January 03, 2015

Unboxing & Review: Palit GTX 980 Super JetStream

NVIDIA launched its Maxwell GM204 based GPU back then in September 2014 and we've seen its prime from our review of both GTX970 and GTX980, but that's just the beginning of our review on the Maxwell GM204 based GPU from NVIDIA. In collaboration with one of our nation's best gaming rig builder at Ideal Tech, we manage to get our hands on the Palit GTX980 Super JetStream for today's review.

Palit GTX980 Super JetStream features not only features of the latest NIVIDA Maxwell GPU, but also a custom PCB design, 0db fan cooling of its own. The retail price of the Palit GTX980 Super JetStream will be around RM2119, but let's put that aside now and focus on what kind of performance can we expect from it.

Model Name
Palit GTX 980 Super Jetstream
Graphics Engine
 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980
Bus Standard           
PCI Express 3.0
Video Memory
Engine Clock
GPU Boost Clock: 1304 MHz
GPU Base Clock: 1203 MHz
Memory Clock          
7200 MHz
Memory Interface
DVI Output : Yes x 1 (DVI-I)
HDMI Output : Yes x 1 (HDMI 2.0)
Display Port : Yes x 3 (mini Display Port)
HDCP Support : Yes
Manual, Driver Disc, DVI-VGA Adapter, Power Cable
Palit ThunderMaster
 280mm x 140mm x 40mm


The retail packaging of the Palit GTX980 Super JetStream comes with its usual Chinese character ιΆ¨ which carries the meaning of wind. There's not much details provided here except for the latest technology from NVIDIA. 

This one appears to be a limited offer where a coupon for in-game rewards in Phantasy Star Online 2 is included. 

Behind the packaging we don't see any details related to the JetStream series graphics card other than what's from NVIDIA.

Upon further examining the packaging, we find a lid which reveals the description introducing the unique features of the graphics card itself (Finally?). 


The included accessories seems pretty standard, a driver CD, user's manual, DVI-VGA adapter, PCIe Y-Splitter and a free coupon to redeem in-game rewards for the game Phantasy Star Online 2.

Closer Look

The GTX980 Super JetStream has taken on a new look with dual cooling fan design and a new red-black themed shroud instead of the usual triple cooling fan and black-gold themed shroud.

LED cooling fans is used as an element of aesthetics.

The distinctive JetStream logo.

And there's the brand logo of Palit.

Requirement to power up the GTX980 Super JetStream, 6-pin PCIe and 8-pin PCIe power connector.

The amount of heatpipes and aluminum fins on heatsink does looks very promising. 

SLI fingers for multiple NVIDIA GPU configuration - up to 4 GPU.

Not a fancy looking backplate we'd say, but it'll still provide the very same protection to the card by improving its rigidity to prevent sagging or PCB bending issue.

The GTX980 Super JetStream comes with a total of 5 output display connector to satisfy your needs for multiple display monitor - 3 x Mini Display Port, 1 x HDMI and 1 x DVI-I.

Performance Test
Test Rig Configuration
CPU Cooler
Prolimatech Samuel 17
Intel Core i7 4790K
ASUS Maximus Gene VI 
G.Skill TridentX 8GB@2400MHz
Primary Hard Drive
Kimtigo KTA-350 120GB
Power Supply
BitFenix Fury 550G
Vector Benchcase

We've conducted our test by installing the Palit GTX980 Super JetStream to our test bench as above and each and every benchmark is conducted in a room with 31C° ambient temperature.

Performance, Overclocking and Temperature
We ran a few graphically demanding games and synthetic benchmark in our possession at the resolution of 1920 x 1080, 4x Anti-aliasing. Due limited voltage adjustment, we've only managed to push the Palit GTX980 Super JetStream to its highest stable clock that is able to complete each game benchmark with the following values:
  • Maximum boost clock of 1492 MHz
  • 8025 MHz on the memory clock
  • 1.2V on the voltage for GPU
The final result of each benchmark is presented in the form of the graph below:

Although the overclocking result in numbers looks pretty impressive, but the performance gain we're seeing here is a little odd for certain benchmark. Here's the difference that we've observed in each benchmark after overclocking the Palit GTX980 Super JetStream:
  • Unigine Valley: 10.5%
  • Unigine Heaven: 13.9%
  • Tomb Raider: 9.5%
  • Battlefield 3: 9.5%
  • Battlefield 4: 12.6%
  • Crysis 3: 21.8%
  • Far Cry 3: 13.1%
Temperature wise,  the idle temperature hovers around 46°C which we consider unpleasant to our eye but still acceptable as it's unlikely to damage any component with that temperature. It's cooling performance seems pretty decent but we're expecting it to be better as the highest temperature of 78°C is recorded when we're on FurMark stress test utility, a little warmer compared to the previous Maxwell based GTX 980 that we've previously dealt with. 

Final Thoughts
The Palit GTX980 Super JetStream displays great overclocking potential despite of the overvoltage limitation set by NVIDIA since October 2012 and 1492 MHz is the current highest clock we can get to run the graphics card stably with the current limitations.

Similar to what we've seen on the ASUS STRIX graphics card 0db fan design where the cooling will on spins when the GPU temperature hit above 65°C, the idle temperature gets pretty warm and some might find it uncomfortable even though the temperature is still not quite enough to do any damage to the graphics card - that's the trade off for its silent cooling.

And finally it's down to the price tag, RM 2099. While the cheapest GTX980 around costs roughly RM1999, paying that RM20 extra doesn't seems to be a bad deal for those who seeks for a balanced graphics cards in terms of noise/performance/price. The only thing that concerns us now is the coil noise issue when the card is on full load even though this doesn't really affects the performance.

  • Aesthetic appearance
  • Reasonable price for the extras
  • One of the highest factory overclocked GTX980
  • Good overclocking potential
  • Comes with a metal backplate for enhanced rigidity and protection against PCB sagging
  • Comes with free coupon for in-game item redemption (could be a limited offer)
  • Able to maintain a decent idle temperature even without cooling support from fans
  • Limited overclocking capability due to NVIDIA's Green Light Program
  • higher idle temperature due to the fans that only spins when the temperature hits above 65°C
  • Odd choice of video output
  • Coil noise issue