Tuesday, May 10th, 2016 Posted by Jim Thacker

Nvidia unveils GeForce GTX 1070 and 1080 GPUs

Nvidia has unveiled the GeForce GTX 1070 and 1080: its next-gen gaming GPUs. The company claims that the 1080 will be faster than the existing GeForce GTX Titan X, three times more power-efficient – and $400 cheaper.

Performance gains are particularly significant for virtual reality applications, with Nvidia claiming that the GTX 1080 offers a 200% performance increase over its previous-gen equivalent, the GeForce GTX 980.

Not specifically designed for DCC work, but widely used nonetheless
Although on CG Channel we mainly focus on workstation cards – which offer certification with DCC software, and tend to be more stable in production – many CG artists use high-end gaming cards for their work.

Both the Titan X and its previous-gen siblings, the GTX 980 and 980 Ti, are widely used by freelancers looking for a high performance-to-price ratio. So how do the specs of Nvidia’s new cards match up?

The GeForce GTX 1080: faster, cheaper and less power-hungry than the Titan X
Thanks to the GTX 1080’s new Pascal architecture – it’s built on a 16nm process rather than the old 28nm – raw performance looks good: 9 Tflops, as opposed to 7 Tflops for the Titan X and under 7 for the GTX 980 Ti.

For anyone hoping to use it for graphics-memory-intensive DCC work, the $599 card sports 8GB of GDDR5X VRAM: more than either the GTX 980 or 980 Ti, although 4GB lower than the Titan X’s 12GB of GDDR5 memory.

Its thermal design power – not always an accurate reflection of real-world power draw, but useful for comparison – is 180W: 15W higher than the 980, but a whopping 70W lower than the 980Ti and Titan X.

For comparison, AMD’s previous-gen top-of-the-range card, the similarly priced Radeon R9 Fury X, offers 8.6 Teraflops of compute performance, 4GB of VRAM – although it’s the higher-bandwidth HBM – and 275W TDP.

The GeForce GTX 1070: faster, cheaper and more memory than the GTX 980
The GTX 1070 is no slouch, either, offering 6.5 Tflops of compute performance, 8GB of GDDR5 graphics memory and a TDP of 150W for a recommended price of just $379.

All of those specs exceed those of the higher-priced GTX 980 – and although they’re lower than the 980 Ti or Titan X, PC Gamer quotes Nvidia as saying that performance will exceed the Titan X “in most workloads”.

For anyone wanting to see those numbers side by side, WCCFtech has a handy reference table.

Benchmark figures: only DirectX 12 gaming so far
Of course, specs are one thing: real-world performance is another.

So far, the most extensive analysis we’ve seen are these DirectX 12 gaming benchmarks analysed by WCCFtech, which show the GTX 1080 outpacing all of Nvidia’s previous-gen cards.

The GTX 1080’s scores are slightly lower than the Radeon Pro Duo, AMD’s current top-of-the-range card – but at $1,500, that’s two and a half times the price.

Until the GTX 1080 is released, there’s no way to tell exactly how that translates to OpenGL-based DCC applications, but there’s no reason not to suppose it won’t show similar improvements over its predecessors.

Pricing and availability
The GTX 1080 has a recommended price of $599 and is expected to ship on 27 May 2016. The GTX 1070 is priced at $379, and is expected to follow on 10 June.

Read more about the GTX 1080 on Nvidia’s website
(At time of posting, Nvidia’s website doesn’t have a product page for the GTX 1070)