Today NVIDIA unveiled the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphics card, its fastest consumer graphics card based on the “Pascal” GPU architecture, and which priced more affordable than the flagship TITAN X Pascal, at USD $699, with market availability from the first week of March 2017. Based on the same “GP102” silicon as the TITAN X Pascal, the GTX 1080 Ti is slightly cut-down. While it features the same 3,584 CUDA cores as the TITAN X Pascal, the memory amount is now lower, at 11 GB, over a slightly narrower 352-bit with the GDDR5X memory interface. This translates to 11 memory chips on the card. NVIDIA is using newer memory chips than the TITAN X Pascal had, which run at 11 GHz (GDDR5X-effective), so the memory bandwidth is 484 GB/s.
Besides the narrower 352-bit memory bus, the ROP count is lowered to 88 (from 96 on the TITAN X Pascal), while the TMU count is unchanged from 224. The GPU core is clocked at a boost frequency of up to 1.60 GHz, with the ability to overclock beyond the 2.00 GHz mark. It gets better: the GTX 1080 Ti features certain memory advancements not found on other “Pascal” based graphics cards: a newer memory chip and optimized memory interface, that’s running at 11 Gbps. NVIDIA’s Tiled Rendering Technology has also been finally announced publicly; a feature NVIDIA has been hiding from its consumers since the GeForce “Maxwell” architecture, it is one of the secret sauces that enable NVIDIA’s lead.
The Tiled Rendering technology brings about huge improvements in memory bandwidth utilization by optimizing the render process to work in square sized chunks, instead of drawing the whole polygon. Thus, geometry and textures of a processed object stays on-chip (in the L2 cache), which reduces cache misses and memory bandwidth requirements.
Together with its lossless memory compression tech, NVIDIA expects Tiled Rendering, and its storage tech, Tiled Caching, to more than double, or even close to triple, the effective memory bandwidth of the GTX 1080 Ti, over its physical bandwidth of 484 GB/s.
NVIDIA is making sure it doesn’t run into the thermal and electrical issues of previous-generation reference design high-end graphics cards, by deploying a new 7-phase dual-FET VRM design that reduces loads and thereby temperatures per MOSFET. The underlying cooling solution is also improved, with a new vapor-chamber plate, and a denser aluminium channel matrix. Because of this new cooler is Watt-to-Watt will hence be up to 2.5 dBA quieter than the GTX 1080, or up to 5°C cooler. The card draws power from a combination of 8-pin and 6-pin PCIe power connectors, with the GPU’s TDP rated at 220W. The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is designed to be anywhere between 20-45% faster than the GTX 1080 (35% on average).
The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is widely expected to be faster than the TITAN X Pascal out of the box, despite having a narrower memory bus and fewer ROPs. The higher boost clocks and 11 Gbps memory, make up for the performance deficit. What’s more, the GTX 1080 Ti will be available in custom-design boards, and factory-overclocked speeds, so the GTX 1080 Ti will end up being the fastest consumer graphics option until there’s competition.