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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti Review

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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti Conclusion:

When NVIDIA dropped the GTX Titan X back in March, you almost knew there had to be another Maxwell card in the pipeline. As it turns out there was, and it's every bit the game changing beast that GTX Titan X is for many of the same reasons, and then some. With NVIDIA reducing the Streaming multiprocessor count by two to reduce the CUDA cores and texture units, you still get almost GTX Titan X levels of performance. In each and every test the GTX 980 Ti was within a few FPS at most of its fully loaded brethren. When you get down to it, the GTX 980 Ti really does live up the the hype that was being heaped upon it as the rumours and leaks on the Interwebs showed everything from the specs to leaked performance numbers.

Running through the benchmark results, it's clear to see that there is a significant performance gap between the GTX 780 Ti and the GTX 980 Ti that makes the GTX 980 Ti a sizable step up the performance ladder. That means you do see an uptick in performance over even the GTX 980. There really is not a game in my tests that the GTX 980 Ti cannot play at 4K. You can tweak the settings a bit from where I test and get even higher FPS results using MFAA to reduce the GPU overhead to improve FPS levels while still maintaining image quality. Dynamic Super Resolution can be used to give you that 4K experience if you are not yet using a 4K monitor. If that still does not get you there you can always spend the cash to move up to a Titan X or just start pushing the core clock speed limits with your card.

NVIDIA let us know that GPU Boost clock speeds of over 1400MHz were almost the expectation with GM200, and so far this has proven to be true. With those kinds of clock speeds there is no point moving up to GTX Titan X since the GTX 980 Ti easily outperform a stock or mildly overclocked GTX Titan X. And all for less money. I was able to squeeze a 380MHz GPU Boost clock increase (35%) out of the core and a 200MHz (11+%) increase out of the 6GB of GDDR5 memory, showing that Maxwell still overclocks pretty damn well even at the upper end of the spectrum. If that's still not enough performance, there is always adding one, two, or even three cards to the system in a motherboard that supports it to run a multi-GPU SLI solution to take advantage of NVIDIA's Surround and VR technology at the upper end of the gaming spectrum. With all the opportunities coming when Windows 10 and DirectX 12 launch, this will definitely be a new age in gaming.

The elephant in the room has been the price point this card would be offered at. At $649 the reference card you see here today is launching at a price point that is $50 below that of the GTX 780 Ti when it launched. Not bad when you think about it and look at the performance metrics. That's a full $350 less than the GTX Titan X, but still a $100 bump over the GTX 980! For $649 I will take the Coke Zero version of NVIDIA's Titan X to get all the flavor without the price penalty of going full strength.

From a price/performance perspective, the GTX 980 Ti is a winner. After having looked at high end cards for a while you can get jaded, but NVIDIA's GTX 980 Ti is a card that generated some serious enthusiasm and left me ready for the next game to see just how well it would do. It's a card that does it all well at a really nice price point. You get a card that can play at 4K and take advantage of the entire NVIDIA ecosystem from SLI to GameWorks VR, to DirectX 12 technolgies, G-SYNC, PhysX, MFAA, DSR, VXGI, and more. Go get you some of that!

 

Pros:

  • Overclocking
  • Performance
  • Price point
  • GameWorks VR
  • DX 12 ready
  • New tech
  • Good looks

 

Cons:

  • None


 

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