GPU Manufacturer Tier List R0.8

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GPU Manufacturer/Model Tier List Revision 0.8

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Info
Author: Woosung Koh (AKA: KKAW or kOh)
Revision: 0.8
Date Published: 08/26/2015
Last Updated: 05/17/2016
Link: http://www.tomshardware.com/faq/id-2922204/gpu-manufacturer-tier-list.html

Method Of Listing
1. Check which model has the highest base clock speed.
2. Find all possible reviews (in English).
3. Closely go through the quality of the PCB, components, thermals and overclocking.
4. Go through several synthetic and gaming benchmarks. Gaming benchmarks show realistic performance, thus making it first priory.
5. Benchmarks made in the same test bench are first priory as this is the most reliable and all (or almost all) variables are identical.
6. Tier list is made by gaming performance and quality of components and the ability to overclock.
7. Benchmarks comparisons with different test bench will be taken in to account to double check if these models belong to the tier list.
8. Final revision to make sure the tier list is grouped properly and performance difference is very close within the tier group.
9. Revise and make sure all three criteria's are met.
10. If reviews and benchmarks are insufficient the GPU model will not be added to any of the tier list.
11. Go through newegg to check if any model's are missing. Read customer review's on newegg to check if there are any vital information to be taken into account.
I checked and double checked a lot of benchmarks and reviews, i did not create this tier list solely based on the clock speeds, however the gpu clock speed usually is a good representative of how fast/good quality the GPU model will be compared to others. This could be the result of manufacturers putting in higher quality components on models with the capability of reaching higher clock speeds.

Method Of Validating The List
Criteria A: Build Quality
Tier 1: A Backplate Must Be Present / PCB Board & Components Must Be Top Quality
Tier 2: PCB Board & Components Must Be Great Quality
Tier 3: PCB Board & Components Must Be Good Quality
Criteria B: Thermal Performance/Noise
Tier 1: Excellent Thermal Performance, Near Silent Operation On Medium Loads
Tier 2: Excellent Thermal Performance, Near Silent Operation On Low GPU Loads
Tier 3: Excellent Thermal Performance, Near Silent Operation On Low GPU Loads
Criteria C: Gaming Performance
Tier 1: When Compared To Tier 2 & Tier 3 Gaming Performance Must Be Generally Superior
Tier 2: When Compared To Tier 3 Gaming Performance Must Be Generally Superior
Tier 3: When Compared To Nvidia Reference GPU Model This Model Must Be Superior

General Meaning
Tier 1: Excellent Choice, Best In The Market!
Tier 2: Great Choice, Choose Me If Tier 1 Is Unavailable Or It Has An Excellent Price.
Tier 3: Good Choice, Only Choose Me If The Tier 1 Or Tier 2 Are Unavailable!
Tier 4: Basic Choice, Only Choose Me If The Price Of This Model Is A Lot Cheaper Than The Others.


Terms
Great Memory Overclocking: Expect Equal To Or Above 8.0 Mhz (GeForce GTX)
Good Memory Overclocking: Expect Equal To Or Above 7.8 Mhz (GeForce GTX)
Poor Memory Overclocking: Expect Equal To Or Under 7.5 Mhz (GeForce GTX)
Good/Great/Excellent/Outstanding Core Overclocking: This Means The Realistic In Game Clock Speed After Overclocking Is "Good/Great/Excellent/Outstanding".

Notes: The GPU manufacturer/model listed within the tier group are not in any specific order, however in Tier 2 or Tier 3 the higher it is the more it is recommended (by the author). This tutorial only includes the most recent generation of GPU's. The information stated may not be 100% accurate or 100% valid.

If you see anything particularly wrong, typo's, states incorrect information or incomplete information please do personal message me and i will fix it asap.

If you have valid proof that a specific GPU model is misplaced and should change the Tier Group it is located at, please send a personal message to the author.

This guide is incomplete, validation may be incomplete and there are more GPU's to add to the tier list, if you want a specific model to be added please send a personal message to the author.

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GeForce GTX GPU's


GTX Titan X
Note: Excludes Criteria A & B
Author's Recommendation:
EVGA GeForce GTX Titan X 12GB SuperClocked

Tier 1
EVGA GeForce GTX Titan X 12GB HYBRID
Backplate: Yes / Years Base Clock: 1152 Mhz / Cooling: EVGA Hybrid

EVGA GeForce GTX Titan X 12GB SuperClocked
Backplate: N/A / Base Clock: 1127 Mhz / Cooling: SC Blower
Note: May Face Overheating Issues

Inno3D GeForce GTX Titan X iChill
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1102 Mhz / Cooling: Accelero Hybrid S

ZOTAC GeForce GTX TITAN X ArcticStorm
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1026 Mhz / Cooling: ArcticStorm Hybrid

Tier 2
Asus GTX TITANX-12GD5
Backplate: Stock / Base Clock: 1000 Mhz / Cooling: Blower

EVGA GeForce GTX TITAN X
Backplate: Stock / Base Clock: 1000 Mhz / Cooling: Blower

Zotac GeForce GTX TITAN X
Backplate: Stock / Base Clock: 1000 Mhz / Cooling: Blower

MSI NTITAN X 12GD5
Backplate: Stock / Base Clock: 1000 Mhz / Cooling: Blower

Inno3D GeForce GTX Titan X
Backplate: Stock / Base Clock: 1000 Mhz / Cooling: Blower

GainWard GeForce GTX TITAN X
Backplate: Stock / Base Clock: 1000 Mhz / Cooling: Blower

Galax GeForce GTX TITAN X
Backplate: Stock / Base Clock: 1000 Mhz / Cooling: Blower

Colorful GeForce GTX TITAN X
Backplate: Stock / Base Clock: 1000 Mhz / Cooling: Blower

Palit GeForce GTX TITAN X
Backplate: Stock / Base Clock: 1000 Mhz / Cooling: Blower

GTX 980 Ti
Author's Recommendation:
Asus GeForce GTX 980 Ti STRIX OC
Zotac GeForce GTX 980 Ti Amp! Extreme

Tier 1
Asus GeForce GTX 980 Ti STRIX OC
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1216 Mhz / Cooling: Direct CU III
Note: Outstanding Quality Components.

EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti Classified
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1190 Mhz / Cooling: ACX 2.0+
Note: Outstanding Quality Components. Great Core Overclocking.

Zotac GeForce GTX 980 Ti Amp! Extreme
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1253 Mhz / Cooling: Triple 90mm IceStorm
Note: Must Register Product 14 Days After Purchase To Receive An Additional Year Of Warranty. Better VRAM Overclocking Than STRIX OC.

EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti HYBRID
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1140 Mhz / Cooling: EVGA Hybrid
Note: Hose May Be Shorter Than Expected.

Tier 2

Inno3D GeForce GTX 980 Ti iChill
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1178 Mhz / Cooling: Accelero Hybrid S
Note: Takes Up 3 PCI Slots. Excellent Overclocking.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 980 Ti G1 Gaming
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1190 Mhz / Cooling: WindForce 3X

MSI GeForce GTX 980 Ti Gaming 6G OC
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1178 Mhz / Cooling: Twin Frozr V
Note: Excellent Cooling.

Zotac GeForce GTX 980 Ti Amp! Omega
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1178 Mhz / Cooling: Triple 90mm IceStorm
Customer's Warning: Takes Up 3 PCI Slots

Tier 3

EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti SuperClocked+
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1102 Mhz / Cooling: ACX 2.0+

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 980 Ti OC 6GD
Blackplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1102 Mhz / Cooling: WindForce 3X

Zotac GeForce GTX 980 Ti Amp!
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1051 Mhz / Cooling: Triple 90mm IceStorm

Inno3D GeForce GTX 980 Ti OC
Backplate: N/A / Base Clock: 1038 Mhz / Cooling: HerculeZ X3

GTX 980
Author's Recommendation:
EVGA GeForce GTX 980 KingPin
Bang For Buck Recommendation: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 980 G1 Gaming
Note: PNY OC XLR8 Pro Looks Stunning, Check It Out If You Have A White Themed System

Tier 1

Asus GeForce GTX 980 20th Anniversary Gold Edition
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1317 Mhz / Cooling: Direct CU II
Note: Outstanding Component Quality.

EVGA GeForce GTX 980 KingPin
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1304Mhz / Cooling: ACX 2.0+
Note: Outstanding Component Quality.

Galax GeForce GTX 980 Hall Of Fame
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1266 Mhz / Cooling: Triple Force
Note: Excellent Core Overclocking.

Zotac GeForce GTX 980 Amp! Extreme
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1291Mhz / Cooling: Triple-fan IceStorm w/ Carbon ExoArmor
Note: Great Core Overclocking.

EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Classified
Backplate: N/A / Base Clock: 1291 Mhz / Cooling: ACX 2.0
Note: Outstanding Overclocking On Core & VRAM

Tier 2

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 980 G1 Gaming
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1253 Mhz / Cooling: WindForce 3X
Note: Great Overclocking On Core & VRAM. Slightly Louder Than Other Models.

Inno3D GeForce GTX 980 HerculeZ X4
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1266 Mhz / Cooling: X4 Air Boss + A.P.C.S

EVGA GeForce GTX 980 FTW
Backplate: N/A / Base Clock: 1279 Mhz / Cooling: ACX 2.0

PNY GeForce GTX 980 OC XLR8 Pro
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1228 Mhz / Cooling: XLR8 Pro
Note: Great Core Overclocking.

EVGA GeForce GTX 980 SuperClocked
Backplate: N/A / Base Clock: 1266 Mhz / Cooling: ACX 2.0

Asus GeForce GTX 980 ROG MATRIX
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1241 Mhz / Cooling: Direct CU II

MSI GeForce GTX 980 Gaming 4G
Backplate: N/A / Base Clock: 1216 Mhz / Cooling: Twin Frozr V

Asus GeForce GTX 980 POSEIDEN
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1178 Mhz / Cooling: Direct CU H20
Note: Water Cooling Compatible. Slightly More Power Hungry Compared To Other Models.

Tier 3

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 980 OC 4GD
Backplate: N/A / Base Clock: 1203 Mhz / Cooling: WindForce 3X

Asus GeForce GTX 980 STRIX
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1178 Mhz / Cooling: Direct CU II

EVGA GeForce GTX 980 ACX 2.0
Backplate: N/A / Base Clock: 1126 Mhz / Cooling: ACX 2.0

Zotac GeForce GTX 980 Amp!
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1165 Mhz / Cooling: Triple Fan Cooler

MSI GeForce GTX 980 Gaming 4G LE
Backplate: N/A / Base Clock: 1152 Mhz / Cooling: Twin Frozr V

GTX 970
Author's Recommendation:
Galax GeForce GTX 970 Hall Of Fame
EVGA GeForce GTX 970 FTW+
Bang For Buck Recommendation: EVGA GeForce GTX 970 SSC

Tier 1

Galax GeForce GTX 970 Hall Of Fame
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1228 Mhz / Cooling: Triple Force

EVGA GeForce GTX 970 FTW+
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1216 Mhz / Cooling: ACX 2.0+
Note: Slightly Better Overclocking Than Amp! Extreme Core, Memory MOSFET Cooling Plate's Are Great Quality.

Zotac GeForce GTX 970 Amp! Extreme
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1203 Mhz / Cooling: Triple-fan IceStorm w/ Carbon ExoArmor
Note: Maximum Overclocking Is As Good Or Better Than The Amp! Extreme Core, This Is Recommended If The Price Of The Amp! Extreme < Amp! Extreme Core

Zotac GeForce GTX 970 Amp! Extreme Core
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1228 Mhz / Cooling: Triple-fan IceStorm w/ Carbon ExoArmor
Note: Maximum Overclock Is Not As Good As Hall Of Fame, Most Likely Because Component's Used Are Not As Excellent As The Hall Of Fame & The PCB Was Not As Top Quality As The Hall Of Fame

EVGA GeForce GTX 970 FTW
Backplate: N/A / Base Clock: 1216 Mhz / Cooling: ACX 2.0
Note: Does Not Overclock As Well As The FTW+, Slightly Louder Than Other Models, However It Is Still Very Quiet.

EVGA GeForce GTX 970 SSC
Backplate: N/A / Base Clock: 1190 Mhz / Cooling: ACX 2.0+
Note: Overclock's GPU Memory Much Better Than FTW, Almost Identical Quality To FTW+. Maximum Boost Clock Is Lower Than FTW.

Tier 2

Galax GeForce GTX 970 EXOC
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1164 Mhz / Cooling: Silence Extreme
Note: Slightly Better Gaming Performance Compared To G1 Gaming Before Both Are Overclocked. Great Cooling.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 G1 Gaming
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1208 Mhz / Cooling: WindForce 3X
Note: Excellent Cooling

Tier 3

EVGA GeForce GTX 970 SuperClocked
Backplate: N/A / Base Clock: 1165 Mhz / Cooling: ACX 2.0
Note: Overclock's GPU Memory Much Better Than FTW, Almost Identical Quality To FTW+. Maximum Boost Clock After Overclocked Is Lower Than FTW.

Zotac GeForce GTX 970 Amp! Omega Core
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1102 Mhz / Cooling: Dual-fan IceStorm w/ ExoArmor
Note: Good VRAM Overclocking.

MSI GeForce GTX 970 100 Million Edition
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1140 Mhz / Cooling: Twin Frozr V
Note: Basically MSI Gaming Edition + Backplate + Color Change

MSI GeForce GTX 970 Gaming 4G
Backplate: N/A / Base Clock: 1140 Mhz / Cooling: Twin Frozr V
Note: Hotter Core Compared To G1 Gaming. Good VRAM Overclocking.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 OC 4GD
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1149 Mhz / Cooling: WindForce 3X

Palit GeForce GTX 970 JetStream
Backplate: N/A / Base Clock: 1152 Mhz / Cooling: JetStream
Note: Worse Overclocking Compared To SuperClocked. Build Quality Is Not Good.

Asus GeForce GTX 970 STRIX
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1114 Mhz / Cooling: DirectCU II
Note: Overclocks Slightly Less Than MSI Gaming 4G.

MSI GeForce GTX 970 4GD5T OC
Backplate: N/A / Base Clock: 1102 Mhz / Cooling: Armor 2X
Note: Components Are Solid, However Cooling On Everything Except Core Is Not As Good As Gaming 4G.

GTX 960
Author's Recommendation:

EVGA GeForce GTX 960 FTW+
Bang For Buck Recommendation: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 960 G1 Gaming

Note: Backplate Requirements Do Not Apply.
Tier 1

EVGA GeForce GTX 960 FTW+
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1304 Mhz / Cooling: ACX 2.0+
Note: Great Quality, Great Component Cooling.

Palit GeForce GTX 960 Super Jetstream
Backplate: N/A / Base Clock: 1279 Mhz / Cooling: Super Jetstream
Note: Great Core Overclocking. Great Memory Overclocking.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 960 G1 Gaming
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1266 Mhz / Cooling: WindForce 3X
Note: Great Core Clock After Overclocking. Great Memory Overclocking.

EVGA GeForce GTX 960 SSC
Backplate: N/A / Base Clock: 1279 Mhz / Cooling: ACX 2.0+
Note: Great Quality, Great Component Cooling.

PNY GeForce GTX 960 XLR8 Elite
Backplate: N/A / Base Clock: 1304 Mhz / Cooling: Elite Dual Fan

Asus GeForce GTX 960 STRIX OC
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1291 Mhz / Cooling: Dual Fan
Note: Great Core Overclocking, Great Memory Overclocking.

MSI GeForce GTX 960 Gaming 2G
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1241 Mhz / Cooling: TwinFrozr V
Note: Basically MSI Gaming 2G + Backplate.

MSI GeForce GTX 960 Gaming 2G
Backplate: N/A / Base Clock: 1241 Mhz / Cooling: TwinFrozr V
Note: Great Core Overclocking, Great Memory Overclocking. Before Overclocking Perform Is Slightly Lacking Compared To Other Tier 1's.

Asus GeForce GTX 960 DC2OC Black Edition
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1279 Mhz / Cooling: DirectCU II

Tier 2

Zotac GeForce GTX 960 Amp! Edition
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1266 Mhz / Cooling: Dual Fan
Note: Good Power Efficiency. Poor Memory Overclocking.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 960 WF 2GD
Backplate: N/A / Base Clock: 1152 Mhz / Cooling: WindForce 2X

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 960 OC 2GD Rev 1.0
Backplate: N/A / Base Clock: 1216 Mhz / Cooling: WindForce 2X

MSI GeForce GTX 960 2GD5T OC
Backplate: N/A / Base Clock: 1178 Mhz / Cooling: Armor 2X

R9 300 GPU's

R9 Fury X

Author's Recommendation:
XFX R9 Fury X

Sapphire R9 Fury X

Asus R9 Fury X

MSI R9 Fury X

Gigabyte R9 Fury X

All R9 Fury X Have Next To No Difference! Choose The Cheapest Available!

R9 Fury
Author's Recommendation:
Sapphire R9 Fury Tri-X
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1040 Mhz / Cooling: Tri-X Fans
Note: Load Temps Are Around 72C. Quite Quiet Even On Full Load.

Asus R9 Fury STRIX Gaming
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1020 Mhz / Cooling: DirectCU III
Note: Load Temps Are Around 72C. Quite Quiet Even On Full Load.

R9 390X
Author's Recommendation:
MSI R9 390 X Gaming 8G
XFX R9 390 X Double Dissipation Black Edition
Asus R9 390 X STRIX Gaming

Tier 1

MSI R9 390 X Gaming 8G
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1100 Mhz / Cooling: Twin Frozr V
Note: Excellent Components. Excellent Core Overclocking

XFX R9 390 X Double Dissipation Black Edition
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1090 Mhz / Cooling: Double Dissipation + Ghost Thermal 3.0
Note: Excellent Components. Excellent VRM & VRAM Cooling

Asus R9 390 X STRIX Gaming
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1090 Mhz / Cooling: DirectCU III
Note: Outstanding Components. Great VRAM Overclocking.

XFX R9 390 X Double Dissipation
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1050 Mhz / Cooling: Double Dissipation + Ghost Thermal 3.0
Note: Excellent Components. Excellent VRM & VRAM Cooling

Tier 2

Sapphire R9 390 X Tri-X
Backplate: N/A / Base Clock: 1055 Mhz / Cooling: Tri-X Fans
Note: Excellent Components. Excellent VRM & VRAM Cooling

R9 390
Author's Recommendation:

Asus R9 390 STRIX Gaming

Tier 1

XFX R9 390 Double Dissipation Black Edition
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1050 Mhz / Cooling: Double Dissipation + Ghost Thermal 3.0
Note: Excellent Components. Excellent VRM & VRAM Cooling.

Asus R9 390 STRIX Gaming
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1050 Mhz / Cooling: DirectCU III
Note: Outstanding Components.

HIS R9 390 IceQ X² OC
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1020 Mhz / Cooling: IceQ X²
Note: Excellent Cooling.Excellent VRM & VRAM Cooling.

Tier 2

SapphireR9 390 Nitro
Backplate: N/A / Base Clock: 1010 Mhz / Cooling: Tri-X
Note: Outstanding Overclocking On Core & VRAM. Excellent Components & Build Quality. Excellent VRM & VRAM Cooling.

XFX R9 390 Double Dissipation
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1015 Mhz / Cooling: Double Dissipation + Ghost Thermal 3.0
Note: Excellent Components. Excellent VRM & VRAM Cooling.

PowerColor R9 390 PCS+
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1010 Mhz / Cooling: PCS+ Trio Fan
Note: Takes Up 3 PCI Slot. Excellent VRM & VRAM Cooling. Excellent Build Quality

MSI R9 390 Gaming 8G
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1010 Mhz / Cooling: Twin Frozr V

R9 380
Author's Recommendation:



Tier 1

XFX R9 380 Double Dissipation Black Edition
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1030 Mhz / Cooling: Double Dissipation + Ghost Thermal 3.0
Note: Excellent Core Overclocking. Excellent VRAM Overclocking. Excellent Components. Excellent VRM & VRAM Cooling.

HIS R9 390 IceQ X² OC
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 990 Mhz / Cooling: IceQ X²
Note: Excellent Core Overclock. Excellent VRM & VRAM Cooling.

MSI R9 380 Gaming 4G
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1010 Mhz / Cooling: Twin Frozr V
Note: Excellent Components. Excellent VRM & VRAM Cooling.

Tier 2

SapphireR9 380 Nitro
Backplate: N/A / Base Clock: 985 Mhz / Cooling: Tri-X
Note: Excellent Components. Excellent VRM & VRAM Cooling.

Asus R9 380 STRIX Gaming
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 1010 Mhz / Cooling: DirectCU II
Note: Outstanding Components.

XFX R9 380 Double Dissipation
Backplate: N/A / Base Clock: 990 Mhz / Cooling: Double Dissipation + Ghost Thermal 3.0
Note: Excellent Components. Excellent VRM & VRAM Cooling.

PowerColor R9 380 PCS+
Backplate: Yes / Base Clock: 980 Mhz / Cooling: PCS+

Club 3D R9 380 royalQueen
Backplate: N/A / Base Clock: 980 Mhz / Cooling: CoolStream

Other Guides Made By KKAW
Bottlenecking Guide/Chart 2015
Safe GPU Overclocking Guide 2016