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MSI GeForce GTX 980 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OCed Video Card Review

By: Shawn Baker | NVIDIA GeForce GPU in Video Cards | Posted: Sep 26, 2014 10:15 pm
TweakTown Rating: 95%Manufacturer: MSI

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.


Today we have a bunch of cards included in our graphs, with many of them being important comparisons to our overclocked MSI GTX 980 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC video card. Some of the setups that don't play the largest role in our comparisons today include the reference GTX 770 2GB, the ASUS GTX 780 ROG Poseidon Platinum 3GB OC, and the reference GTX 780 Ti 3GB to round off our NVIDIA setups.


When it comes to the AMD setups we've got the HIS R9 290 4GB IceQ X2 Turbo, along with the much more expensive AMD R9 295X2 8GB; the latter being added just to give us an idea of how strong a heavily overclocked GTX 980 4GB performs against AMD's best video card.


As for the cards that we really want to pay attention to today, we've got our three GTX 900 series based cards, which include the MSI version of the GTX 970 4GB, the reference GTX 980 4GB, and the strongly pre-overclocked ZOTAC GTX 980 AMP! Omega Edition.


The card we really want to compare our overclocked MSI GTX 980 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC video card against is our heavily overclocked HIS R9 290X iPower IceQ X2 Turbo 4GB. The HIS video card is clocked at 1100MHz on the core and 5700MHz QDR on the 4GB of GDDR5 via MSI Afterburner. This will let us know how these two cards perform against each other when manually overclocked via MSI Afterburner.



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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