Review: For value minded gamers
Nvidia has released two new graphics cards based on its latest Maxwell GPU architecture. The Geforce GTX 970 and Geforce GTX 980 will replace the outgoing Kepler-based Geforce GTX 780 and Geforce GTX 780Ti.
Nvidia gave its AIB partners the green light to offer custom designs from day one, so we are already seeing GTX 970 cards with a hefty factory overclock.
As one of Nvidia’s premier partners, EVGA was one of the first players to launch a range of custom cards. While most AIB partners are offering one or two 900-series cards, EVGA is going a step further, or a few steps with no less than eight different GTX 970 cards. Today we will take a look at one of them – the EVGA GTX 970 Superclocked with the company’s trademark ACX 2.0 dual fan cooler.
The GTX 970 SC ACX 2.0 works at base clock of 1165MHz, while the reference GPU base clock is 1050MHz. Nvidia's GPU Boost 2.0 takes the average GPU clock to 1178MHz for the reference GPU and to 1317MHz for the SC card.
EVGA did not change the memory clock. The GTX 970 SC ACX 2.0 features 4GB of GDDR5 memory clocked at 1750MHz (7000MHz effective), providing up to 224.3GB/sec of peak memory bandwidth.
The next photo shows EVGA’s full GTX 970 line-up. The GTX 970 FTW is 51MHz faster than the Superclocked version.
The new ACX 2.0 cooler is supposed to ensure quiet and cool operation despite the factory overclock, but it should also provide additional overclocking headroom.
Nvidia designed Maxwell to deliver more efficiency and performance. The GTX 980 and GTX 970 are vastly more efficient than their Kepler-based predecessors. The GTX 980 has a TDP of 165W, while the GTX 970 is rated at 145W. The old GTX 780 Ti and GTX 780 have a TDP of 250W. Just like their predecessors both new cards are capable of delivering smooth frame rates at resolutions up to 2560x1600. In case you are planning to build a 4K capable rig, two GTX 970 cards should be enough for good frame rates and anti-aliasing in demanding titles.
GTX 980 and GTX 970 are based on the 28nm GM204 GPU. The GPU packs 5.2 billion transistors and has a die size of 398mm2. The GTX 980 comes with 2048 CUDA cores, while the GTX 970 has 1664 CUDA cores enabled. Three out of sixteen streaming multiprocessors, which each hold 128 CUDA cores, are disabled on the GTX 970.
With the GTX 980 and GTX 970, Nvidia also decided to launch a few new technologies there were not employed in the first incarnation of Maxwell on the GTX 750 series. Voxel Global Illumination, Multi Frame Anti-aliasing and Dynamic Super Resolution are built around old concepts, but they do a good job at reinventing them. Of course, DirectX 12 is supported on all Maxwell cards.
EVGA has released a new version of its very popular Precision X software. This latest version of Precision X (v.16) has been revamped with a new GUI, new OSD (On-Screen Display) features, improved voltage and pixel clock control, integrated Steam Achievements, Improved K-Boost function. The ‘GPU vitals’ area on the main UI is now scrollable and the UI now shows clock and voltage adjustments in real time and more.