September 01, 2015

Unboxing & Review: NVIDIA GTX 980 Ti

We have the green beast in our labs today, (and I don't mean the Hulk by the way) yes this is the NVIDIA GTX980 Ti that was launched back in May 2015, a beastly graphics card based on the GM200 gamers wish to own. Thanks to the great peeps at CIZA Concept and NVIDIA for the review sample, let's not waste anymore time now and proceed to check out what this beautiful green beast is made of!



The generic NVIDIA box, only the Logo across the front with the green divider with the statement "The World's Most Advanced GPU".

Since the launch of the GTX Titan, NVIDIA has been using the same cooler for all of its higher end graphics card with the model name of the graphics card engraved onto the shroud.

The fan used is the ones we usually find on most reference design card with blower-type cooler. The only difference here is instead of having the hot air exhausted to the back of the card, the new Titan style cooler has an extra opening at the front of the card so hot air can be removed from the card faster in 2 direction instead of 1.

Like most reference design card that uses the Titan style cooler, the GTX 980 Ti has its model name engraved on the shroud.

The GTX 980 Ti is indeed a very capable card, but what's more impressive is what NVIDIA has done with the power / performance ratio - the GTX 980 Ti is much more powerful than the previous generation GTX 780 Ti that is powered by the same 8-pin and 6-pin PCIe power connector.

No traces of memory chips were found on the back of the PCB, but as the design is based on the Titan X, we're very sure that the very same model of SK Hynix memory chip is used. The GTX 980 Ti carries a 6GB of memory in total, half of what the GTX Titan X has but that will do pretty much enough even for 4K resolution monitor.

Just like any other high end GeForce graphics card, the GTX 980 Ti is capable of up to 4 way SLI.

The GTX 980 Ti offers video output as following: 1 x HDMI, 3 x DisplayPort, 1 x DVI-I.

Performance Test

Test Rig Configuration
CPU Cooler
Corsair Hydro Series H100i
Intel Core i7 4790K
ASUS ROG Maximus VII Hero
HyperX Savage @2400MHz
Primary Hard Drive
Crucial M500 120GB
Power Supply
Cooler Master V1200
Vector Benchcase

We've conducted our test by installing the GTX 980 Ti to our test bench as above and each and every benchmark is conducted in a room with 30C° ambient temperature.

Performance, Overclocking

We ran a few graphically demanding games and synthetic benchmark in our possession the highest possible settings to squeeze the very best performance out of the GTX 980 Ti. Due limited voltage adjustment, we've only managed to push the GTX 980 Ti to its highest stable clock that is able to complete each game benchmark with the following values:
  • Maximum boost clock of 1342 MHz (267 MHz gain from the stock boost clock of 1075 MHz)
  • 7532 MHz on the memory clock
  • 1.2V on the voltage for GPU
Games Benchmark on 1080p

While running on its stock clock speed, we're already seeing a pretty good score from the GTX 980 Ti itself and with the very solid overclocking performance of up to 267MHz boost on this sample unit, we're seeing a very significant improvement of 13% in average on the games that we've tested. 

3DMark: Fire Strike

The Fire Strike score without any overclocking done to the card.

After 267 MHz and 522 MHz boost to the GPU clock and memory clock, we're able gain an extra 2181 to the score.


We've ran a 15 minute burn-in test on the FurMark GPU stress test utility with the fan operate under normal mode and maximum fan speed mode and the temperature for both test is recorded and populated in the graph above.

The overall performance is undeniably good, aside of being able to handle all the games tested without breaking a sweat, we're also managed to stretch the performance with another extra 267 MHz and 522 MHz gain to the GPU clock and memory clock. We believe that it can go even further with a custom BIOS, due to the fact that Green Light program by NVIDIA to limit the voltage control for that extra juice to the performance.

Temperature wise, the reference Titan cooler is doing a fine job keeping the GTX 980 Ti below its maximum operating temperature of 92°C. While operating at normal speed, idle temperature hovers around 38°C and peaked at 86°C on full load. 

The GTX 980 Ti is what we will descibe as the second beast from the green team after the GTX Titan X when it comes to single GPU performance. While it's definitely cost much lesser than the GTX Titan X, but RM2,949 is still a big fortune the'll burn a hole in your pocket. If you insist to build a gaming machine that is able to handle majority of the game titles as close as the GTX Titan X, you'd definitely won't go wrong with the GTX 980 Ti!   


  • Aesthetic appearance and solid to the touch
  • Good overclocking potential
  • Good alternative for those who wants a card that has a near performance to a GTX Titan X
  • Solid gaming performance
  • 6GB video memory for that extra juicy gaming performance on high resolution


  • Hefty price tag