For avid PC gamers, there are a few events each year which hold the power to lure away even the most devoted players. The first is the annual Consumer Electronics Show, which takes place each January and hosts a slew of upgrades, big reveals, and out-of-this-world prototypes in everything from sweat-wicking smart wearables to Thor’s hammer-shaped gaming rigs. It’s a veritable smorgasbord of new tech; an event everyone from comic book nerds to doctors and everyone in between can appreciate. The second is one that panders almost exclusively to devoted gamers (as its name clearly indicates) - the Game Developers Conference (GDC). The GDC has become widely known for hosting the reveals of some of the most anticipated developments in gaming, graphics, and processing each year. One of the most buzzed-about topics of this year’s GDC surrounded what announcement NVIDIA would make about their new flagship GPU – and true to form, they did not disappoint.
NVIDIA proudly unveiled their newest graphics card at GDC, the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, and it’s a beast and a beauty. The company boasts that their newest GPU will provide 35 percent faster performance than the GTX 1080 before it, and even claims that it is faster than the $1,200 behemoth they launched just last year, the Titan X. This is possible due to a couple of key upgrades to both the hardware and the software of the GPU. First of all, it packs 11GB of GDDR5X memory and an 11Gbps data rate. Second, it’s been outfitted with a newly designed thermal vapor cooling system, which dissipates heat from the card and delivers twice the airflow of the GTX 1080. Together, this ensures the GPU can handle any VR or 4K/5K HDR gaming you throw at it. As for software upgrades, tiled caching and compression help to double the video card’s raw bandwidth.
The GTX 1080 Ti will retail for just $699 when it goes on official sale next week. That’s a decent chunk of change, but when you consider that in some areas it actually outperforms the Titan X, a GPU aimed partially at artificial intelligence development, it kind of feels like a steal. Per usual, there will also be an NVIDIA-branded Founders Edition version, though details for that have not yet been released. You’ll be able to get your hands on one in just a few short days, when they go on sale on March 10. To ensure you’re not left out in the subpar-gaming-visuals cold, pre-orders for the new GPU started this week, so I would get on that soon if you’re in the market to completely trick-out the display of your PC. If $699 is still just a little too rich for your blood, NVIDIA recently gifted the GTX 1080 with a $100 price drop as well. At the new low cost of just $499, that should put it in reach for casual gamers who are willing to sacrifice just a bit of performance in the name of still being able to pay their rent.
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