From the moment the GTX 980 was launched back in September, we all knew Nvidia had a secret weapon in store to counter AMD’s R9 Fury X, which according to leaked benchmarks, it seemed like a worthy competitor to the GTX Titan X and the GTX 980Ti. However, Nvidia got ahead of AMD and released the GTX 980Ti, thus spoiling the launch of the R9 Fury X -whose early benchmarks, by the way, were not entirely accurate.

Numerous Fiji X reviews showed that the new flagship card from the red team lost in -almost- every benchmark against the GTX 980Ti, not to mention that AMD’s power compsumption technology -and inavoidably its temperature- was once again lagging behind Nvidia’s maxwell arquitecture. It comes as no suprise that the R9 Fury X was equiped with a watercooling system when it was launched.

This is how a battle between two heavy weights kicked-off, a battle that had already claimed a winner before the first shot was fired. This doens’t mean the R9 Fury X is not a powerful GPU or a sound bet for AMD users but, objectibly speaking, having 2 less GB of VRAM regarding its competitor and, taking into account the lack of proper driver support in some of the latest games, it’s very difficult to pick one over the other when prices are pretty much the same for both cards.

Without further due, we introduce you the EVGA GTX 980TI SC+.

FEATURES:

GPU:

  • 2816 CUDA Cores
  • Base Clock: 1102 MHz
  • Boost Clock: 1190 MHz
  • Bus: PCI-E 3.0
  • 2-way, 3-way, 4-way SLI Ready
  • 194GT/s Texture Fill Rate

Memory:

  • Memory Detail: 6144 MB GDDR5
  • Memory Bit Width: 384 Bit
  • Memory Clock: 7010 MHz
  • Memory Speed: 0.28 ns
  • Memory Bandwidth: 336.5 GB/s

Requirements:

  • Total Power Draw : 250 Watts (Max temperature 91°)
  • Minimum of a 600 Watt power supply
  • An available 6-pin PCI-E power connector and an available 8 pin PCI-E power connector

Resolution and refresh:

  • Max digital resolution 5120×3200
  • Max analog resolution 2048×1536
  • 240Hz Max Refresh Rate

Interface:

  • DisplayPort (3)
  • HDMI 2.0
  • Dual Link DVI-I

Dimensions:

  • Height: 4.376in – 111.15mm
  • Length: 10.5in – 266.7mm
  • Width: Dual Slot

Key features:

  • NVIDIA Dynamic Super Resolution Technology
  • NVIDIA MFAA Technology
  • NVIDIA GameWorks Technology
  • NVIDIA GameStream Technology
  • NVIDIA G-SYNC Ready
  • Microsoft DirectX 12 (feature level 12_1)
  • NVIDIA GPU Boost 2.0

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MAXWELL ARQUITECTURE

Maxwell arquitecture included several new technologies such as MFAA, DSR (whose support was later added for Fermi and Kepler GPUs), VGXI (Voxel Global Illumination) and the ability to record footage at 4k/60fps through Nvidia Shadowplay, thanks to the internal H265 codec that allows recording up to 130mb/s.

MFAA (morphological antialiasing) allows users to obtain 4x MSAA4 image quality using 2x MSAA. It’s as simple as enabling the option vía Nvidia control panel. Bear in mind that this filter is not yet supported for SLI users, but we hope Nvidia will implement it soon. When MFAA was introduced, only a handful of games were supported, but drivers 347.25 added support for almost every DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 games. Here’s how you enable MFAA:

MFAA

It’s been a while since Nvidia allows users to downsample (set desktop resolution above the one allowed by our display device) by simply adding a custom resolution via the Nvidia control panel. However, not all GPUs and displays support high resolutions (4k). Therefore, gamers had to turn to other tools like GeDoSaTo. For this reason, Nvidia developed a technology called DSR (Dynamic Super Resolution), enabling users to easily downsample to any resolution regardless of their display.

It is as simple as ticking the DSR option, choose the desired resolution multiplier and voila! Playing games at higher resolutions is just a few clicks away. You can also do this by using Geforce Experience in supported games, though enabling DSR via Nvidia Control Panel seems simpler.

TESTING METHODOLOGY:

To test the card’s performance, we used the following PC and the six games listed below. We run three passes for each resolution (1080p, 1440p and 4k) and pick the best result. Same as with our previous reviews, we also added 1080/60fps benchmark comparison videos so you can see the card performance in real-time. It’s a shame we still couldnt get our hands on a Fury X in time to show you how it performs side by side against the GTX 980Ti.

PC specifications:

  • Mother Gigabyte Z97X-UD5H-BK
  • Microprocesador Intel Core i7 4770k @ 4.4ghz
  • Memoria Kingston DDR3 Hyper X 16GB 1866mhz
  • EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti Superclocked+ @ Drivers Geforce 353.30
  • Geforce GTX 980 / Geforce GTX 970 @ Drivers Geforce 344.80 Hotfix
  • AMD R9 290X @ Drivers AMD Catalyst 14.12 Omega WHQL
  • SSD Kingston Hyper X 3k 120GB
  • PSU EVGA Supernova 850w Gold

Games:

  • Batman: Arkham Origins v2014.04.16
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition v1.2
  • Metro: Last Light Redux v1.0.03
  • Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor v1.0.1806.18
  • Sniper Elite III: Afrika v1.15a
  • Total War: Rome II – Emperor Edition v2.2.0

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BENCHMARKS:

Batman: Arkham Origins

GAME SETTINGS:

Benchmark results (1080p, 1440p y 4k):

Real-Time Benchmark: R9 290X Vs Geforce GTX 980 Vs EVGA Geforce GTX 980Ti SC+ (stock clocks)

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxV4She_lrs]

Dragon Age: Inquisition

GAME SETTINGS:

Benchmark results (1080p, 1440p y 4k):

Real-Time Benchmark: R9 290X Vs Geforce GTX 980 Vs EVGA Geforce GTX 980Ti SC+ (stock clocks)

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhjupjYWH5E]

Metro: Last Light Redux

GAME SETTINGS:

Benchmark results (1080p, 1440p y 4k):

Real-Time Benchmark: R9 290X Vs Geforce GTX 980 Vs EVGA Geforce GTX 980Ti SC+ (stock clocks)

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4AHvMMViY0]

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor

GAME SETTINGS:

Benchmark results (1080p, 1440p y 4k):

Real-Time Benchmark: R9 290X Vs Geforce GTX 980 Vs EVGA Geforce GTX 980Ti SC+ (stock clocks)

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZ5PiFF-BSs]

Sniper Elite III: Afrika

GAME SETTINGS:

Benchmark results (1080p, 1440p y 4k):

Real-Time Benchmark: R9 290X Vs Geforce GTX 980 Vs EVGA Geforce GTX 980Ti SC+ (stock clocks)

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHVBSVdXkfg]

Total War: Rome II – Emperor Edition

GAME SETTINGS:

Benchmark results (1080p, 1440p y 4k):

Real-Time Benchmark: R9 290X Vs Geforce GTX 980 Vs EVGA Geforce GTX 980Ti SC+ (stock clocks)

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiJfEgKhyeA]

OVERCLOCK

Even though ASIC quality was a bit low on our sample (only 65.9%), the EVGA GTX 980Ti SC+ was able to reach 1466hz for its core and 3802mhz for its memories (1538/3702 on Rivatuner). We were able to surpass the 1500mhz barrier by adding +55v to the core, but the ratio performance/risk was not really worth the trouble considering the low ASIC quality.

Core clocks:

  • Original (reference): 1002/1076 mhz

GTX 980Ti SC+ core clocks:

  • GTX 980Ti SC: 1102/1190 mhz

GTX 980Ti SC+ core clock and memory and overclock:

  • Core: 1365mhz (1466mhz in Rivatuner)
  • Memory: 3700 mhz (3802mhz in Rivatuner)

You have seen our benchmark results and real-time benchmark comparison videos, but in order to show you how the card performs with the above-mentioned overclocked, we bring you several gameplay videos at 1080p and 4k from the most demanding and best looking PC games.

Make sure you watch the videos with either Interner Explorer de 64 Bits, Firefox 38.0 or Google Chrome and choose the quality option 1080p(60) for 1080p videos. 4k videos run at 30fps since Youtube doens’t feature support for 60fps currently. However, it wouldn’t make a differnce since most games we played at 4k with the GTX 980Ti run at 30fps.

1080p GAMEPLAY VIDEOS

Assassin’s Creed Unity

As some gamers may know, Assassin’s Creed Unity is currently one of the most demanding PC games available. Not even with a overclocked GTX 980 we were able to obtain 50 steady fps, more so taking into account that we used 2x MSAA instead of 4x MSAA with the GTX 980. The GTX overclocked 980Ti was able to maintain an average of 55-60fps with 4x MSAA, which combined with MFAA and Nvidia Gameworks, clearly shows that Assassin’s Creed Unity delivers one of the most unique and immersive experiences on PC being the GTX 980Ti the definitive card to play it. In the video below, you can see how the VRAM goes over 4GB even at 1080p.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_fIKYEJK64]

Batman Arkham Night: Harley Quinn DLC

Since Batman Arkham Knight’s PC port has a lot of performance issues playing Story Mode (that is, with Batman), we decided to record a gameplay video of Harley Quinn’s DLC, in order to show you how FPS never drop below 60 with the GTX 980Ti, not even with Nvidia Gameworks effects enabled.

[youtube https://youtu.be/Q1P1i6BXOcc]

Grand Theft Auto V

Even though Rockstar Games did an outstanding job with Grand Theft Auto V PC port, GTX 980 owners who are used to crank up graphics settings to Very High/Ultra (and other advanced options), will find that 4GB of VRAM are not enough to max every single detail in this game. As you can see below, the GTX 980Ti enables gamers to fully enjoy GTA V at 1080p/60fps with maxed settings. Bear in mind the latest patch introduced several performance issues, but nothing the GTX 980Ti couldn’ t handle.

[youtube https://youtu.be/NL7-3h_6o-Y]

Ryse: Son of Rome

Although a GTX 980 is enough to play Ryse: Son of Rome at 1080p, the GTX 980Ti allows us to mantain 55-60FPs and to add 1.5x.1.5x Supersampling in the mix, achieving a much greater image quality and enabling us to get rid of the Temporal Anti-Aliasing which, as you know, causes a more blurry effect.

[youtube https://youtu.be/zkxLZWqalGQ]

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Downgrade aside, there is not doubt CD Projekt RED did a great job optimizing the PC version of The Witcher 3. Still, a single GTX 980 is not enough to max the game at 1080p and get 60fps, let alone during fights (sometimes it goes down to as low as 35). This time around, the lack of VRAM on the GTX 980 was not the culprit, but the lack of power, since the game uses little over 3GB, even at 4k. The 30-40% increase of performance of the GTX 980Ti over the GTX 980, is clearly the answer for those who want to fully enjoy the ending of Geralt of Rivia´s trilogy. The video was recorded using max settings, Nvidia Hairworks and SweetFX 2.0.

[youtube https://youtu.be/JxdFfpoLTgI]

4K GAMEPLAY VIDEOS

Assassin’s Creed Unity

When Assassin’s Creed Unity was released on PC, it was basically impossible to play it at 4k with a single GPU. While the GTX Titan and Titan Black were the only GPUs that could handle the VRAM requirement (5.5-6gb), their performance was still lacking. The GTX 980, on the other hand, does not lack in performance, but it falls way too short in terms of VRAM.

The GTX Titan X was the right answer for running ACU at 4k, although a u$s 1000 GPU was not designed for gaming as it is far from ideal, even more so when -almost- no current game uses more than 6GB of VRAM. Hence, the GTX 980Ti comes as the perfect solution to get the most out of Assassin’s Creed Unity at 4k/30fps, which is not bad at all considering ACU is currently one of the most gorgeous and demanding games.

As shown in the overlay on the top left corner, Assassin’s Creed Unity uses 5.5GB of VRAM with FXAA enabled. Naturally, we tried using 2x MSAA to take advantage of Nvidia’s MFAA, but FPS fell under 30 (run at 25 most of the time) and it was close to use 6GB of VRAM. At 4xMSAA, Unity goes over 6GB of VRAM, but we cannot say exactly by how much since the GTX 980Ti has 6GB. 4x MSAA at 4k is a bit of an overkill nonetheless.

Needless to say, you will need two GTX 980Ti to achieve 60FPS at 4k, of course, but the results are worth the money if you´re into 4k gaming. Owners of G-Sync monitors can do without a few graphics options to achieve 40-45fps, which is the ideal framerate for playing with G-Sync.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yotq5SY3SXc]

Batman Arkham Night

It comes as no surprise that Iron Galaxy, the studio behind the development of Arkham Knight’s PC port, blocked the framerate to 30 due to the game’s inability to mantain 60fps, not even with a GTX 980Ti / Titan X. That’s why the game perform best while locked at 30fps, given that frame dips aren’t that noticeable. For this reason -and contrary to the 1080p gameplay video-, we decided to record the first 10 minutes at 4k resolution to show you how the GTX980Ti performs and can maintain an average of 35fps. Even though the overlay wasn’t shown in this videos, Batman Arkham Knight’s hit 4.5GB of VRAM at max settings with Nvidia Gameworks features enabled.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9N_AibY8uN0]

Crysis 3

The latest installment -and probably the last- of Crytek’s flagship franchise remains one of the greatest exponents of PC gaming when it comes to visuals. We didn’t record a 1080p gameplay video since the GTX 980Ti far exceeded 60fps at max settings, that’s why we saved Crysis 3 to see how it perform at 4k.

As shown in the overlay of the video, the GTX 980Ti manages to obtain an average of 30-35fps (FXAA) and using 3.2GB of VRAM.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OiXO5ZuoVJQ]

Grand Theft Auto V

Shortly after the announcement of the next-gen port of Grand Theft Auto V, Rockstar advertised -with fanfare- the PC version by posting several batches of 4k screenshots, followed by a couple trailers running at 60fps. Since a single GTX 980 is not enough to max the game at 4k (due to the lack of VRAM as well as performance), we thought of no better game than Rockstar’s open-world title to test the GTX 980Ti, which managed to reach 30fps at max settings, coupled with MSAAx2, MFAA and TXAA. With these settings and filters, GTA V was using 5.3GB of VRAM. Applying 4xMSAA made the VRAM slider to go over 6GB, while 8xMSAA almost hit 8GB of VRAM. More VRAM on the 980Ti would not have helped, given that the game ran at 22fps with 4xMSAA. It didn’t make much sense to it with 8xMSAA.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PrXpkhph6Q]

Mortal Kombat X

Prior to Batman Arkham Knight’s fiasco, Warner Bros and Netherrealm Studios didn’t exactly have a good time either back when Mortal Kombat X was released on Steam. The PC version of Netherrealm’s fighting game was once again outsourced to High Voltage Software, the studio that also ported Mortal Kombat: Komplete Edition and Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition to PC. Months had passed and MKX on PC was still broken, that’s why Warner Bros fired HVS and a new studio took over the PC port of MKX, and the results paid off with the latest update.

Apart from several issues with the debut of streaming installation (install system to allow the game to be played while additional content downloads in the background), the port was plagged with bugs and performance issues on some systems. Even though Mortal Kombat X uses Unreal engine 3, neither HVS nor Nvidia were able to provide a SLI profile for the game, leaving users no other choice than to experiment with different SLI bits via Nvidia Inspector, some of them causing flicking in most stages in spite of an increase in GPU usage on more than one card. SLI support is still missing up to this day.

With no SLI profile and given that a GTX 980 cannot reach 60fps at 4k, we decided to record a round in the most demanding stage of Morta Kombat X, showing how the GTX 980Ti can easily achieve 60fps without much effort. Bear in mind that menues, X-Rays and Fatalities are locked to 30fps, that’s why you’ll see an abrupt drop from 60 to 30 FPS when executing the last two.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4AYyxvutiY]

Ryse: Son of Rome

Ryse: Son of Rome may not feature the most solid gameplay we have seen in third person action game, but it’s undeniable that Crytek’s CRYENGINE is one of the best engines around, both in terms of graphics and optimization. Proof of this is the next gameplay video of Ryse running at 4k with GTX 980Ti, where you can see how the new GPU from Nvidia mantains an average of 35fps, using 4.5GB of VRAM.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHttQiX0FSE]

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Despite the painful downgrade we, PC gamers, had to suffer due to “next-gen” consoles, there is doubt that the polish studio managed to create a trully remarkable open-world experience, setting the bar above any current RPG both in terms of narrative and visuals. REDengine 3, the new iteration of CD Projekt RED’s propietary engine, managed to surprise the whole world and lots of game engine developers. Even though Witcher 3 features amazing optimization, what’s most shocking is the low VRAM the game uses, even at 4k with maxed settings, Nvidia Hairworks and SweetFX 2.0.

As you can see in the overlay, Witcher 3 only uses 3.5GB of VRAM and mantains an average of 30fps, a trully outstanding feet considering there are no loading screens across 136km². No wonder Nvidia recommended two GTX 980 or a single 980Ti for playing at 4k, though mostly due to performance, not lack of VRAM. While a GTX 980 can only reach 20fps at max settings, the GTX980Ti delivers 30, making it much more playable and -sort of- pleasant for 4k users.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZGvqVO8N0o]

TEMPERATURE

The EVGA GTX 980Ti SC+ didn’t go over 34-35° while idling on the desktop. To measure the temperature at full load, we played Assassin’s Creed Unity, Ryse: Son of Rome y Grand Theft Auto at 4k with maxed settings. While playing all these games, the card reach 74-75° with stock clocks and 76-77° when overclocked.

In case you’re not familiar with EVGA’s ACX 2.0 cooling system, you should know that fans won’t start spinning until it reaches 60-66°, enabling us to play -not so demanding- games, to watch movies and to do other virtual activities without hearing a thing. You needn’t worry about noise or high temperatures at any time, it’s like the card is not even plugged in your PC. You can even do without any third party software to control fan speed, if you’re concerned about your GPU being at 75° -and you should’t really.

However, not everyone likes having their GPU at 74-77°. For those who don’t, they can create a custom fan profile with EVGA Precision X -or any other Rivatuner based software- to increase the speed a bit at the expense of a little bit of noise. Choosing lower temperature over noise is a personal decision, but as a personal comment, I feel that most gamers -mostly those to PC gaming- complain too much about the 70-75° temperature range, when, in fact, is perfectly normal. It seems they never used a GTX 480 or an ATI 4890.

CONCLUSION

Priced at u$s 680, the EVGA GTX 980Ti SC+ is currently the second best air-cooled EVGA GTX 980Ti model, followed by the EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti Classified ACX 2.0+ priced at u$s 700 and adding 82hz to the base clock -which can be easily achieved by software.

The ASIC quality porcentage could have been better taking into account this is EVGA we are talking about, but it was enough to obtain the usual 15-20% overclock margin we are used to, and it was very helpful for getting those extra FPS for 1080p and 4k gaming alike. You can always add voltage with EVGA Precision X to get 50-80hz, but it’s not worth the hassle.

Taking into account there’s only a u$s 100 difference between the GTX 980 and the GTX 980Ti, the ratio price/performance is more than justified, even more so if we’re planning to enter the 4k world, either with a native 4k monitor or just by using DSR. 6GB of VRAM as you saw on the gameplay videos, fits just right for most demanding games, even at 4k.

When we published the review of the GTX 980, we called the definite GPU for 1080p, mostly because it was the most powerful by then, but it didn’t quite suffice for some games. Now that we tried the GTX 980Ti on games like Grand Theft Auto V, Witcher 3 and Assassin’s Creed Unity, we are confident the GTX 980Ti is indeed the definitive one for 1080p gaming, and a great start for 4k gaming. “The way it’s meant to be played” for some gamers and hardware enthusiast means getting all graphic options sliders to the right, and the GTX 980Ti is the only current GPU that enables us to do that.

We’ve proven that no game at 1080, no matter how demanding it is, is no rival to the power of the GTX 980Ti. Nvidia crowns once again with the fastest GPU on the market, even before its competitor (the R9 Fury X) was released.

Without further due, if you are looking for the ultimate GPU for 1080p or 1440p, or if you’re curious about 4k gaming, the GTX 980Ti is the card to do it, hands down. Though it’s obviously not an affordable GPU for the average gamer (we can assemble a full PC with u$s 650-700), those who have the money and are looking for the best of the best will find in this the video card what they’re waiting for.

Providing an additional 30-40% increase over the GTX 980 couple with its essential 6GB of VRAM for 4k gaming, there’s not much to think about. Beating the GTX Titan X and the R9 Fury X out-of-the-box, it’s safe to say that Nvidia has once again won another decisive battle, this time around without too much effort.

EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti Superclocked+ ACX 2.0+ - Review
Performance100%
Overclock90%
Value90%
Pros:
  • The fastest GPU on the market, beating the Titan X and Fury X out-of-the-box
  • Better price/performance ratio than the GTX 980
  • ACX 2.0 cooling system
Cons:
  • A bit noisy when gaming
95%Nota Final
Puntuación de los lectores: (13 Votes)
92%