Along with this evening’s new of the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, NVIDIA has a couple other product announcements of sorts. First off, starting tomorrow, the GeForce GTX 1080 is getting an official $100 price cut, bringing the card's price to $499. Since the card launched back in May at $599, prices for the card have held fairly steady around that MSRP. So once this price cut goes into effect, it will have a significant effect on card prices. Though it should be noted that the price here is the base price for vendor custom cards; the Founder's Edition card was not mentioned. If it maintains its $100 premium, then that card would be coming down to $599.
Update: The new prices for both the GTX 1080 FE and GTX 1070 FE have been published by NVIDIA. The GTX 1080 FE is getting a steeper-than-MSRP cut of $150, bringing it to $549 and reducing the FE premium to $50. Meanwhile the GTX 1070 FE is getting a $50 price cut, moving it to $399.
As for the second announcement of the evening, NVIDIA has announced that their partners are going to be selling GeForce GTX 1080 and GTX 1060 6GB cards with faster memory. Partners will now have the option to outfit these cards with 11Gbps GDDR5X and 9Gbps GDDR5 respectively, to be sold as factory overclocked cards.
To understand the change, let’s talk briefly about how board partners work. Depending on the partner, the parts, and the designs, partners can buy anything from just the GPU, to the GPU and RAM, up to a fully assembled board (the Founder’s Edition). With the release of faster GDDR5X and GDDR5 bins, NVIDIA is now giving their board partners an additional option to use these faster memories.
|GeForce 10 Series Memory Clocks|
|GTX 1080||GTX 1060|
|Official Memory Clock||10Gbps GDDR5X||8Gbps GDDR5|
|New "Overclock" Memory Clock||11Gbps GDDR5X||9Gbps GDDR5|
To be clear, NVIDIA isn’t releasing a new formal SKU for either card. Nor are the cards' official specifications changing. However, if partners would like, they can now buy higher speed memory from NVIDIA for use in their cards. The resulting products will, in turn, be sold as factory overclocked cards, giving partners more configuration options for their factory overclocked SKUs.
As factory overclocking has always been done at the partner level, this doesn’t change the nature of the practice. Partners have, can, and will sell cards with factory overclocked GPUs and memory, with or without NVIDIA's help. However with NVIDIA’s official specs already driving the memory clocks so hard, there hasn’t been much headroom left for partners to play with; factory overclocked GTX 1080 cards don’t ship much above 10.2Gbps. So the introduction of faster memory finally opens up greater memory overclocking to the partners.
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