Next for GPU rendering: the GTX 1080

Friday, 20 May 2016

It’s the moment that every gamer has been waiting for. NVIDIA’s first consumer-grade graphics card based on their new Pascal architecture is finally here. And it's good news for VFX artists too.

Next for GPU rendering: the GTX 1080

It’s not the first Pascal GPU – that was the Tesla P100 – but the 1080 is the first to connect via PCIe, so it’s the first one that can actually be used for VFX and gaming (as opposed to the kind of deep learning that would break your workstation).

Boasting a boggling 2560 CUDA cores and 160 texture units, the 1080 sets a new standard for speed. And it manages to be smaller and quieter than either Maxwell or the massive P100. Pascal architecture doesn’t need as much power or cooling as Maxwell either, pulling only 180W in contrast with the 980 Ti’s 250W.

Size, power consumption and cooling are all important factors for VFX studios thinking of taking the GPU rendering route. With the 1080's 8GB of GDDRX memory, you can render with Redshift on this card - although with renderers like Octane and V-Ray RT the Titan X's 12GB memory would be less limiting.

The 1080’s enhanced lossless memory compression and up to 8:1 colour compression (given small enough deltas) reduce the call on its already impressive bandwidth. It supports HDR, simultaneous multi-projection and real-time workloads.

This really is Nvidia showing they’re still at the top of their game. And with GPU rendering becoming an increasingly appealing solution for many studios, small and mighty GPUs are big news for VFX artists. If you're interested in finding out more about graphics cards and GPU rendering then give Mark Coleman a call.