NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 980 VIDEO CARD: REVIEWS & BENCHMARKS

First, a little transparency: having started at IGN just last week, my test lab is still in a fledgling state. Testing acoustics and power consumption extends beyond the equipment I have at the moment, so this is more of a quick look at how the GTX 980 does for gaming. (Though if you're wondering, the 980 is a pretty quiet card. The 290X is definitely louder.)
Second, I readily acknowledge that the GTX 980 is absolutely a higher-end card (it’s now the top single-GPU card in NVIDIA’s lineup)—and that you don’t have to have a higher-end card to get enjoyable PC gaming.
But higher-end tech is fun to play with. If you can afford it, PC gaming can spark that same kind of smile that folks who’ve driven a Tesla get. It’s that little grin that you just can’t wipe off your face because you’re just so pleased by the experience.
I’ve been in a very upbeat mood this week.

It’s the Little Things
The difference between using a GTX 980 and its most recent predecessor is akin to that subtle effect of thoughtfully rearranging the furniture in your house. You keep what you had, but it becomes easier to get around; you can access your stuff more quickly; you work more efficiently. You get a little more out of the experience.
As you’ll see below in the benchmarks table, the GTX 980 does generally outperform the GTX 780 Ti, but not by much. (In some cases, it doesn’t at all.) But there’s a rather tangible benefit to opting for a GTX 980, and it comes right out of the box—that backplate makes putting this card into a system super easy.
That’s especially true if you’re building into a small form factor case (that’d be me) while in a particular hurry (me again); speeding along becomes just that much smoother. I’ve got fairly slender hands, but it was still a bit of a tight squeeze when popping the GTX 980, GTX 780 Ti, and AMD’s R9 290X in and out of my case. (The 290X’s benchmarks sadly don’t appear down below; I apparently didn’t file proper union forms and it refused to finish working for me during the tail end of my benchmarking.) Of the three cards, only the 980 has a backplate. I could grip the 980 firmly while nudging aside wayward cables and getting it in place. The others, I had to test my dexterity while avoiding exposed circuitry.

The Tale of the Tape
GTX 980GTX 780 Ti
Driver344.07340.52
Max Temperature80°C84°C
3DMark Fire Strike106849621
Unigine Heaven 4.0 (4xAA)71.266.7
Unigine Heaven 4.0 (8xAA)61.356.8
Batman: Arkham Origins (4xAA)7878
Batman: Arkham Origins (8xAA)6461
Hitman: Absolution (4xAA)69.669.2
Hitman: Absolution (8xAA)54.751.9
Metro: Last Light43.343.3
Tomb Raider (4xAA)49.744.4
[Our test bed was a 4.0GHz Core i7-4790K in a Gigabyte G1.Sniper M5 motherboard with 8GB of DDR3/1600 and an Enermax 530W PSU; the case was left with its sides removed. The OS was 64-bit Windows 7 Professional. All games were run at 1920x1080. Anti-aliasing settings are listed above as applicable; all other graphical settings were set to their maximum.]

As for looking at the numbers, you could leap to a couple of quick conclusions. The first would be that it’s a mistake to benchmark games at 1080p on these cards. But if you’re one of the gamers who still plays at 1080p and uses an older GPU (and there’s a lot of you out there still, according to Steam’s monthly poll), this chart will hopefully help you decide if it’s worth an upgrade to the newest higher-end video card.
The other would be that the GTX 980 doesn’t really offer much of an improvement over the GTX 780 Ti. I’d disagree; while there isn’t the obvious jump in performance that some people expect with new architecture, Maxwell opens up access to new tech that comes along with the 980’s development, like DSR and MFAA. (Both of which I haven’t been able to test yet, as they’re not part of the 344.07 driver; however, from what I’ve seen in demos, those two types of tech do seem to help increase visual fidelity.) So that could bump up how much of an edge the 980 has over the 780 Ti.
Last Thoughts...For Now
What makes the GTX 980 exciting is what it signals for the future of PC gaming: better support for 4K, and even specialized technology like G-Sync. It’s also less expensive than the card it’s meant to replace—$550 isn’t a steal, but it’s a respectable price for this tier of GPU. Even if it’s out of your price range, there’s the 970 at $330, and we’ll likely see 960 and maybe even 950 cards later on.
So if you’re wondering if it’s better to grab a 780 Ti when vendors begin to try to empty their stock (while maybe also taking advantage of the Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel bundle deal that’s been going on lately), or grab a newer GTX 980: get the 980. Future-proof yourself.
Source:ign.com

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About Ashik Empro

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