Gigabyte Geforce GTX 980Ti Waterforce Review – Packaging and Bundle
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Gigabyte Geforce GTX 980Ti Waterforce Review – The Card
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Gigabyte Geforce GTX 980Ti Waterforce Review – Performance
NVIDIA Driver: 361.91
AMD Driver: Latest Crimson Edition
NOTE: The Waterforce card was tested in its OC profile. We believe this reflects the mode that consumers who buy a liquid cooled card will use.
Gigabyte Geforce GTX 980Ti Waterforce Review – Conclusion
Starting with the build quality of the Waterforce card we have a product which impresses. As noted above Gigabyte make use of good manufacturing processes, high quality components and advanced coating on the PCB. We’ve used a number of their Ultra Durable products in the past and found them to be stable and reliable over time, just as this model should be. That said there are a few minor tweaks we would have liked to see. Firstly it would be good if the cover used on the front of the card was at least part metal, just to add a premium feel. The wiring inside the window could be a bit tidier and if we are being really picky the LEDs when they cycle jump a bit. A smooth transition would be great. Maybe slightly longer pipes too, just to make sure all fan locations are available to those using massive cases.
As far as pricing goes, the Waterforce sits at £629 which is equal with EVGA’s option and that lacks aspects such as the extended copper block found in the Gigabyte model. The bundle doesn’t really add any value and OC Guru is functional. So all in all, fairly priced.
Looking at performance, this is the strongest aspect of the card. It is near silent at all times and you will struggle to hear it in any decent case. Temperatures are excellent, idle at less than 30c, increasing to around 60c at load which is a good amount cooler than the air cooled competition. Despite the high factory overclock there was a decent amount of manual overclocking headroom, so a lot of potential for enthusiasts to have fun and framerates are great. In every one of our tests the Xtreme Gaming Waterforce offered significantly better performance than a standard GTX 980Ti and also outperformed AMD’s high end Fury X card (which is also liquid cooled).
Summary: An impressive version of the GTX 980Ti which easily wins our Performance award due to its high framerates and low noise/temperatures.