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Gigabyte GeForce GTX 980 Ti G1 Gaming Review

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 980 Ti G1 Gaming Review

Over the past few weeks there has been a significant amount of movement in the graphics card marketplace as AMD released their 300 series, along with their new Fury cards. That followed NVIDIAs launch of the GTX 980 Ti which had found a pretty impressive mix of price and performance, especially when compared with the Titan X. Now manufacturers are throwing out enhanced versions of NVIDIAs card and we have one of those on our test bench today, welcome to our Gigabyte GeForce GTX 980 Ti G1 Gaming Review.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 980 Ti G1 Gaming Review – Box and Bundle

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Gigabyte go for a fairly standard box design on their G1 Gaming card and note a few key features on the front. Inside we get the standard items such as power cable, dvi to vga dongle, software disc and product documentation. Many retailers will also bundle a copy of Arkham Knight with your order, a nice bonus.

gbtool

As we have come to expect from Gigabyte we get a couple of free tools for our card. One allows us to update the BIOS and the second allows us to monitor and tweak the card, including overclocking and LED control.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 980 Ti G1 Gaming Review – The Card

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This version of the GTX 980 Ti uses the latest version of Gigabytes Windforce 3X cooling system. It uses a metal cover and beneath that are three fans, an aluminium heatsink and 5x8mm heatpipes along with a single 6mm. Gigabyte note that their fan design has been enhanced to provide additional airflow and that the heatsink fins offer larger area with reduced air resistance. Our memory is cooled too and the total rating for the cooler is 600w.

Underneath the cooler we get a GPU picked for its overclocking potential, Gigabyte employ an  8 phase power design and flipping the card over reveals a large backplate.

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Looking up at the top of the card we see that Gigabyte have included two 8pin power connectors on this model and that there are two SLI connectors present. The Windforce branding on the top of the card is LED lit, as are the two sections to the side and these turn on when the card is in passive/silent mode. When under low GPU load the fans turn off completely. Outputs come in the form of dual DVI, 3x DisplayPort and HDMI 2.0. We can connect multiple displays at the same time and 4K resolution is supported as is 3D. All key NVIDIA/Industry features are also supported including DirectX 12, CUDA, DirectCompute, Audio over DisplayPort/HDMI, PhysX, G-Sync and Dynamic Super Resolution.

As far as specifications go, this card runs at 1152MHz out of the box with boost up to 1241MHz. Memory sits at 1753MHz but that isnt the whole story. Gigabyte recommend we go into their OC Guru 2 application and enable OC mode which raises the clock to 1190/1291MHz on the core (which we did for this review). Past that the standard GTX 980 Ti specifications remain. So 2816 CUDA cores, 96 ROPs, 176TMUs, 384bit memory bus and 6GB of GDDR5.

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Gigabyte GeForce GTX 980 Ti G1 Gaming Review – Performance

Testing was performed on the Intel Core i7-5960X running on an X99 board with 16GB of DDR4 and a Samsung 850 Pro SSD. Windows 8.1 was the OS and all games along with the OS were patched. All testing was performed on a BenQ BL3201 4k Display

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Key Drivers: NVIDIA Driver: 353.30 AMD Driver: 15.15.1004 Beta

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Overclocking:

3dmark-gb980ti-oc

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 980 Ti G1 Gaming Review – Conclusion

Looking first at the build quality and design of the GTX 980 Ti G1 Gaming we have a card which is off to a good start. A metal shroud is always better than plastic and the backplate used by Gigabyte is fairly stylish while also protecting the card. The LED lighting on the top (which can change colour) is a nice touch and the fan on/off indicators will likely appeal to those with case windows. We get plenty of output options on this card and overall size is in line with other models based on this GPU which is great.

In terms of cost, at the time of writing this version of the GTX 980 Ti is more expensive than reference models, which is to be expected, however it is very competitively priced against other OC/custom models using the same GPU. So well done to Gigabyte on that.

Turning to performance and we have one note and one minor gripe. Our note is that we were testing with the latest BIOS from Gigabyte, supplied to us last week. It is designed to minimise noise levels/fan speed without significantly impacting temperatures. As far as our minor complaint goes, as we stated above Gigabyte note that users should install their OC Guru software then enable OC mode for maximum performance. We feel that the OC clocks should be the factory clocks for the card. It seems silly to have to set them manually. We are all for having an ECO mode that the user can enable, but for a card such as this the out of the box speed should be at maximum.

Looking at the thermal and power figures, we have no complaints. The card is a little higher on both than the reference card however that is to be expected given the specifications of this model. Fan noise is also good and with the latest BIOS the card is barely noticeable when gaming. In comparison to AMDs new Fury X card, the G1 Gaming easily outperforms the Radeon in gaming framerates however the AMD card does run cooler, draws a little less power and has a smaller PCB. For the comparison with the reference GTX 980 Ti, we get performance improvements in every game, sometimes into double digit FPS which is great.

Summary: An impressive version of the GTX 980 Ti which is built to a high standard, allows us to game at 4K in the latest titles and offers a good increase in framerate over the reference card and the competition.

Gold Award

About Author

Stuart Davidson

2 Comments

  1. Amet Monegro

    Ohh men you´re using much Nvida-Optimized tittles :/ where is Tomb Raider (DX11.1//2013), Evolve, Shadow of Mordor?

    great day!

  2. Sameera Kankanama

    hi dude, i have hugeee problem with my very newly build PC
    config
    intel i7 5820K
    asus sabertooth 2011-v3 ddr4 board
    hyper x16b ddr4 2133
    G1 980ti 6gb ddr5
    corsiar 780t & corsir 100i gtx Cpu cooler

    but my PC only showing 60FPS for GTA V & 30FPS for Batman Arkham Night with Maximumm graphic setting?

    fire strike 15358 only?

    what the hell happened My PC please Guys?

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