Nvidia‘s Pascal architecture brought major advancements to their graphics card offerings, with the GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 representing the pinnacle of their consumer lineup upon release in 2016. Even several years later, these GPUs remain viable options for gamers seeking high frame rates at 1440p and 4K resolutions respectively.
In this comprehensive comparison guide, we‘ll examine all the key differences between the GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 to help you decide which is the better graphics card for your needs and budget.
GTX 1070 vs 1080 Specs Comparison
The GTX 1070 and 1080 share the same Pascal architecture but are targeted at different performance levels, as the specs comparison table below shows:
|GTX 1070||GTX 1080|
|Base Clock||1506 MHz||1607 MHz|
|Boost Clock||1683 MHz||1733 MHz|
|Memory Speed||8 Gbps||10 Gbps|
|Memory Configuration||8 GB GDDR5||8 GB GDDR5X|
|Memory Bandwidth||256 GB/s||320 GB/s|
|Power Connectors||1 x 8-pin||1 x 8-pin|
The key advantage of the GTX 1080 lies in its 2560 CUDA cores, compared to just 1920 on the GTX 1070. CUDA cores handle graphical computations, so more cores equate to higher processing power and frame rates.
The 1080 also has higher reference clock speeds, faster GDDR5X memory, and 320 GB/s memory bandwidth versus 256 GB/s on the 1070. These specs allow the 1080 to achieve up to 30% better gaming performance compared to the 1070.
However, the GTX 1070 is still very capable, using the same Pascal architecture. It also has 8GB of VRAM – plenty for modern games at 1440p resolution.
Performance and Gaming Benchmarks
We‘ve established that the GTX 1080 is the faster card based on specs, but how does real-world gaming performance compare? Here we‘ll examine some average FPS benchmarks from reliable sources:
|Game||Resolution||GTX 1070 FPS||GTX 1080 FPS|
|Middle Earth: Shadow of War||1920 x 1080||126 FPS||145 FPS|
|Rise of the Tomb Raider||2560 x 1440||70 FPS||90 FPS|
|The Witcher 3||3840 x 2160||35 FPS||55 FPS|
At 1080p resolution, both cards deliver very high frame rates, though the 1080 is around 15% faster. When increasing to 1440p, the 1080 maintains smooth 60+ FPS performance in demanding titles where the 1070 dips into the 50s. And at 4K resolution, the 1080 holds a significant advantage, achieving 55-60 FPS versus only 30-40 FPS on the 1070.
So if you want to max out settings and enable extra eye candy at 1440p or especially 4K, the GTX 1080 is the better choice. But for high frame rates at 1080p, the cheaper GTX 1070 is still quite capable.
Thanks to their Pascal architecture, both the GTX 1070 and 1080 overclock well to push performance even higher. Here are some average overclocks owners have achieved on each card:
- GTX 1070 – 150 MHz Core / 400 MHz Memory
- GTX 1080 – 200 MHz Core / 500 MHz Memory
As you‘d expect, the 1080 has more headroom for overclocking. In tests by GamersNexus, they managed a 15% core clock overclock on the 1080 compared to 11% on the 1070.
Overclocking results will vary based on factors like cooling and power delivery. But with its higher stock clocks, the 1080 also benefits more from overclocking to extend its performance lead over the GTX 1070.
Power and Thermals
The GTX 1070 enjoys a distinct advantage when it comes to power efficiency and thermals:
- Its TDP rating is just 150W versus 180W on the GTX 1080
- Actual gaming power draw is around 120W vs 150W
- The 1070 requires only a single 8-pin power connector
This gives the 1070 an edge in small form factor builds, as well as quieter and cooler operation under load. The 1080 will require a more robust cooling solution to tame its higher heat output and power draw, especially in cramped mini-ITX cases.
So if low noise, cool temperatures, and basic power needs are priorities, the GTX 1070 is the more suitable choice. But the 1080 delivers noticeably faster speeds in exchange for its higher power requirements.
The GTX 1070 and 1080 offer identical display connectivity:
- 1 x DVI
- 1 x HDMI 2.0b
- 3 x DisplayPort 1.4
This gives you ample options to connect high resolution, high refresh rate gaming monitors. Both cards also support HDR, 4K at 120Hz, and 5K at 60Hz through DisplayPort.
The HDMI 2.0b ports allow 4K 60Hz output, which is perfect for big-screen gaming TVs. Overall, you get full support for the latest display standards without any connectivity limitations on either card.
Pricing and Value Considerations
Upon launch in 2016, the GTX 1080 cost $599 while the GTX 1070 retailed for $379 – a price gap of about 60%. In 2023, here are current prices for new models of each card:
- EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 SC Gaming – $310
- ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1080 – $500
The 1080 is still around 60% more expensive for approximately 30% higher gaming performance. However, both cards now offer excellent value compared to modern GPUs.
The GTX 1070 manages high frame rates in any game at 1080p, while also delivering smooth 60 FPS gameplay at 1440p resolution. It remains one of the best graphics cards for high refresh rate 1080p gaming.
The GTX 1080 can max out AAA titles at 1440p while also providing a decent 4K gaming experience. If your target resolution is above 1080p, the 1080 gives you more headroom for higher quality settings.
Either card is a smart purchase in 2023 for playing the latest games without breaking the bank. But if budget is a primary concern, the GTX 1070 is the clear value winner.
GTX 1070 vs 1080: Key Considerations
Here are some final pros and cons to weigh up between the GTX 1070 and GTX 1080:
- Excellent value for 1080p and 1440p gaming
- Lower power draw and cooler thermals
- Can fit in more compact PC builds
- Quieter acoustic profile under load
- Not fast enough for maxed settings at 4K resolution
- Less overclocking headroom
- Up to 30% faster gaming performance
- Smoother experience at 1440p and 4K resolutions
- Handles max settings in any game
- More potential through overclocking
- Higher price tag
- Requires more robust cooling
- Higher power consumption
For pure value, the GTX 1070 is hard to beat. But if you want to future-proof your system and achieve the best possible speeds, the GTX 1080 is worth the extra cost.
Carefully consider your target resolution, graphics settings, and fps when choosing between these two capable Pascal GPUs from Nvidia.
The Verdict: GTX 1080 for 4K, 1070 for 1440p Gaming
The GeForce GTX 1080 is the undisputed performance winner, with its 2560 CUDA cores and rapid 10Gbps GDDR5X memory propelling it to higher speeds, especially at 4K resolution.
But for smooth 60+ fps gaming at 1440p, the GTX 1070 gets the job done while costing around $200 less. It‘s also more power efficient, allowing integration into smaller form factor builds.
If your dream is no compromises, max settings 4K gaming, go for the GTX 1080. But for the best blend of price and performance, the GTX 1070 will satisfy most gamers with its stellar 1080p and 1440p frame rates.
Either Pascal graphics card remains a viable mid-range option after several years on the market. For affordability plus great 1080p and 1440p speeds from a modern GPU, choose the GTX 1070. If you desire the ultimate 4K gaming experience, the superior performance of the GTX 1080 makes it our enthusiast recommendation despite its higher price point.