Nvidia took the lid off its next-gen graphics GPUs, and the GeForce GTX 1080 and GeForce GTX 1070 were worth waiting for.
The GTX 1070 is set to replace the value-for-money GTX 970 card, while the GTX 1080 will offer a powerful alternative to the already formidable GTX 980. According to insiders from the company, the impressive Titan X will lag behind the new GTX 1080.
Both graphics cards will bring a significant performance increase to the table, and sport unrivaled power efficiency. The two GPUs were heralded last week, and we are happy to report on their impressive details.
GTX 1080 And GTX 1070
After years of using the 28nm transistor process node, both Nvidia and AMD switched to using GPU architectures with smaller transistors.
The beastly GTX 1080 is the first GPU that was manufactured under TSMC's 16nm FinFET process node. The tinier size of the node is essential to making the card work harder while consuming less power.
Rival AMD are scheduled to implement the FinFET node process in its Polars GPU, which should benefit from a 14nm process.
Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang noted that alongside minimized power consumption, a myriad of improvements were poured into the new technology. The GTX 1080 packs no less than 7.2 billion transistors and 2560 CUDA cores, running at a staggering 2.1 GHz. According to Nvidia, the GPU holsters 9 TFlops of rendering performance.
To put things into perspective, the existing GPU flagship from Nvidia, Titan X, offers half the performance and needs significantly more juice to run.
The company also has a slightly less powerful but more affordable GPU in store. Little official information is known about the GTX 1070, but Huang did mention a number of 6.5 TFlops of floating point performance.
This means that the second Nvidia GPU will overtake Titan X, as well.
In 2015, AMD brought the Fiji GPU line equipped with the new HBM memory, which outclasses the standard GDDR5.
Nvidia avoided using the HBM in its recent hardware, but it is expected to include HBM2 memory in Pascal architecture sometime in the future. Instead, the company chose to fit GDDR5X in its latest flagship cards, as the type of memory can multiply the prefetch size by two.
The GTX 1080 has 8 GB of GDDR5X memory, although the running clock was not disclosed; 8 GB of memory sit under GTX 1070's hood, albeit GDDR5X was not put into use in the cheaper GPU. The GTX 1070 uses standard GDDR5 to get its point across.
Simultaneous Multi-Projection Pipeline
The company underlines that Pascal scores outstanding rendering performance due to the Simultaneous Multi-Projection Pipeline technology.
The problem with standard rendering processes is that they rely on a single-view port when displaying images on screens. This might be efficient for single-display rigs, but desktop gaming is increasingly tapping into having multiple displays. What is more, ultrawide screens and VR HMDs need a novel approach to rendering.
One way to ensure you get the correct image on each of your multiple displays would be to have a dedicated GPU for each screen, but that is plain bankruptcy. Nvidia's Multi-Projection Pipeline technology allows for no warping and fast processing, as it is tailored to multiple displays.
Lens Matched Shading
Nvidia has VR rendering in its crosshair as well. Due to the new technology, the company was able to embed eight view ports in head mounted diplays, four for each eye. What is more, a prewarping process modifies the image before it is projected onto the lenses, which leads to much more accurate images for VR headsets. The Lens Matched Shading, as Nvidia calls it, keeps the proportions in VR renderings as close to real-life imagery as possible.
Pricing and Availability
Nvidia announced that gamers will see the official launch of the GTX 1080 on May 27.
The processing behemoth will land in two models. The GTX 1080 will be priced at $599, while the Founders Edition will cost a tad more, but it will offer superior overclocking capacity. The Founders Edition will have a price point of $699.
The GTX 1070 will hit the shelves next month, on June 10. It, too, will come in two variants. The basic GTX 1070 will cost $379, while the Founder Edition will ask customers to shell out $449.
Are you excited about the upcoming GPUs from Nvidia? Let us know in the comments section below.