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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  • dustwalker13 - Wednesday, May 18, 2016 - link

    kudos as always for being thorough. no overclocked cards, no gameworks, a balanced set of games that have an equal share favoring either nvidia or amd, that makes a balanced review, a rarity these days and highly appreciated.
  • stardude82 - Wednesday, May 18, 2016 - link

    You know, I'm still waiting for that complete GTX 950 review.
  • Sivar - Wednesday, May 18, 2016 - link

    Is it fair to publish relative power consumption in Crysis 3 of the 1080 vs other cards when the 1080 is pushing twice the frame rate of some of those cards?
    Seems like a better comparison would be to lock the framerate such that the lowest-end in the list can keep up, enable vsync, and test power consumption when the cards are doing the same amount of real work.
  • paulemannsen - Thursday, May 19, 2016 - link

    +1, do both
  • nick.evanson - Monday, May 23, 2016 - link

    Would it not still show the same relative differences though? The net power consumptions would obviously be different but the relative differences would simply reflect process size, transistor count, clock, etc; i.e. nothing that would be particularly surprising. Nor useful, I should imagine, even to the user for whom power consumption does matter - would such a user discount a product as being a potential purchase because it does not fit within a required power window or would they examine how best to deal with the additional power requirements and heat generation? Personally I only look at the power figures to gauge how hot my office is going to get :)
  • oobga - Wednesday, May 18, 2016 - link

    Glad all the details of the founders edition are out. Almost bought one. Fortunately was able to cancel my pre-order after finding out there is nothing special about it aside from the name.

    Fingers crossed a good closed system water cooled 1080 comes out soon!
  • Marucins - Thursday, May 19, 2016 - link

    Why is there no computing tests?
    Always Anandtech doing comp. tests and now, during the presentation of the new architecture of a sudden it disappears.
  • HollyDOL - Thursday, May 19, 2016 - link

    Maybe because it is a _pre_view?
  • Marucins - Monday, May 23, 2016 - link

    I hope..... I count that the final test will be complete.
  • HollyDOL - Wednesday, May 25, 2016 - link

    my 2 cents bet would be it will come out together with 1070 in one big review

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