sure for certain, however I’d look forward to now. On the time of writing, that being late April 2021, then it’s not price shopping for any newer playing cards, similar to Ampere- or RDNA 2-based playing cards. Nevertheless, when trying on the used market, the GTX 1080 will be discovered for round $350 – 400, which isn’t as dangerous as a number of the newer playing cards, however it could possibly positively be discovered for much less on eBay. What’s humorous is that the 1080 is definitely worse at crypto mining than the GTX 1070 when evaluating uncooked Hash charges, because of the GDDR5X, which isn’t as environment friendly when operating in commonplace Twin Information Charge mode. Because of this miners are literally ignoring these playing cards, fortuitously for us, and as time goes on the costs will proceed to come back down. In the event you’re watching in late 2021 or past, then the GTX 1080’s worth ought to have stabilized, that means you’ll run the next likelihood of truly discovering an honest deal.

By way of general computational energy ranges, the GTX 1080 affords efficiency roughly on par with the RTX 2060 – a 6 GB card using the newer Turing microarchitecture – however forward of its generational competitor, the RX Vega 64. Although Pascal lacks most of the newer mounted operate {hardware} circuits that makes ray tracing potential, what it affords is robust FP32 compute, at the price of every thing else. In the event you want uncooked teraflops to energy by means of video encoding, then the onboard NVENC encoder makes this card a stellar selection, although Turing and Ampere supply an up to date and extra feature-rich implementation. For strictly gaming, this card is definitely probably the greatest for tackling video games at 1440p, and though the efficiency can sag a bit at occasions, the general development exhibits the GTX 1080 to nonetheless be a really sturdy selection for players if worth is your solely concern.

Nevertheless, I’d solely advocate selecting one up as soon as they’re again below the $300 mark. Make sure you keep vigilant for offers as time goes on! As of late April 2021, the GTX 1080 is simply too costly to earn a advice, however as soon as costs drop, it’s price pulling the set off on certainly one of these playing cards. It’s a rasterization powerhouse, and has quick sufficient on-board reminiscence to be considerably aggressive with lower-end GDDR6 configurations. Nevertheless, the dearth of {hardware} accelerated DXR and AI algorithms is perhaps a flip off for some. In the event you’re merely trying to play video games, and aren’t planning on turning on Ray Tracing, then this card is an superior buy.  In the event you’re a video skilled, nonetheless, then the 8GB of VRAM is perhaps a bit restrictive when modifying at resolutions larger than 4K It’s a really well-rounded graphics card, and I’m excited to see the costs come again down, as this may depart this card open to inclusions in additional budget-oriented programs, and also will develop into extra extensively obtainable on the used market as individuals improve to newer {hardware}!

That is an thrilling time to get into PC gaming, and the efficiency on supply from each the Inexperienced and the Purple groups is thoughts blowing, albeit extremely costly. Regardless of its age, Pascal, which is marketed because the GTX 10-Collection, remains to be related nearly 5 years later and is highly effective sufficient to drive each content material creation and gaming. And if Ampere is something to go by, I can’t wait to see how Pascal holds as much as Nvidia’s subsequent era Hopper, as this will probably be a battle to observe very intently!

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