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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 4GB Video Cards in SLI & Overclocked

By: Shawn Baker | NVIDIA SLI Articles in Video Cards | Posted: Oct 16, 2014 9:02 pm

Test System Setup




We would like to thank the following companies for supplying and supporting us with our test system hardware and equipment: Intel, ASUS, and Corsair.


We've got a bunch of setups in our graphs here today that cover some fairly high-end setups. Sitting alongside our overclocked GTX 980 4GB SLI setup, we've got the older reference GTX 780 TI 3GB.


We also have our new GTX 900 offerings, which include the MSI GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC, the reference GTX 980 4GB, the Zotac GTX 980 4GB AMP! Omega Edition OC, and the MSI GTX 980 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC, running at 1462MHz on the Core and 8112MHz QDR on the 4GB of GDDR5. Finally, we finish off our NVIDIA cards with the reference GTX 980 4GB in SLI running at its reference clocks.


As for the AMD side of things, we've got the HIS R9 290 4GB IceQ X2 Turbo, the HIS R9 290X iPower X2 Turbo 4GB running at 1100MHz on the core, and 5700MHz QDR on the memory clock. Lastly, we have the reference AMD R9 295X2 8GB.




Before getting into the performance, we need to take a quick look at the overclock. Looking above, you can see the core has been boosted from the default 1127MHz to 1330MHz. This translates from a boost clock of 1216MHz to 1419MHz. As for the 4GB of GDDR5, that's been pushed from the stock 7012MHz QDR to 8000MHz QDR. You can also see that SLI is enabled via two GPUs, as shown across the bottom of the GPU-Z image.



The FPS Numbers Explained


When we benchmark our video cards and look at the graphs, we aim to get to a certain level of FPS which we consider playable. While many may argue that the human eye can't see over 24 FPS or 30 FPS, any true gamer will tell you that as we climb higher in Frames per Second (FPS), the overall gameplay feels smoother. There are three numbers we're looking out for when it comes to our benchmarks:


30 FPS - It's the minimum number we aim for when it comes to games. If you're not dropping below 30 FPS during games, you're going to have a nice and smooth gaming experience. The ideal situation is that even in a heavy fire fight, the minimum stays above 30 FPS, making sure that you can continue to aim easily, or turn the corner with no dramas.


60 FPS - It's the average we look for when we don't have a minimum coming at us. If we're getting an average of 60 FPS, we should have a minimum of 30 FPS or better, and as mentioned above, it means we've got some smooth game play happening.


120 FPS - This is the newest number that we've been hunting down over recent months. If you're the owner of a 120 Hz monitor, to get the most out of it, you want to get around the 120 FPS mark. Moving from 60 FPS / 60 Hz to 120 FPS / 120 Hz brings with it a certain fluidity that can't really be explained, but instead has to be experienced. Of course, if you're buying a 120 Hz monitor to take advantage of 3D, an average of 120 FPS in our benchmark means that in 3D you will have an average of 60 FPS, which again means you should expect some smooth gameplay.



Why are some graphs incomplete?


Adding new game benchmarks is a long, tedious, and time consuming task, as every video card has to be re-tested in those new benchmarks. For that reason, we have always just reevaluated our benchmark line up every six months. To stay up-to-date and current with the latest benchmarks and games available, we've changed our approach to adding new benchmarks.


Our benchmark line up will progress and be updated as newer, more intensive games with benchmarks comes to light. While this will mean that initially you may only see a single video card in those particular graphs, as the weeks go on and we test more and more video cards, the results will quickly grow. This will help keep our benchmark line up as up-to-date as possible as we introduce and remove games on a constant basis.

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