Gigabyte GTX 970 WindForce OC
The Gigabyte GTX 970 WindForce OC’s specifications are quite different from the 980's in some places. According to Gigabyte, the 970 also uses GPUs binned for better-than-average overclocking potential and lower power consumption. Still, our tests show why this graphics card costs less than the flagship.
Fortunately, it retains the higher-end board's six video outputs (of which four can be actively used at a time). And again, Gigabyte keeps the second DVI connector that’s missing from the reference design. HDMI 2.0 makes this new card somewhat more future-proof.
|The Speeds And Feeds|
|Form Factor||Dual-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|
|Connectors||1x 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- Suitable cooling headroom|
|Cons||- RPM at idle is too high (35 percent)|
Gigabyte's GTX 970 WindForce OC sports the WindForce cooler that we know from the company's older GeForce cards. It’s still a solid cooler that’s both thin and fairly quiet. It’s been updated with the new rotor blades found on the WindForce 600 W.
Once again, the backplate doesn’t contribute to the graphics card’s cooling. It only provides some stability and a nice finishing touch we aren't used to seeing on Nvidia-based boards.
The vertically-oriented fins send waste heat toward the top and bottom, and not toward your hard drives and SSDs. It'd be better to exhaust it entirely, though.
One 8- and one 6-pin PCIe power connector are supposed to keep the Gigabyte GTX 970 WindForce OC stable when overclocked. As on the 980, this card's WindForce label lights up blue.
You get a total of three DisplayPort connectors, two dual-link DVI connectors, and an HDMI 2.0 connector on the rear bracket. Together, they take up almost all the available space.
I was hoping for more performance but the efficiency is quite nice. They just put pressure on the top end and gave us a price reduction, instead of overall performance gains.
Likely, we're going to see a Maxwell Titan equivalent come in the next year or so as these are a x04 much like Kepler with the 670/80s were and we're still going to be waiting to see what the x10 will be with the Maxwell architecture.
Good stuff here - but you guys were a bit slow on this one. Tom's Hardware is the first site I visit every morning. But with the delay of this article, I've been all over the net this morning on other sites that got their stuff out sooner.
That's some flat out insane price / performance ratio right there!