During CES, EVGA announced an interesting graphics card, the GTX 970 SSC ACX 2.0, which is interesting not because it's faster than an older model (it isn't), but because it already exists.
The card runs at a base frequency of 1190 MHz and will boost up to a tremendous 1342 MHz when the thermal headroom permits it to using Nvidia GPU Boost 2.0. The memory remains at the 7010 MHz reference frequency, which runs over a 256-bit memory interface and totals 4 GB of GDDR5.
EVGA has cooled the card with its ACX 2.0 cooler, which it calls one of the most efficient GPU coolers in the world. That's a bold claim, but older models have shown that the cooler is quite capable indeed.
The reason you'd buy a factory overclocked GPU is simple: You want to pull that extra ounce of performance out of your graphics card, but you don't want to deal with the hassle of figuring out which vendor covers overclocking in their warranties, or you want to make sure you have a sample with a better-binned GPU. Granted, a factory-overclocked graphics card isn't a guarantee that you'll be able to overclock it further than a non-factory overclocked model, but it does up your chances.
(Get to it Niels, you said this thing already exists.) Alright, here's the deal: The old model, which carried the SKU 04G-P4-2975-KR, had two DVI ports, a DisplayPort, and HDMI. This new SKU, 04G-P4-3975-KR, has a single dual-link DVI port, three DisplayPort interfaces, and an HDMI port. Beyond that, it’s got an added memory and MOSFET cooling plate and straight heatpipes for the cooler, a 0-dB fan mode below 60 C, and a 6-phase power design.
Considering these upgrades, it’s just a bit smoother an experience to use this card. The clock speeds might be the same as on the old model, but chances are it’ll boost a tiny bit more due to the improved cooler and VRM design. It will probably overclock beyond these levels a tad better too.
EVGA did not announce pricing or availability, but the card is available on NewEgg.com for $359.99.
Correction: This article was updated at 8:22 AM PST on January 13 to add details that I, the author, forgot to mention.