A few days ago NVIDIA released the GTX1060. The 1060 is the mid-range video card for gamers. The GTX1080 has been out for some time and it was the top end video graphics card for gamers. Now 25% faster than the 1080 is NVIDIA’s 2016 Titan X (Pascal) Video Card nearing its release date, August 2, 2016. (NowInStock)
The cost of a GTX1080 is in the US$700 to $800 range. The 2016 Titan X is rumored to have a MSRP of $1,200. That is 50% more in cost for 25% more in performance. Not the most GPU per dollar but, it is fast. For the enthusiast this is sort of like comparing a Geo-Metro to a Farrari using cost per pound (kilogram) or top speed. Incomplete comparison.
There is the previous Titan that sells for US$1,500+ and was the top gamer’s video card. The Nvidia 1080 just matched the previous Titan in standard 2D/3D performance and did it at about half the cost. Of course there is that VR thing where the 1080 blew even the Titan out of the water.
And in Second Life?
Is the Titan going to give us better performance when running a Second Life viewer? Probably, but very probably not as much as one might expect. In the 980’s era (OK, last year, 2015) those using Titan cards were getting very few frames per second more than those using a 980. The same is expected for 1080 vs 2016 Titan X.
We can use CPU-Z, GPU-Z, and Open Hardware Monitor (all free) to look inside our computers to see what is happening. There we can look for a bottleneck. Is the CPU running at 90% to 100%? Upgrading the CPU will help. Is the GPU running at 90-100%? A new video card will help.
But what if the CPU and GPU are running at 25% and we are stuck at 10 fps? This is when we learn that the WHOLE machine has to work well together. Is it slow memory? Is it a slow motherboard? Slow access to the hard drive? Is the PCIe bus overloaded? In many cases the problem is NOT the CPU or GPU and that makes speeding things up complicated.
So, the consensus I see in the Second Life Forum is high end graphics cards that will only ever be used for SL are NOT worth the money. If you also play GTA, Black Desert, and other graphically demanding games a high-end card is worth the money. Unless, of course, you are rich. Then the question is are you cute too? Then… call me…