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

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Final Thoughts and Conclusions

GeForce GTX 980 Ti Video Card Roundup

These three NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB video cards from ASUS, MSI and Zotac are all amazing graphics cards. We’ve been using them for some time and have found that they offer the best gaming experience possible for a single GPU card by any company. With the increasing popularity of 4K displays and ultra wide screen gaming monitors, like the Acer Predator X34, there is a growing demand for discrete graphics cards that can push all those extra pixels at acceptable frame rates. The GeForce GTX 980 Ti is most certainly an expensive add-on for your gaming PC, but for many it is needed for a smooth and enjoyable gaming experience.

Let’s summarize each card again for you and tell you what card we’d get if we had to pick just one.

The Zotac GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB AMP! Extreme Edition is a beast when it comes to performance and the fact it is over 12-inches long and takes up of three PCI slots. This card is the best that Zotac has to offer and had the highest out-of-the-box clock frequencies of any of the GTX 980 Ti cards that we tested.  The crazy clock speeds gave this card the ability to lead every single benchmark, but that speed means you need to sacrifice noise and power efficiency. If a little fan noise and power draw don’t mean anything to you then this is one bad ass graphics card that is ready for any and all ultra high definition gaming.  You’ll also pay the most for this card, $699.99 shipped, so open that wallet wide and get a seat belt for your gaming chair if you plan on getting this bad boy.

At the bottom of the performance charts was the MSI GeForce GTX 980 Ti Gaming 6GB video card since it featured the lowest clock speeds of the bunch. This cards temperatures and noise levels were great, but the one thing we did notice is that it had the most choke whine of any of the cards. We test on the open bench, so while it likely won’t be noticeable in an enclosure, it was certainly present especially when vsync was disabled and the card was running at high frame rates. Priced at just $623.00 shipped, this card is the lowest priced and it used the least power when gaming. This card might not have won the benchmarks, but the price is right and a little manual overclocking will get the performance up to the others.

The ASUS GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB STRIX Gaming OC was the middle performing card with the middle of the road price tag of $669.99 shipped. This card was very quiet and had no choke noise whatsoever, so it appears to be a very well constructed card. We know that some of the early models of this card did have choke whine, so we either got a cherry picked sample or the folks at ASUS figured out that issue. There isn’t much else to say about this card as it worked as expected with no glaring issues and literally got stuck in the middle when it came to performance.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti Roundup

All three cards are good and in fact they would all go great in a gaming system. If we had to pick one it’s still a tough choice. If money was tight we’d go with the MSI card in a heartbeat. If we wanted the best performance and didn’t care about noise or the power bill the Zotac card is the pick. If you wanted the a solid card in every category, the good old Swiss army knife approach, we’d pick the ASUS card. So, at the end of the day the choice is yours. You really can’t go wrong here, but we expect that since these are all high-end cards!

LR Recommended Award

Legit Bottom Line: The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB video cards from ASUS, MSI and Zotac are all amazing cards that are ready to power your Ultra HD gaming display!

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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.