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Grand Theft Auto V
Grand Theft Auto V has a huge pile of image quality settings, so we apologize in advance for the wall of screenshots. We've re-used a set of settings for this game that we've established in previous reviews, which should allow for easy comparison to our past tests. GTA V isn't the most demanding game on the block, so even at 4K you can expect to get decent frame times out of higher-end graphics cards.

These "time spent beyond X" graphs are meant to show "badness," those instances where animation may be less than fluid. The 50-ms threshold is the most notable one, since it corresponds to a 20-FPS average. We figure if you're not rendering any faster than 20 FPS, even for a moment, then the user is likely to perceive a slowdown. 33 ms correlates to 30 FPS or a 30Hz refresh rate. Go beyond that with vsync on, and you're into the bad voodoo of quantization slowdowns. And 16.7 ms correlates to 60 FPS, that golden mark that we'd like to achieve (or surpass) for each and every frame.

The one little hitch in the GTX 1080's frame time graph above causes it to spend 4ms beyond the 33.3 ms mark— barely worthy of note. The Fury X delivers similar performance. What's really spectacular about the GTX 1080 is that it spends just 76 ms beyond that golden 16.7-ms mark, meaning we can be assured of a near-constant 60 FPS. With those smooth frame times, most of GTA V's gameplay experience on the GTX 1080 is fantastic at 4K. Even with a variable-refresh-rate display, the difference in fluidity between the GTX 1080 and the GTX 980 Ti can be felt in normal gameplay.

All of our contenders commendably spend no time past the 50-ms mark, and only the Radeon R9 Fury spends a significant number of milliseconds past the 33.3-ms hurdle. Move down to the 16.7-ms barrier, though, and nothing comes close to the GTX 1080's smoothness. Even the GTX 980 Ti struggles a bit here.