Articles

NVIDIA GPU Generational Performance Part 3

Author:Brent Justice

Editor:Kyle Bennett

Date: Thursday , August 16, 2018

In Part 3 of our NVIDIA GPU Generational Performance article we are going to compare the GeForce GTX 780 Ti upgrade advantage from GeForce GTX 780, and GeForce GTX 980 Ti from GeForce GTX 980 and GeForce GTX 1080 Ti from GeForce GTX 1080. We will see how much each "Ti" version offered in terms of a performance upgrade.

Introduction

In our NVIDIA GPU Generational Performance Part 1 article we have shown you the performance upgrade differences from GeForce GTX 780 to GeForce GTX 980 and GeForce GTX 1080. In our NVIDIA GPU Generational Performance Part 2 article we have shown you the performance upgrade differences from GeForce GTX 780 Ti to GeForce GTX 980 Ti to GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.

Now in our NVIDIA GPU Generational Performance Part 3 article we are going to pull the data together from both previous NVIDIA GPU articles and look at the performance upgrade from another perspective. We are going to compare GeForce GTX 780 to GeForce GTX 780 Ti, and then GeForce GTX 980 to GeForce GTX 980 Ti and then GeForce GTX 1080 to GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.

In this way you can evaluate the performance upgrade impact each "Ti" card has brought versus the GTX 780, GTX 980, and GTX 1080 from the past generations over the last five years. We will see if the performance advantage has remained consistent from then to now, or if it has changed over time.

This will be the last of the NVIDIA GPU testing articles for now, after this one we will start looking back at AMD GPUs.


The Comparison

GeForce GTX 780

The GeForce GTX 780 was launched on May 23rd, 2013 with an MSRP of $649. The GeForce GTX 780 is based on the Kepler architecture on a 28nm process. This is actually an evolution of the Kepler architecture found previously in the GeForce GTX 680. Therefore, this is a refreshed Kepler architecture. The GeForce GTX 780 consists of 2304 CUDA Cores, 192 Texture Units and 48 ROPs. It runs at a base clock of 863MHz and a boost clock of 900MHz. It contains 3GB of GDDR5 on a 384-bit memory bus running at 6GHz. This gives It 288GB/sec of memory bandwidth. The TDP is 250W. The obvious downside to this video card in today’s games is the small 3GB of VRAM.

GeForce GTX 780 Ti

The GeForce GTX 780 was launched on May 23rd, 2013 with an MSRP of $649. The GeForce GTX 780 Ti was launched six months later on November 7th, 2013 with an MSRP of $699. The GeForce GTX 780 Ti was the Kepler GK110 GPU fully realized with all 15 SM’s enabled, beating the specs of the then GTX TITAN with only 14 SMXs enabled.

The GeForce GTX 780 Ti is based on the Kepler architecture on a 28nm process. The GeForce GTX 780 Ti consists of 2880 CUDA Cores, 240 Texture Units and 48 ROPs. It runs at a base clock of 875MHz and a boost clock of 928MHz. It has 3GB of GDDR5 on a 384-bit memory bus running at 7GHz. This gives It 336GB/sec of memory bandwidth. The TDP is 250W.

Three factors affect the effectiveness of the bump in CUDA Cores and Texture Units. One is that the ROPs remain at 48 just like the GTX 780. The L2 Cache also remains the same. Finally, the same limiting 3GB of VRAM capacity is on board just like the GTX 780. Though it has more memory bandwidth, with the ROP count, L2 Cache size and VRAM limitation, it is bottlenecked at certain points.

GeForce GTX 980

The GeForce GTX 980 was launched on September 18th, 2014 with an MSRP of $549. The GeForce GTX 980 is based on the Maxwell architecture on a 28nm process. The GeForce GTX 980 consists of 2048 CUDA Cores, 128 Texture Units and 64 ROPs. It runs at a base clock of 1126MHz and a boost clock of 1216MHz. It contains 4GB of GDDR5 on a 256-bit memory bus running at 7GHz. This gives It 224GB/sec of memory bandwidth. The TDP is 165W.

GeForce GTX 980 Ti

The GeForce GTX 980 was launched on September 18th, 2014 with an MSRP of $549. The GeForce GTX 980 Ti was launched eight months later on May 31st, 2015 with an MSRP of $649. Though this is a high-end GM200 Maxwell GPU, it sits below the GTX TITAN X of the time which is actually the GM200 Maxwell GPU fully utilized. This is different than what NVIDIA did above with the GeForce GTX 780 Ti being the fully realized Kepler GPU.

The GeForce GTX 980 Ti is utilizing 22 SMMs versus 24 SMMs on GTX TITAN X. This means more CUDA Cores and Texture Units on the GTX TITAN X. Therefore, now the GTX TITAN X is actually the fully realized Maxwell GPU, while the GTX 980 Ti is a slightly cut-down version. However, the price points are very different. GTX TITAN X was a $999 card while GTX 980 Ti was $649 and thus compares to the GTX 780 Ti in price as the natural upgrade path.

The GeForce GTX 980 Ti is based on the Maxwell architecture on a 28nm process. The GeForce GTX 980 Ti consists of 2816 CUDA Cores, 176 Texture Units and 96 ROPs. It runs at a base clock of 1000MHz and a boost clock of 1075MHz. It has 6GB of GDDR5 on a 384-bit memory bus running at 7GHz. This gives It 336GB/sec of memory bandwidth. The TDP is 250W.

Its strengths are definitely the increase in ROPs to 96 versus the GTX 980’s 64. The bump in CUDA Cores and Texture Units also helps, even though it has a reduction in clock speed compared to GTX 980. Compared to GTX 780 Ti it has the same memory bandwidth, but an increased VRAM capacity of 6GB helps it more.

GeForce GTX 1080

The GeForce GTX 1080 was launched on May 17th, 2016 with an MSRP of $599 or $699 for the Founders Edition. The GeForce GTX 1080 is based on the Pascal architecture on a 16nm FinFET process. The Pascal architecture is an evolution or refresh of the Maxwell architecture, with some tweaks and major clock uplifts. The GeForce GTX 1080 consists of 2560 CUDA Cores, 160 Texture Units and 64 ROPs. It runs at a base clock of 1607MHz and a boost clock of 1733MHz. It contains 8GB of GDDR5X on a 256-bit memory bus running at 10GHz. This gives It 320GB/sec of memory bandwidth. The TDP is 180W. To this date, this is the still the latest generation of GPU and next to the fastest gaming GPU from NVIDIA.

GeForce GTX 1080 Ti

The GeForce GTX 1080 was launched on May 17th, 2016 with an MSRP of $599 or $699 for the Founders Edition. The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti was launched ten months later on March 9th, 2017 with an MSRP of $699. Compared to the GTX 780 Ti and GTX 980 Ti, the GTX 1080 Ti is a different beast. Instead of being based on GTX 1080’s GP104 GPU, GTX 1080 Ti is an entirely bigger GP102 GPU made to deliver a lot of performance. It is still the same Pascal architecture though.

The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti matches the GTX TITAN X (Pascal) video card in CUDA Cores and Texture Units. However, the memory subsystem of the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is cut-down from the TITAN X (Pascal) GP102 GPU. In fact, if you take GTX TITAN X and cut out one ROP block cutting back on its ROPs, L2 Cache and memory bus width and VRAM capacity, you then get the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. Priced at $699 it is the direct upgrade path from GeForce GTX 980 Ti and comparable.

The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is based on the Pascal architecture on a 16nm FinFET process. The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti consists of 3584 CUDA Cores, 224 Texture Units and 88 ROPs. It runs at a base clock of 1481MHz and a boost clock of 1582MHz. It has 11GB of GDDR5X on a 352-bit memory bus running at 11GHz. This gives It 484GB/sec of memory bandwidth. The TDP is 250W.


The Games

The games we have chosen are, from earliest to latest: Crysis 3 2013, Tomb Raider 2013, Grand Theft Auto V 2013, Far Cry 4 2014, The Witcher 3 2015, Fallout 4 2015, Rise of the Tomb Raider 2016, DOOM 2016, Deus EX Mankind Divided 2016, Battlefield 1 2016, Sniper Elite 4 2017, Mass Effect Andromeda 2017, Kingdom Come Deliverance 2018, Far Cry 5 2018.