If you’re into PC building, chances are that you might have heard of the latest 900 series graphics cards from Nvidia. These new chips are notable for having an increase in performance whilst expending a minimal amount of power. The strongest of the pack is the 980 and luckily, we have one in store for review– Gigabyte’s GTX 980 G1 Gaming

As a bit of disclaimer, this review prioritizes out-of-the-box experience. We don’t check intricate data such as power consumption, overclocking performance, and other similar numbers. We just play with it, see how it performs, and relish (or dread) the whole experience. Lamentably, we would’ve wanted to crunch some 4K resolution numbers but the lack of equipment did not permit us to do so, and no, we did not opt to try DSR as it definitely feels different from the real deal.

Looks

Gigabyte’s GTX 980 G1 Gaming is definitely a beast, both on paper and looks. The three-fan setup is not that eye catchy but is unique on its own. It feels solid and whole, in contrast with other cards that give off a cheap feeling with their wobbly coolers. The card comes with its own cool-looking backplate.

Gigabyte GTX 980 G1 Gaming (23)

Gigabyte GTX 980 G1 Gaming (22)

As with the average 970s and 980s available, the Gigabyte GTX 980 G1 Gaming has multiple output slots to cater to multiple display setups, having a total of 6.

Performance

Bench Buddy
CPU Intel Core i5-4670K
VGA Gigabyte GTX 980 G1 Gaming
Memory 16GB RAM
HDD WD10EZEX 1TB 64MB Cache
Motherboard ROG Maximus VII Gene

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For testing, we employed a number of recent games to benchmark the Gigabyte GTX 980 G1 Gaming. Also, we tried running it through different benchmark applications for scoring and reference against other cards.

Gigabyte GTX 980 Windforce (1920×1080)
Min Max Ave Settings
Battlefield 4 60 60 60 Ultra
Rome 2: Total War 31 108 68 Ultra
Far Cry 4 58 90 76 Ultra
Shadow of Mordor 41 228 66 Ultra
Metro: Last Light Redux 7 132 52 Ultra
Assassin’s Creed: Unity 38 60 49 Ultra

 

Well, what can you expect from a high-end graphics card? High Frame Rates! Though formidable, the 980 gets bogged down by the usual suspect: anti-aliasing. Though one can enjoy a stable 60 if the setting is left only with a value point.

Unigine Heaven

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“Heaven Benchmark with its current version 4.0 is a GPU-intensive benchmark that hammers graphics cards to the limits. This powerful tool can be effectively used to determine the stability of a GPU under extremely stressful conditions, as well as check the cooling system’s potential under maximum heat output. It provides completely unbiased results and generates true in-game rendering workloads across all platforms, such as Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.”

3D Mark Firestrike Extreme

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“3DMark Fire Strike Extreme is an enhanced version of Fire Strike designed for high-end multi-GPU systems (SLI / Crossfire) and future hardware generations.

In addition to raising the rendering resolution, additional visual quality improvements increase the rendering load to ensure accurate performance measurements for truly extreme hardware setups.“

3D Mark 11 Extreme

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“3DMark 11 is a DirectX 11 video card benchmark test for Windows that is designed to measure your PC’s gaming performance. 3DMark 11 makes extensive use of DirectX 11 features including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading. Trusted by gamers worldwide to give accurate and unbiased results, 3DMark 11 is the best way to consistently and reliably test DirectX 11 under game-like loads.”

Specifications:

Chipset GeForce GTX 980
Core Clock Base / Boost clock?1228 / 1329 MHz
Process Technology 28 nm
Memory Clock 7Gbps
Memory Size 4 GB
Memory Bus 256 bit
Memory Type GDDR5
Card Bus PCI-E 3.0
DirectX 12
OpenGL 4.4
PCB Form ATX
Digital max resolution 4096 X 2160
Analog max resolution 2048 x 1536
Multi-view 4
I/O Dual-link DVI-I / DVI-D / DisplayPort*3 / HDMI*1
Card size L=312mm, W=129mm, H=43mm
Power requirement 600W(with two 8-pin external power connectors)

Gigabyte GTX 980 G1 Gaming (4)

Conclusion

Gigabyte GTX 980 G1 Gaming proves to be a card that brandishes not only performance but also a cooling solution that works well especially if the games are graphically-endowed. We found that the temperatures are quite manageable even in demanding games. The looks are not that enticing nor colorful although with the addition of an extra fan makes it more aggressive and manly; but it works and is definitely a quality feature found in Gigabyte’s cards.

Gigabyte GTX 980 G1 Gaming (1)

Performance-wise, the GTX 980 G1 Gaming is one hefty card to boot. Already overclocked at very stable levels, this card manages to run the latest games with relative ease.

To conclude, we really can’t find anything to blame in this card. It’s good, it’s cold, and it’s running very well. It’s also a tad smaller than the colossal cards from the previous generation, making it a good choice for mATX users.

Gigabyte GTX 980 G1 Gaming (3)

However, if you’re a GTX 780Ti user, the card doesn’t bode well in terms of upgrade as there’s no apparent boost in the FPS of games. This can be attributed to Nvidia’s upgrade path for this time as it leans more on power efficiency rather than a significant jump in performance. We can say this as prior to having this review, we were using an ASUS GTX 780Ti DirectCU II and we can say that the experience is not that much different. The price is around the 30,000Php mark and is available in your favorite computer parts store.

 

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