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  • Breaking News

    Nvidia GTX 980

    This is the faster big brother of the GTX 970 but if it’s faster, why hasn't it won? The answer is that it’s a lot more expensive than its sibling, and not that much more speedy.

    This was the first time I’d seen the Maxwell GPU architecture made use of in a high-end graphics chip and it was an incredible thing to behold, but not necessarily from an in-game performance. In real terms it hasn’t blown Nvidia’s previous top cards, the GTX 780 Ti or GTX Titan Black, out of the water. It’s faster but not a generational leap ahead. The GM204 GPU in the GTX 980 won’t end up as the top Maxwell chip there will surely be a GM210 arriving later. 

    165W TDP is, however, unprecedented for a modern, high-end GPU: the R9 290X is almost twice as power hungry.

    What sinks the GTX 980 is that Nvidia hasn’t cut much out of the GPU to make the GTX 970. That’s great for us, but not so great for the GTX 980. There’s an extra 384 CUDA cores in the GM204, but keeping the same frame buffer, ROPs and similar clockspeeds has made the performance difference between the two new Maxwell based cards very tight. And since both boast 4GB of video RAM that’s even true at high resolutions.

    The gap may widen when we start seeing pre-overclocked versions of the GTX 980 turn up, but I’ve got a feeling the GM204 isn't going to clock much higher than the 1.5GHz I managed with my reference GTX 980. The third party coolers that we’ll start to see may drop the temperature, but I doubt they’ll really offer much in the way of extra GPU speed.

    £430 - 8/10

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