1080 vs 1080 Ti -Upgrading. The 1080 and 1080 Ti are both powerful graphics cards from Nvidia, but which should you pick, and is it worth upgrading to the 1080 Ti from the 1080? In this video we’ll benchmark some games at 4K, 1440p, and 1080p to answer these questions Specifically, I’m testing with the EVGA FTW2 1080, and MSI 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio.
I’ve done full reviews on both of these before, links are in the description. Both cards were tested in the same Windows 10 system, which is running an Intel 8700K overclocked to 5.1GHz in an attempt to rule out CPU bottlenecks, there’s 16GB of DDR4 memory at 2,666MHz. We can see the specs of the two cards are a little different, the 1080 Ti has over 1000 additional CUDA cores, 3GB extra memory which runs at a higher speed, and different base and boost clock speeds.
With that out of the way let’s take a look at the benchmark results! All results are the average of three runs, so they should be fairly accurate. Starting with The Witcher 3 at 1080p we can see that there’s a fair difference in performance between the 1080 and 1080 Ti, the averages we’re seeing here at 1080p even at ultra settings are fairly high. At 1440p we drop back a little and the 1080 Ti is still giving us a noticeable boost, but we’re still seeing good results.
Even at ultra settings the 1080 is giving us above 60 FPS for the 1% lows, pretty nice. At 4K the results aren’t too far apart, at least with ultra settings. The 1080 Ti is almost averaging 60 FPS and the 1080 isn’t far behind at all, I think realistically either of these cards is fine at 4K for this game. Watchdogs 2 is a fairly resource intensive game, however both cards have absolutely no problems with ultra settings at 1080p, even the 1080 is getting above 60 FPS in the 1% lows.
At 1440p the 1080 is averaging just under 60 FPS at ultra settings, so you’d need to drop down in settings if you want to maintain above this. The 1080 Ti on the other hand is still able to average above 60 FPS at all setting levels. At 4K the 1080 is pretty stuttery at ultra settings, the 1080 Ti is still going alright but we’re under the 60 FPS now, I found that it played best on high settings, which personally I think still looked pretty nice. I’ve run the built in benchmark tool with Shadow of War, at 1080p both cards are easily smashing it, averaging over 100 FPS at max settings with no problem. At 1440p we’re still getting pretty decent frame rates, there’s a fair difference between the 1080 and 1080 Ti. Running at 4K even the 1080 Ti isn’t able to maintain a 60 FPS average anymore, but again there’s still a noticeable difference between the two at ultra settings.
In Rise of the Tomb Raider I’ve also used the built in benchmark, and again at 1080p we’re getting really high frame rates at maximum settings with either card. At 1440p again even at ultra settings we’re still seeing really high frame rates, with above 120 FPS on the 1080 Ti and 100 from the 1080. At 4K the ultra frame rates almost drop by half, but we’re still averaging above 60 FPS with the 1080 Ti, and once again there’s a noticeable difference between the 1080 and 1080 Ti.
Ghost Recon is another fairly resource intensive game, and even at 1080p both cards aren’t averaging too far above 60 FPS, however the 1080 Ti’s 1% lows at almost all setting levels are higher than the 1080’s averages which I found interesting. At 1440p the 1080 Ti is now sitting right on a 60 FPS average at ultra settings, while the 1080 needs to drop down a little in settings to catch up.
Finally at 4K both cards are down fairly low at the higher setting levels, the 1080 Ti needs to drop down to high to average 60 FPS while the 1080 is only capable on the lowest setting. In the past I’ve found DOOM to not really differ too much between the different setting levels, and the same was observed here, and at 1080p you’re getting crazy high frame rates. At 1440p we’re still getting really high frame rates, above 120 FPS on average even with the 1080 at ultra settings.
Things change a bit at 4K, the 1% lows of the 1080 Ti are now better than all averages from the 1080, however the 1080 is still able to average above 60 FPS at ultra so it’s not too bad. In ashes of the singularity I’ve used the built in benchmark tool, and at 1080p we’re seeing a much larger difference between the two cards at the higher setting levels compared to the lower ones. At 1440p it’s pretty similar, and the 1080 is still able to average above 60 FPS at max settings.
At 4K we’re still averaging above 60 FPS at max settings with the 1080 Ti, and yet again the 1080 is showing a fairly sizeable drop in comparison. In terms of improvement, over all the games tested at the 1080p resolution on average the 1080Ti performed just 12.52% better than the 1080. At 1440p the 1080 Ti performed 19.75% better, and at 4K the 1080 Ti performed 30.48% better. Averaging all gaming tests at all resolutions results the 1080 Ti performing 20.92% better than the 1080. This was to be expected, as graphics cards perform better at higher resolutions as there is more work for them to do, in most cases you’re probably not buying either of these cards purely for 1080p gaming unless you really need very high frame rates.
Playing with higher resolutions widens the gap between the 1080 and 1080 Ti significantly, so if you’re looking to game at 4K while the 1080 is capable at doing an acceptable job at lower settings in many cases, but the 1080 Ti offers around 30% of an improvement, hitting 60 FPS averages at max settings in many games. Just quickly we’ll also look at some benchmark tools, I’ve tested Heaven, Valley, and Superposition benchmarks from Unigine.
On average throughout all of these synthetic tests we’re looking at a 38.5% improvement. This is why it’s always important to test with real games, because the benchmark tools are built to scale much better with better hardware, and don’t always show you the performance increase you’d see in the real world. Although the 1080 Ti performs better as expected, is it worth buying for the additional cost? At the time of recording, here in Australia this exact 1080 goes for around $850 AUD, while the 1080 Ti goes for $1300 AUD.
The prices seem to suck at the moment, probably from mining, I got my 1080 for about $100 less than that a few months ago and looking at PCPartPicker both seem to have seen recent price rises. Based on these prices, the 1080 Ti is over 50% of a price increase for around 30% of a performance gain, assuming you’re sticking to 4K games. In the US though it looks like the 1080 Ti is around $800 USD while the 1080 goes for $600 USD, so you’re paying 33% more for a 30% improvement which is much more reasonable, we really do get ripped off here in Australia.
So which graphics card would you pick? The 1080 or 1080 Ti? Personally I went with the 1080 as I currently just use 1080p monitors, and I wanted something that should last a while for that. If I was running higher resolutions though I’d definitely consider the 1080 Ti, especially for 4K gaming.
Be sure to let me know your thoughts down in the comments, and leave a share if you found the information useful. Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to subscribe for future tech reviews like this one.