Today we’re getting our computer hardware nerd on, because we’re jumping on the bandwagon that is frothing over the new nVidia GTX1000 series graphics cards. The GTX10 series represents a huge jump up in performance, and the best part is that it’s still relatively affordable for a high end card. We’re going to take a quick look into what the hype is all about in this blog post.
So what’s the big deal about this new card?
Well of course nVidia’s marketing department have been spinning up a bit of a story, but some of the main points that are pretty impressive include an R&D budget of several billion dollars, out-performance of their previous top-dog graphics card (the Titan X) or even two of the previous generation GTX 980s running in SLI formation, but most importantly of all, the (relatively) lower price point for such a well-performing card.
To put this in perspective, the Titan X sells for around $1,200 at the time of writing, while the GTX1080 Founders Edition is retailing for around the $700 mark. Oh, and the GTX 1000 series cards are also said to be “VR ready”. While this seems to be marketing talk it is actually backed by new features such as Simultaneous Multi-projection and Lens Matched Shading which significantly enhance performance of VR workloads.
Besides the obvious value for money, the GTX 1080 has been was dubbed ‘a new king’ in terms of performance, and the graph presented at the release event is admittedly, pretty impressive, showing the GTX1080 with the new Pascal architecture as offering much higher performance-for-power than the previous Maxwell family cards.
The “Founders edition” (i.e. nVidia’s reference design) has already been released (27 May 2016 for the GTX 1080). Recently the GTX 1070 was released last week on the 10th June, a slightly cut back version of the 1080.
The most notable difference between the GTX 1080 and the GTX 1070 is the memory type used. The GTX1080 uses the new GDDR5X which has much more memory bandwidth than the current GDDR5 which is used in the 1070. This means that the 1080 can simply push more information through the memory, while the GTX1070 is approaching the limits of the GDDR5 technology. The overall result? Better performance, and good overclocking potential on the GTX1080.
Partners such as EVGA, Gigabit, ASUS, and the like have also called their reference design products ‘Founders Edition’, and some partners have already released modified versions of the card, such as EVGA’s Gamer edition, Superclocked edition and FTW edition.
Pricing on the GTX1070 is around $420 – $450 (manufacturer’s recommended sale price), but at the moment the demand for these cards is high, which has led to inflated pricing. If you want one of these cards at the moment, you’ll likely need to pay a little more.
The GTX1080 is available for about $600 – $700, but again this card is hot at the moment and stocks are low.
Notably, the Founders Edition is more expensive than the developed designs from partners as nVidia appears to have set the retail price for this reference design higher. If you are located outside of the US, pricing may vary again as some international vendors have not yet confirmed a retail price for these cards.
Where to Get
Partner’s sites are probably the best place to buy from at the moment, but you could also try your luck with suppliers like Amazon.
The GTX 1000 series cards certainly are a huge step forward in the graphics card market. In terms of value for money, you’ll probably want to opt for the GTX 1070, but if you just want the top of the line card, then it’s the GTX 1080 all the way.
Given the inflated pricing right now, we’d recommend to wait until some of the hype dies down before purchasing a GTX1000 series card. Unless you can get one directly from a partner website within the prices listed above, you’ll typically find inflated prices from suppliers like Amazon.
We’d also recommend to steer clear of the Founders Edition unless you have a good reason to opt for this particular model of the card – from what we can see it’s a reference card with inflated pricing and subpar cooling performance compared to later card releases by partners.