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NVIDIA has lifted the embargo on its latest flagship graphics cards based on their Maxwell GPU architecture, the GeForce GTX 980 and GTX 970. The two cards are somewhat similar and share the same 4GB frame buffer and GM204 GPU, but the GTX 970’s GPU is clocked a bit lower and features fewer active SMs and CUDA cores. The GeForce GTX 980’s GM204 GPU has all of its functional blocks enabled and is the full implementation of the chip, however.

When you see the GeForce GTX 980 and GTX 970’s specifications, you may scratch your head a bit and wonder how products with seemingly lower-end specs can replace powerhouses like the GeForce GTX 780 Ti and GTX 780, but rest assured they do. NVIDIA’s got a few tricks up their sleeve this time around and the end results are a couple of high-performance, highly-efficient graphics card that will be right at home in the fastest of systems...

Your screenshots of their new DSR make the differences MUCH more clear than their Game24 live cast. I couldn't tell the difference between their split screen for the life of me. Their moon landing scenario and accompanying explanation of VXGI however was very clever and very clear.

Not going to be able to get that new blue detail on EVGA's cards out of mind once I have the Core V71 in front of me with similar blue accents!

I would have liked to see the stock 780 included in some of the benchmark tests. Can we assume we'll see some improved "ti" or "titan" variant on the 980? If so, this might have made it more clear how much of a step up the base 980 is from the 780 instead of comparing against the suped up 780ti.

Lastly, for those readers who may not be completely up to speed on NVIDIA and are confused why there is no 800 series, I read they are matching series names with their mobile line which is in the 900's and wanted to avoid confusion. Couldn't find an article on HH to verify though.


I have a superoverclocked 780 which is almost as fast as the 780 Ti. i'll be sticking with this card until next gen for sure. Its still kicking ass in every game i play.

The 980 does use less power and runs cooler so its good to see that they are working on power consumption.


Great review Marco.

This is an awesome introduction for the latest, greatest from Team Green.

These were so tame as to heat and power draw, that one has to wonder what the NVIDIA partners will be able to produce with them.

So now it's AMD's turn,................

Marco C

The base 780 is almost $250 cheaper than the Ti, so I compared the 980 to the more similarly priced card. The 970 is in a similar price range to the 780, but would clearly be the better performing part. As for an upgraded 980 at some point, NVIDIA won't comment on unreleased products, but considering how well the 980 overclocks, it wouldn't surprise me at all.

nice review... UserPostedImage
Friend of mine just got a 980 so nice, gonna have to get me one of those
would love to get my hands on one!
Its time to start saving $$$ for a new card!
I hope the 980 ti isn't better than the new titan x as it will be less expensive.