Here are some highlights that matter to us:
- H.264 encoding 4K at 60Hz and decoding 4K at 120 Hz and 8K at 30Hz
- HEVC encoding 4K at 60Hz and decoding 4K at 120 Hz and 8K at 30Hz
- 10-bit HEVC encode and decode and 12-bit HEVC decode
This means that the above specs will trickle down to more affordable cards to use in a home theatre PC system. 10-bit 4K at 60Hz is the minimum standard we like as a future-proof specs that should last a person until 8K era.
AT $599 and expected to be released on May 27th, 2016, the GTX 1080 is a better value than previous Nvidia offerings.
Besides operating at 9 TFLOPS and having 8GB of G5X ram, it also has the following:
- 7680×4320@60Hz support
- HDMI 2.0b interface with HDCP 2.2
- Displayport 1.4
- A surprisingly low power consumption of 180 W (at maximum)
It’s nice to see HDMI 2.0b standard being used. It’s not clear if this card has HEVC h.265 support but we would be surprised if it didn’t.
See Nvidia’s webpage on the Shield for more information, but some of the interesting claims are that it’s components are twice as powerful as the Xbox 360, and that it can stream 4K video. The Shield runs off a Tegra X1 processor, has 3GB of memory and has a 256-core Nvidia Maxell GPU.
Nvidia’s new Titan X is a wonderfully powerful video card that is primarily marketed at gamers who want to be able to run games at 4K with a single video card.
Unfortunately H.265 video decoding is lacking (unlike in the Nvidia GTX 960) and we haven’t heard yet about HDCP 2.2 (Digital Rights Management encoding that will effect video playback) but it does not appear to be in this card.
There is an HDMI 2.0 port on this video card, thankfully. But until the H.265 and HDCP 2.2 are included we recommending holding off unless you can’t wait.
Apart from the Nvidia Geforce GTX 960, 970, and 980, all other video cards from Nvidia, AMD, and Intel have HDMI 1.4 or less.
This is very significant because HDMI 1.4 can only do 30 frames per second at the 3840×2160 resolution while HDMI 2.0 can do 60 frames per second at 4K resolution.
Additionally, these new HDMI 2.0 video cards also have a H.265 (HEVC) video decoder as opposed to the H.264 video decoder of previous generations.
Please note that Nvidia initially made an error in the specifications for the 970. It’s slightly less powerful than initially represented. There is now a class action lawsuit in regards to this error.