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Shootouts

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 shootout: Slugging it out at the top

By Koh Wanzi - 30 Sep 2016

Performance Benchmarks

Test Setup

The detailed specifications of our current graphics card testbed system are as follow:-

  • Intel Core i7-6950X
  • ASUS ROG Strix X99 Gaming (Intel X99 chipset) motherboard
  • 2 x 4GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-2133 (Auto timings: CAS 15-15-15-36)
  • Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB SATA 6Gbps solid state drive (OS + benchmark + games)
  • Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB SATA 6Gbps hard drive (general storage)
  • Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
  • Intel INF 10.1.1.14

We tested all three cards with NVIDIA driver version 372.54. We’d have loved to include a contender from Gigabyte in our review, but we were unfortunately not able to secure a review unit in time due to supply issues.

Test cards compared
  ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1080 OC MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Gaming X 8G Palit GeForce GTX 1080 GameRock Premium Edition
  ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1080 OC MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Gaming X 8G Palit GeForce GTX 1080 GameRock Premium Edition
Launch SRP
  • From S$1239
  • From S$1249
  • From S$1088
Core Code
  • GP104
  • GP104
  • GP104
GPU Transistor Count
  • 7.2 Billion
  • 7.2 Billion
  • 7.2 Billion
Manufacturing Process
  • 16nm
  • 16nm
  • 16nm
Core Clock
  • 1,784MHz
  • 1,708MHz
  • 1,746MHz
Stream Processors
  • 2,560
  • 2,560
  • 2,560
Stream Processor Clock
  • 1,784MHz
  • 1,708MHz
  • 1,746MHz
Texture Mapping Units (TMUs)
  • 160
  • 160
  • 160
Raster Operator units (ROP)
  • 64
  • 64
  • 64
Memory Clock (DDR)
  • 2,502MHz
  • 2,527MHz
  • 2,625MHz
Memory Bus width
  • 256-bit
  • 256-bit
  • 256-bit
Memory Bandwidth
  • 320.3GB/s
  • 323.6GB/s
  • 336.4GB/s
PCI Express Interface
  • 3.0
  • 3.0
  • 3.0
Power Connectors
  • 1x 8-pin PCIe
  • 1x 6-pin PCIe
  • 1x 8-pin PCIe
  • 1x 6-pin PCIe
  • 1x 8-pin PCIe
  • 1x 6-pin PCIe
Multi GPU Technology
  • SLI
  • SLI
  • SLI
DVI Outputs
  • 1x
  • 1x
  • 1x
HDMI Outputs
  • 2x
  • 1x
  • 1x
DisplayPort Outputs
  • 2x
  • 3x
  • 3x
HDCP Output Support
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes

 

Benchmarks

Since we’ve already run a full set of performance benchmarks for the GeForce GTX 1080 GPU in our review of the GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition, we ran the following reduced set of real-world and synthetic benchmarks for this shootout:

  • Futuremark 3DMark 2013
  • Tom Clancy's The Division

We used the Fire Strike Extreme test in 3DMark 2013 for our power and temperature tests.

 

Gaming Results

As the card with the most aggressive clock speeds, it was no surprise that the ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1080 managed to edge ahead of the competition. The Palit GeForce GTX 1080 GameRock Premium Edition wasn’t far behind though, and it was within a single percentage point of the ASUS card in 3DMark Fire Strike. The MSI card also ended up trailing the other two in 3DMark, no doubt due to it having the lowest clock speeds (even in OC mode) of the three tested cards.

Having said that, we’d caution against parsing the numbers too closely. It’s not really the best approach to quibble over small differences in clock speeds and performance. For one, you only have to look at the results obtained in Tom Clancy’s The Division to see how close the cards actually perform to each other. More often than not, a single frame barely separates two cards, and you can be sure that you won’t notice any difference when actually playing.

 

Overclocking Results

Overclocking performance was quite a mixed bag across the board. While we managed to squeeze out the highest clock speeds on the ASUS card, it didn’t actually post the highest results in all three 3DMark benchmarks. It topped the scoreboard in the 1080p Fire Strike test, but afterward fell behind the Palit card in Fire Strike Extreme and Ultra.

Although we mentioned in the earlier section that it seemed difficult to justify the extra thickness on the Palit card, it seems as if the more substantial heatsink may be helping it avoid thermal throttling during overclocking.

 

Temperature and Power Consumption Results

In our temperature tests, which consisted of looping 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme for 15 minutes and then recording the peak temperature, the Palit card barely inched out the other two cards. This could partly be due to the oversized cooler, but we’d still argue that the single degree of difference isn’t quite worth the added bulk.

Total system power consumption figures for both the ASUS and MSI cards were also rather similar. However, the Palit card stood out here for the wrong reasons. In addition to having the highest peak power consumption at load, it also had oddly high power consumption when the system was just idling at desktop. As it stands, the idle system power consumption with the Palit card installed was 98 watts, or 46 per cent higher than the MSI card. The last we saw this high of a power draw at idle was when we tested the dual-GPU Radeon Pro Duo graphics card.

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