Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti review: The monster graphics card 4K gamers have been waiting for

Titan slayer, 4K player.

At a Glance
  • GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition

    PCWorld Rating
    $699.99 MSRP $699.99
    View
    on Newegg
Page 9 of 9

Bottom line

The hype is real. The GTX 1080 Ti is indeed the ultimate GeForce card, and easily so.

Nvidia’s monstrous graphics card solidly trounces the GTX 1080 by an average of 25.8 percent in our five-game suite, and by more than 30 percent in two of those titles. In its own tests, Nvidia managed to push that to 35 to 40 percent in certain games depending on the settings used. More crucially, this is the first semi-affordable video card capable of hitting the sacred 60fps mark at 4K resolution with all of a game’s graphical bells and whistles jacked to the max. (The Titan X did as well, but at $1,200, it’s a graphics card for not just the 1 percent, but the 0.1 percent.) The couple of games that clock in just under 60fps at Ultra presets could easily cross the threshold with one or two minor settings tweaks.

We don’t cover overclocking in our graphics card reviews since that’s not guaranteed performance, but some quick and dirty testing showed that the GTX 1080 Ti indeed clears 2GHz with ease, which also pushes those slightly sub-60fps games to glory. We expect those customized GTX 1080 Ti variants coming from the likes of EVGA and Zotac to push performance even further still. We’re really looking forward to seeing what this beastly card can do with beefed-up cooling and factory overclocks.

Adios, graphics compromises for 4K gaming. Adios, fussy multicard setup requirements for top-end UltraHD gaming. Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1080 Ti delivers.

Waiting for Vega?

But the GTX 1080 Ti isn’t only the ultimate GeForce card, it’s the ultimate graphics card, period.

The Radeon Fury X is showing its age, hard to find, and impossible to recommend at this point unless you scrounge up one hell of a deal. AMD never countered Nvidia’s GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 with high-end graphics card, instead focusing on mainstream price points with the likes of the superb Radeon RX 480. With the GTX 1080 Ti, GeForce’s performance lead widens.

dsc04444 Gordon Mah Ung

That said, Team Red’s finally gearing up its own enthusiast-class graphics cards with Radeon Vega, with product scheduled to launch before the end of June. AMD has only provided high-level previews of Radeon Vega, however. We have no idea how powerful it will be, or how much it will cost; in that preview, Vega beat the GTX 1080 by a slight amount in Doom, but that’s a heavily AMD-leaning game that was running on early silicon and unoptimized drivers. Vega truly is a question mark.

The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti isn’t.

This video card is tremendous overkill for most 1080p gaming, but if you’re shopping around for a no-compromises 4K gaming solution or a premium card capable of pumping out a large amount of frames on a high-refresh 1440p monitor right now, buy the GTX 1080 Ti and don’t look back—even with Vega looming. Nvidia’s new champion is nothing short of a beast.

Don’t buy a Titan X though.

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating
    $699.99 MSRP $699.99
    View
    on Newegg

    Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is the most powerful graphics card ever, capable of no-compromises 4K gaming. It's cheaper than expected, too.

    Pros

    • The most powerful graphics card ever released
    • Can power no-compromises 4K gaming
    • No hotter than vanilla GTX 1080 despite big performance boost
    • DisplayPort-to-DVI adapter included in box

    Cons

    • Reference-style cooling isn't as efficient as custom coolers
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