NVIDIA GTX 1080 vs. GTX 1070: Which GPU offers the best value?

GTX 1070
GTX 1070

NVIDIA is one of the leading names when it comes to graphics processing units (GPUs), or graphics cards. Its top piece of hardware is currently the GTX 1080 (opens in new tab), which was released in May 2016. Its younger, slightly-less-powerful sibling, the GTX 1070 (opens in new tab), was released a month later.

If you're in the market for a new high-end GPU, you may be wondering whether you should get the GTX 1080 or the GTX 1070. To make an informed decision and get the most bang for your buck, you must first look at what each GPU is designed for, and then pit price against performance.

What do you need in a GPU?

Before we get into price points and performance specs to see which GPU offers the best value, it's useful to get an idea of what you plan on using the GPU for. If you're looking at either of these graphics cards, you no doubt have a decent processor and ample RAM for high-end gaming, but at what resolution?

Resolution Comparison

If you want quality 4K gaming without having to lower in-game video settings to the point where it's almost not worth playing, grab the powerful GTX 1080 (opens in new tab) no matter the price difference. Likewise, if you plan on doing a lot of GPU-intensive tasks, such as video editing, go for the bigger sibling.

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If intensive GPU tasks aren't on your plate and you don't mind gaming at 1080p or 1440p, the GTX 1070 (opens in new tab) should do you just fine. It will be able to run all current games at high settings at this resolution, and it will even be able to power your Oculus Rift or HTC Vive.

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Specs and benchmarks

GTX 1080

To get a better idea of the GPU that offers the best value, you need to take a look at each GPU's specs and benchmarks.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
CategoryGTX 1070GTX 1080
Memory speed8Gbps10Gbps
Memory bandwidth256GB/sec320GB/sec
Base clock1,506MHz1,607MHz
Boost clock1,683MHz17,33MHz
CUDA cores1,9202,560
PriceStarts at about $400 (opens in new tab)Starts at about $600 (opens in new tab)

As you can see, the GTX 1080 takes the cake in almost all areas where specs differ, except for the power it consumes. Tom's Hardware did a number of benchmark tests on the GTX 1070 and GTX 1080, and they provide a better idea of how each GPU performs when it comes to some popular games.

Playing Witcher 3 (opens in new tab) on the Highest preset at 1440p with a GTX 1080, for example, got an average of about 95FPS, while the GTX 1070, at the same resolution, resulted in an average of about 73FPS. At 4K, the GTX 1080 achieved an average of about 53FPS, while the GTX 1070 hit an average of about 40FPS.

Likewise, running The Division (opens in new tab) on its Very High preset at 1440p resulted in an average of about 75FPS from the GTX 1080, and the GTX 1070 averaged about 60FPS. At 4K, the GTX 1080 averaged about 43FPS, while the GTX 1070 came in at about 37FPS.

Which GPU should you buy?

GTX 1070

Prices vary depending on which retailer you go with, but you can expect to pay somewhere around $600 for a GTX 1080 (opens in new tab) and about $400 for a GTX 1070 (opens in new tab). If you're looking for a GPU for 1080p or 1440p gaming, the GTX 1070 can tidily handle either task. If VR is your bag, the GTX 1070 is also a great choice, because you're probably looking to save some money after dropping hundreds on a headset.

For these reasons, it's the GTX 1070 that offers the best value in most scenarios. Still, if you're looking for the best experience for 4K gaming or if you're editing a lot of video, you'll want to grab the GTX 1080.

More GPU questions answered

If all of this GPU talk has piqued your interest, and you want to know more about graphics cards, check out our guide to everything you need to know about GPUs.

Also, if you don't think the GTX 1070 or GTX 1080 is right for you, have a look at our list of the best graphics card options for plenty more insight on graphics cards.

Cale Hunt
Senior Editor, Laptop Reviews

Cale Hunt is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on laptop reviews, news, and accessory coverage. He's been reviewing laptops and accessories full time since 2016, with hundreds of reviews published for Windows Central. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user, and spends most of his time either tinkering with or writing about tech.

  • RX 480 vs 1060?
  • 480 8 GB hands down
  • 1060 - drivers are more stable and new games support Nvidia - its more energy efficient - you wont use 8GB of RAM with this cards, to use the full potential of 8G you would need to play in 4K but 480 is not suited for that. Both 1060 and 480 are good at full hd but not more
  • RX 480 has better Direct3D 12 and Vulkan (on Windows) support, while GTX 1060 has better Direct3D 11, OpenGL and Linux support. I recommend getting the 6/8 GB version.
  • A year or two from now and not earlier I will be interested in 4k gaming (at 60 fps minimum that is) on PC. The technology for it is clearly not ready or it is at a ludicrous price and yet struggling to achieve acceptable framerates. Anything else is just marketing.
  • If you're like me, you PC game because you can run 60+fps. As such there is no such thing as 4K gaming at 50 let alone 40! fps. That's console level pathetic gaming. So the only choice for 4K gaming remains: titan. maybe the Ti will be up to it? But as of now the 1080 seems like an excellent 144p card for 60-120hz gaming and not a 4K card whatsoever.
  • If all you care about is frame rate, you have A LOT to learn about gaming.
  • learning about gaming? WHAT? I play cuz i want to have fun.. thats all. No need to study anything. Games nowadays are about 2 things: 1. good graphics 2. story / or multiplayer  nothing else matters
  • You're right, but I think you forgot gameplay. It's actually pretty important, at least for me...
  • No such thing as Gameplay on Dirt Rally, or, any other racing game!!!!!
  • There you go, you have just proven there's more to learn. There's way more to a game than good graphics and story/ multiplayer. You honestly sound like one of the little kids that just buy every COD and think you get what makes a good game. I've made gaming a part of my life for over 30 years and if you dismiss based on those criteria, you miss out on a ton. But if you don't care and wanna just click your way through some pretty movies, I guess so be it.
  • Dude, calm down, im pretty sure he meant that if you had to choose between higher resolution or higher framerate, he would choose framerate. I would also much prefer higher framerate, of course there are other things that make a game good, but thats not what he was talking about. He NEVER said framerate was the only thing that matters or thats what makes a game, your being quite a bit touchy here and arent representing gamers that well yourself. Also you should have noticed the second comment you replied to, was a different guy, but you just went and jumped on it immediately as if talking to the same guy.
  • Not true. It's all about tweaking the settings. I can maintain 60+ FPS @ 4K resolution on most games... some on ultra-everything, while others require some refinement to tone down the graphics details without noticeable loss in quality. I usually tweak the settings anyway, so I can stay under 65 C (my card is watercooled, so runs cooler than a fan card anyway). I game exclusively at 4K res on my single 1080 (Gigabyte Xtreme Gaming Waterforce) so to say it's "not a 4K card whatsoever" is utterly false.
  • Probably the 1070 but it sure is nice using a 1080 and getting 140fps in all the games I play at 1440p.
  • I get frame drops with the 1070 playing Gears 4. Even if I lower the resolution, it no change nothing. Felt like the GTX 950 was more consistent on lower resolutions. I'm playing mostly 60fps,  but out of the blue, it'll get to 17fps or so for like second on the 1070.
  • If you want to play Crysis then you're still waiting.
  • AMD should be cheaper for the same performance
  • I'm going all in on the 1080. I'll be upgrading from a EVGA 970 SC ACX to a EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 CLASSIFIED GAMING ACX 3.0 ​in a few months. I currently have 229 EVGA Bucks so I'll just add more Bucks to soften the hit to the bank account. I need the most powerful sub $1,000 GPU to process the 4K 100Mbps videos and 42.4MP pictures of my Sony a7RII, the gaming boos is welcomed as well.