NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Review: A Look At 4K & Ultra-wide Gaming

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by Rob Williams on May 17, 2016 in Graphics & Displays

NVIDIA’s Pascal architecture brings a lot of goodness to the table, and its GeForce GTX 1080 encapsulates it all. This card isn’t just faster than the TITAN X, it can sometimes even beat out SLI’d GTX 980s. There’s a lot more than just performance boosts with this card, though, so let’s dive in and tackle all of what makes it so great.

Tests: The Witcher 3, Rainbow Six Siege & Total War: ATTILA

Since the original The Witcher title came out in 2007, the series has become one of the best RPGs going. Each one of the titles in the series offers deep gameplay, amazing locales, and comprehensive lore. Wild Hunt, the series’ third game, also happens to be one of the best-looking games out there and requires a beefy PC to take great advantage of.

Testing: Our saved game starts us just outside Hierarch Square, where we begin a manual runthrough (literally – the run button is held down as much as possible) through and around the town, to wind up back at a bridge near a watermill (pictured below). The entire runthrough takes about 90 seconds. Please note that while ‘Ultra’ detail is used, NVIDIA’s HairWorks is not.

The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 - The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt (3840x2160)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 - The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt (3440x1440)

At 3440×1440, The Witcher 3 runs like a dream on the GTX 1080, and it offers ample performance at 4K (not dipping under 45 FPS). Even though the game takes advantage of SLI, the GTX 1080 proves too much for the duoing 980s.

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege

If you think it’s hard to keep track of Tom Clancy games, you sure are not alone. Siege came out just this past winter, and while it focuses heavily on co-op play, solo players are welcomed, too. The game puts a huge emphasis on destructible environments, which could both harm or help a given scenario.

Testing: This game has a suitable built-in benchmark, so I’ve opted to stick with that. After the test is run, the overall results are fetched.

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 - Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege (3840x2160)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 - Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege (3440x1440)

By now, if you’re not a little bit tempted by 3440×1440, then I might have failed at my job. In Siege, the GTX 1080 delivers a staggering 113 FPS, versus 68 FPS at 4K, all while displaying more of the game world. It’s a definite win/win resolution for the high-end gamer.

That aside, this is another game that puts the GTX 1080 ahead of the SLI’d 980s. Even the TITAN X manages to outperform that configuration here.

Total War: ATTILA

For strategy fans, the Total War series needs no introduction. ATTILA is the latest in the series, which will remain true for only the next week, as Warhammer is due to launch. Thankfully, any recent Total War game is suitable for benchmarking, and our results are going to prove that.

Testing: ATTILA includes a built-in benchmark, so again, I’ve decided to use that. However, as I do with Metro, I stick to Fraps for framerate capturing as the game’s results page isn’t too convenient.

Total War ATTILA
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 - Total War ATTILA (3840x2160)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 - Total War ATTILA (3440x1440)

How does 33 FPS at 4K sound? Awful? That’s correct! It’s a little impressive to see a game quite so hardcore, using a built-in preset (Extreme). Even with dual 1080s utilized to the max, the game would hit just 50 FPS minimum! Fortunately, it won’t take much to get far more playable framerates; the Extreme preset just makes for an easy, but brutal test.

Rob Williams

Rob founded Techgage in 2005 to be an 'Advocate of the consumer', focusing on fair reviews and keeping people apprised of news in the tech world. Catering to both enthusiasts and businesses alike; from desktop gaming to professional workstations, and all the supporting software.

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