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Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 And 980 Review: Maximum Maxwell

Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 Reference Card

At this point, let's examine Nvidia's reference design for the GeForce GTX 980. It's dressed a slight variation of the same classy outfit that the company debuted in the GeForce GTX 690. This isn't a particularly large card but it does have significant weight to it, some of which is attributable to the metal backplate.

The Speeds And Feeds
Form FactorDual-slot design
Length (from Slot Panel to End)268 mm (10.5")
Height (from Slot to Top)111 mm (4 3/8")
Depth 1 (from PCB to Front Cover)36 mm (1 5/16")
Depth 2 (from PCB to Back Plate)3 mm (1/8")
Weight1030 g
Connectors1x DL-DVI-I, 1x HDMI 2.0, 3x DisplayPort

The 65mm radial fan is the same model used on the original GeForce Titan. Indeed, the design of the GeForce GTX 980 is almost indistinguishable from the titan at a casual glance (until you see the model number emblazoned on the side, anyway). The main visual difference is that the cooling fins behind the transparent cover are painted black.

The back plate has a nifty little door that can be removed if the user wishes to improve cooling when placed beside another card in SLI. As a point of interest, the Titan does not have a back plate.

Note the two 6-pin PCIe power connectors: it's odd to see so few pins on a high-end card. The GeForce GTX name glows in green when the card is in operation, of course.

Output options consist of three DisplayPort 1.2 ports, a dual-link DVI port, and a single HDMI port. This is the first graphics card with an HDMI 2.0 plug by the way, which allows for 4K video at 60 Hz. With the previous HDMI standard, two ports need to work in tandem to handle the bandwidth required by a 4K 60 Hz display.