Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 And 980 Review: Maximum Maxwell

EVGA GTX 970 Superclock ACX 2.0

EVGA sent us its superclocked take on the GeForce GTX 970, outfitted with the company's ACX 2.0 cooler. It's slightly smaller in length than the GeForce GTX 980 reference card, but significantly lighter at 639 grams. While its 1165 MHz nominal clock rate is substantialy higher than the 1050 MHz reference spec, this card's 1317 MHz boost clock is impressive and one of the highest factory overclocks we've seen.

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The Speeds And Feeds
Form FactorDual-slot design
Length (from Slot Panel to End)243 mm (9.5")
Height (from Slot to Top)111 mm (4 3/8")
Depth 1 (from PCB to Front Cover)35 mm (1 5/16")
Weight639 g
Connectors1x DL-DVI-I, 1x DL-DVI-D, 1x HDMI 2.0, 1x DisplayPort

EVGA's card is actively cooled by two 87mm axial fans. The company claims to have focused on details like fan power draw and blade quality to provide 26% lower temperatures and 250% less fan power consumption than a reference fan and cooler setup, with 36% less noise.  Fan draw is part of any graphics card's power requirement, so it's interesting that the company has taken this approach to efficiency. EVGA even suggests that the power consumption of fans can directly affect overclocking ability.

On the top of the card you'll find two 6-pin power inputs as well as dual SLI connectors, which suggests that the card supports triple- and quad-SLI configurations.

The GTX 970 Superclock features three small (~5mm) and two large (~8mm) heat pipes that worm through nickel-plated fins and tie in to an aluminum cooling block.

For monitor connectivity there is a single DisplayPort 1.2 output, DVI-I and DVI-D outputs, and a single HDMI port. Like the GeForce GTX 980, the 970 is also equipped with the new HDMI 2.0 standard.

  • Vivecss
  • lancear15
    I was waiting for Tom's review to make my final decision, the 980 is definitely going into my current 5960x build! I cant wait.
    so how long before you do a round up?i mean this time i've seen some pretty crazy looking cards (Zotac's Extreme AMP! edition looks crazy and the Inno3D too)and EVGA has shown off ACX 2.0 which they claim to be the most efficient GPU air cooler in the world...so many to choose from also EVGA FTW has been nicely overclocked i've seen it performing almost on par with 980
  • realibrad
    byt he way... Last page 2nd sentence after the graph of Avg game performance.

    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.
  • balister
    Very nice, but I still want to see what the power consumption along with what might be possible with the drop to 20nm (since this is still 28nm).

    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.
    Why didn't you include an overclocking comparison? Why didn't you include the 780, but included the 770? Doesn't make much sense...
  • vertexx
    970 is the real story until the 980ti comes out - what a value proposition with the 970!

    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.
  • daveys93
    Will there be a follow-up article about overclocking these cards? Other sites are showing results that both of the new cards are capable of 1500+ MHz on air (aftermarket coolers and even a few with stock coolers), which is a massive overclock. Looks like NVIDIA left the door open for some decent voltage increases, but many results have been in the 1450-1500 MHz range at stock voltage. I am a big fan of the thoroughness of Tom's articles so I am very interested in seeing overclocking results and analysis from this site.
  • nikolajj
    I need this...
  • tobalaz
    I want a 970, wow!
    That's some flat out insane price / performance ratio right there!