Pascal. Polaris. It's the big GPU battle of 2016. If you've been following the rumour mill and various discourse from executives over the last few months, the battlelines are starting to become clear: AMD are going to target the mid-range end and below, while NVIDIA will be trying to knock it out of the park at the top end.
But it's all bluster, because we haven't seen any actual benchmarks yet. This morning, however, the first inklings of something firm began to emerge.
NVIDIA is set to unveil their first consumer-level Pascal cards at a briefing event tomorrow from Austin, Texas. It'll be livestreamed from 9:00 AM Sydney time, and I'll definitely be tuning in to see what the company has to say.
But more intriguing than that is the first set of benchmarks. Videocardz has posted a screenshot of a 3DMark11 test using a GeForce GTX 1080 with a Intel i7-5820K CPU.
According to the test, the GTX 1080 has 8GB of onboard RAM and is running at a core clock of 570MHz and a memory bus clock of 5005MHz. The GPU clocks are believed to be incorrect, however, and the test was supposedly run using 3DMark11's Performance preset — which only runs at 1280x720.
Hardly the most taxing resolution. There was a follow-up for the 3DMark FireStrike Extreme test, however, which is rendered at 1440p. FireStrike is a more exhaustive GPU test than 3DMark11, although the test was only run using a stock Intel i7-3770 CPU.
The scores were intriguing though: the GTX 1080 supposedly scored 8959 on the test, a several hundred points higher than what most stock GTX 980 Ti cards returned last year. It's believed that the GTX 1080's higher clock speeds are the source of most of the gains, and it'll be interesting to see how much room for overclocking the Pascal-based GPU has.
Plenty of questions remain, though. The big question for both Pascal and Polaris GPUs will be their capacity to handle 4K and VR content. The price point will also be of huge interest in tomorrow's livestream.
What are you expecting out of NVIDIA's cards tomorrow — and what would be the right price-to-performance point for an upgrade?