A quick explanation of the title for those non-PC gamers among you – 4K denotes a graphical resolution of 3840 pixels by 2160 pixels, something consoles can’t pull off. The GTX 1080 on the other hand is the latest flagship product in nVidia’s line-up of graphics cards. Good? Good.
Well, GTA V being the graphical beast that it is on PC isn’t something any old rig could run at 1080p on high settings with stable 60 FPS, let alone on ultra settings at 4K. However, in the latest benchmarking video running the fresh and crispy GTX 1080, that’s exactly what we can see.
Well, almost. 4K gaming is still something that is extremely hardware-taxing and even the newest cutting edge GPUs can’t handle it alone. Running GTA V, a game from early last year, at ultra settings on 4K resolution had the GTX 1080 sweating – it struggled to maintain the 60 FPS average, just barely failing and dipping into the 50s quite frequently.
Nowadays, stable 4K gaming is achieved either through SLi, Crossfire or stolen classified military technology. SLi and Crossfire are basically the same thing, but since AMD hates nVidia and nVidia hates AMD they obviously have to use different names for the same tech.
Basically, SLi allows multiple graphics cards to work simultaneously, at an efficiency drop. Basically, when you have one card, you can potentially max it out to 100% performance (though this isn’t recommended). In SLi, you can have multiple cards (up to 4 unless you’re into hardware-hacking) working together, however the more you hook up, the less performance each will provide moving further.
There are a few drawbacks. Each card should be the same type and usually the same brand and model too. SLi and Crossfire both require the biggest and baddest PSUs out there to supply enough power, they’ll wreak havoc on your cooling if you’re not careful and there’s obviously the cost involved.
However, with the GTX 1080 boasting significantly better performance than the Titan X, players were hoping that this is the first truly stand-alone 4K GPU.
Unfortunately, this benchmark says otherwise – then again, both GTA V and Batman Arkham Knight (the other game used for the benchmark) run on DX11, so DX12 enabled games might benefit from the better optimization.
The GTX 1080 couldn’t keep up a steady 60 FPS while running Batman Arkham Knight at 4K and ultra settings either – however here it isn’t because the card is weak, but rather because the game is an un-optimized and horribly buggy mess that probably never should have been released on PC at all.
As for playing games at 4K with a single card, players will probably need to hold out for the inevitable launch of the GTX 1080 Ti. While AMD isn’t resting on its laurels either, that company is keeping to the tried and true trend of offering PC gamers a better performance/value ratio. While nVidia cards almost always offer better performance than their AMD counterparts, AMD in turn gets you better bang for your buck.
Will you be upgrading your PC anytime soon? Do you plan on playing GTA V at 4K on ultra settings at some point?
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