NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition Review

NVIDIA's next generation video card is here, the GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition video card based on the new Pascal architecture will be explored. We will compare it against the GeForce GTX 980 Ti and Radeon R9 Fury X in many games to find out what it is capable of.


What we have to show you today is no surprise to anyone. NVIDIA spoiled the world on May 5th to what it has in store to launch on the consumer side of the new Pascal GPU architecture for gamers. This is very much NVIDIA's next generation series of video cards we have been waiting for since Maxwell. This will be the start of a whole new family of GPUs.

NVIDIA announced and released a lot of information about Pascal on the professional enterprise level quite a while back. What was unknown then was what form this new architecture would take for the consumer side. A lot of that information was revealed in a live stream from Austin, TX on May 5th.

NVIDIA is launching today the GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition and subsequently the GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition, though we don't actually have GTX 1070 in hand yet. At least we know what both are all about and what the hardware configuration is like on both GPUs. The GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition will be sold for $699 and regular add-in-board partner cards will start at $599 MSRP. To learn more about the Founders Edition read here.

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In this review today we are going to focus solely on the GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition and what makes it tick. We are going to concentrate on the nitty gritty hardware facts and information. NVIDIA has quite a few good PR slides posted if you like that sort of thing.

We have posted plenty of screenshots from the official Whitepaper and Reviewers Guide for the GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition to give you the down and dirty information you want to know. We will discuss each topic on the next couple of pages and then we will go into gaming evaluation using six games, including DOOM. We will also look at clock speed over time, and temperature, and power and all the good stuff you want to know about. Sit back, and relax, this is going to be a fun ride.

The Founders Edition

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We put up a very good read on what the Founders Edition actually is, and above is the official NVIDIA word on the card. Basically, it is the reference card we have all known before from past generations of video cards except now NVIDIA will sell it through the lifetime of the card. Compared to the past generation these are changes made:

Relative to previous NVIDIA designs, we have upgraded the following areas: The power supply has been upgraded from 4phases to a 5phase dualFET design and tuned for bandwidth, phase balancing and acoustics. We added extra capacitance to our filtering network, and optimized the power delivery network on the PCB for low impedance. As a result, power efficiency increased by roughly 6% compared to the GTX 980, and peak to peak voltage noise was reduced from 209mV to 120mV for improved overclocking.

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The GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition measures right at 10.75" in length which is about a quarter of an inch longer than a GeForce GTX 980 Ti. The GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition requires just one 8-pin connector and has a TDP of 180W with a power supply recommendation of 500W. Air intakes through the radial fan and the end of the card and exhausts through the I/O panel so heat doesn't get dumped in your case. This video card does support SLI which has been updated for this generation, but we will talk more about that when we test it. Video connectors comprise of three DisplayPort 1.4 connectors and one HDMI 2.0b connector. We will talk further on video features on the following pages. Yes, the "GeForce GTX" on the top does light up green while the computer is on.