In this article we are going to compare the 1080 GPU and the 1080 Ti GPUs from Nvidia, to discover the similarities and differences between them. Using several performance metrics, we will discover which is more effective for particular users. Both cards are no longer in production, so chances are if you are looking to pick one up for a machine you have at the moment, you may well be dipping into the second half market. So, is the hassle worth your time and effort?
ASUS ROG STRIX GTX 1080
ASUS ROG STRIX GTX 1080 Ti
When comparing the standard 1080 with the 1080 Ti, it will be no surprise to find out the Ti offers better gaming performance.
The real questions are two-fold. Firstly, how much extra do you get for the not-inconsiderable price hike between the standard and the ‘Titanium’ version of the GPU? And secondly, whether what you get is worth paying the extra for, from your point of view.
We can – and will – give you all the data you need to compare the two cards. But the question of whether the upgrade is worth the expense? That’s down to you. It will depend on what you’re using at the moment, whether you’re sure you want to jump to anything in the Nvidia family, and if you do, whether you want to stop at the 1080 branch.
Let’s take a look at what we’re dealing with.
Both the 1080 and the 1080 TI are built on Nvidia’s Pascal architecture.
That means in terms of fundamental architecture protocols, they’re singing the same tune – albeit in slightly different keys.
On launch, the Pascal architecture was practically revolutionary in the gaming world. It brought a 12x leap in neural network training time, a 3x memory bandwidth boost thanks to some clever CoWoS construction (Chip-on-wafer-on-Substrate…naturally), and real-time responsiveness for its AI algorithms. This is not an architecture to trifle with.
More than anything, the Pascal architecture allows AI gaming to feel a lot more real than anything that came before.
Let’s talk about clock speeds.
Base Clock – 1607MHz
Boost Clock – 1703MHz
Base Clock – 1480MHz
Boost Clock – 1632MHz
Memory Clock Speeds
1080 : 1251MHz, 10008Hz effective
1080 Ti: 1376MHz, 11008MHz effective
It’s worth noting that the Pascal architecture has now been superseded in the Nvidia GPU range by the Turing architecture, with consequences in the price you pay, but also rewards in terms of more hardcore 1080p gaming potential than either of the 1080 variants will give you.
Comparing the 1080 variants though, while the 1080 standard seems to have higher clock speeds at both base and boost levels, the memory clock speed sees the Ti begin to offer tangible benefits.
Given that they’re built on the same architecture, by the same manufacturer, it will surprise no-one to find that the fans and cooling options for these cards are also very similar.
Maximum recorded temperatures under heavy load were very close for these cards. The 1080 peaked at 83 degrees, and the 1080 Ti at 84 degrees. The fact that the evolved version had a higher maximum temperature is a little disappointing, though unless you’re in peril of hitting critical heat, the Ti is unlikely to lose friends for the sake of a single degree.
Where it might lose a few more friends is in the maximum fan noise. While the standard 1080 chugged away at 51.6dB, the newer model raised its voice to 54.2dB.
Obviously in terms of cooling the GPU down, your mileage may vary depending on the nature of your set-up, how many fans you add, and what the airflow inside your casing is like. Fitting an aftermarket water cooling system is also likely to drop your temperature drastically.
That’s a good idea if you’re intending to overclock your system. With recorded temperatures higher than some other – and especially later and more expensive – graphics cards, cooling is not a thing you’re going to want to overlook when you overclock your system.
The TDP on the 1080 is 180W, while the 1080 Ti carries a TDP of 250W.
In purely physical terms, there’s little to differentiate between the 1080 and the 1080 Ti. Both cards come in at 10.5 inches long, and both are dual-slot cards. So far, so standard.
When it comes to power inputs though, the newer model shows itself somewhat the thirstier of the two. While the 1080 has a single eight-pin connector, the 1080 Ti has both the standard eight-pin and an additional six-pin connector.
In addition, both cards feature PCIe 3.0 x16 for some degree of future-proofing.
Everybody wants to know where the power goes in terms of resolution. Let’s take a look.
Base Clock Resolution/FPS
|Base Clock Resolution / FPS||1080||1080 Ti|
|Overclocked Resolution / FPS||1080||1080 Ti|
We would expect the upgraded, updated Ti version of the GPU to deliver better, smoother graphics, and it’s fair to say from these results that the 1080 doesn’t disappoint on that score. It delivers graphics that don’t just have higher fps rates.
In many cases, they have heaping handfuls more fps than that standard 1080 card. That makes the case for improved performance from the Ti version at a level that’s visible in gameplay. Does it translate to enough of a reason for you to go for the Ti version?
VRAM is another area where the money you pay for the 1080 Ti begins to show through.
While the standard 1080 card gets you 8GB of GDDR5 memory, and so gets over the line to deliver 1080p and 4K HD gaming, the results can be a little inconsistent, because it can only muster a memory bandwidth of 320GB/s.
In other words, if you’re looking for a card that can give you access to these higher-memory areas of gaming, the standard 1080 can get you there for a handful of games, but it won’t necessarily get you there with grace, smoothness, or the slick style you’re probably looking for. You’ll see the effort it’s making – which can pretty much defeat the point of installing it in the first place.
The 1080 Ti, on the other hand, brings 11GB of GDDR5 to the table. What’s more, it has a memory bandwidth of 440GB/s.
ASUS ROG STRIX GTX 1080
ASUS ROG STRIX GTX 1080 Ti
Ultimately, the choice between the 1080 and the 1080 Ti comes down to two things. 1) How much disposable graphics card cash do you have burning a hole in your pocket and demanding to be spent? And 2) how badly do you want to play 4K HD and 1080p games?
The 1080 is a great card if you’re happy playing 1440p games. If you’re upgrading from an earlier era of Nvidia card, swapping out from an earlier AMD, and aren’t bothered about 4K gaming just yet – by all means grab yourself a standard 1080, and game on.
The 1080 Ti gets you much smoother, more compelling graphics at 1080p and 4K, so if you wanted to step up, it’s a great card too. It lets you do more, gives you at least a little future-proofing, and lets you rock your graphical socks off for as long as you like before you feel the time is right to leap up an architecture – or two, or more, by that point.