Calling all PC gamers – Nvidia has announced its latest single-chip gaming powerhouses: the Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 and GTX 970.
The 980 claims to be the fastest single-ship graphics card on the market, and both feature Nvidia’s new Maxwell architecture. The two new cards will replace the GTX 780 Ti, so, like a guy with an iPhone 5 at the iPhone 6 launch, you will no longer be a cool kid with a 780 in your system.
Before we get into the pricing – spoiler: they are not exactly cheap – let’s take a look at what the cards are offering in terms of specifications.
Nvidia GeForce GTX 980
Nvidia GeForce GTX 970
|Steam processors/Cuda Cores||2048||1664|
|Memory Clock||7GHz DDR5||7GHz DDR5|
|Memory Bus Width||256 bit||256 bit|
|Max Digital Resolution||4096×2160||4096×2160|
|Max VGA Resolution||2048×1536||2048×1536|
Both cards feature the aforementioned Maxwell architecture, which Nvidia says will deliver better performance and power efficiency. The cards also offer Dynamic Super Resolution – which claims to deliver 4K-quality gaming on 1080p displays – and VXGI (Voxel Global Illumination).
VXGI allows the simulation of light inside games in real time, which is meant to provide better quality shadows, more vibrant colours, and more realistic scenery. Nvidia released a video explaining and demonstrating VXGI in action, which we have posted below.
Please do not laugh at the guy who gives the intro – his eyesight is obviously poor and those glasses are necessary.
Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry and Anandtech put the GTX 980 through its paces with the usual line up of resource-hungry games – here are the results.
Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 – FPS
|BioShock||Ultra DDOF 1920×1080||121.6|
|Tomb Raider||Ultimate FXAA 1920×1080||91.1|
|Battlefield 4||Ultra 1920×1080||87.2|
|Crysis 3||Very High 1920×1080||77|
|Crysis 3||FXAA High Quality 3840×2160||29.1|
|Metro: Last Light||High Quality 3840×2160||37.3|
|Metro: Last Light||High Quality 2560×1440||83.7|
Although pricing information is not widely available, Evetech let us know that it will be getting stock of the two cards in the coming weeks. There are three versions currently available from the PC builder, all of which are expected to arrive on 3 October 2014.
- MSI GTX 980 OC Edition – R9,499
- MSI GTX 980 – R9,599
- MSI GTX 980 Gaming Overclocked – R9,799
The slightly less powerful GTX 970 is expected to arrive on 26 September 2014.
- MSI GTX 970 OC Edition – R5,599
- MSI GTX 970 Armour OC – R5,699
- MSI GTX 970 Gaming OC – R5,999
Here are some more pretty pictures of the cards, just because.
And now, let’s hear from those who were fortunate enough to play with the card before its launch.
What Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry thought:
The GTX 980 is what it is – an extremely clever piece of technology that’s a bit faster than the previous Nvidia flagship, offered at the same price premium but without a commanding increase in raw frame-rates some may have hoped for.
In this respect, the card could fall short of enthusiast expectations – at the top-end, the demands of the hardcore almost always put performance first. But for those looking to upgrade from an older card, the combination of power and efficiency Maxwell represents makes it difficult to ignore.
What Anandtech thought:
At the very high end the GTX 980 will be unrivaled. It is roughly 10% faster than GTX 780 Ti and consumes almost 1/3rd less power for that performance.
This is enough to keep the single-GPU performance crown solidly in NVIDIA’s hands, maintaining a 10-20% lead over AMD’s flagship Radeon R9 290X. Meanwhile GTX 970 should fare similarly as well, however as our sample is having compatibility issues that we haven’t been able to resolve in time, that is a discussion we will need to have another day.
And, as always, cue the marketing video. This one has a bit more substance than the average product video, though. Enjoy.
So, what do y’all think of the new cards? Let us know in the comments and forum.