GeForce GTX 980 is NVIDIA's latest high-end single-GPU graphics card, made possible by the company's new Maxwell architecture. The GM204 graphics processor, which powers the GTX 980 in this review, comes with amazing power consumption improvements that are the foundation behind the GeForce GTX 970 and GTX 980 taking the enthusiast market by storm.
The GeForce GTX 980 is carved out of the 28 nm GM204 silicon with all its shaders enabled, resulting in a shader count of 2,048. There are 128 available texture units and the ROP count is a massive 64, with a 256-bit bus connecting 4 GB of GDDDR5 memory.
MSI's GTX 980 Gaming is a full custom variant of the GTX 980 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 1216 MHz out of the box.
Currently retailing at $580, the card is relatively affordable, being just $30 more expensive than the reference board.
GTX 780 Ti
|MSI GTX |
|Shader Units||1536||2304||2560||1664||2816||2x 2048||2688||2880||2048||2048|
|Graphics Processor||GK104||GK110||Hawaii||GM204||Hawaii||2x Tahiti||GK110||GK110||GM204||GM204|
|Memory Size||2048 MB||3072 MB||4096 MB||4096 MB||4096 MB||2x 3072 MB||6144 MB||3072 MB||4096 MB||4096 MB|
|Memory Bus Width||256 bit||384 bit||512 bit||256 bit||512 bit||2x 384 bit||384 bit||384 bit||256 bit||256 bit|
|Core Clock||1006 MHz+||863 MHz+||947 MHz||1051 MHz+||1000 MHz||1000 MHz||837 MHz+||876 MHz+||1126 MHz+||1216 MHz+|
|Memory Clock||1502 MHz||1502 MHz||1250 MHz||1750 MHz||1250 MHz||1500 MHz||1502 MHz||1750 MHz||1750 MHz||1750 MHz|
You will receive:
- Graphics card
- Driver CD (not pictured) + Documentation
- PCIe power cable
- DVI adapter
MSI has refreshed their TwinFrozr cooler design to be more colorful, using red highlights. I like the change because it makes the card look more stylish. Dimensions of the card are 28.0 cm x 14.5 cm.
Installation requires two slots in your system.
Display connectivity options include one DVI port, one mini-HDMI port, and three mini-DisplayPorts. You may use all outputs at the same time, so triple-monitor-surround gaming is possible with one card. With three DP outputs, you can build yourself a triple-monitor G-Sync-surround setup with only a single 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 four GTX 980 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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