NVIDIA GeForce GeForce GTX 980 Maxwell Video Card Review

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Test System

Before we look at the numbers, let’s take a brief look at the test system that was used. All testing was done using a fresh install of Windows 8 Pro 64-bit and benchmarks were completed on the desktop with no other software programs running. It should be noted that we average all of our test runs. There has been some concern of people testing a cold card versus a hot card, but we’ve always done out testing ‘hot’ since the site started back more than a decade ago.

Video Cards & Drivers used for testing:

  • NVIDIA GeForce 344.07 For All Maxwell/Fermi Cards and 335.23 for the Kepler Cards
  • AMD CATALYST 14.5

Intel X79/LGA2011 Platform

test-system

The Intel X79 platform that we used to test the all of the video cards was running the ASUS P9X79-E WS motherboard with BIOS 1501 that came out on 01/15/2014. We went with the Intel Core i7-4960X Ivy Bridge-E processor to power this platform as it is PCIe 3.0 certified, so all graphics cards are tested with PCI Express Gen 3 enabled. The Kingston HyperX 10th Anniversary 16GB 2400MHz quad channel memory kit was set to XMP Profile #2. This profile defaults to 2133MHz with 1.65v and 11-12-12-30 1T memory timings. The OCZ Vertex 460 240GB SSD was run with latest firmware available. A Corsair AX860i digital power supply provides clean power to the system and is also silent as the fan hardly ever spins up. This is critical to our testing as it lowers the ambient noise level of the room and gives us more accurate sound measurements than the old Corsair AX1200 power supply that we used from 2012 till this year that had a loud fan that always ran.

gpu-test-system-specs

Here are the exact hardware components that we are using on our test system:

The Intel X79 Test Platform

Component

Brand/Model

Live Pricing

Processor Intel Core i7-4960X
Motherboard
ASUS P9X79-E WS
Memory
16GB Kingston 2133MHz
Video Card Various
Solid-State Drive OCZ Vertex 460 240GB
Cooling Intel TS13X (Asetek)
Power Supply Corsair AX860i
Operating System Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit
Monitor Sharp PN-K321 32″ 4K

 

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 4GB Reference Video Card GPU-Z Info:

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 GPU-Z

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 980 4GB WindForce 3x Video Card GPU-Z Info:

gigabyte-980-gpuz

EVGA GeForce GTX 970 4GB Video Card GPU-Z Info:

evga-970

ZOTAC AMP! OMEGA Edition GeForce GTX 970 4GB Video Card GPU-Z Info:

zotac-970-gpuz

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  • Brian Blair

    The ACX 1.0 970 did not do bad at all. I ordered a ACX 2.0, SC model, But I am not going to even try to push it, I am going to baby it.

  • Rick N April Dyson

    when 20nm full maxwell chips come out they will be as fast as two 980’s with the die shrink I bet a 4000 core moster or close 3800 would be good with 512 bit bus and 4mb L2 cache lol . oh 1600mhz core clock stock

  • Rick N April Dyson

    Need
    Sli benchmarks now

    • I’m not sure, but the GTX980 OC’ed to the max could be maybe on par to the 780-Ti-GHz-Editions: http://www.3dmark.com/3dm/4084608?

      I will skip the 900’s and go for a CPU + MoBo + Screen Upgrade next.

      My Rig: http://www.gskill.us/forum/showpost.php?p=73167&postcount=1

      • UnspokenThought

        3GB on SLI’d 780 Ti’s? Ouch…whoa, and on 1080p? So you use them for something other than gaming? Skip the CPU+mobo upgrade, sell the 780s and get 980s and a 1440p, 1600p, or 4k monitor. Higher resolution and higher textures are so nice to look at. Wait for Broadwell or Skylake and DDR4.