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Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 And 980 Review: Maximum Maxwell

Gigabyte GTX 980 WindForce OC

Now let’s take a look at the technical specifications of Gigabyte's GeForce GTX 980. It’s overclocked from the factory and, according to the manufacturer, uses a low-leakage GPU able to overclock well at lower power consumption. Indeed, our test sample fared particularly well in the power measurements, demonstrating the Maxwell architecture's potential once manufacturing is refined and there's less variance from chip to chip.

A total of six video outputs (of which four can be active at any given time) are great for multi-monitor configurations. Gigabyte keeps the second DVI connector that didn’t make it onto Nvidia's reference design. And HDMI 2.0 support makes the new card a bit more future-proof.

The Speeds And Feeds
Form FactorDual-slot design
Length (from Slot Panel to End)297 mm
Height (from Slot to Top)108 mm
Depth 1 (from PCB to Front Cover)35 mm
Depth 2 (from PCB to Back Plate)5 mm
Weight1196 g
Connectors1x DVI-I, 1x DVI-D, 1x HDMI 2.0, 3x DisplayPort
Pros- GPUs binned for better overclocking and lower power consumption- Total of six video outputs (better connectivity)- Dual-slot design, well-suited for SLI- Lots of cooling headroom
Cons- RPM under full load is too high (BIOS update expected to fix this)

The 600 W-rated cooler first used on Gigabyte's GeForce GTX Titan Black WindForce OC should be able to handle anything this new card throws at it. After all, it was well-behaved on top of the big GK110 GPU.

Unfortunately, the backplate doesn't help with cooling; its only purpose is stabilizing the PCB.

Air blows up and down, rather than back. That's better than shooting it all toward your hard drives and SSDs, though we'd much rather see a high-end graphics card push its waste heat out of the chassis instead.

Two 8-pin auxiliary power connectors are supposed to provide stable overclocking. The WindForce label lights up in blue.

A total of three DisplayPort connectors, two dual-link DVI connectors, and an HDMI 2.0 connector fill the slot panel almost completely.