Battlefield 4 may be one of the oldest games in our suite, but it can still bottleneck even the most modern graphics cards. Its workload is also good for weeding out unstable overclocks.
Gigabyte’s GTX 980 Ti Xtreme Gaming has no trouble with Battlefield at 2560x1440, and it maintains at least 71 FPS during our run. The reference GeForce GTX 980 Ti results were generated back in May. No doubt, Nvidia made some improvements to its software since then. But it appears that Gigabyte's claims of performance superiority may be legitimate.
The GTX 980 Ti Xtreme Gaming even manages to maintain playable frame rates at 3840x2160, staying north of 33 FPS. That's better than the reference model by an average of 6 FPS.
Curiously, while we didn't have any stability issues, our custom overclock yielded no benefit at either resolution.
Far Cry 4
Far Cry 4 is a much newer game, and it makes use of some Nvidia-exclusive enhancements to shadows and ambient occlusion, among other visual effects. Gigabyte's GTX 980 Ti Xtreme Gaming achieves respectable performance at 2560x1440. Its frame rate hovers around 90 FPS most of the time, only dipping as low as 75 FPS.
Our custom overclock again fails to impress.
That performance difference is even more evident at 4K. The reference card maintains just over 30 FPS, while the Xtreme Gaming keeps its nose in the 40s.
In Far Cry 4, a single GTX 980 Ti Xtreme Gaming is roughly on par with two overclocked GTX 970s in SLI.
Grand Theft Auto V
Grand Theft Auto V is an open-world game notorious for being hard on graphics hardware. There aren't many hardware configurations able to maintain smooth performance at the title's High preset, but Gigabyte's GTX 980 Ti Xtreme Edition has no trouble there. At 1440p, the minimum frame rates were in the high 60s, with the average sitting around 90 FPS. The reference card doesn't stand a chance.
Even with the resolution bumped up to 4K, minimum frame rates hover in the mid-30s with an average in the mid-40s. Our reference card averages 39 FPS, so once again, Gigabyte's implementation offers a significant improvement.
Our custom overclock again fails to deliver much of a gain. But at least performance isn't hurt this time around.
Metro: Last Light
Gigabyte's GTX 980 Ti is the first single-GPU card we've tested that averages around 100 FPS and never dips below 60 FPS at 2560x1440. The reference card averages 75 FPS, so the difference is pretty huge.
With the resolution increased to 4K, we're telling a similar story. The frame rate remains well above 30 FPS, again besting the reference model by a large margin.
Our custom overclock yields a slight performance boost at 1440p but proves little help at 4K.
Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor
Shadow of Mordor is another game that requires big graphics hardware for smooth performance at its highest detail settings. Gigabyte's GTX 980 Ti Xtreme Gaming doesn't dip under 70 FPS at 2560x1440.
With the resolution increased to 4K, the GTX 980 Ti Xtreme Gaming averages around 49 FPS, never falling under 35 FPS. In comparison, the reference GeForce GTX 980 Ti averages 38 FPS.
Once again, our overclock does little to improve on the factory configuration.
Tomb Raider is the only game in our suite that showed Gigabyte's 980 Ti dipping below 60 FPS at QHD. Though it averaged 100 FPS, we saw dips down to 55 FPS.
To compare, Nvidia's reference GeForce GTX 980 Ti delivers about 15 fewer frames per second on average.
Performance is quite good at 4K. Gigabyte's Xtreme Gaming card again outperforms the reference 980 Ti with an average frame rate that matches the other board's maximum.