News from Nvidia has grown quiet over the past couple of months, since the launch of the GeForce GTX 1060. But of course, behind the scenes the firm are doing anything but resting on their lead. The current high end GeForce lineup is particularly strong, with the GTX 1070, GTX 1080 and finally the Titan X Pascal crushing out AMD from the high end (though this’ll change with Vega early next year).
We’d just reported news Nvidia are planning on countering Vega with a tweaked and refreshed Pascal silicone (the GTX 11 series), probably on a 14nm Samsung process, but news has just popped in that we’re going to also see the release of the long awaited GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.
If you’ve experience with other Ti graphics cards from Nvidia, such as the 780 Ti or the GTX 980 Ti, you’ll likely guess that the GTX 1080 Ti will be very close to that of the Titan card, but at a much cheaper price. In the case of the Pascal 1080 Ti, it will feature a further cut back version of the full GP102 GPU, meaning 26 of 30 SMs are left enabled (remember, even the Titan X Pascal only has 28 SM’s total enabled). So the final figures would be 3328 CUDA Cores (and we can presume 208 TMU’s) and But the fewer CUDA cores actually has a benefit – clock speeds and yields.
For reference, the full GP102 core is capable of supporting 30 SM’s, with 128 Cores each, and each SM contains 8 TMUs. So therefore if we do the maths of 26 x 128 we’re given the 3328 figure for the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. There’s no word on the number of ROPS for the Ti, but it’s possible we could see the full 96 ROPS, but we’ll need to wait for confirmation.
One disappointment for the Titan X Pascal was the clock speeds, which ran at just 1417 and 1530 Mhz for standard core and boost respectively. This has been kicked into overdrive with the GTX 1080 Ti, and we’re going to see boost clocks of 1623Mhz or more, which should put the card much closer in core speeds to the GTX 1080, and thanks to the extra speed the cores are running at, the GTX 1080 Ti should make up for the fewer cores of the Titan X Pascal.
Furthermore, the same 3328 CUDA cores are going to still be paired with the same memory configuration as the Titan X, so this means 12GB GDDR5X memory and a rather beautiful 448 GB/s memory bandwidth. In theory, in memory restrictive scenarios, the two cards should performance pretty much identically. It goes without saying that the 12GB GDDR5X memory configuration also ensures the same bus width as the Titan X, so the GTX 1080 Ti will also sport a 384-bit memory bus.
There is another bonus of the GTX 1080 Ti features over the Titan – and that is AIB flexibility. Nvidia are notorious for being stringent on the cooler, clocks and configurations of the Titan range of graphics cards, while vendors for other GeForce cards are afforded a great deal more flexibility. As we’ve seen from MSI, Gigabyte and ASUS, companies are quite happy to release hand picked silicone parts and couple them with high end coolers to squeeze every MHz out of the core and RAM. So it’s certainly not out of the question we’ll see the GTX 1080 Ti beating the Titan X Pascal in some (if not all) benchmarks if we’re talking about custom cards.
This leak, which originates from China reports that we should see the GTX 1080 Ti launch in January 2017, which will mean a CES debut. It’s probable (given Nvidia’s pricing scheme for other cards in the Pascal range) we’ll see the GTX 1080 Ti launch between the high 700 dollar to low 800 Dollar range for the Founders Edition, and possible price cuts of the standard GTX 1080 too (if we’re lucky). Naturally, this pricing means that the Titan X Pascal becomes essentially a pointless purchase, unless you’ve money to burn.
In terms of raw TFLOPS, the two cards should be pretty much identical, assuming the Boost Clocks hit as advertised (in other words, they don’t go above spec) you’re looking at 11 TFLOPS vs 10.8 TFLOPS between the Titan X and the GTX 1080 Ti, respectively. Considering both GPU’s are also running on the a 250W TDP…. it’s pretty obvious Nvidia are hoping to capture the high end users who want 4K but aren’t willing to pay Titan X’s high price point.
For user’s who were considering a custom GTX 1080 for their Christmas gift, I’d highly suggest waiting and saving a few extra pennies up – the graphics card market is going to be extremely interesting over the next few months to say the least.