NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Video Card Review


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Video Card Testing Methodology

The Microsoft DirectX-11 graphics API is native to the Microsoft Windows 7 Operating System, and will be the primary O/S for our test platform. DX11 is also available as a Microsoft Update for the Windows Vista O/S, so our test results apply to both versions of the Operating System.Sapphire Radeon R9 270X Vapor-X Video Card GPUZ

In each benchmark test there is one ‘cache run’ that is conducted, followed by five recorded test runs. Results are collected at each setting with the highest and lowest results discarded. The remaining three results are averaged, and displayed in the performance charts on the following pages.

A combination of synthetic and video game benchmark tests have been used in this article to illustrate relative performance among graphics solutions. Our benchmark frame rate results are not intended to represent real-world graphics performance, as this experience would change based on supporting hardware and the perception of individuals playing the video game.



Intel X79 Express Test System

DirectX-11 Benchmark Applications

  • 3DMark11 Professional Edition by Futuremark
    • Settings: Performance Level Preset, 1280×720, 1x AA, Trilinear Filtering, Tessellation level 5)
  • Aliens vs Predator Benchmark 1.0
    • Settings: Very High Quality, 4x AA, 16x AF, SSAO, Tessellation, Advanced Shadows
  • Batman: Arkham City
    • Settings: 8x AA, 16x AF, MVSS+HBAO, High Tessellation, Extreme Detail, PhysX Disabled
  • Battlefield 3
    • Settings: Ultra Graphics Quality, FOV 90, 180-second Fraps Scene
  • Battlefield 4
    • Settings: Ultra Graphics Quality, FOV 70, 180-second Fraps Scene
  • Lost Planet 2 Benchmark 1.0
    • Settings: Benchmark B, 4x AA, Blur Off, High Shadow Detail, High Texture, High Render, High DirectX 11 Features
  • Metro 2033 Benchmark
    • Settings: Very-High Quality, 4x AA, 16x AF, Tessellation, PhysX Disabled
  • Unigine Heaven Benchmark 3.0
    • Settings: DirectX 11, High Quality, Extreme Tessellation, 16x AF, 4x AA

GTX 980 Specifications (GM204)

Graphics Processing Clusters 4
Streaming Multiprocessors 16
CUDA Cores (single precision) 2048
CUDA Cores (double precision) ???
Texture Units 128
ROP Units 64
Base Clock 1126 MHz
Boost Clock 1216 MHz
Memory Clock (Data rate) 7000 MHz
L2 Cache Size 512KB x4
Total Video Memory 4096MB GDDR5
Memory Interface 256-bit
Total Memory Bandwidth 224.4 GB/s
Texture Filtering Rate (Bilinear) 144.1 GigaTexels/sec
Fabrication Process 28 nm
Transistor Count 5.2 Billion
Connectors 1x Dual-Link DVI
1x HDMI 2.0
3x DisplayPort 1.2
Form Factor Dual Slot
Power Connectors Two 6-pin PCI-E
Recommended Power Supply 600 Watts
Thermal Design Power (TDP) 165 Watts
Thermal Threshold 95° C

PCI-Express Graphics Cards

Graphics Card GeForce GTX580 Radeon HD7950 GeForce GTX680 Radeon HD7970 GeForce GTX780 Radeon R9 290 GeForce GTX780Ti Radeon R9 290X GeForce GTX980
GPU Cores 512 1792 1536 2048 2304 2560 2880 2816 2048
Core Clock (MHz) 772 850 1006 925 863 947 876 1000 1126
Shader Clock (MHz) 1544 N/A 1058 Boost N/A Boost 902 N/A Boost 928 N/A Boost 1216
Memory Clock (MHz) 1002 1250 1502 1375 1502 1250 1750 1250 1750
Memory Amount 1536MB GDDR5 3072MB GDDR5 2048MB GDDR5 3072MB GDDR5 3072MB GDDR5 4096MB GDDR5 3072MB GDDR5 4096MB GDDR5 4096MB GDDR5
Memory Interface 384-bit 384-bit 256-bit 384-bit 384-bit 512-bit 384-bit 512-bit 256-bit
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 (772 MHz GPU/1544 MHz Shader/1002 MHz vRAM – Forceware 331.70)
  • AMD Radeon HD 7950 (850 MHz GPU/1250 MHz vRAM – AMD Catalyst 14.3)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 (1006 MHz GPU/1059 MHz Boost/1502 MHz vRAM – Forceware 331.70)
  • AMD Radeon HD 7970 (925 MHz GPU/1375 MHz vRAM – AMD Catalyst Catalyst 14.3)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 (869 MHz GPU/902 MHz Boost/1502 MHz vRAM – Forceware 344.47)
  • XFX Radeon R9 290 DD (947 MHz GPU/1250 MHz vRAM – AMD Catalyst 14.7 R3)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti (875 MHz GPU/928 MHz Boost/1750 MHz vRAM – Forceware 344.47)
  • MSI Radeon R9 290X (1000 MHz GPU/1250 MHz vRAM – AMD Catalyst 14.7 R3)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (116 MHz GPU/1216 MHz Boost/1750 MHz vRAM – Forceware 344.47)


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  1. Argos

    Thanks for this review. I am glad I waited a bit longer with building my new system. This card seems beyond belief. Every time I think it can’t get any better and then this monster card appears.

  2. Caring1

    I hardly think it “crushed” the R9 290X, however it did thrash the GTX 680, so it makes sense to upgrade if you have an older Nvidia card.

  3. Chris

    It isn’t that much faster than the 780TI. The big attraction is that the power consumption is much lower (more OC headroom) and the lower price.

    I think it may be worth waiting to see what AMD has to offer this generation and for “Big Maxwell” to arrive.

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