Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 review: The most badass graphics card ever created

Hail to the new king of graphics cards, baby.

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Power and heat

Finally, let’s take a look at the GTX 1080’s power and thermal results.

gtx 1080 power use

All of AMD’s recent graphics cards use vastly more power than their Nvidia counterparts, full stop. The GTX 1080 only uses 20 watts more power under extreme load than the GTX 980, and considerably less power than a hot-and-bothered Titan X, even though it pushes out significantly more performance. The Pascal architecture is indeed incredibly power-efficient, in other words.

Power is measured by plugging the entire system into a Watts Up meter, then running a stress test with Furmark for 15 minutes. It’s basically a worst-case scenario, pushing graphics cards to their limits.

gtx 1080 temps

On the flip side of the coin, the GTX 1080 runs slightly hotter than the GTX 980 under a Furmark load, hitting temperatures on a par with the Titan X. (The water-cooled Fury X is the outlier in the results.) Furmark truly is a worst-case scenario here, though—temperatures during actual gameplay tended to hover around 70 to 75 degrees Celsius—and the cooling system on reference cards are never as efficient as custom third-party solutions. Look for temperatures to drop significantly in custom versions of the card.

Next page: Bottom line

At a Glance
  • The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 is the first graphics card built using 16nm technology after GPUs stalled on 28nm for four long years. The performance and power efficiency gains are nothing short of astounding.

    Pros

    • Outrageous performance leap over GTX 980
    • Hugely power efficient
    • Attractive premium design
    • Numerous new features

    Cons

    • Doesn't blow away Radeon cards in heavily AMD-optimized games
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