The GeForce GTX 970 is the smaller brother to NVIDIA's new GeForce GTX 980, of which both are based on the Maxwell architecture using the GM204 graphics processor. The GTX 970, much like its predecessors, the GTX 770 and GTX 670, is destined to be an underrated card decking out lower shelves under the GTX 980's shadow. Steam Hardware survey trends would also agree with our guess that this card will end up selling more between the two in volume to probably even fetch NVIDIA more revenue overall.
The GeForce GTX 970 is carved out of the 28 nm GM204 silicon the GTX 980 is based on, by disabling three of sixteen streaming multiprocessors with 128 CUDA cores each. The resulting shader count is 1,664. Texture memory units are, proportionately, down to 104, as are clock speeds, although they stay well above the 1 GHz mark. The ROP count stays at a whopping 64, with a 256-bit memory bus width and a standard memory total of 4 GB.
MSI is one of the leading players on the graphics card market, and their GTX 970 Gaming, reviewed today, has been available since NVIDIA's launch. We previously tested the MSI GTX 980 Gaming, and are today finally taking a look at the GTX 970 Gaming.
MSI's GTX 970 Gaming is a fully customized variant of the GTX 970 with a new dual-fan MSI TwinFrozr cooler and a custom board design with new voltage-regulation circuitry. The card is also overclocked to a base clock of 1114 MHz out of the box.
The card is currently available online for $350, which is a reasonable price as it is in-line with similar offerings.
GTX 780 Ti
|Shader Units||2048||1536||2304||2560||1664||1664||2816||2x 2048||2688||2880||2048|
|Graphics Processor||Tahiti||GK104||GK110||Hawaii||GM204||GM204||Hawaii||2x Tahiti||GK110||GK110||GM204|
|Memory Size||3072 MB||2048 MB||3072 MB||4096 MB||4096 MB||4096 MB||4096 MB||2x 3072 MB||6144 MB||3072 MB||4096 MB|
|Memory Bus Width||384 bit||256 bit||384 bit||512 bit||256 bit||256 bit||512 bit||2x 384 bit||384 bit||384 bit||256 bit|
|Core Clock||1000 MHz||1006 MHz+||863 MHz+||947 MHz||1051 MHz+||1114 MHz+||1000 MHz||1000 MHz||837 MHz+||876 MHz+||1126 MHz+|
|Memory Clock||1500 MHz||1502 MHz||1502 MHz||1250 MHz||1750 MHz||1750 MHz||1250 MHz||1500 MHz||1502 MHz||1750 MHz||1750 MHz|
You will receive:
- Graphics card
- Driver CD + documentation
- PCIe power cable
- DVI adapter
MSI's card uses a red and black color theme that looks excellent thanks to its non-glossy colors. Dimensions of the card are 28.0 cm x 14.5 cm.
Installation requires two slots in your system.
Display connectivity options include two DVI ports, one HDMI port, and one DisplayPort. You may use all outputs at the same time, so triple-monitor-surround gaming is possible with one card.
The GPU also includes an HDMI sound device. It is HDMI 2.0 compatible, which includes HD audio and Blu-ray 3D movies support.
You may combine up to three GTX 970 cards in a multi-GPU SLI configuration. AMD recently switched to transferring CrossFire data via the PCI-Express bus in order to handle 4K frames. NVIDIA's SLI suffers from no such limitations, so there is no reason for NVIDIA to use PCIe.
Pictured above are the front and back, showing the disassembled board. High-res versions are also available (front, back).
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