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EVGA GTX 980 Ti Superclocked+ ACX 2.0+ Review

SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
12,841
Location
Montreal
4K: AC: Unity / Battlefield 4

Assassin’s Creed: Unity


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Battlefield 4


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In this sequence, we use the Singapore level which combines three of the game’s major elements: a decayed urban environment, a water-inundated city and finally a forested area. We chose not to include multiplayer results simply due to their randomness injecting results that make apples to apples comparisons impossible.

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SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
12,841
Location
Montreal
4k: Dragon Age: Inquisition / Dying Light

Dragon Age: Inquisition


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Dragon Age: Inquisition is one of the most popular games around due to its engaging gameplay and open-world style. In our benchmark sequence we run through two typical areas: a busy town and through an outdoor environment.

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Dying Light


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Dying Light is a relatively late addition to our benchmarking process but with good reason: it required multiple patches to optimize performance. While one of the patches handicapped viewing distance, this is still one of the most demanding games available.

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SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
12,841
Location
Montreal
4K: Far Cry 4 / Grand Theft Auto V

Far Cry 4


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The latest game in Ubisoft’s Far Cry series takes up where the others left off by boasting some of the most impressive visuals we’ve seen. In order to emulate typical gameplay we run through the game’s main village, head out through an open area and then transition to the lower areas via a zipline.

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Grand Theft Auto V


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SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
12,841
Location
Montreal
4k: Hitman Absolution / Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor

Hitman Absolution


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Hitman is arguably one of the most popular FPS (first person “sneaking”) franchises around and this time around Agent 47 goes rogue so mayhem soon follows. Our benchmark sequence is taken from the beginning of the Terminus level which is one of the most graphically-intensive areas of the entire game. It features an environment virtually bathed in rain and puddles making for numerous reflections and complicated lighting effects.

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Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor


With its high resolution textures and several other visual tweaks, Shadow of Mordor’s open world is also one of the most detailed around. This means it puts massive load on graphics cards and should help point towards which GPUs will excel at next generation titles.

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SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
12,841
Location
Montreal
4K: Thief / Tomb Raider

Thief


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When it was released, Thief was arguably one of the most anticipated games around. From a graphics standpoint, it is something of a tour de force. Not only does it look great but the engine combines several advanced lighting and shading techniques that are among the best we’ve seen. One of the most demanding sections is actually within the first level where you must scale rooftops amidst a thunder storm. The rain and lightning flashes add to the graphics load, though the lightning flashes occur randomly so you will likely see interspersed dips in the charts below due to this.

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Tomb Raider


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Tomb Raider is one of the most iconic brands in PC gaming and this iteration brings Lara Croft back in DX11 glory. This happens to not only be one of the most popular games around but it is also one of the best looking by using the entire bag of DX11 tricks to properly deliver an atmospheric gaming experience.

In this run-through we use a section of the Shanty Town level. While it may not represent the caves, tunnels and tombs of many other levels, it is one of the most demanding sequences in Tomb Raider.


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SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
12,841
Location
Montreal
4K: Total War: Attila / Witcher 3

Total War: Attila


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Witcher 3


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SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
12,841
Location
Montreal
Overclocking Results

Overclocking Results


Our reference GTX 980 Ti was a pretty decent overclocker, hitting a continual core frequency of 1328Mhz and just over 8000MHz on the memory. Judging from that, we had some pretty high expectations for the EVGA GTX 980 Ti Superclocked+ and it delivered.

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Despite being limited by a miniscule 87mV of voltage headroom, the core finally leveled out at 1404MHz before hitting into that ill-fated voltage wall. The memory meanwhile ended up at a nearly identical 8036MHz but that was to be expected since NVIDIA’s board partners are still avoiding GDDR5 voltage adjustments in their software.

To put things into perspective, we’ve lined up the Superclocked+’s final overclocking results with those achieved by an overclocked R9 Fury X. Needless to say the numbers really do speak for themselves.

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SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
12,841
Location
Montreal
Conclusion; Fury X Who?

Conclusion; Fury X Who?


When the GTX 980 Ti was launched, many held off purchasing it since they knew AMD’s next generation GPU was just around the corner. Had the R9 Fury X been able to overcome NVIDIA’s new flagship yet retail for a lower price, it wasn’t beyond imagination that the GTX 980 Ti’s price would have been reduced. However, despite AMD’s efforts resulting in a relatively competitive GPU, the Fury X ultimately failed to beat the GTX 980 Ti in both performance and pricing circles.

Now that both players have shown their cards, we can get a better sense how the next few months will play out. With AMD designing and manufacturing the cards, pre-overclocked Fury X SKUs will likely never exist and if they ever do, it will be sometime in the distant future. Meanwhile on the GeForce side of the fence we have cards like the EVGA GTX 980 Ti Superclocked+ ACX+ which not only offer better performance but provide a bit of variety as well.

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With sustained clock speeds that are a good 100MHz higher than NVIDIA’s reference card, the Superclocked+ is easily able to remain ahead of a standard GTX 980 Ti. The difference isn’t all that much –amounting to an average of 7%- but they’re certainly there, particularly in games which benefit more from the card’s frequencies. This also allows it to pull slightly ahead of the ultra-expensive TITAN X as well. The amount of value being offered here is quite tantalizing for anyone looking for the fastest GPU available.

Its cards like this which will likely cause a very big problem for AMD since their Fury X struggles to find a reasonable balance between competitive 4K results and lackluster 1440P performance. For a mere $30 more than the $649 Radeon card, gamers can realize substantially better 1440P framerates and an almost guaranteed win in every game at 4K. Indeed, at resolutions lower than UHD the Fury X isn’t even worthy of mention when talking about the GTX 980 Ti Superclocked+

Aside from its obvious performance dominance, the EVGA GTX 980 Ti Superclocked+ runs at nearly-silent fan RPMs and has the ability to overclock to a reasonably impressive level. Granted, it may not have an awesome-looking water cooler but the inclusion of a very capable ACX+ heatsink makes it’s installation infinitely more adaptable than AMD’s somewhat clunky affair.

Paying $679 for a high end video card may be a lot to ask but we feel that EVGA’s premium is certainly worthwhile given how well the GTX 980 Ti Superclocked+ performs in relation to the reference card. If anything, it is custom products like this which will give all but the most ardent AMD fan reason to pause before jumping onto the R9 Fury X bandwagon.

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