NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti Video Card Roundup – ASUS, MSI and Zotac

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Power Consumption

Zotac GeForce GTX 980 Ti AMP! Power Connectors

For testing power consumption, we took our test system and plugged it into a Kill-A-Watt power meter. For idle numbers, we allowed the system to idle on the desktop for 15 minutes and took the reading. For load numbers we ran Battlefield 4 at 3840×2160 and recorded the average idle reading and the peak gaming reading on the power meter.

power consumption

Power Consumption Results: When we first made this graph we thought we made a mistake and re-did all the power testing on the GeForce GTX 980 Ti cards. After a couple hours and being certain we made a mistake we found that our second set of numbers was at most 1 Watt off from the original set. The Zotac GeForce GTX 980 Ti Amp! Extreme Edition uses ~120 Watts more power then gaming than the MSI GeForce GTX 980 Ti Gaming 6GB. The AMD Radeon R9 FuryX used less power than the Zotac GeForce GTX 980 Ti Amp! Extreme Edition!  (Sorry, not too many times the Fury X was doing better than the GTX 980 Ti’s and had to slip that in there. GPU-Z shows the GPU core voltage being the same, so we guess the higher clock speeds on the Zotac card needs that much more power to run at those speeds. The ASUS GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB STRIX Gaming OC finished right between the two GTX 980 Ti cards it was competing against.

When it comes to why we are seeing somewhat odd power results like this it is likely due to a combination of factors. You have the higher clock speeds, different GPU power leakages, very different board components (directly impacts efficiency), and different fans.  The Zotac card we tested likely has a GPU with higher leakage levels, a less efficient power phase design and top of the fact that the fans and power phases were working harder since the card is running at higher clocks and generating more heat. GPU-Z is only reporting what it’s being told, so there could be some slight differences in actual voltages also. Too many variables, but our numbers are spot on within 1W from repeated testing over multiple days.

Let’s wrap this review up!

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  • MadBlax

    Great review guys.

  • Zampa79

    Asus or Gigabyte?????

    • Jonathan Wakeford

      Gigabyte Xtrem Gaming but maybe you should wait for the new Pascal GPU due in june. Either to buy Pascal, or benefit of the price drop on current gen.

  • mm

    So the nvidia cards are all heavy OC and Fury X is stock?

    • Thomas Olson

      Because the Fury can’t handle an overclock. It’s already pushed as far as it will go from the factory. These are aftermarket cards that come with an overclock over the stock 980 Ti, and they will STILL overclock a good deal beyond that. There’s a reason ATI is cheap. 🙂

      • Arkeo

        Are you living in 2009 or something?

        ATI no longer exists.

        • Thomas Olson

          No shit. Obviously the mocking tone was over your head.

        • Arkeo

          If you meant the ATI acquisition, it was very expensive at over 5 billion.

          Either way, your comment was fanboyish.

        • Thomas Olson

          I meant that ATI was the heyday of the red team. It’s been all downhill since. AMD needs to be careful. They have nothing that can compete currently. Are you afraid of being a fan of things? Even if they’re superior to other things? I’m sorry your life is so sad and dreary. 🙁

        • Arkeo

          Oh really?

          Over half of their cards are very competitive.

          380 crushes the 960 for example. 390 and 970 are pretty comparable. And Fury is as fast/faster than the 980 depending on your luck with the 980. They lose in the flagship segment and they somewhat lose in the $140 segment.

        • ginevraweasely

          Give it a rest A-hole

    • Nathan Kirsch

      I actually started with fresh charts for 2016 and this was all the cards I had time to test and include in the charts before getting onto the plane for CES 2016. I tested the highest clocked Fury X card in the market (1050MHz). I would have happily included an overclocked version if there was such a card that could be bought.

      • Amet Monegro

        ohh ok, everybody overclocks its GPUs lol

    • Amet Monegro

      Nvidia-payed reviews where? lol

    • flippy

      cause hbm cant overclock (yet) and ddr5 can

  • Rauel Crespo

    It was nice seeing your review end with:


    • Nathan Kirsch

      I cringed when writing that as I knew I’d get flamed! There really just isn’t a perfect card that is right for everyone IMO.

  • Rauel Crespo

    You should have thrown in the Titan-X for good measure, as well as two GTX970’s in SLI to see what a similar amount of money gets you in performance.

    Also, I’ll take the sheer Titan-X killing performance of the Zotac card for the pennies extra it’ll add to my power-bill every year over the other two. Seriously, even comparing the power figure of the 390x vs the GTX970 is at most $5-$12 extra a YEAR.

    • Nathan Kirsch

      yup, it’s really not that bad when it comes to the power bill as you aren’t gaming at those numbers 24/7. Another benefit is that the card will help keep your room warm in the winter.