MSI GeForce GTX 980 Ti SEA HAWK Video Card Review

Our second installment with the MSI GTX 980 Ti SEA HAWK focuses in on gameplay at 4K and how viable it is with the fastest overclocked GTX 980 Ti we have seen yet. We will be using a reference GeForce GTX 980 Ti to show the full spectrum of the 980 Ti’s performance capabilities and emphasize the MSI GTX 980 Ti SEA HAWK’s value.

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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

We will be using a ASUS P8Z77 WS motherboard. For the CPU we used an Intel i7 3770k overclocked to 4.6GHz with Hyper-threading enabled. The RAM is Corsair Dominator 16GB at 1600MHz. We are running the Windows 10 64-bit operating system on a 240GB Kingston HyperX SSD.

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Driver Setup

For the MSI GTX 980 Ti SEA HAWK and the MSI GTX 980 Ti LIGHTNING we are using the GeForce 358.87 WHQL driver dated 11/4/2015. There was a more recent driver released GeForce 358.91 which only helped out Fallout 4, Star Wars: Battlefront and StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void. None of the games we use in our testing suite were effected for this evaluation by the latest driver.

Video Card Clock Speeds as tested

MSI GTX 980 Ti SEA HAWK (Max Overclock) آ– 1340MHz/1441MHz (base/boost) - 1567MHz In-Game Frequency. 8GHz memory.

MSI GTX 980 Ti SEA HAWK آ– 1190MHz/1291MHz (base/boost) - 1380MHz In-Game Frequency. 7.1GHz memory.

MSI GTX 980 Ti LIGHTNING (Max Overclock) آ– 1303MHz/1404MHz (base/boost) - 1518MHz In-Game Frequency. 8.1GHz memory.

Below is a screenshot of GPU-z after installing the MSI GTX 980 Ti SEA HAWK with the GeForce 358.87 WHQL driver.

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