Gaming Performance, Power, Temperature, & Noise

So with the basics of the architecture and core configuration behind us, let’s dive into some numbers.

Rise of the Tomb Raider - 3840x2160 - Very High (DX11)

Dirt Rally - 3840x2160 - Ultra

Ashes of the Singularity - 3840x2160 - Extreme

Battlefield 4 - 3840x2160 - Ultra Quality (0x MSAA)

Crysis 3 - 3840x2160 - Very High Quality + FXAA

The Witcher 3 - 3840x2160 - Ultra Quality (No Hairworks)

The Division - 3840x2160 - Ultra Quality

Grand Theft Auto V - 3840x2160 - Very High Quality

Hitman - 3840x2160 - Ultra Quality

As the first high-end card of this generation to launch, NVIDIA gets to set the pace for the market. At the risk of being redundant the GTX 1080 is now the fastest single-GPU card on the market, and even at 4K it wins at every single gaming benchmark, typically by a good margin. In practice we’re looking at a 31% performance lead over GTX 980 Ti – the card the GTX 1080 essentially replaces – with a similar 32% lead over AMD’s Radeon R9 Fury X. Meanwhile against the slightly older GTX 980, that gap is 70%.

On a generational basis this ends up being very close to the 74% jump in 4K performance going from the GTX 680 to GTX 980. And although the pricing comparison is not especially flattering for NVIDIA here, it should be evident that NVIDIA isn’t just looking to sell GTX 1080 as an upgrade for high-end Kepler cards, but as an upgrade for GTX 980 as well, just 20 months after it launched.

The Witcher 3 - 1920x1080 - Ultra Quality (No Hairworks)

I also wanted to quickly throw in a 1080p chart, both for the interest of comparing the GTX 1080 to the first-generation 28nm cards, and for gamers who are playing on high refresh rate 1080p monitors. Though this will of course vary from game to game, roughly speaking the GTX 1080 should be 3x faster than the GTX 680 or Radeon HD 7970. This is a good reminder of how architectural efficiency has played a greater role in past years, as this is a much larger gain than we saw jumping from 55nm to 40nm or 40nm to 28nm, both of which were much closer to the historical norm of 2x.

Load Power Consumption - Crysis 3

Meanwhile when it comes to power, temperature, and noise, NVIDIA continues to execute very well here. Power consumption under Crysis 3 is some 20W higher than GTX 980 or 52W lower than GTX 980 Ti, generally in line with NVIDIA’s own TDP ratings after accounting for the slightly higher CPU power consumption incurred by the card’s higher performance. The end result is that GTX 1080 is a bit more power hungry than GTX 980, but still in the sweet spot NVIDIA has carved out in the gaming market. Broadly speaking, this amounts to a 54% increase in energy efficiency in the case of Crysis 3.

Load GPU Temperature - Crysis 3

Load Noise Levels - Crysis 3

Otherwise from a design perspective the GTX 1080 Founders Edition carries on from NVIDIA’s high-end GTX 700/900 reference design, allowing NVIDIA to once again offer a superior blower-based solution. NVIDIA’s temperature management technology has not changed relative to Maxwell, so like their other cards, the GTX 1080 tops out in the low 80s for load temperature. More significantly, at 47.5 db(A) load noise, the card is on par with the GTX 780 and half a dB off of the GTX 980.

Ultimately NVIDIA has designed the GTX 1080 to be a drop-in replacement for the GTX 980, and this data confirms just that, indicating that GTX 1080’s much higher performance comes with only a slight increase in power consumption and no meaningful change in temperatures or acoustics.

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Preview First Thoughts
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  • Eleveneleven - Monday, May 23, 2016 - link

    Yeah they took forever to post their SurfaceBook review compared to everyone else. Like really lazily slow.
  • Stuka87 - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - link

    Its not that they can't, its that a full Anandtech review is gigantic. And takes more than 2-3 days.
  • lunarx3dfx - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - link

    I'm with the OP on this one. You guys talk about other sites not having detailed information, but I refer you to PCPer's review. They somehow were able to perform full frame rating analysis on their full test suite, address the 2/3-way SLI concerns, and discuss the architecture in detail. So, holding Anandtech to the fire on this one is justified in my opinion.
  • Margalus - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - link

    The thing is, some of those other reviewers went to launch event and got their cards immediately. It doesn't seem anybody from Anandtech went, so they probably had to wait for a review sample.
  • HOOfan 1 - Thursday, May 19, 2016 - link

    nvidia seemed to invite everyone and their mother to the unveil. There were youtubers there with under 500K subscribers. I'd say if anandtech didn't send anyone to the event...then they missed possibly the biggest Tech reveal of 2016 so far.
  • Beararam - Wednesday, June 15, 2016 - link

    That's garbage. All the other GPU reviews (the flagships) have been done on release day.
  • schizoide - Wednesday, May 18, 2016 - link

    From what I've heard, NV only provided functional drivers wednesday of last week. So all those sites had less than a week to review a major release. Some sites bit down and made it happen anyway, but others had other obligations making that impossible.
  • pikkon39 - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - link

    the NDA lifted today so yes, they can post reviews.
  • bigboxes - Wednesday, May 18, 2016 - link

    It's a paper launch. I expected better from nVidia. Lame.
  • HOOfan 1 - Thursday, May 19, 2016 - link

    I honestly don't understand why people gripe about paper launches. Hopefully the people who gripe about paper launches are not the same ones who are checking wccftech every day for new "leaks" about Tech products. Paper Launch = giving people official specs about a card and allowing informed buying decisions even before the cards come out. What does it matter if they paper launch the card in May and physically launch the card in June, if there is no way they can physically launch until June anyway?

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