Since gaming performance is basically a wash one of the most important things when picking out a GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB will be the noise, temperature and power consumption numbers and the temperatures and noise levels on these cards does vary greatly.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Idle and Load Temps:
AMD Radeon R9 Nano Idle and Load Temps:
When it comes to temperatures the AMD Radeon R9 Nano was about 5C cooler at idle and 7C cooler at load! Keep in mind that the GeForce GTX 980 is using the NVIDIA reference cooler that is hard to find in the retail market and the AMD Radeon R9 Nano is using the reference cooler that is common on partner boards.
Here is a chart that shows the temperatures of the Nano and GTX 980 versus some other high-end desktop cards.
We test noise levels with an Extech sound level meter that has ±1.5dB accuracy that meets Type 2 standards. This meter ranges from 35dB to 90dB on the low measurement range, which is perfect for us as our test room usually averages around 36dB. We measure the sound level two inches above the corner of the motherboard with ‘A’ frequency weighting. The microphone wind cover is used to make sure no wind is blowing across the microphone, which would seriously throw off the data.
The AMD Radeon R9 Nano is slightly louder at load and both cards were found to be the same noise level when gaming.
** The AMD Radeon R9 Fury X reference card that we are using was the original model with a loud water pump that whines. AMD changed the pump design before the cards hit the retail market, but wasn’t willing to replace ours. We expect retail cards to perform quieter for this and hopefully AMD will send us a replacement card for proper noise testing. **