The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is the most powerful consumer-level graphics card on the market and perhaps the first graphics card that can actually handle 4K gaming without sacrificing too much in the way of frame-rate or detail settings. It's about 25 to 30 per cent faster than its nearest rival, the GTX 1080, and unmatched by any AMD graphics card currently on the market.

With such a degree of power, there's little that you can't do with the GTX 1080 Ti. 4K gaming at 60 frames per second is a given for most titles, but it also works well for VR headsets such as the HTC Vive Pro, high resolution ultra-wide monitors, as well as high refresh rate displays up to 240Hz (though in that scenario, ensure you pair your GTX 1080 Ti with a fast Intel Core i7 processor). All things considered, it heads our list of the best graphics cards on the market.

In order to give you a good idea of what to expect from the GTX 1080 Ti, we'll be testing its performance in a range of titles released within the last two or three years, as well as one or two older titles. In each case, you should expect similar levels of performance when using the same very high or ultra settings with a suitably high-end processor and other components.

For this benchmark roundup, we'll compare the GTX 1080 Ti to its two smaller brothers, the GTX 1070 Ti and GTX 1080. We'll also throw in AMD's top-end GPUs, the Vega 56 and Vega 64, to give you an idea of how Team Red stacks up against Team Green. We'll also include two benchmarks at the end of the page that can give you a sense of the GTX 1080 Ti's horsepower compared to past generations of Nvidia cards and the entire 10-series Pascal family.

1080_ti
Stripped back from the fully enabled Titan Xp, you lose about five per cent of performance by going for a GTX 1080 Ti, but you save about $500/500, making it the best choice for top-tier gamers.
GPU cores Boost clock TFLOPS Memory Memory Bandwidth
GTX 1070 Ti 2432 1683MHz 8.9 8GB 256GB/s
GTX 1080 2560 1733MHz 8.9 8GB 320GB/s
GTX 1080 Ti 3584 1582MHz 11.3 11GB 484GB/s
Vega 56 3584 1471MHz 10.5 8GB 410GB/s
Vega 64 4096 1546MHz 12.7 8GB 484GB/s

For each game, you'll see our new bespoke Digital Foundry benchmarking system. A YouTube video will show you the scene that we tested each card on, with live frame-rate and frame time data embedded below.

This system is more customisable than "baking in" this information onto the video itself, as you can use the controls to the right of the video to add or remove different cards and resolutions according to your needs. For example, you could look at how one card handles both the 1440p and 4K benchmarks, or see four different cards tackle the 4K benchmark simultaneously.

Below the real-time telemetry, you can find summarised results for the entire run, including the incredibly useful lowest one per cent and lowest five per cent figures, which give you an idea of stability offered by each GPU. To see these different figures, mouse over the image and watch as the readings change accordingly. You can also click the barchart to change the absolute figures into percentages, and click again to change them back to absolute values.

Now that we've covered the benchmarking tool, let's get right into the results.

Assassin's Creed Unity

We'll begin with 2014 title Assassin's Creed Unity, famous for its graphical glitches on launch and incredibly detailed Parisian interiors afterwards. The GTX 1080 Ti starts as it means to go on, with a frame-rate that is 22 per cent ahead of the GTX 1080. However, even this high-powered card can't quite scrape 60 frames per second at ultra high detail settings, with an average frame-rate of 46fps - still some way off the 4K60 dream. AMD's highest-performing card, the Vega 64, only manages 30 frames per second at 4K by comparison and AMD hardware in general struggles with the game's depth of field effect, explaining the wide variance in every Radeon result.

AC Unity: Ultra High, FXAA

  • GTX 1070 Ti
  • GTX 1080
  • GTX 1080 Ti
  • Vega 56
  • Vega 64
  • GTX 1070 Ti
  • GTX 1080
  • GTX 1080 Ti
  • Vega 56
  • Vega 64

Ashes of the Singularity

2016 strategy title Ashes of the Singularity has a handy in-game benchmark with plenty of laser fire from the relatively high number of units on-screen. The GTX 1080 Ti manages to hit 95 frames per second at 1440p and 80 frames per second at 4K, by far the highest result. At 1440p, it's 17 per cent faster than the GTX 1080 and 12 per cent faster than the Vega 64. At 4K, the lead grows to 22 per cent over the GTX 1080 and 21 per cent faster than the Vega 64.

Ashes of the Singularity DX12: Extreme, No AA

  • GTX 1070 Ti
  • GTX 1080
  • GTX 1080 Ti
  • Vega 56
  • Vega 64
  • GTX 1070 Ti
  • GTX 1080
  • GTX 1080 Ti
  • Vega 56
  • Vega 64

Battlefield 1

Battlefield 1, released in 2016, is our next test. It's worth noting that the game lacks a built-in benchmark, so we're taking a section from the game's campaign as our British tank races across French no man's land. The frame-rate spikes here are the result of close range explosions which differ between runs, so disregard them. However, the performance exhibited should be representative, with the GTX 1080 Ti again taking the top spot over the GTX 1080 by a healthy 20 per cent at 4K. The Vega 64 does better than the GTX 1080 here, but is still 12 per cent behind the GTX 1080 Ti.

Battlefield 1: Ultra, TAA

  • GTX 1070 Ti
  • GTX 1080
  • GTX 1080 Ti
  • Vega 56
  • Vega 64
  • GTX 1070 Ti
  • GTX 1080
  • GTX 1080 Ti
  • Vega 56
  • Vega 64

Crysis 3

Crysis 3 is the oldest title in our current benchmark suite, having been released in 2013. Despite its age, the game still challenges even the best GPUs on the market, with the GTX 1080 Ti only reaching 54 frames per second at 4K. Interestingly, the same card performs at about twice the frame-rate at 1440p. The GTX 1080 Ti leads the GTX 1080 by 23 per cent at 1440p and 24 per cent at 4K, with the Vega 64 even further behind.

Crysis 3: very high, SMAA T2X

  • GTX 1070 Ti
  • GTX 1080
  • GTX 1080 Ti
  • Vega 56
  • Vega 64
  • GTX 1070 Ti
  • GTX 1080
  • GTX 1080 Ti
  • Vega 56
  • Vega 64

The Division

Our The Division benchmark uses the DirectX 11 version of the 2016 game, which is good for Nvidia as the title actually runs a touch slower under DX12. As we wind our way through the snowy streets and harbour of New York city, the GTX 1080 Ti leads the GTX 1080 by 21 per cent at 1440p. The Vega 64 is a hair more competitive, but the GTX 1080 Ti still comes on top by 20 per cent. The Division is another game where the GTX 1080 Ti falls just shy of delivering an average frame-rate of 60fps at 4K, coming just six frames per second shy - settings tweaks are required to get the job done.

The Division DX11: Ultra, TAA

  • GTX 1070 Ti
  • GTX 1080
  • GTX 1080 Ti
  • Vega 56
  • Vega 64
  • GTX 1070 Ti
  • GTX 1080
  • GTX 1080 Ti
  • Vega 56
  • Vega 64

Far Cry Primal

Far Cry Primal, the prehistoric offshoot of the popular series, has a nice pastoral benchmark that we'll use for this test. The 2016 game is another challenging task at 4K, with the GTX 1080 Ti only reaching 57 frames per second; its nearest competitor is the Vega 64 at 44 frames per second so there's a pretty impressive chasm of performance here. At 1440p, things are rosier for all of the cards we're looking at, with the GTX 1080 Ti exceeding 100 frames per second, and both the GTX 1080 and Vega 64 reaching a healthy 78 frames per second.

Far Cry Primal: Ultra, SMAA

  • GTX 1070 Ti
  • GTX 1080
  • GTX 1080 Ti
  • Vega 56
  • Vega 64
  • GTX 1070 Ti
  • GTX 1080
  • GTX 1080 Ti
  • Vega 56
  • Vega 64

Ghost Recon Wildlands

Ghost Recon Wildlands, released in 2017, is the most stressful test we've got at the moment, with an absolutely devastating ultra detail quality preset that has brought every card we've tested it with to its knees. The GTX 1080 Ti is the first to manage nearly 60 frames per second at 1440p, but still falls to 38 frames per second at full 4K resolution. That means you'll need to choose a less stressful quality preset, or make use of a G-Sync monitor to make the lower frame-rate feel a little more fluid. Suffice to say that dropping to very high settings or even high claws back a tonne of performance.

Ghost Recon Wildlands: Ultra, TAA

  • GTX 1070 Ti
  • GTX 1080
  • GTX 1080 Ti
  • Vega 56
  • Vega 64
  • GTX 1070 Ti
  • GTX 1080
  • GTX 1080 Ti
  • Vega 56
  • Vega 64

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Rise of The Tomb Raider is a gorgeous game from 2016, and its integrated three-part benchmark makes it a great choice for performance testing. The game runs at an average frame-rate of 123fps at 1440p using the very high preset, which is a cool 24 per cent ahead of the GTX 1080's result. The GTX 1080 Ti also impresses at 4K, delivering an unmatched 64 frames per second. This bench should only be used to judge relative performance between GPUs, however. Actual gameplay is significantly more demanding.

Rise of the Tomb Raider: Very High, SMAA

  • GTX 1070 Ti
  • GTX 1080
  • GTX 1080 Ti
  • Vega 56
  • Vega 64
  • GTX 1070 Ti
  • GTX 1080
  • GTX 1080 Ti
  • Vega 56
  • Vega 64

The Witcher 3

The Witcher 3, released in 2015, is our final benchmark. The benchmark is a run through the muddy streets of Novigrad, with Roach and Geralt ploughing onward despite a torrent of abuse from the locals. The GTX 1080 Ti manages a comfortable 110 frames per second at 1440p, ensuring that the game could run well even on 1440p 144Hz monitors. 4K is a similarly strong result, with the GTX 1080 Ti providing 64 frames per second. Its nearest competitor is the GTX 1080, which sits a solid 26 per cent behind.

The Witcher 3: Ultra, POST-AA, No Hairworks

  • GTX 1070 Ti
  • GTX 1080
  • GTX 1080 Ti
  • Vega 56
  • Vega 64
  • GTX 1070 Ti
  • GTX 1080
  • GTX 1080 Ti
  • Vega 56
  • Vega 64

Cross-generational comparison

Our penultimate benchmark is this cross-generational comparison, which shows the GTX 1080 Ti compared to its high-end predecessors of previous generations. You can use the generational controls to the right of the video to see only cards from a certain era, if you prefer.

Assassin's Creed Unity: 1080p, Ultra High, FXAA

  • GTX 1070
  • GTX 1080
  • GTX 1080 Ti
  • GTX 970
  • GTX 980
  • GTX 980 Ti
  • GTX 780
  • GTX 780 Ti

Generational comparison

We'll conclude with a look at Nvidia's entire 10-series lineup to date. This is using 1080p resolution - the most popular display type. At 1440p or higher, the 1080 Ti's dominance is even more profound.

Assassin's Creed Unity: 1080p, Ultra High, FXAA

  • GT 1030
  • GTX 1050 2GB
  • GTX 1050 Ti
  • GTX 1060 6GB
  • GTX 1070
  • GTX 1070 Ti
  • GTX 1080
  • GTX 1080 Ti

With that, our look at the GTX 1080 Ti's benchmark results has come to an end.

For more on the GTX 1080 Ti, check out our full GTX 1080 Ti review.


Still considering which graphics card to choose? Take a look at our current pick for the overall best graphics card, or find out which is the best value graphics card as of summer 2018.


Thanks for checking out the article, and we'll see you on the next one!

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About the author

Will Judd

Will Judd

Senior Staff Writer, Digital Foundry

A bizarre British-American hybrid, Will turns caffeine into technology articles through a little-known process called 'writing'. His favourite games are Counter-Strike, StarCraft and Fallout 2.

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