NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Overclocking Video Card Review

The new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 makes overclocking GPUs a ton of fun again. Its extremely high clock rates achieved when you turn the right dials and sliders result in real world gaming advantages. We will compare it to a GeForce GTX 780 Ti and Radeon R9 290X; all overclocked head-to-head.

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Evaluation Method

We evaluate what each video card configuration can supply us in terms of a playable gaming experience while supplying the best culmination of resolution and "eye candy" graphical settings. We focus on quality and immersion of the gameplay experience rather than how many frames per second the card can get in a canned benchmark or prerecorded timedemo situation that often do not represent real gameplay like you would experience at home. Then we will follow with apples-to-apples testing in with minimum, maximum, and average framerates.

Test System Setup

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Drivers have changed, so pay attention, we are using the absolute latest drivers possible right now from NVIDIA and AMD.

For the GeForce GTX 980 we are using GeForce 344.16 WHQL. For the GeForce GTX 780 Ti we are using GeForce 344.11 WHQL.

We re-tested performance under each game on the GeForce GTX 980 at default clock speeds with the newer 344.16 driver compared to the launch driver we used in our launch evaluation. That means all date, even for the default GTX 980 is now using the newest and updated 344.16 driver in this evaluation.

For the AMD Radeon R9 290X we are using Catalyst 14.9.1 Beta just released a couple of days ago.