May 7th NVIDIA released two new video cards; GTX 1080 and GTX 1070. The 1080 seems to be the most impressive card going, at least for the moment.
These cards sell for GTX 1080 US$599 and the GTX 1070 for $379. It sounds expensive, but these cards outperform anything else being made by a large margin. The Titan X is listed on Amazon for $1,149. The GTX1070 outperforms the Titan X. It outperforms the 980 by nearly 2 times and generates VR imaging at more than twice the rate.
The cards are based on the new Pascal Engine using 16nm FinFET chip design and come with 8GB of GDDR5X memory. Now I just have to wonder when the Linden Viewer will allow us to use all that RAM.
New features include; high quality screen-capture called: Ansel, Multi-screen projection, VRWorks Audio, VR PhysX, and VR Touch. Since SL does the physics server side, the PhysX isn’t that much help. I don’t recall any word of how physics is handled in Sansar. But, I suspect they are offloading every server task possible to improve the VR experience. So, this could be a big help for Sansar.
I also suspect Sansar is likely being built using 1080 pre-release hardware. NVIDIA has to do testing too.
There is an overclocker’s version of each they call the ‘Founder’s Edition’. It is made of ‘better materials’ and allows ‘more’ overclocking. I assume bigger and/or copper heat sinks. US$699 and $449.
We haven’t been hearing any rumors from AMD that they have anything comparable. They may have just done a good job of keeping what they are doing secret. Or they have nothing. Even if they do have something almost ready, the video card prices are obviously coming down. AMD is playing catch-up and their poor support of OpenGL isn’t winning them any fans in the SL crowd. AMD/ATI is claiming they are providing better close to the metal support for Vulkan, the OpenGL parallel track for video. But, when I emailed Oz Linden and asked about Vulkan, he said not in the near term plans. And I have heard nothing about how well or poorly AMD is handling Vulkan.
I’ve been looking at a GTX 980. But a single GTX1080 will outperform two 980’s in SLI configuration. THAT is impressive.
On Amazon a 980 goes new for US$445 to $540 and used ones for $360. With the 1080 beating those prices we can expect a dramatic drop in GTX980 prices. eBay has 980’s for US$575 and up. Auctioned 980’s are going for $450 and up. I think a 980 on the block this morning is going to go for $250, but the frantic bidding happens in the last two minutes. So, if you have been thinking of a new video card… you may find Christmas is coming early.