GTX 1080 Ti SLI Performance in 25 Games

Performance Summary Charts & Conclusion

Performance summary charts

Here are the summary charts of 25 games and 3 synthetic tests. The highest settings are always chosen; DX12 is picked above DX11 where available, and the settings are ultra or maxed.  Specific settings are listed on the performance charts.  The benches were run at 1920×1080, 2560×1440, 3840×1440, and at 3840×2160.

All results, except for FireStrike, Time Spy, and VRMark show average framerates and higher is always better. Minimum framerates are shown next to the averages when they are available, but they are in italics and in a slightly smaller font. The GTX 1080 Ti performance results are in the first column and GTX 1080 Ti SLI results are shown in the second column.  The 3rd column shows the percentage increase between the two configurations – “0” represents no scaling (or even negative scaling which becomes zero when SLI is disabled), while any number result is the SLI performance increase over a single GTX 1080 Ti.

Out of the 25 games that we tested, 9 do not scale at all, 2 more games have mixed scaling results depending on resolution, and one more game (TW Warhammer) needs to be played in DX11 as it scales negatively in DX12.  On top of this, Fallout 4 has serious issues with its engine when it is pushed past 60 FPS, so SLI’d GTX 1080 Tis are only useful for 3840×2160.

We also note that GTX 1080 Ti SLI is overkill for 1920×1080 as it generally scales rather poorly compared with scaling at higher resolutions.  Ideally, a gamer would pick GTX 1080 Ti SLI for 4K resolution.  The games that benefit will sometimes have some dramatic performance increases, often from 20% to sometimes nearly 90%.

DX12 games appear to have some real issues with SLI support and it has to be implemented by the developer for it to work at all.  In fact, Ashes of the Singularity supports DX12 multi-GPU but requires that SLI (and CrossFire) be turned off in the control panel or you will get some very mixed results.

VR

We also ran Futuremark’s VRMark Blue Room which is designed to test future VR games.  It appears that SLI does not scale particularly well with VR yet at only 23%, and even overclocked +120MHz on the cores and +400MHz on the memory, our pair of GTX 1080 Tis are insufficient for running the Blue Room test adequately even though BTR’s PC is in the top 3% of PCs tested!

Let’s head for our conclusion.

Conclusion

This has been quite an enjoyable exploration for us in comparing GTX 1080 Ti against GTX 1080 Ti SLI.  SLI scaling is good performance-wise in mostly older games and where the devs specifically support SLI in newer and DX12 games.

The $699 GTX 1080 Ti is certainly expensive but it stands alone as the world’s fastest gaming GPU, even ahead of the $1200 TITAN X.  However, SLI’d GTX 1080 Tis are out of reach of most gamers at over $1400.  It is pretty clear that CrossFire or SLI scaling in the newest games, especially with DX12, are going to depend on the developers’ support for each game requiring a SLI gamer to occasionally fall back to DX11.  We also note that recent drivers may break SLI scaling that once worked and even a new game patch may affect SLI game performance dramatically.

The GTX 1080 Ti along with the TITAN X are ideal cards for 4K but if a gamer wants to enable totally maxed out settings, sometimes only SLI’d GTX 1080 Tis may suffice.

 

The Verdict:

  • If you want the fastest video card configuration available today, GTX 1080 Ti SLI at $1400 is in a class completely by itself.  But if you play the very latest games on Day 1 and rarely revisit your games, SLI may not be your best choice.
  • Not every game will scale with SLI and many DX12 games do not scale at all.  If you have a large library, revisit your older games often, and don’t mind waiting for a SLI profile, then GTX 1080 Ti SLI may well be your best choice for the very fastest video card gaming configuration that money can buy.

 

Stay tuned, there is a lot more coming from us at BTR.  In our continuing GTX 1080 Ti series, we will test its overclocking abilities versus the overclocked TITAN X.  And soon, we will bring you the benchmarks of the new AMD Ryzen CPU platform using these same 25 games versus our Intel platform.  In the meantime, don’t forget to check out BTR’s growing tech community!  You can feel free to comment there or in the comments below.

Happy Gaming!