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Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB Review

Battlefield 4, Far Cry 4 And Grand Theft Auto V

Throughout our benchmarks, the most relevant comparison is going to be between Nvidia’s recently-released GeForce GTX Titan X and the 980 Ti based on the same GPU. But it’s also worth paying attention to Radeon R9 295X2, which sometimes sells for less than the 980 Ti’s $650, is almost always faster, but also accompanied by some baggage you’d have to accept for that relationship to work.

Battlefield 4

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In Battlefield 4, AMD’s current flagship has little trouble landing a first-place finish—not surprising given its two Hawaii GPUs running at full speed. The GeForce GTX Titan X and 980 Ti average within one frame per second of each other at both 2560x1440 and 3840x2160.

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At 4K, that means the 980 Ti is quite playable using the game’s Ultra quality preset. The 980, on the other hand, averages 78% of the 980 Ti’s performance, arguably falling short.

Far Cry 4

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The same rings true in Far Cry 4. GeForce GTX 980 Ti nips at Titan X’s heels, both cards trailing the Radeon R9 295X2 significantly.

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This time, Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 980 achieves 79% of the 980 Ti’s performance at 3840x2160, barely keeping its nose above a 30 FPS average. Really, you’d need to dial the detail settings back a ways before calling the 980 enjoyable at 4K. Nvidia’s GM200-based boards are definitely better-equipped for the more taxing workload.

Grand Theft Auto V

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GTA V is a new addition to our suite, and it offers a bevy of graphics quality options to achieve optimal performance. We’re deliberately hammering these GPUs with a debilitating combination of settings, and most of them hold up well at 2560x1440. AMD’s Radeon R9 295X2 is the exception, demonstrating erratic dips and spikes that smooth out somewhat at 3840x2160.

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Our 4K tests add more separation between AMD’s flagship, the two GM200-based cards and the rest of the field. GeForce GTX Titan X and 980 Ti are largely playable, particularly because this title doesn’t involve a ton of snappy movement. Everything under those two cards is marginal, though you could certainly relax the quality options to improve performance.

  • Larry Litmanen
    How important is gaming to you if you spend $500 on GPU and $500 on a monitor?

    I guess i am the only one paying for rent out there.
    Reply
  • alidan
    How important is gaming to you if you spend $500 on GPU and $500 on a monitor?

    I guess i am the only one paying for rent out there.

    i personally find 4k at sub 48 inch stupid... but than again, i had 800x600 monitors at 15 inches and played some games at 640x480 on 17 inch screens, i also played ps1 games, so once hd came around and was single gpu at 1080p i had no issues whatsoever with jaggies any more.

    im not paying 500+$ for AA
    im also not sacrificing that much processing power for AA
    hell im 1920x1200 at 24 inch... i dont use aa.

    granted, a monitor could last you 5+ years if you get a good one so you can see it as an investment, and a gpu, im learning more and more if you sell your high end gpu the moment a new high end gpu comes out, you can get a sizeable upgrade every year for under 100$ and you over all come out ahead.

    sorry im tired as hell, i just realized i dont know which way to meant your comment to be taken.
    Reply
  • Shankovich
    I'm writing this as seriously as I can, not being a fanboy: What is the purpose of the Titan X at this point? It lost its DP performance that made it a fantastic workstation-gaming hybrid. Also, it really sucks for people who bought a Titan X just a little over a month ago? That's ~$350 down the drain pretty much. Yea the Titan X has all that extra VRAM, but for what? 3 4K displays maybe, at which point a 980ti SLI would probably lose by about ~5% due to a few less CUDA cores.

    Again though, for most customers, the 980ti is the obvious choice. I just feel like nVidia totally screwed over most of their Titan X customers now. And why? Well, I really think the 980ti will be the cheaper answer to AMD's Fury or whatever Fiji will be called, Really interested to see how it will do. If Fiji beats the Titan X/980ti, it's rumored $800 price point would make the 980ti a somewhat compelling offer depending on how well it does.

    In the end, I'm loving this competition!
    Reply
  • wedouglas
    How important is gaming to you if you spend $500 on GPU and $500 on a monitor?

    I guess i am the only one paying for rent out there.
    How important is gaming to you if you spend $500 on GPU and $500 on a monitor?

    I guess i am the only one paying for rent out there.
    How important is gaming to you if you spend $500 on GPU and $500 on a monitor?

    I guess i am the only one paying for rent out there.

    If you don't have $1000 of discretionary income each year, you need a better job. Better question would be, what adult doesn't have $1000 for a graphics card and a monitor?
    Reply
  • SkyBill40
    And this is exactly why I've been waiting to buy a new vid card and display.

    Wowza.
    Reply
  • Eggz
    SOOOOO glad you're finally including the 780 ti in the graphs again! There were a lot of people with this card, and excluding it from the Tom's graphs made things harder to assess. Thanks!
    Reply
  • damric
    This GTX 980 Ti seems significantly better price/performance than the GTX 980. I will be recommending these for higher end builds.
    Reply
  • photonboy
    My first considered card since my GTX680 2GB. My only complaint is:

    NVidia only reference model? (sigh)

    I get the reasons. Minimal competition plus overclocking with better cooler beats Titan X hands down (for gaming). Plus, maybe we'll see non-reference later.

    FYI, the EVGA 980 Hybrid got 1600MHz on GPU. That's a fan on main card for VRM's etc and Liquid cooler loop just for GPU with 12cm rad/fan. Even if it "only" got 1300MHz for 980Ti that's still a 30% boost over stock 1000MHz but maybe 1500MHz is actually possible?

    So.. I'll wait a bit longer thanks.
    Reply
  • turkey3_scratch
    This really seems like a great card! Those frame charts show fantastic improvements over the 980. I was expecting more of a middle-ground between the Titan X and the 980 but it practically matched the Titan X's performance spot-on! All for $375 less.
    Reply
  • Knicks2012
    So whats the point of having a Titan X now?
    Reply