Nvidia has announced its next-generation graphics cards GTX1080 and GTX1070 that have the potential to radically change the picture experience on PC monitors. The new cards support up to 240Hz frame rates, HDR (high dynamic range), and better VR. Prices start at just $379 dollars.
A giant leap forward
Graphics cards for PCs have been stuck on 28nm (nanometer) technology for years while mobile processors have raced ahead with 16 and 14nm technology. Nvidia is now finally ready to take advantage of 16nm and it will dramatically improve picture and VR quality.
The new GTX1080 card will first and foremost support a maximum resolution of 7680x4320 pixels at 60Hz – also called 8K. It will also support 1080p and 1440p at an amazing 240 Hz (at least in theory), 1440p in 21:9 format at 190Hz and 4K at 120Hz. It is equipped with HDMI 2.0b and DisplayPort 1.3 (that can be firmware-upgraded to DisplayPort 1.4) ports.
However, more importantly the new graphics architecture supports HDR (high dynamic range). HDR is currently available on some high-end TV and can improve the picture drastically through an extended dynamic range.
“HDR lighting” in games is not the same as actual HDR reproduction. HDR requires a high-end display technology such as OLED for the best effect.
HDR has not been supported on PC monitors until now as it requires a fundamentally different data-to-light function and 10-bit colors. It is by many considered to be a more important picture improvement than the jump from HD to 4K resolution.
Now we just HDR-capable monitors.
Nvidia will also release a cheaper GTX1070 that is believed to support the same features.
Improved VR performance
Nvidia says that its new cards have “2x more performance” than the previous Titan X card but are still significantly cheaper and more power efficient. That also translates into much better VR performance.
Nvidia claims that VR performance is “up to 3x faster than previous-generation graphics cards”, which lays the groundwork for better VR experiences in Oculus Rift and HTC Vive as well as future VR headsets with higher resolution.
Nvidia GTX1080 will be released on May 27 for $599 and GTX1070 will be released on June 10 for $379.