Why do I go on about high end graphics cards?

Let’s talk a little bit about my history of GPUs in modern times.

When I got back into computers a long while ago I did the thing where you post a question on a forum and take said suggestions. I was out of the loop for a very long time. I was suggested a Radeon 5770 and an AMD A6-3670k, so I bought that, and it was meh. As I learned more and got back up to date I upgraded to a GTX 660 3GB card from EVGA with a stock cooler and an Intel i7 4790s. After that I went to SLI and got a 2nd GTX 660 3GB. That was a big bump in speed with minimal issues in relation to SLI. The game I played most at the time was Counter-Strike Global Offensive and I had very little complaints, but I was starting to get into making videos for YouTube also at the time and felt I needed more and the possibility that my CPU was holding me back came to mind.

After all of that I started my adventure to the high end. At the time, I was rocking an i7 4790s which is the low power locked variant of devil’s canyon. I had the thing locked at 4GHz on both the core and the cache with my ASUS z97-A. My next upgrade was to the red side with an MSI R9 390x Gaming 8G. Going to that was a fun adventure in getting VERY advanced with tweaking. I did memory timing mods and multiple vBIOS mods to get every ounce of performance out of that GPU. During the life of that card I also upgraded my CPU to the rare i7 5775c and an ASUS z97 Sabretooth Mark 2. I learned at some point that I basically just want the best. I don’t enjoy fussing around with things as much as I thought. Price to performance ratios don’t factor in annoyance and time. So, I did a bunch of research that went like this; What was the best 980 ti in existence with the best bios mods to just make that thing max the clocks and stay there? The Gigabyte 980ti Xtreme Gaming. I absolutely LOVED that card. 1520mhz core clock like a beast. Then I upgraded to a 5820k CPU with the BEST and slightly affordable AsRock x99 Fatal1ty Professional Gaming i7. At this point I felt like the highest end was the only place I wanted to be. Now I’m not talking about overkill highest end, I’m talking about what platform gets me the highest frequency and highest single core performance. For the GPU what gets me the highest performance in EVERYTHING but is not a Titan X. The Titan X is for rich people or people that want to brag.

Let’s talk about the product stack for Nvidia, because be honest, that is all that matters right now. Generally, there are lines of differentiation for product stacks that coincide with price.

  • low end
    • 950
    • 960
    • 1030
    • 1050
  • budget
    • 970
    • 1050ti
    • 1060
  • mainstream
    • 980
    • 1070
    • 1080
  • high-end
    • 980ti
    • 1080ti
  • enthusiast
    • any titan

In order of performance this goes like this

  • 1080ti /Titan
  • 1080
  • 1070
  • 980ti
  • 1060
  • 980
  • 1050ti
  • 970
  • 1050

The reason the 1080ti and 980ti score so well is due to how Nvidia kneecaps the professional stuff in the core. You get more overclocking and boost headroom. Usually they end up scoring higher than the titan cards because of that but it’s not a hard and fast rule. Under the right conditions the Titan is faster.

So here I am now with a 1080ti and an 8700k. The 8700k has the highest single core performance right now and the 1080ti tops benchmark charts left and right without breaking the bank. I could have saved so much money if I just realized sooner that I could only tolerate the performance that the highest end products give.

It used to be that Nvidia would give you the full fat chip of the generation for the ti card but with the 1080ti and Pascal we got a cut down card. I’m expecting this same exact thing to happen with Turing. Going by strict definition of what makes a product in whatever stack it’s in we will be seeing a midrange card being the xx80ti for Turing. I’m a sucker for having the best. I’ll wait it out until I see what Turing does and what launches and get the best of the best from whatever vendor sells the best AIB version. I predict it’ll be between EVGA and Gigabyte with Asus being a wildcard possibility.

This is going to be an exciting launch of new cards and it will further push Radeon Technologies Group to try harder. Will Radeon keep going for budget to midrange and failing or will they just fucking go for it and attempt to dethrone?