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Getting Your Hands On EVGA's GTX 980 K|NGP|N Won't Be Easy

If you've been wondering where the Kingpin variant of the GTX 980 from EVGA has been, you're right in being curious, because up until now EVGA has been working hard on it. It was first displayed at CES and is now available for pre-order.

The Kingpin cards from EVGA are named after the overclocker Vince Lucido, who goes by the name "K|NGP|N." They are built to feature the most extreme hardware, which should aid you in breaking world-record overclocks. Among the hardware intended to help you with this is a 14+3 phase digital power delivery circuit, which is fueled by two 8-pin connectors and a single 6-pin PCI-Express power connector. Of course, you won't actually need all those connectors, but that many power connectors on a single graphics card does certainly make a statement.

Speaking of things you won't need, the ACX 2.0 cooler on the card is one beast of a GPU cooler, but for all intents and purposes, if you're buying this card with the idea of using that cooler, you're the wrong customer. The card's PCB is what makes it so special, and anyone who wants to overclock the snot out of this card will start with water cooling but will more likely think of using liquid nitrogen.

Keeping the ACX 2.0 cooler on it is a bit of a waste because you won't nearly unlock its full potential. Even so, the cooler is quite nice, because it does come with a couple of little windows that let you peek underneath the shroud, and it comes with RGB LED lighting so that you can make it match the colors of any system.

As far as specifications go, the GTX 980 core on the card will run at 1291 MHz off the bat, but it can boost up to around 1393 MHz using Nvidia's GPU Boost 2.0 when the thermal headroom permits it. (Don't worry, with that ACX 2.0 cooler you'll still always be boosting, unless your room temperature is enough to make you sweat). The memory remains clocked at the reference 7010 MHz.

Interested in one? Well, you may have a bit of trouble getting your hands on one of them. EVGA may have opened up preorders, but the company will only accept them from folks who own and have registered an EVGA graphics card with the manufacturer. After you've met that qualification, you'll also need to part with $749.99 and wait until the week of February 19 before the card ships.

Follow Niels Broekhuijsen @NBroekhuijsen. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

  • dstarr3
    Justifying the added expense for a slightly higher overclock is also not going to be easy.
    Reply
  • jasonelmore
    The power delivery on this card rivals, and even beats, most cpu motherboards, and they power the whole board.
    Reply
  • esrever
    Won't be easy? Why buy it then?
    Reply
  • Dark Lord of Tech
    Waiting......for mine.
    Reply
  • jerm1027
    Justifying the added expense for a slightly higher overclock is also not going to be easy.
    Justifying price for the best? You must be new to capitalism...

    But in all seriousness, the most extreme PC Hardware (or in any market really) is always going to have a hefty price tag because at that point, it's not about being practical, it's about bragging rights, being the envy of common folk, status, and having the absolute best and fastest the market has to offer. For those certain kinds of people who have the money to spare, that's justification enough, even if it is just a few megahertz.
    Reply
  • Grognak
    And in 2 months the 980 Ti will release for $699 and the specs will murder this card... Good job, EVGA.
    Reply
  • JeanLuc
    The article reads like an advert.

    "Speaking of things you won't need, the ACX 2.0 cooler on the card is one beast of a GPU cooler....."

    Now I'm not denying EVGA makes great cards (they do) but given you haven't reviewed the Kingpin 980 that's quite an assumption on you part.
    Reply
  • Seven hundred AND fifty dollars. Wow, that's a lot of money for a single GPU. Could buy GTX 970 SLI instead. But then, this card is not for gamers, but it's for overclockers. That's a hobby you have to pay for, it seems.
    Reply
  • airborn824
    Is there a Radeon AIB that does cards as good as EVGA? Things like this card and the Classified?
    Reply
  • Lumenix
    Is there a Radeon AIB that does cards as good as EVGA? Things like this card and the Classified?
    Sapphire makes really nice AMD cards.
    Reply