Overall Score 4.4  


We are not sure the dust has settled around the latest Nvidia Pascal GPU architecture launch, not even the AMD’s new R9 480 graphics card has managed to steal the stage entirely. We remember the original GeForce 256 which replaced the Riva TNT2 and basically started the graphics world you know today. It introduced phrases such as transform and lighting to gaming and advertisements. We loved the Riva TNT2 and Riva 128, Matrox, S3, the Voodoo 3DFX range, Rendition and giving Nvidia a run for its money over the past 17 years, ATI.

There was a lot of nerd romance around at the time, every new release provided some sort of new feature and generational jump that sent the geek and gaming world into a spin. It also really cemented the benchmarking world and most of the sites you visit today came from that generation of evolution and revolution. The very first “add-in” card for graphics I laid my hands on was the ATI 3D Rage I, after that the Mach64 GT-B or Rage II. All that was kicking about to really give you the best graphical experience was the 3DFX Voodoo 2 cards because you could use two of them in SLi, or Scan-Line Interleave, something that Nvidia would later buy the blueprints to and develop Scalable Link Interface. Talking of SLi, the GTX 1000 series will support up to 4-way SLi with the use of an enthusiasts key for 3 and 4-way SLi.

So what’s all this about? Well, we have become a bit jaded with the whole graphics market, everything is PR and hype, and when you get the cards to test, sure they are good, but they are nowhere near the old school generational jumps that AMD or Nvidia claim to be. So when we watched the AMD Fury presentations and read all the hype, we thought “amazing, HBM, something to jump forward in the way we want”. It kinda happened, the Fury and Fury X cards are some of our favourites, but an over controlling AMD stopped the vendors from really letting their hair down.

Still, put a Fury or Fury X into your system and you won’t look back. Also, they really dropped a clanger with the re-badge of the R9 200 series as the 300 Series, and a completely inadequate HDMI implementation. The XFX R9 390X DD is still one of the best cards out there, however just know its limitations and you will be fine if you do not depend on them.

So we look to Nvidia to restore our faith, the GTX 980 Ti went a little way to help, though we would have never bought a Ti in the past, whatever happened to the GTX 590 Ultra, that was the flagship range, not the Ti. Too many people flashing the 590 cards vanilla firmware to an Ultra firmware, including us, for Nvidia to make the profit they wanted perhaps?

Ok, rose-tinted glasses now removed and no more beer for the Hardwareslave team before we are finished with this one, well maybe just a little. Let’s welcome the Nvidia GTX 1080 Founders Edition, or in this review, the EVGA Nvidia GTX 1080 Founders Edition and see if it scratches that itch, or is more hype.

We are not going to republish Nvidia’s feature list, if you want more information on the Pascal GPU series, click here.


 EVGA GTX 1080 Founders EditionGeForce GTX 980 TiGeForce GTX 980GeForce GTX TITAN X
Stream Processors2560281620483072
Core Clock Base1607 MHz1000 MHz1126 MHz1000 MHz
Core Clock Boost1733 MHz1075 MHz1216 MHz1075 MHz
Texture Units160176128192
Memory Clock10000MHz7010MHz7010MHz7010MHz
Memory Bus Width256-bit384-bit256-bit384-bit
Transistor Count7.2 Billion8 Billion5.2 Billion8 Billion
Manufacturing ProcessTSMC 16nmTSMC 28nmTSMC 28nmTSMC 28nm
Launch DateMay 2016June 2015Sept 2014March 2015

The Nvidia GTX 1080 Founders Edition is based on Nvidia’s second largest GPU based on the Pascal architecture, the GP104. The GP104 supersedes the GM204 which powered the GTX 980 and GTX 970 cards. It features a higher transistor count at 7.2 billion when compared to the 5.2 billion of the GM204.

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Consumer Experience