GTX 1080 – What’s Not Being Discussed
Ansel And Nvidia Gamewoks Coming To VR
The GTX 1080 was revealed to the world on May 6th, 2016 and there has been a ton of hype surrounding the GTX 1080\1070. Obviously the hype train went off the rails once Nvidia started revealing information about the GTX 1080 and enthusiast speculation started to run wild. Nvidia kicked off the presentation with Ansel. Which is basically tech we’ve had for a long time now, but the difference is that you can adjust various image quality settings in-game, including upscaling and take a picture directly in-game. Instead of using print screen, your favorite program that capture in-game screenshots or using the built-in screenshot function that some games offer, Nvidia has you covered. I’m not sure how many gamers still use print screen, but I’m sure the non-savviest users aren’t using print screen at all. Ansel also allows gamers to control the camera and take 360 shots. This feature won't be supported in all games.
Ansel is far from the issues surrounding the GTX 1080, but it’s something Nvidia is pushing for some current and future titles to entice gamers to purchase their GPUs. This is expected since Nvidia does want to sell as many GPUs as the next company. I actually remember a feature similar in Ansel from the old Halo 2 game in which the Halo developer spoke about taking 3D screenshots in-game and actually showed the fans .
I believe I've found the Halo 2 3D screenshots from 5/28/2004. This was the first thing that popped up in my mind when Nvidia was presenting Ansel and the 3D environments.
This has 100% nothing to do with graphical performance. Nvidia goes on to pitch their black-box, PhysX, to VR developers. They are also including VR audio with their Gameworks. All of this is wrapped in their latest and greatest black-box named Nvidia VRWorks. Hopefully there is an open source alternative available or in the works because we all know what Nvidia Gameworks is capable of on their own hardware and AMD hardware. We need more open source alternatives and less black-boxes.
Nvidia has already gotten away with the GTX 1070 + GTX 1080 paper launch and Nvidia fans didn’t bat an eye or question anything. The GTX 1080 presentation slides have already been edited. For instance Nvidia claimed that the GTX 1080 was faster than the GTX 980 in 2-way SLI and “way faster” than the Titan X. Turns out that the GTX 1080 is only faster than the GTX 980 2-way SLI in VR performance and not actual games. Nvidia played people with their usual marketing and thankfully people are smart enough to look through this type of marketing and actual “READ” the damn slides.
I have noticed that people have been trying to claim that the GTX 1080 is faster than dual GTX 980 2-way SLI overall. First I'd like to say that some of this article was written before the GTX 1080 NDA was lifted and reviews came pouring in across the web. So I was basically talking about Nvidia shading marketing based on the slides that they presented which conveniently included the words "VR". However, now that the GTX 1080 results are in there is more crying than ever. For the record Nvidia strong selling point is the GPU overclocking features. Without the overclocking feature Nvidia and AMD cards are usually neck and neck in most benchmarks. Of course you can overclock AMD GPUs, but that the isn't the point. I don't mind overclocking, but it would be nice to compare stock vs stock and then include the overclocked results in the overclock section, however this isn't the case with reviews today.
So when I see Nvidia fans trying to get upset with me or complain to others about the GTX 980 OC SLI beating the GTX 1080 it's pretty unfair to want a stock vs stock comparison at that point. See when "some" websites and YouTube personalities run Nvidia cards against AMD they sometimes run highly overclocked 3rd party GPUs against AMD reference GPUs. Yes this is very unfair, but it happens and will continue to happen thanks to users allowing it to happen. I noticed this trend when I running Nvidia GPUs for all of those years and I never liked this, however it's pure GOLD to see Nvidia users complain about the GTX 1080 GPU losing to overclocked Nvidia GTX GPUs. So lets be honest, you can't have cake and ice cream at the same time so pick one Nvidia users. Nvidia allows you to overclock their GPUs and Nvidia claimed that the GTX 1080 is faster than GTX 1080 SLI. Some of you believed this based on benchmarks, but you don't want reviewers to use the main feature of the Nvidia GPUs which is overclocking[?]. So please don't complain about the overclocked GTX 980 SLI beating the GTX 1080. Also just because a game doesn't support SLI or doesn't supports SLI properly does not mean the GTX 1080 is faster. It's time to stop name calling because some of you guys are really "reaching" at this point. It's pure marketing and Nvidia want's nothing than your money just like any other company. They want your money now and you will be obsolete when the GTX 1080 Ti or the next Titan drops sooner than you think.
Well it looks I was wrong about the performance increase. The GTX 1080 is has a decently large advantage over the single GTX 980. According to techpower up at GTX 1080 does have big lead over the GTX 980. Obviously the reviews ran the GTX 980 at stock clocks. I'll speak more about the performance below.
Nvidia claimed 9TFLOPS, but that number has dropped to 8.2TFLOPS based on official leaks and now official reviews. Nvidia gives you just enough to believe, but then you learn about the throttling issues, which means you aren't getting that high TFLOP consistently. Most people figured this out from basic math, but others wanted an official number from review sites. If you think you'll be getting anywhere near 9TFLOPS during gaming sessions I have a Island to sell you. The GTX 1080 has been tested and the card can get very hot. What do you think happens when the throttle kicks in, yes the GPU downclocks and you'll be near 8.2TFLOPS around the 5 -10 minute mark and I've read that it can drop below the base clock as well. This has been tested and proven at various review sites. Then again you have the power target limit, but then you'll be really trying to burn a hole in the GPU.
The GTX 1080 reviews are out now and the hype train is off the rails now. Fans are losing their minds and the GTX 1080 is performing as expected. The stock boost clock 1.73Ghz and GDDR5x running at 10Gb/s is nothing short of amazing. Nvidia is looking to extend their lead since they are the only company right now in the mid to high end range with new GPU releases coming to the market. The 390X, Fury Nano and Fury X will still be competitive. AMD has stated that they are going after the mainstream GPU market. DirectX 11 performance as usual is favoring Nvidia GPUs, but the benchmarks get tighter at 1440p and 4K vs the 980\980 Ti and AMD.
Nvidia’s Brute Force Answer To DirectX 12
Then there is DirectX 12. Nvidia PR reps were apparently releasing benchmarks into the Ashes of the Singularity database. People quickly picked up on this and started to post the GTX 1080 DX12 results across the web. The GTX 1080 results were actually beating the Fury Series [Fury\Fury Nano\Fury X] by 5%-10%. The issue for me was that the lower clocked AMD Fury [1.15Ghz] held its own against Nvidia highly stock clocked GTX 1080 [1.73Ghz]. In a specific DX12 benchmark the GTX 1080 was running on a 6 core CPU, a newer version of the game and using the “High” graphical settings and was only 2.18% faster than a AMD Fury [not Fury X] running on a 4 core CPU, an older version of the game and using “Ultra” settings. So the Fury was at a disadvantage in every category and the GTX 1080 can only manage to beat it by 2.18% once you take the CPU difference into account. This is where the architecture kicks in. This proves that you don’t need major overclocks or major core clocks to compete. The benchmark I'm speaking about is shown in the picture below.
The last time we seen something similar to this was AMD vs Intel. Remember when AMD had the better architecture, but Intel was pushing out crazy highly clocked CPUs, but was either failing to match AMD or losing altogether in the benchmarks. Well this could be the case with Vulkan and DX12 for Nvidia and AMD.
I have been speculating for weeks that Nvidia did not have an answer for async compute with the Pascal architecture. Now that GTX 1080 results have release this has proven my point. The Pascal architecture is more or less suffering the same fate as the Maxwell architecture. DX12 isn’t anything “new” and has been in the works for a while. We have been anticipating DX12 since Microsoft unveiled it 2014. AMD offered Microsoft and Khronos full access to their Mantle technology and AMD also worked with MS and Khronos as well. So gamers would expect Nvidia to have plans to support the future technologies by mid-2016. Well it is 2016 and Nvidia still isn’t prepared to support DX12 properly.
Based on the review from Digital Foundry, the GTX 1080 DX11 vs DX12 scaling is horrific compared to the Fury X.
1080p DX11: - 76.5fps
1080p DX12: - 77.8fps +1.69%
1440p DX11: - 68.6fps
1440p DX12: - 68.9fps +0.43%
4K DX11: - 53.7fps
4K DX12: - 53.3fps -0.74%
You can see that the GTX 1080 actually has a negative scaling at the 4K resolution. The DX11 API is basically Nvidia strongest API and the DX12 results could go either way. Other websites are showing even worse results when it comes to DX11 vs DX12 scaling. As I expected Nvidia is using brute force or high core clocks to cover their architectures flaws. Some Nvidia fans are confident drivers will fix the issue, however we have been waiting around 9 months for those async drivers Nvidia stated they were working on.
Ashes of the Singularity - GTX 1080 Benchmarks Missing
The NDA lifted today on May 17th and all of the websites that received a GTX 1080 has been uploading their reviews as fast as they can. We are now seeing a lot of DX12 Ashes of the Singularity results, but no one is showing a screenshot of the GTX 1080 benchmark. This was standard when the websites ran the AotS "Beta" and AotS "Final" benchmarks or when the GTX 1080 leaks were compared to Fury\Fury Nano\Fury X results in the database. Nvidia has apparently had the developer to remove all traces of the GTX 1080 benchmarks from the Ashes of Singularity database and to be even more clear, you cannot find the name “GTX 1080” listed under the GPU section. This just reeks of Nvidia marketing tactics. So instead of comparing GTX 1080 benchmarks from the database ourselves we are forced to believe one of many sites who aren’t consistent. Thankfully there’s plenty of GTX 1080 AotS benchmark screenshots available on the net. Nvidia can't get those results ripped from the net.
Rise of the Tomb Raider - DirectX 12 Broken Garbage
For some reason several sites or nearly all of them are using the Rise of the Tomb Raider DX12 benchmarks in their reviews. The issue with this is that everyone knows that RotTR DX12 benchmark is horrendously broken. It has tons of issues that I have discussed here:
Apparently the developers have admitted that the DX12 benchmark is screwed up and they haven’t made any attempts to fix it. However, several sites are still using the results in their overall performance percentage for the GTX 1080.
Where are the GTX 980 Ti Stock and Overclock Benchmarks?
As expected Nvidia influence aka money talks louder than words and the GTX 980 Ti was nowhere to be found. At least this was the case when I was reading through a few reviews. Now this wouldn’t have been a problem since the GTX 1080 is supposed to replace the GTX 980. However, Nvidia was quick to point out how much faster the GTX 1080 would be over the GTX 980 SLI, 980 Ti and Titan X, but has apparently told reviewers to not include the 980 Ti at all. The reviews are showing the Titan X results though. This GTX 1080 is actually priced above the reference GTX 980 Ti release MSRP, but let's not talk about that. You know most websites won't.
Most gamers have figured out the GTX 1080 is more of a side grade than a true upgrade from the GTX 980 Ti. The GTX 980 Ti is capable of also hitting some amazingly high overclocks on the core which diminishes a lot of the GTX 1080 leads. I have no pity for any of the people selling or those who have sold their GTX 980 Ti before the GTX 1080 benchmarks released. Patience is virtue.
It's worth noting that several sites have updated their reviews and benchmark charts to include the stock GTX 980 Ti. Some websites still have not changed anything and there is no 980 Ti in sight. So I guess that GTX 980 Ti benchmark retainer was lifted sometime after the reviews went live and Nvidia showed gamers what they "wanted them to see".
GTX 1080 ‘FE’ - Fanboy Edition - No Seriously Founder Edition
Nvidia’s GTX 1080 Fanboy Edition j/k, the GTX 1080 Founders Edition, is the card that has been marketed to everyone. It’s basically a reference card for a extra $100. These cards are power houses, but they really should come with a mini fire extinguisher because the reference cards are apparently very hot. So much for that 2.1Ghz core clock on air with only 67c that Nvidia showed everyone. I guess people forgot about that already. This should definitely make people wait for AIBs, but let’s be honest most fans won’t wait especially if they have already sold their GTX980\GTX 980 Ti. A lot of people have already been turned off by this “Founders Edition” GPU. No matter how many times Nvidia attempts to rebrand the reference design as the "Founders Edition", it's still a reference card.
During the NDA Q\A session which recently surface on Youtube, Nvidia was trying their best to explain what the "Founders Edition" is and how it is difference from the reference design. Nvidia even contradicted themselves during the Q\A by stating that the "Founders Edition is a reference design". Nvidia goes even as far as to say AIBs are going to sell their reference and premium designs at $599. We all know that isn't true. The guy was clearly caught off guard about the Foudners Edition questions. Listening to the Nvidia speaker slip up and say "Reference....errrrr Founders Edition" was pure GOLD. So yes, this is a paper launch and you'll be paying a premium fee to get a reference design more than likely due to initial limited supplies. Nvidia is also keeping the $699 price tag throughout the life of the GTX 1080 Founders Edition, but Nvidia did not specify whether the GTX 1080 $599 reference version would live a long shelf life as well. If this so called "launch" is successful for Nvidia we can expect much more of it in the future.
Do I expect anyone to hold Nvidia responsible for thier flammable GPU, no I do not. During the marketing BS we saw the GTX 1080 running Epic's Paragon demo at decently cool temps [67c] for a reference card running an amazing 2.1Ghz, but now that the reviews are out we can see how hot this card can get. I think if this was AMD it would have controversy written all of it based on the past articles and it would be front page news on every site. GG Nvidia, GG Nvidia sponsors and most of all GG Nvidia fans.
SLI Bridges - A New Low Even For Nvidia
Now introducing the latest and greatest tech from Nvidia; “SLI HB Bridges”. HB is short for “High Bandwidth” and limited to only 2-Way SLI from what Nvidia is telling people, yet you can buy 3-way bridge. 400Mhz just wasn’t enough and now you’ll have to upgrade to a 650Mhz SLI bridge for more speed and smoother gameplay. You can still use the old 400Mhz bridge, but it could lead to less than desired performance. This will help with high resolutions and SLI setups. Nvidia has officially stopped supporting 3 and 4 way SLI setups, but that won’t stop them from trying to get your money. Before going further into the 3 & 4 way SLI setups, let’s focus on the new SLI HB Bridges.
You will have to make sure that you are comfortable with your current build for quite some time otherwise you’ll be out of luck in some cases. The SLI HB Bridges come in a preset fashion. You’ll purchase these sizes and prices:
SLI HB Prices
2-Way Short (40.64mm) - $29.99
2-Way Medium (60.96mm) - $29.99
2-Way Long (81.28mm) - $29.99
3-Way SLI Bridge - $39.99
So let’s say down the line you want to add a PCIe card for some reason, but you’ll need to rearrange your GPU setup, you’ll be out of luck if you move your cards further or closer. Or if you change motherboard and the spacing is different, you’ll be out of luck and will have to purchase another HB SLI Bridge. I remember the good old days when the SLI bridges came with the motherboards and eliminated the paywall. Or when the bridges came with certain GPUs. Now there’s a paywall for SLI and Nvidia wants to be compensated. If Nvidia makes a ton of money from this I don’t think we will be seeing SLI bundled with motherboards or GPUs any longer.
Now back to the 3 & 4 SLI setups that are no longer recommended or supported. This only affects a small percentage of users, but if you really want a 3 or 4 way SLI setup this is possible. Nvidia is telling you that they will NOT support 3 or 4 way SLI, but they won’t stop you from spending your money. There are a few requirements though. You’ll have to generate a signature for your GPU, download an “Enthusiast Key” from Nvidia key website and install the key to unlock 3 and 4 way SLI. There could be more to this 3 & 4 SLI setup so we will wait and see. In the meantime I’m speculating on this situation.
Could 3 & 4-way SLI Support Elimination Have Something To Do With DX12
After many years of PC gaming spending a lot of money in my field of choice, IT and PC gaming, I’ve learned to take what companies say with a grain of salt. That goes for both AMD and Nvidia, but not limited to them, this includes Intel and any other company. Nothing is free and you have to read between the lines through the PR marketing crap. Nvidia is obviously having issues with DX12 and async and now I feel that they are backing out of the SLI game as well. Obviously 2-Way SLI is more feasible and cheaper for Nvidia to support, but their excuse for not supporting 3 & 4 SLI was odd to me. Nvidia stated:
“For instance, many games become bottlenecked by the CPU when running 3-Way and 4-Way SLI, and games are increasingly using techniques that make it very difficult to extract frame-to-frame parallelism.”
The entire point of DirectX 12 and Vulkan is to remove the CPU bottleneck, allow more cores to be utilized and to send parallel workloads\commands\queues to the GPU. I feel there are some internal issues that Nvidia is just trying to get out of the way now so fans don’t expect more than what they are getting at the moment. Or it could be that Nvidia isn’t changing their architecture since it has been set in stone ahead of time. So the only games that I can see that would be bottlenecked are poorly programming DX12\Vulkan titles or DX11 games which have the crucial draw call limitations. DX12 does support multi-adapter which allows gamers to run both Nvidia and AMD GPUs in the same system and perform in unison. So obviously Nvidia is leaving it up to the developers to support 3 or 4 way SLI and this will probably be the case for 2-way SLI some day once DX12 is widely adopted.
Doom and Vulkan Gloom
The highly anticipated Doom title recently released, but Nvidia was clearly running the Vulkan API during the GTX 1080 demonstration. However, when Doom released there has been no sign of the Vulkan API. The Vulkan API should work better on AMD architecture and provide AMD GPUs a nice boost with a parallel workflow. To make matters worse gamers have realized that AMD GPUs are running an older version of OpenGL [4.3] than Nvidia GPUs [4.5]. The AMD GPU results are all over the place and different websites are showing very different results. Vulkan better not release the same day as GTX 1080, but we all know that Nvidia is to smart for that. I'm guessing Vulkan support is coming sometime after the GTX 1080 launch, wait wasn't the GTX 1080 available on May 7th? GG Nvidia.
Some people have suggested that Nvidia got into Bethesda and id Software pockets and has actually paid them to delay the Vulkan API. Being that Nvidia is a big company and companies make deals all of the time I wouldn’t put this type of behavior past Nvidia. All I know is the facts and we are still waiting on Vulkan support. In the meantime Nvidia is living it up in the press. They claim up to 200FPS using the Vulkan API, but that's only when there's nothing happening on screen or if you are looking in dark corners. Once the action start the FPS drops to the low 100s. It's only running 1920x1080p so many weren't that impressed to begin with.
Butt Hurt Or Does the Truth Hurt?
I know some people will be quick to call me a fanboy or start trying to "debunk" what I have posted above. As far as the 980 Ti goes it was absent in some reviews and although the reviews have updated their charts that include the 980 Ti, some websites are still completely lacking the 980 Ti results. As far as being a fanboy is concerned you can miss me with that BS, I have GTX 670 SLI benchmarks on the very first page. This article isn't kissing Nvidia's ass so therefore I'm a AMD fanboy[?]. Hell no. I was with Nvidia from the GTX 400 series all the way to the 900 series. Now that I have decided to make a purchase based on my decision people are trying to call me a fanboy[?]. I had a choice to get the EVGA GTX 980 Ti Hybrid [watercooled] or the Fury X. The EVGA GTX 980 Ti was $100 more back when the Fury X released, but there were several other reason I decided to switch from the green team to the red team this time around.
If your brain is so small that you can't read an article without curisng me out then you probably need to address your priorities in life. You have some websites, reviewers and Youtube personalities that are endorsed by AMD or Nvidia. Those people refuse to bite the hand that pays them even if the info is factual and that's their prerogative. They will try to criticize their sponsors, but just enough to appear unbiased. Then you have people like me who doesn't give a flying f**k and will state his opinions regardless of what any company or person thinks. I have no sponsors, Nvidia will probably never send me a GPU to benchmark and I'm not expecting anything from AMD either. If I did get my hands on a GTX 1080 I would benchmark it honestly. However, I will bench the hell out of anything I purchase with my money and you'll see that just by looking at some of my reviews. Even if I did have sponsors I'll probably lose a few once BS starts to hit the fan and I write a honest article about it. So feel free to share this article because someone has to say this stuff. We all know the majoirity of the websites won't.
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