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Nvidia's new $700 1080 Ti in theory beats $1200 Titan X

With Nvidia‘s long dominance of the top end of the graphics card market potentially under threat from AMD’s upcoming RX Vega line, they’ve just offered a speculative riposte. The Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti is a buffed-up take on the year-old 1080, and though conventional wisdom (i.e. Nvidia naming traditions) would place it between that card and their $1200 Titan X, the claim is that their $700 new’un actually beats the X.

Official numbers – and that is all they are, until reviewer and end-user benchmarks arrive – claim that the Ti is some 35% faster than the vanilla 1080. Nvidia also claim that it will outperform the Titan X, despite having 1GB less on-board RAM (it has an unorthodox 11GB rather than 12, but still up from the 1080’s 8) and on-paper reduced memory bandwidth.

This is due to a combination of 10% faster memory and a boost clock that jumps slightly from the Titan X’s 1.53GHz to 1.58GHz. CUDA cores are identical to the X, at 3584 (compared to the plain 1080’s 2560), and by and large we’re otherwise looking at something very similar to, if not slightly better than, the Titan X, for 60% of the price.

That price is the humdinger here. $700 is crazy money for a graphics card for most of us, of course, but if you’re dead-set on 4K PC gaming, this is in theory (let’s wait for those benchmarks) the answer in a way that a $1200 card was not. This is, again in theory, the most powerful graphics card on the market for $700, which is quite a shake-up from the situation just yesterday.

Better news for more of us is that the Ti’s release has resulted an a $100 price-drop from $599 to $499 for the vanilla 1080, which still means maxed-out games on anything below 4K and quite a few at 4K. The 1080 carried too high a price at launch, so this redresses the balance – and potentially sets the stage for a pricing cold war once AMD reveals exactly what’s what with Vega. I’m hoping for great things there, given I’ve got a FreeSync monitor (oh, how I wish the adaptive sync wars would end).

The 1080 Ti is due for release on March 10 at $699 in the US, but no word on UK prices yet I’m afraid.

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Alec Meer

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