PNY GTX 980 XLR8 Reviewccokeman -
Category: Video Cards
Price: $469 After Rebate
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PNY GTX 980 XLR8 Introduction:
PNY is a company that is well diversified, but is known more specifically for its memory and video card portfolio. Not content to rest on its laurels with reference cards, it put together a series of custom built NVIDIA-based video cards that put PNY on the map as a manufacturer of top shelf custom builds. After looking at the GTX 960 XLR8, I was impressed by what PNY brought to the table in a lower mid-range offering. The custom PCB, good looking shroud, and how it interfaced with the heat pipe-based cooling solution all were points of interest with the card.
Now, what I have today is the upper end of PNY's product stack, the GTX 980 XLR8. PNY gave this card the once over and put it together as a factory overclocked card sporting speeds of up 1329MHz when running under Boost. A massive dual fanm heat pipe-based cooling solution makes sure that the thermal load does not get out of hand during an extended frag fest. Currently listing for $469 after $40 rebate, this card looks to be prepared for anything, thanks to the custom build and cooling solution.
PNY GTX 980 XLR8 Closer Look:
PNY's packaging for the GTX 980 XLR8 revolves around the NVIDIA balck and lime green concept, with an image of the card on the left hand side, the model to the right, and some feature set highlights, including that the GTX 980 XLR8 is not your run-of-the-mill factory reference card, but a factory overclocked video card. It comes with PNY's dual fan cooling solution and has a lifetime warranty. PNY is the last company I know of doing this, but the back side of the box has an opening in the middle of the panel that gives the potential buyer a quick look at the dual fan cooling solution of the card. To the far right are the NVIDIA specific features and a chart that highlights the base and GPU Boot 2.0 clock speeds to show just how far above the reference clocks the GTX 980 XLR8 operates. From a buyer's standpoint, you get a lot of information up front to help with your purchase while in a brick and mortar store.
Inside is a matte black box with the PNY logo on it. The card is packaged in a soft foam enclosure to prevent any damage to the card. This soft foam is more than adequate to protect the card and does not easily let go of its charge, the GTX 980 XLR8. Buried under the foam, a cardboard shell separates the accessory bundle from the card. The bundle includes a mini-HDMI to HDMI dongle, a DVI to VGA adapater, dual 4-pin Molex to 6-pin PCIe power adapter, driver disc, and quick install guide. The power adapter is a nice touch, since most newer power supplies come with at least one 6-pin PCIe power connection. This helps the user who is upgrading from an earlier card and may just be stepping into a more robust card.
Having seen what the GTX 980 is capable of, let's see what PNY brings to the table with its factory overclocked version of this high-end staple with the GTX 980 XLR8.