The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti was perhaps the first graphics card that could actually handle 4K gaming without sacrificing too much in the way of frame-rate or detail settings, although now it’s fallen behind the newly released RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti. The GTX 1080 Ti is 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 retailers looking to liquidate their GTX 1080 Ti stock and the high launch prices of the RTX cards, the GTX 1080 Ti may yet remain a viable choice.
With such a degree of power at your fingertips, 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 this graphics card is also able to drive VR headsets such as the HTC Vive Pro, high resolution ultra-wide monitors and even 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 sits only behind the RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti on our ranking 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 against its little brother, the GTX 1080, plus the new new Turing cards, the RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti. We’ll also throw in AMD’s top-end GPU Vega 64 to give you an idea of how Team Red stacks up against Team Green (spoiler: Team Red might be just slightly behind the times). It’s worth noting that the RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti cards we tested are factory overclocked Founders Edition models, while the GTX 10-series cards came at reference clocks.
For each game, you’ll see our new bespoke Digital Foundry benchmarking system if you’re viewing the desktop version of this page. 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.
We begin with a classic title that still threatens modern cards, 2014’s Assassin’s Creed Unity. The 1080 Ti remains level with the RTX 2080 here, proving that the 1080 Ti could be a better value purchase given its lower price point than the next-generation hardware – at least in some titles. However, the GTX 1080 Ti is still 23 per cent behind its successor. The Vega 64 struggles with the game’s depth of field effect, which explains its wide variance here.
2016 title Battlefield 1 is our next test. As the game lacks a dedicated benchmark, we’ve jury-rigged a repeatable section from the game’s short but sweet campaign mode. In contrast to our previous test, the RTX 2080 pulls ahead of the GTX 1080 Ti here, with about a nine per cent margin. The Vega 64 and GTX 1080 are slower still, but both cards still exceed 60fps.
Crysis 3 remains a popular benchmark in the Digital Foundry dungeons, thanks to its remarkably high system requirements when played at 4K at very high settings despite coming out more than five years ago, in 2013. The GTX 1080 Ti outperforms the RTX 2080 here, delivering around 54fps, although the RTX 2080 Ti is some distance ahead at a comfortable 68fps. The Vega 64 is noticeably worse than even the GTX 1080, with a deficit of around 12 per cent.
Far Cry 5, released in 2018, is our first of three new benchmarks to debut alongside our RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti reviews, so we’ve included it in this new iteration of our GTX 1080 Ti benchmarks as well. The 1080 Ti slips a little behind the RTX 2080 in this newer title, although the difference is only a frame-and-a-half per second. The RTX 2080 Ti, meanwhile, is able to score 75 frames per second, ensuring even its lowest one per cent scores remain above the 60fps waterline.
2017 open-world shooter Ghost Recon Wildlands remains the most stressful test we’ve got at the moment, with an absolutely devastating ultra detail quality preset that is capable of reining in the new RTX cards, let alone the GTX 1080 Ti. Still, Nvidia’s card does reasonably well here with an average result of 38fps, just a shade behind the RTX 2080. Of course, the ultra preset is hardly a requirement to play this game, and we’d recommend switching to high or very high to attain a 60fps result. Another option would be to enlist the help of a G-Sync monitor, to make the near-40fps frame-rate a little more fluid and consistent on the GTX 1080 Ti.
Rise of the Tomb Raider comes with an interesting three-party benchmark, although it’s not quite as demanding as the game itself. The GTX 1080 Ti outperforms the newer and more expensive RTX 2080 here, although the difference is just a couple of frames per second. However, the previous performance champion is still 20 per cent behind the new RTX 2080 Ti.
Our second new benchmark is the 2018 Tomb Raider game, Shadow of the Tomb Raider. As well as being more representative of in-game performance, the benchmark is also unsurprisingly more challenging. Only the RTX 2080 Ti is able to average over 60fps at 4K, with the GTX 1080 Ti a significant 28 per cent behind. The RTX 2080 card also outperforms the GTX 1080 Ti here, as the newer game is better able to take advantage of the new architecture. It’s also worth bearing in mind that these results on the RTX cards could be further improved by DLSS, which could see even the RTX 2080 hit 60 frames per second at 4K which would make the GTX 1080 Ti completely outclassed.
The Witcher 3, released in 2015, remains a favourite for system testers and gaming fans alike. Our run through the capital city of Novigrad shows the GTX 1080 Ti almost managing to hit 60fps at 4K, turning in an average result just four frames shy of the target. That’s around 11 frames per second faster than the GTX 1080 and Vega 64, which may need to adopt lower settings or use a variable refresh rate monitor to smooth out the proceedings. However, the RTX cards again end up in front, with nine per cent faster performance for the RTX 2080 over the GTX 1080 Ti, and 39 per cent faster performance for the RTX 2080 Ti over the 1080 Ti.
Our third and final new game benchmark is 2017 Wolfenstein outing, The New Colossus. We’ve selected a section from the game’s campaign which sees BJ astride the Panzerhund on the streets of New Orleans, giving the game’s visuals a chance to strain our testing rigs. There’s a pretty regular gap between each of the five cards we’ve tested here, with the RTX 2080 Ti holding a 22 per cent lead over the RTX 2080 and a 33 per cent lead over the GTX 1080 Ti – one of the biggest gaps we’ve seen between these two cards.
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. The new GeForce RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti review might also be of interest! Finally, you can see how the GTX 1080 Ti compares to the new RTX 2080.
Now that you’ve seen the benchmarks for one card, why not check out see which GPUs we recommend? Click through to see Digital Foundry’s updated selections for the best graphics cards and for the best gaming monitors of 2018.