How Does the GTX 1080 Ti Stack Up in 2020?

Today, let's take a look back at the powerful GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, the previous-generation Nvidia flagship that has become an icon of the GPU for a reason. We were impressed with what Nvidia was accomplishing at the time, and although the cost per frame wasn't particularly high – a matter of course for high-end flagships – the 1080 Ti was designed to deliver an unprecedented level of performance only that.

Compared to AMD's flagship at the time, the Radeon R9 Fury X, the GTX 1080 Ti at 4K was incredible 60% faster and up to 30% faster than the original GTX 1080. This level of performance was made possible by a breathtaking 3584 CUDA cores, 17% more than the titanium part of the previous generation, which were also clocked almost 50% higher.

For about 18 months, the GTX 1080 Ti was the most powerful GeForce GPU on the market, but the preference for high-end gamers for this GPU only increased when Nvidia showed her the door with the GeForce RTX 20 series.

Nowadays we may have digested the GeForce RTX series as the top offering in the Nvidia product range, but when the RTX 2080 came on the market in late 2018, it did so for the same price of $ 700 as the GTX 1080 Ti and didn't offer any real performance advantage. You may not remember it, but Nvidia also made the Founders Edition version the only one that you could initially buy for an additional $ 100. Ray Tracing and DLSS made their debut as promising technology you couldn't use.

At that time, the GTX 1080 Ti was sold for around $ 600. Even at the basic MSRP, players were asked to spend at least 20% more money on an RTX 2080, and there was no evidence that they got anything for that extra investment. This had many potential buyers actively looking for the remaining reduced GTX 1080 Ti stocks, and once they dried up, the used market became a popular target. For a while, you could see people selling their GTX 1080 Ti for just $ 400, which was a bargain in retrospect.

Even today, over three years after its release, the GTX 1080 Ti costs around $ 500 on the used market. So the inevitable question is how to compare the old Pascal GPU to modern $ 400- $ 500 GPUs. This is exactly what we will find out with a comprehensive benchmark of 35 games.

As usual, all tests were carried out with our Core i9-9900K GPU test system, which is clocked with 5 GHz and 16 GB DDR4-3400 memory. We'll cover 1080p and 1440p resolutions in over 30 titles, each with a drop in performance after discussing some of the more interesting game results.

Benchmark time

First, we have Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and despite using DirectX 12, the GTX 1080 Ti can still outperform the RTX 2070 Super and 5700 XT, although the performance is comparable. As an unfortunate side note, we had some issues completing the tests with the RTX 2080, but the 2070 Super and RTX 2080 are fairly evenly matched, not quite like the RTX 2060 Super and RTX 2070, but there really isn't much more in it.

All in all, the old 1080 Ti does it here with a high refresh rate of 1440p.

Ghost Recon Breakpoint at 1440p sees the GTX 1080 Ti and 2070 Super very evenly matched. This is also what you would normally expect when the 2070 Super resembles an RTX 2080.

We expected the 1080 Ti to fail with this newer Vulkan implementation, but it seems that Nvidia has properly optimized the Pascal GPU here. Another strong result for the aging flagship GPU.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider was released just before the Turing GPUs and is therefore still well optimized for Pascal. The GTX 1080 Ti offers comparable performance to the RTX 2070 Super and this time also the 5700 XT. If you use the highest game quality settings, you'll always see more than 60 fps when playing at 1440p.

Gears 5's results are interesting because we see a situation where the GTX 1080 Ti and its many other cores can beat the RTX 2070 Super comfortably. Here we see a performance increase of 14% at 1440p, which takes us from 80 fps to just over 90 fps.

The controls have been heavily optimized for the Turing architecture (it is one of the few raytraced / DLSS titles available), which is why the GTX 1080 Ti only offers comparable performance to the RTX 2070 and 5700 XT. It's hardly a bad performance, but with some tweaking, the GTX 1080 Ti could certainly do better here.

The GTX 1080 Ti performs very well in the Metro Exodus and beats the RTX 2070 Super with a convincing 10% lead. It was also ahead of the 5700 XT, which does well in this title with HairWorks disabled. Impressive at 1440p we always see over 90 fps in our benchmark pass, so great stuff from the 1080 Ti.

Resident Evil 3 is another game in which the GTX 1080 Ti performs well and delivers well over 90 fps at all times to beat the 2070 Super by 9% and the 5700 XT by 17%. This is really an excellent performance at 1440p in one of the newest titles we have.

Next up is Doom Eternal and this is a good example of how Nvidia prioritizes Turing architecture. Nevertheless, the GTX 1080 Ti hardly does badly with an average of 126 fps at 1440p and was 13% slower than the 2070 Super, but still 6% faster than the 5700 XT.

If you play Fortnite with the new DX12 mode, the GTX 1080 Ti delivers a performance comparable to that of the 2070 Super, i.e. on average a little more than 100 fps at 1440p. This is an excellent achievement. With competitive esport quality settings, frame rates will far exceed the refresh rate of high-speed panels.

This is an interesting series of results. When testing with PlayerUnknown's battlefields, the GTX 1080 Ti outperformed the 2070 Super by 12%, increasing it over 140 fps. The Pascal flagship was a whopping 36% faster than the 5700 XT, although PUBG isn't a particularly AMD-friendly title.

Similar to PUBG and even earlier Gears 5, the 1080 Ti is significantly faster than the 2070 Super in Borderlands 3, especially at 1440p when comparing 1% low data. The GTX 1080 Ti is on a par with the 5700 XT, which does really well in this title.

Battlefield V with the DX12 API we have the GTX 1080 Ti, which corresponds to the power output of the 5700 XT and the 2070 Super. That's a solid performance at 1440p as we see over 100 fps on average.

Service summary

As you might have expected, the GTX 1080 Ti is still a beast by today's standards. Based on this dozen game examples, the RTX 2070 Super looked very competitive and a little faster than the 5700 XT. Before we close the book on benchmarks, let's take a look at the breakdown of the 35 games.

GeForce GTX 1080 Ti against GeForce RTX 2070 Super

Well, it is indeed very competitive with the RTX 2070 Super. All in all to be overcome with a small margin of 2% … as always everything below 5% we think a draw is possible. It's interesting to see where the core-heavy Pascal GPU like World of Tanks, Gears 5, PUBG, War Thunder, etc. shines.

It's also interesting to see which games are optimized for Turing, like Control, Doom Eternal, Apex Legends, Rainbow Six Siege, Youngblood and Strange Brigade. However, if the GTX 1080 Ti was slower, for the most part, it wasn't much slower.

GeForce GTX 1080 Ti against Radeon RX 5700 XT

With the Radeon RX 5700 XT, the GTX 1080 Ti with 1440p was 11% faster overall. This is not a dramatic difference, but it is starting to improve and we are seeing gains of almost 40% on some titles. If you look at this comparison from the perspective of an old $ 700 GPU with a new $ 400 GPU, this isn't a bad look for AMD. But for those who shop second hand, you can see why the GTX 1080 Ti is still a compelling option.

Big classic car

Undoubtedly, the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti still seems to be a very solid GPU in 2020 that offers very similar performance to the RTX 2070 Super. In other words, it's up there competing for a new $ 500 GPU. This is about 30% cheaper than at the beginning, which is a depreciation rate of 10% per year.

But that doesn't make it a good buy today. What would you expect for a 3-year-old graphics card that offers performance comparable to a modern $ 500 GPU, or about 10% more performance than a $ 400 model? Assuming you only have eyes for the green team, we would say that at least a $ 100 discount is required to shop second hand. Ideally, you'd want a $ 150 discount if you set the GTX 1080 Ti to $ 350.

After we recently put together an extensive buying guide for used 80 GPUs, we were surprised that the average selling price of used GTX 1080 Ti was $ 475. Oddly enough, people spend over $ 500 on used GTX 1080 Ti cards on eBay and in relatively large quantities. Of course, there is no point in buying a 1080 Ti at this price. A new RTX 2070 Super for $ 500 is better, or you can save some money and buy a well-cooled Radeon RX 5700 XT that is only slightly slower.

Our two-pronged conclusion is that current owners of the GTX 1080 Ti can be happy, especially if they have had theirs for a long time. It's still an amazing GPU that you don't have to replace unless you update 4K games with high update I am strictly after it. For potential buyers, used GTX 1080 Ti with a price tag of over $ 350 is difficult to grasp, considering that more Turing-optimized games like Doom Eternal and Control on Pascal won't run as smoothly in the near future. We suspect that Pascal could age significantly with the next generation Nvidia GPUs that are not that far away.

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