What Are NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition Cards?

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 9, 2016 - 05:00 PM |
Tagged: pascal, nvidia, GTX 1080, geforce

During the GeForce GTX 1080 launch event, NVIDIA announced two prices for the card. The new GPU has an MSRP of $599 USD, while a Founders Edition will be available for $699 USD. They did not really elaborate on the difference at the keynote, but they apparently clarified the product structure for the attending press.

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According to GamersNexus, the “Founders Edition” is NVIDIA's new branding for their reference design, which has been updated with the GeForce GTX 1080. That is it. Normally, a reference design is pretty much bottom-tier in a product stack. Apart from AMD's water-cooling experiments, reference designs are relatively simple, single-fan blower coolers. NVIDIA's reference cooler though, at least on their top-three-or-so models of any given generation, are pretty good. They are fairly quiet, effective, and aesthetically pleasing. When searching for a specific GPU online, you will often see a half-dozen entries based on this, from various AIB partners, and another half-dozen other offerings from those same companies, which is very different. MSI does their Twin Frozr thing, while ASUS has their Direct CU and Poseidon coolers.

If you want the $599 model, then, counter to what we've been conditioned to expect, you will not be buying NVIDIA's reference cooler. These will come from AIB partners, which means that NVIDIA is (at least somewhat) allowing them to set a minimum product this time around. They expect reference cards to be intrinsically valuable, not just purchased because they rank highest on a “sort by lowest price” metric.

This is interesting for a number of reasons. It wasn't too long ago that NVIDIA finally allowed AIB vendors to customize Titan-level graphics cards. Before that, NVIDIA's reference cooler was the only option. When they released control to their partners, we started to see water cooled Titan Xs. There is two ways to look at it: either NVIDIA is relaxing their policy of controlling user experience, or they want their personal brand to be more than the cheapest offering of their part. Granted, the GTX 1080 is supposed to be their high-end, but still mainstream offering.

It's just interesting to see this decision and rationalize it both as a release of control over user experience, and, simultaneously, as an increase of it.

Source: GamersNexus

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May 9, 2016 | 05:05 PM - Posted by taisserrootseasyaccount (not verified)

Considering that this is also sold by AIBs too. It makes sense that this will be what the quality of their coolers would be s3t against in terms of pricing. Jayz2cents made an interesting and quite true statement as to where these are needed which is less true for the 1070 considering that the 970 has 2 itx versions of it. But more true for the 1080.

May 9, 2016 | 05:18 PM - Posted by funandjam

Jayztwocents did a really good video explaining it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJ0AoYSH01g&feature=youtu.be&a

May 9, 2016 | 06:01 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

If AIB cooler can outperform the reference/founders edition and come with a higher clock what incentive do they have to stick to the MSRP or a lower price then $699?

The MSRP looks like a marketing gimmick to create buzz and its working.

May 9, 2016 | 07:32 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The incentive is all the other graphics card sellers who they're competing with. The other side of this is that if nVidia prices it really low, they're competing with people they're selling their parts too, and hurting them in the process :/

May 9, 2016 | 07:52 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

That's just it. What they showcased is a $699 reference card. If the quality of components drop. Cooler, PCB, chokes etc. Your not getting the same showcased product. Your getting an inferior one at a lower price.

Shifting the reference point to $699 but putting the burden on the AIBs to cost save to $599. Unless they are getting some special deals they weren't getting before Pascal I'm not sure how this is going to work out.

I cant think of one after market designed cooler that performs worse then the reference. Which they always have charged more for because it allows a higher clock base and boost.

May 9, 2016 | 06:23 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

$100 Money grab woohoo!

May 9, 2016 | 06:52 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

How else is Jensen going to afford a different leather jacket each time he steps on to stage.

May 11, 2016 | 09:49 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Yeah what's with his jacket routine? Does he think of himself as some sort of hipster CEO biker type?

May 9, 2016 | 06:58 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The Founders edition will get shiped sooner than the others!

"It’s simply the reference edition that will ship before custom solutions." (1)

It's: Look Vern, I gotz my GTX 1080, before you! Eh, Ha Ha Haw! Fer one Benjamin more, cuz I gotz Class!

(1)
http://videocardz.com/59718/nvidia-gtx-1080-gtx-1070-founders-edition-ex...

May 10, 2016 | 12:47 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

If this is the ~300 mm2 die part, then I am actually surprised that it is this low of price. If they are going to sell the initial parts for $700, then I have to wonder how good the yeilds actually are, and when the $600 cards will actually appear. There is a very long lead time after mass production starts to when they actually have packaged and tested die available. We will have to wait and see how constrained the supply actually is.

May 9, 2016 | 07:06 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

All aboard the hype train! Choo Choo

May 9, 2016 | 07:59 PM - Posted by Lance Ripplinger (not verified)

All of these "Anonymous" posts.....How do we know this isn't the same dip talking to himself???

May 9, 2016 | 08:12 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Because he changed his name to Lance

May 9, 2016 | 08:18 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

How do we know that you don't have someone's arm up your
tookus and that you are not some sockpuppet!

May 9, 2016 | 09:00 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Haha, all those fucking idiots who thought they'd get a GTX 1080 for under 600 bucks.
Yeah, fat-fucking-chance, maybe when the 1080 Ti is released.

"Founders Edition" and it's literally just reference, what a god damn scam.
I didn't think Nvidia would take their greed any further and the madmen actually did it - the more hilarious part is these GPUs will probably sell like hotcakes while not even performing 20% better than a 980 Ti.

May 9, 2016 | 11:20 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Anything under 1000 USD for this card is an early Xmas present from baby Jesus himself. The lesbian doctor better be really Zen to face reality :)

May 9, 2016 | 11:37 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

What a gaming GIT you are! Let's get you overseas and in the mountains walking point(It's in better resolution than any VR GPU available today), and filling one of those Amalgamated BodyBags lines of fine products! Those investors need a return on their investment, that you baby Jesus for Amalgamated BodyBags!

Let's get them GITs overseas and get our crime rates down!

May 9, 2016 | 11:39 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

edit: that you
to: thank you

May 10, 2016 | 12:42 AM - Posted by Anonymouse (not verified)

why cant you just proof your sh!t b4 posting? Having to read your edits and PS then revisiting the original post in order to make sense of it is getting lame.

And whats with all these effing 'lower crime rate' rants anyway? Thats borderline git you know.

May 10, 2016 | 03:15 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I like it when they delete the whole post tree, including Mine, now how's your SMOM doing! That's what gets the mindless GITs' mindless posts out of here, and not digressing the proper discussions about the technology's merits!

Both AMD and Nvidia need async-compute! Both AMD and Nvidia need more of the CPU like functionality baked into their respective GPU's micro-architectures for VR gaming, and other graphics/compute uses at the lowest possible latency.

Technology is not, and I repeat NOT! a sports match, there are engineering Teams, but that's is where the two diverge! With the sports stuff remanded over to ESPN/other sports website and the very complex technological discussions done without the GIT's fragile ego, and psychological state, involved!

Get the Mindless GITs out of our cities and towns, and those crime rates down! Civilization is under existential threat from the mindless GITs!

May 10, 2016 | 12:37 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Early adopter tax. Simple.

May 10, 2016 | 08:24 AM - Posted by Bri (not verified)

aka fanboy grab your ankles tax...

May 10, 2016 | 03:45 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Here comes the 699$ mid range card.
After the 980 and the 680, ppl never learn.
We're lucky we have "objective" "journalists" to protect us from nGreedia.

Oh, wait.

May 10, 2016 | 03:45 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Here comes the 699$ mid range card.
After the 980 and the 680, ppl never learn.
We're lucky we have "objective" "journalists" to protect us from nGreedia.

Oh, wait.

May 10, 2016 | 05:47 AM - Posted by BlackDove (not verified)

That has been true since the 104 chip was used as the 80 series card with the 680. The 680 was really the successor to the 560ti.

It amazes me constantly when people act all surprised that the first 80 series card of a generation "only uses like 175W when the last 80 chip used 250!"

Nvidia, like Intel and AMD, have small die GPUs and large dies.

The small dies end in 104 106 107 114 204, the large dies end in 100, 110, 200, 210.

The small die is all SP, while the large die is SP and DP with the exception of the failed GM200 architecture that i told people to skip(like hyperscalers and suercomputer makers did) because staying on 28nm meant a very small gain between generations even though they stripped GM200 of all its DP cores.

GP100 is the true successor to GK110 and GK210, and it is proportionally an even bigger improvement than GK110 was to GF110.

GP104(the 1080) is the true successor to GM204 and it is more than double GM204s performance thanks to being on the new 16nm node and being a new architecture.

GM200 was just a turd basically with 0 DP TFLOPS and only 50% better SP FLOPS than GK110 with 0 memory bandwidth increase.

GP104 is worth buying for games though. Biggest improvement in GPUs since 2012.

May 10, 2016 | 06:10 AM - Posted by BlackDove (not verified)

Footnote for reference

GF114 1.2 TFLOPS SP 0 TFLOPS DP 128GB/s

GF110 1.5 TFLOPS SP 0.2 TFLOPS DP 192GB/s

GK104 3.1 TFLOPS SP 0 TFLOPS DP 192GB/s

GK110 5.2 TFLOPS SP 1.3 TFLOPS DP 336GB/s

GM204 4.6 TFLOPS SP 0 TFLOPS DP 224GB/s

GM200 6.1 TFLOPS SP 0 TFLOPS DP 336GB/s

GP104(possibly partial?) 9 TFLOPS SP 0 TFLOPS DP 320GB/s

GP100(93% enabled) 10 TFLOPS SP 5 TFLOPS DP 720 GB/s

As you can see, GK110 was a huge leap for SP and DP and memory bandwidth. GM200 and GM204 were trash and GP100 and GP104 are as big as or bigger an improvement than GK110 was.

Keep in mind these are all peak theoretical numbers and NOT actual MAX numbers for FLOPS and bandwidth, and do not show computational efficiency. They do give a good, but rough idea though.

May 10, 2016 | 05:35 AM - Posted by BlackDove (not verified)

Who makes the reference design Founder's Edition? Nvidia is a fabless semiconductor company. They dont manufacture anything. TSMC makes the chips, other companies make the RAM, board and cooler.

Anyone know who ACTUALLY MANUFACTURES it? If its some shit like Foxconn, then the cheaper cards will be BETTER than the Founders Editions.

May 10, 2016 | 05:47 AM - Posted by jnev (not verified)

You have to admit, it's a clever scheme for the unwashed masses (nVidiots) to throw an extra hundy their way for a $2 paint job.

May 10, 2016 | 06:15 AM - Posted by BlackDove (not verified)

Like Crossfire that gave worse performance than a single card and went unfixed for years,

AMDs special BIOS cards for reviewers only,

AMDs 4GB HBM GPU that was outperformed by the junk that GM200 was,

AMDs "8 core CPUs" that are outperformed by a quad core low end i5,

a 220W TDP overclocked FX-8350 thats also easily outperformed by a mid range i5 using 77W.

Yes AMD is great and Nvidia sucks lololol.

May 10, 2016 | 12:09 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Who said anything about AMD? They aren't even close.

Pure Nvidia Green Money Grab.

PNGMG!

May 10, 2016 | 03:57 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

It's simply standard Nvidrone damage control procedure.

If you state something negative about Nvidia, and they know perfectly well that you're right and they can't spin it, they just have to talk smack on AMD (no matter how irrelevant to the discussion, or how much of a made-up outright lie it is) and you are instantly wrong, and they are instantly right.

May 11, 2016 | 12:01 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Its not irrelevant when theyre the only other company that makes graphics cards.

May 10, 2016 | 06:25 AM - Posted by Irishgamer01

If Vendor cards are available at launch then fine.
I heard they won't. Mid June.
In that case is obvious price gouging. No other reason.
"Founders editions" were usually the cheapest.

May 10, 2016 | 10:05 AM - Posted by ThorAxe

These NVTTM cards of course have the "reference cooler" installed. All of these NVTTM cards are also built by NVIDIA, usually either by Foxcon or Flextronics, that also happen to build a lot of NVIDIA's professional workstation Quadro cards. All of these cards built by NVIDIA are put together with exacting standards in terms of PCB quality, power component and other circuitry quality, cooler quality, sound profile, and packaging. I have literally been told for years, that NVIDIA either breaks even or loses money on NVTTM/reference cards sold into the market..

When NVIDIA talks about craftsmanship and quality of components of the Founders Edition cards, I believe that message. For years now, while not from NVIDIA directly, I have understood these cards to be of the best design, components choice, and best executed assembly process in the industry. This is not to say that the cards from AIB partners are inferior, but the fact is that NVIDIA has not put profitability before quality when it come to building Founders Edition cards.

http://www.hardocp.com/article/2016/05/09/nvidia_founders_edition_cards_...

May 11, 2016 | 12:27 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Agreed, I would gladly pay an extra $200 or $300 for a true nvidia quality card.

$100 is a bargain for what you get.

May 10, 2016 | 10:05 AM - Posted by ThorAxe

These NVTTM cards of course have the "reference cooler" installed. All of these NVTTM cards are also built by NVIDIA, usually either by Foxcon or Flextronics, that also happen to build a lot of NVIDIA's professional workstation Quadro cards. All of these cards built by NVIDIA are put together with exacting standards in terms of PCB quality, power component and other circuitry quality, cooler quality, sound profile, and packaging. I have literally been told for years, that NVIDIA either breaks even or loses money on NVTTM/reference cards sold into the market..

When NVIDIA talks about craftsmanship and quality of components of the Founders Edition cards, I believe that message. For years now, while not from NVIDIA directly, I have understood these cards to be of the best design, components choice, and best executed assembly process in the industry. This is not to say that the cards from AIB partners are inferior, but the fact is that NVIDIA has not put profitability before quality when it come to building Founders Edition cards.

http://www.hardocp.com/article/2016/05/09/nvidia_founders_edition_cards_...

May 10, 2016 | 10:35 AM - Posted by BlackDove (not verified)

Foxconn is the opposite of "quality". Case in point: iPhones are made in China garbage compared to a made in Korea Samsung or LG.

August 25, 2017 | 06:50 PM - Posted by Anonymousbob (not verified)

What the fuck are you talking about lol. Samsung and LG "quality"? Give me a fucking break. I'll take my made in China garbage iPhone over your cheap shit any day.

May 10, 2016 | 03:30 PM - Posted by Scoot66 (not verified)

The Founder editions is like the Microsoft Surface with respects to marketing.

Nvidia wants to keeps selling its "Founders" reference card passed the first month and will be pricing it at a higher point so it doesn't peeve off its board partners, EVGA MSI ASUS GIGABYTE etc.

Nvidia usually pushes out its reference design to its partners who rebadge it and pump them into the market, After a brief period the partners design their own cooler systems and sells them to the public while stop selling the rebadged reference cards.

Nvidia is in effect selling their own version of a premium card at a premium price and getting a window of exclusivity because they own the chips. Partners will get their hands on it now to develop their own clever designs and sell them at what ever price they can justify or take advantage of the official floor price and undersell the nVidia Founders cards

In the grand scheme of thing the consumer doesn't see much change as they are still getting their reference cards first but have to wait some time before the board partners' cards come out

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