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

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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti Video Card Roundup

It’s hard to believe that the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB video card came out ago six months to the week, however, the card is still dominating on the performance front and more time than not it outperforms AMD’s flagship Radeon R9 Fury X 4GB video card. Over the past six months both AMD and NVIDIA have released a ton of drivers and a handful of great gaming titles came out during the holiday season. We thought it would be a great idea to start off the new year by looking at several GeForce GTX 980 Ti video cards in a small roundup with the latest drivers. We also wanted to include benchmark numbers on hot new game titles like Fallout 4 and Star Wars: Battlefront.

GeForce GTX 980 Ti Video Card Roundup

Pretty much any NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti video card on the market today is going to be custom designed by the add-in board partners, so if you are looking for a high-end card like the GTX 980 Ti you’ll be getting all the bells and whistles that one would expect from flagship cards. The bad news is that all of the cards are drastically different with respect to the board design, GPU cooler and most certainly the clock speeds.

The three GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB video cards that we are going to be looking at today are the ASUS GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB STRIX Gaming, MSI GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB Gaming OC, and the Zotac GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB Amp! Extreme Edition.

GeForce GTX 980 Ti Roundup

Each one of these cards are impressive in their own right as we’d expect nothing less when spending up to $700 for desktop gaming graphics card.  We made a quick table (below) to show you some of the key differences between the cards on a high level.

MSI GTX 980 Ti Gaming 6G
Model Number STRIX-GTX980Ti-DC3OC-6GD5 GTX 980TI GAMING 6G ZT-90505-10P
CUDA Cores 2816 2816 2816
GPU boost clock 1317MHz 1279MHz 1355MHz
GPU base clock 1216MHz 1178MHz 1253MHz
Texture Units 176 176 176
Texture Fillrate 214.0 GTexel/s 207.3 GTexel/s 220.5 GTexel/s
Memory 6GB 6GB 6GB
Memory clock 1800MHz (7200MHz) 1774MHz (7096MHz) 1855MHz (7220MHz)
Memory interface 384-bit 384-bit 384-bit
Memory Bandwidth 345.6 GB/s 340.6 GB/s 346.6 GB/s
PWM Phase 12+2 8+2 8+3
0dB Fanless Idle Yes Yes Yes
Length 304.8mm 269.0mm 328.2mm
Street Price  $669.99  $623.00  $699.99

As you can see the clock speeds are fairly close, but the Zotac GeForce GTX 980 Ti AMP! Extreme Edition has the highest clock speeds of the group. The price on the cards also just happen to go along with the clock speeds, so the least expensive card (MSI’s GTX 980Ti Gaming 6G) has the lowest clock speeds. This makes practical sense, but often on custom high-end cards that isn’t the case. No rebates are available for any of these models right now.

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti reference card is clocked at 1000MHz base, 1076MHz boost and 7000MHz effective on the memory. These three GTX 980 Ti cards are overclocked up to an additional 25% on the base clock for some serious gaming performance for those that are looking to game at 1440P, 4K UHD or widescreen monitor resolutions. These cards are without a doubt overkill for a 1080P display! You can rest assured that all three companies are screening the NVIDIA GM200-310 Maxwell GPUs and only the best are making it to these models.

GeForce GTX 980 Ti Video Card Boxes

Let’s take a closer look at each of the cards and then move along to the benchmarks!

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  • Jamie

    EVGA GTX 980Ti Kingpin is the fastest 980Ti

  • 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.