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New $600 Nvidia GTX card announced, faster than Titan X

Chipmaker announces the GTX 1080, which replaces the company's previous top-of-the-line card with more performance.

Tonight during a special event, Nvidia announced the GTX 1080 card, which is faster than the Titan X, the company's previous top-of-the-line card. It launches this month and will start at $600. The card boasts "irresponsible amounts of performance," Jen-Hsun Huang joked when announcing the GPU.

The GTX 1080 is based on the company's new Pascal architecture, which supersedes the company's Maxwell architecture, used in the company's 900 series graphics cards. According to Nvidia, billions of R&D dollars went into Pascal and it is the company's most efficient architecture based on the 16nm finfet process, which makes it the first of its kind. The card will also be the first of its kind to use 8GB of G5X video memory, which is the fastest GDDR memory around, and is produced by Micron.

The GTX 1080 is also extremely stable from a power standpoint. Huang showed a slide on stage that showed a GeForce GTX 980 having a peak-to-peak power fluctuation between 209mV. The 1080, on the other hand, featured a much more consistent power usage with a range of just 120mV. This should make performance more stable for the end user.

In terms of performance, Huang said that the 1080 is faster than two GTX 980s in SLI. It is worth noting that he did not specify under what conditions or resolution. Huang also mentioned that the card is faster than the company's current consumer flagship king, the GeForce GTX Titan. He added that it also consumes much less power.

To demonstrate the power of the card, Huang invited Tim Sweeney on stage to show off Epic's upcoming MOBA Paragon running in real time. In the demo, it was revealed that the GPU clock was running at 2.1GHz, which makes it the fastest core clock on an Nvidia GPU either air cooled or water cooled. This is impressive because the 1080 is an air-cooled card, and air-cooled cards generally do not run as fast as their water-cooled counterparts. We also saw the memory clock running at 5,508MHz during the demo with a memory usage of 2,655MB, all while running at a cool 67 degrees Celsius under load.

Did we mention that the demo looked great and ran at a constant 60fps?

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Huang also said that the 1080 is "crazy overclockable," would have 8GB of video memory, and would retail for both $599 and $699, the latter of which would be for the company's "Founder Edition" card which would be even more overclockable.

Huang did not delve into what makes it more overclockable compared to the stock version.

Huang then went on to reveal that the card would be coming out on May 27. And if that wasn't enough, Huang also unveiled the GeForce GTX 1070, which he stated is faster than the $1,000 Titan X. This is impressive since Huang revealed that the card would retail for $379 (with the Founder's Edition running for $449). The 1070 features 8GB of GDDR5 video memory (Editors' note: A previous version of this article stated the card would use G5X. This was incorrect.) and will release on June 10.