EVGA is after gaming enthusiasts with its new GTX 980 Ti, which is designed for extreme overclocking and features an aggressive power design and an efficient dual-fan cooler.
The GTX 980 Ti has been out for a little while now, but that doesn't mean board manufacturers aren't still competing to be the best GTX 980 Ti on the market. With the ability to change clock speed, RAM quality, fans, heatsinks, power phases and other factors, there can be a sizeable gap between the fastest GTX 980 Ti and the slowest one.
Ultimately, to get the fastest GTX 980 Ti, you need to overclock, and to get the most out of your overclock, you need a GPU that is optimized to handle the extra heat and power overclocking creates.
Although we haven't performed any tests to know how well the EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti Classified ACX 2.0+ stacks up against the others, on paper the card has lots of overclocking potential. The card uses an aggregate 14+3 power phase design with a fully digital VRM. Compared to the 6+2 power phases used on the reference design GTX 980 Ti, EVGA's solution should offer significantly improved power regulation.
Power phases work in tandem with each other, and all power in the GPU flows through them. If you have too few, they can overheat, which can cause your GPU to throttle, or in severe cases the GPU can die from it. Having many power phases decreases the chance of overheating and helps to extend the life of your GPU.
So that you can take advantage of this improved power design, EVGA also went with two 8-pin PCI-E power connections instead of the reference card's one 8-pin and one 6-pin power connections. As a result, instead of being limited to 300 W of power that the GPU can pull from the system, this one can pull 375 W.
Some extreme overclockers will want to modify the BIOS on their GPU in order to enable better overclocking and higher clock speeds without the use of third-party overclocking programs. This is a dangerous operation on most GPUs, and a mistake can render the GPU useless, but EVGA prepared for that by loading the GPU up with two BIOS chips. With the flick of a switch, you can move between the primary or secondary BIOS in the event that the primary BIOS stops functioning.
Finally, EVGA implemented a comprehensive cooling solution across the GPU to prevent the card from overheating while overclocked. EVGA utilized a metal back plate on the back of the card, in addition to placing cooling plates on the memory MOSFET, which it claimed reduces the MOSFET temperature up to 13 percent. Straight heat pipes are also utilized, which EVGA claimed nets an additional 5 degrees C drop in GPU temperature.
The heat pipes go through a dense aluminum heat sink, which in turn is actively cooled by a pair of double ball bearing fans with optimized fan blades. The fan motors are designed for ultra low power consumption, using a separate 3-phase power design, which EVGA claimed delivers 250 percent lower power consumption than other GPU fans. Although for extreme overclocking, many users will want to move to a liquid cooling system, as far as air coolers go, this one looks to be well designed and should effectively cool the GPU.
|EVGA Geforce GTX 980 Ti Classified ACX 2.0+|
|Base Clock||1190 MHz|
|Boost Clock||1291 MHz|
|Memory||6 GB GDDR5|
|Memory Clock||7010 MHz|
|Memory Speed||0.28 ns|
|Memory Bandwidth||336.5 GB/s|
Currently, there is no word on availability or price.
Update, 7/1/15, 12:17pm PT: EVGA got back with us to add that the GPU is available starting today with a MSRP of $699.99.