Today's Hard|Forum Post
Today's Hard|Forum Post

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti Video Card Preview

Today the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti hits the market with ambitions of providing a less expensive alternative to GTX TITAN X-like performance, while priced closer to the GeForce GTX 980. This new video card is dropping at $649 and also drives the MSRP of the GeForce GTX 980 down to $499.

Introduction

Please note that this is just a quick preview of GeForce GTX 980 Ti performance, we have had very limited time with the this new GPU and will be providing a full review soon.

On June 1st, 2015, NVIDIA announced the release of its next flagship video card, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti. While anticipating DirectX 12's release later this year, NVIDIA is ramping up its hardware to help gamers take the biggest advantage when playing games. Speaking of biggest, that's one of NVIDIA's points to tailor to, is larger resolution gaming. 4K is quickly becoming popular, and NVIDIA moves to match this growing trend by providing hardware that can push the demand. This is also a part of NVIDIA's Batman: Arkham Knight promotion, which promises excellent quality 4K gaming.

The GeForce GTX 980 Ti matches up well against the GeForce GTX 980. The GeForce GTX 980 Ti will be available immediately Monday at an MSRP of $649. With this release, the GeForce GTX 980 will now move to $499. This does place a $150 price gap between the two video cards, and in this preview evaluation we will see if this price is seemingly justified.

The GTX 980 Ti is based on NVIDIA's "GM200" GPU, which is comprised of 8 billion transistors. This is the most powerful GPU ever built by NVIDIA. The GeForce GTX 980 Ti specifically has 22 SM units, composed of 2816 CUDA cores. There are 176 texture units available for processing. It has a base clock frequency of 1000MHz, while the boost clock can exceed speeds of 1075MHz. This does feature the GPU boost feature, and can likely surpass this frequency with correct environmental conditions. The GeForce GTX 980 Ti by default is equipped with a 384-bit memory interface that provides an effective memory clock of 7GHz.

In fact, as we look farther at the GeForce GTX 980 Ti, we see again striking similarities to the TITAN X, while it does only have half the memory at 6GB. These numbers suggest we will see performance similar to the TITAN X at a fraction of the cost.

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The GeForce GTX 980 Ti looks to be the next price relevant upgrade to the GeForce GTX 980. Not only is it only around $150 more expensive, but the price seems to initially justify it. The 980 Ti supports 2GB more memory than the GTX 980. The memory interface is 384-bit compared to only 256-bit on the GTX 980, allowing for much faster information processing. Also see a large increase in streaming multiprocessors, CUDA cores, texture units, and ROP units compared to the reference GTX 980.

While the GeForce GTX 980 Ti video card is an upgrade in the specifications compared to the GTX 980, we also see that it is not all that far from a GeForce GTX TITAN X, which of course cost upwards of $1050. Again the GeForce GTX 980 Ti is releasing at a price of $649. This may be what makes the GTX 980 Ti a beast of a bargain, in terms of pricing and performance.

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The reference board measures for the GeForce GTX 980 Ti are 10.5" in length. The I/O panel houses a dual-link DVI, an HDMI, and three DisplayPort connectors. To power the board, you will need an 8-pin and a 6-pin PCIe power connector.


Test Setup

We will be using a ASUS P8Z77 WS motherboard. For the CPU we used an Intel i7 3770k overclocked to 4.6GHz with HyperThreading enabled. The RAM is Corsair Dominator 16GB at 1600MHz. We have recently upgraded our system to run the Windows 8.1 operating system on a 240GB Kingston HyperX SSD.

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We are using the GeForce 352.90 driver from NVIDIA which is released with this video card. We will be evaluating the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti with the GeForce GTX TITAN X and GTX 980 video cards. For this preview evaluation we will be using Grand Theft Auto V, Dying Light, and Battlefield 4.