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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  • HOOfan 1 - Thursday, May 26, 2016 - link

    Not up this morning, don't they usually post content overnight? They were well behind the pack in publishing a Fury X review as well. With a review this late, I hope they do some extensive overclocking and compare it to SLi and Crossfire. Heck if they don't get the review up by tomorrow, maybe they can benchmark the 1080 in SLi
  • tarqsharq - Thursday, May 26, 2016 - link

    Yeah, this is starting to get a little worrisome. Ryan mentioned getting it out sometime last week, and it's getting close to a whole extra week on top of that now...

    Maybe he found something interesting to test and wants to confirm before publishing? We won't know until it's posted obviously, but at least I'm not chomping at the bit till I see what AMD is offering this year.
  • justaviking - Friday, May 27, 2016 - link

    10 days later...
    Today is the official "release" day...
    Nothing new?
    How about posting a 95% done analysis, and let us know what you're still working on? That would be a lot better that deafening silence.
  • Anato - Friday, May 27, 2016 - link

    Where could I read analysis of new Nvidia Geforce GTX 1080?

    I'm asking because haven't followed other sites for long time, but I'm now so fed up with this. Broken promises of review and then nothing but silence? I will still come to Anandtech first, but I'm not going to wait for 10 days for important review!

    @Ranger1065 Would you please elaborate your previous comment?
  • HOOfan 1 - Friday, May 27, 2016 - link

    HardOCP, Tomshardware, TechPowerup, Guru3D plenty of other sites have posted reviews
  • wira123 - Sunday, May 29, 2016 - link

    anandtech is such a f***ing joke nowaday, most tech reviewer already publish their GTX 1080 & 1070 reviews today, and yet anand still stuck with 1080 PREVIEW. Hahaha what a joke......
  • pencea - Sunday, May 29, 2016 - link

    Anandtech sure is slow. Other major sites have already beginning to post reviews of the GTX 1070 while this site hasn't even posted a review of the GTX 1080 which came out days ago...

    Always late to the party.
  • HollyDOL - Wednesday, June 1, 2016 - link

    While I have been advocating for AT, this hypothetic 1080 review could just go in a dust bin now. Everywhere over the web there are lots of detailed reviews for 1080 and now also for 1070. In the meantime since this preview Ryan posted two more articles. Unless his review GTX-1080 sample malfunctioned there is hardly any excuse for such a huge delay.
  • masters_league - Tuesday, May 31, 2016 - link

    Maybe he's waiting for a more recent driver to get the most performance out the card.
  • catavalon21 - Friday, June 3, 2016 - link

    May 17: "While I’ll get into architecture in much greater detail in the full article..."

    June 3: Still waiting for a full article

    For a site that appropriately has criticized vendors for paper launches of hardware, it's starting to appear that it's happening with articles.

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