Palit GeForce GTX 980 Ti Super JetStream Video Card Review

Palit GeForce GTX 980 Ti Super JetStream Video Card Review

Palit has crafted one of the most beautiful pieces of technology I've ever seen, with performance and noise levels just as impressive.

@anthony256
Published Fri, Jul 24 2015 9:10 AM CDT   |   Updated Thu, Jul 30 2020 4:20 PM CDT
Rating: 93%Manufacturer: Palit

Introduction, Quick Specs and Availability & Price

I've only been reviewing video cards for TweakTown since December, where I've just secured myself my first Palit-made card. I've been a fan of Palit's work over the years, but this is the first time I've had one to review, and boy is it a special card.

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VIEW GALLERY - 58 IMAGES

Palit is a company that some people might not have heard of in the sea of brands like ASUS, MSI and GIGABYTE, but you really should know about them. The company has been around since 1998, with its operations being done from Taipei. The company has a logistics center in Hong Kong, factories in Mainland China and a brand office in Germany. The company is behind some truly unique designs, including its enthusiast cards like the Super JetStream range of cards. These cards are kick ass, and that's what we have today with the Palit GeForce GTX 980 Ti Super JetStream.

Quick Specs

Palit has one of the best GeForce GTX 980 Ti cards we've seen so far, keeping up with the likes of the EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti Superclocked+ ACX 2.0+ that we reviewed not too long ago. Most of the new GeForce GTX 980 Ti cards will have similar clocks to one another, with the coolers being the big change between the GM200-powered cards.

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When it comes to specs, you can see above that Palit has clocked the GM200 GPU at 1152MHz, with the Boost Clock at 1241MHz. The RAM sits on its default 7GHz, with 336GB/sec of memory bandwidth on its 384-bit memory bus. We have the usual 2816 CUDA cores, 4GB of GDDR5, and display output configuration consisting of 3 x DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI 2.0 and DVI.

Availability & Price

The Palit GeForce GTX 980 Ti Super JetStream isn't available in the US right now, but you can secure it from Scan Computers in the UK for the equivalent of $832 USD. It's on preorder right now, with more stock on its way soon.

Packaging & Detailed Look

The Packaging

One thing that Palit has done with their GeForce GTX 980 Ti Super JetStream is that they've provided it with a super good looking box. Let's take a look at, and around the box now.

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From the front of the box, we see some Asian inspired text, with a gold trim at the bottom.

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There's not much going on when you flip the box around to its back.

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Upon opening the box's flap at the front, we get a full rundown of the amazing cooler that Palit has slapped onto the GTX 980 Ti Super JetStream, as well as a quick look at the card itself.

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Here we have the the Palit GeForce GTX 980 Ti Super JetStream in its packaging, nice and protected from its delivery to you (or to the retailer).

Detailed Look

Palit has crafted one of the slickest looking GeForce GTX 980 Ti cards we've seen, which is why we were so excited about it when we found out it was coming in for review. I have to admit, the Palit GeForce GTX 980 Ti Super JetStream is one of the best looking video cards I've ever tested. It has some truly great styling, and a finish that screams quality.

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The front of the card is where all of the action is, where we have two 100mm fans.

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On the back of the card, we can see that Palit has made great use of a backplate. We can see that the extensive cooling system reaches right up and above the card itself.

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Palit has kept in line with the reference display output configuration, with 3 x DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI 2.0 and a dual-link DVI port.

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The Palit GeForce GTX 980 Ti Super JetStream is powered by 1 x 6-pin PCIe and 1 x 8-pin PCIe power connector.

Card Specifications & Cooling Setup

Card Specifications

Palit has not only provided an aftermarket cooler on the GTX 980 Ti Super JetStream, but it has also received an increase in Base and Boost clocks, while the RAM is still at 7GHz.

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Cooling Setup

Palit has really gone over the top with the cooling system on the GTX 980 Ti Super JetStream, but this results in a card that doesn't go over 70C, and barely makes a peep. This means you can crank games all day and all night long, without the card making a noise at all. Additionally, it is silent 99% of the time, which is great.

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The two 100mm fans are front and center here at the front of the card.

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When the card is face down, you can see that there are two separate heat sinks running through the card. One of them keeps the GM200 GPU nice and cool, while the rest handles the VRMs.

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A closer look at the two heat sinks.

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Here we can see the PCIe power connectors, as well as the three heat pipes hanging out of the end of the card.

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From the top, we can see the very elaborate heat pipe setup that Palit has used on the card. The three heat pipes run from the GPU itself, out the back to the end of the card, connecting to the heat sink that cools down the VRMs.

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At the end of the card, Palit has provided some extra super powers for overclocking, if that's what you want to do with the card. We can also see the three heat pipes popping out of the end of the card.

Testing Method & Test System Configuration

Testing Method

I've played Battlefield 4 on a 64-player server to provide some real-world performance numbers. I've found this is one of the best ways to provide the most realistic performance numbers, as it involves actual gameplay in a large server that really strains most setups.

For now, I'm going to be using the same suite of benchmarks I've been using on my Tweakipedia articles, which uses a mix of synthetic benchmarks with Futuremark's 3DMark and Unigine Heaven. After that, we have a bunch of titles with built-in benchmarks (which does not represent actual in-game performance) but they are repeatable for you at home to gauge the performance of your PC or GPU.

Over time, I will be adding in new benchmarks and a new section that will concentrate solely on real-time gaming benchmarks. This will take more time per review, as I'll have to invest time into actually physically playing the games, but it'll be worth it in the long run. For now, let's get right into the synthetic benchmarks and see how this video card performs.

Test System Configuration

We only recently built our new X99-powered system, something you can read about here. As for the detailed specifications, this is what we're running:

  • CPU: Intel Core i7 5820K processor w/Corsair H110 cooler
  • Motherboard: GIGABYTE X99 Gaming G1 Wi-Fi
  • RAM: 16GB Corsair Vengeance 2666MHz DDR4
  • Storage: 240GB SanDisk Extreme II and 480GB SanDisk Extreme II
  • Chassis: Lian Li T60 Pit Stop
  • PSU: Corsair AX1200i digital PSU
  • Software: Windows 7 Ultimate x64

We're running the system at stock CPU speeds, which will provide more of a 'real-world' feel to our benchmarks. Sure, this isn't an i7-5960X at 5GHz, but what person is going to team up an incredibly expensive CPU with a mid-range GPU? Not many.

Our GPU tests are changing, shifting toward more of a real-world feel. But don't worry, we will be doing some crazy balls-to-the-wall tests that will see serious overclocks, Extreme Edition processors, and much more in the coming months. For the most part, we will be doing more real-world testing by teaming up the right processor with the right GPU in its price category.

Benchmarks - Synthetic

3DMark Fire Strike - 1080p

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3DMark Fire Strike Extreme - 1440p

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3DMark Fire Strike Ultra - 4K

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Heaven - 1080p

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Heaven - 1440p

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Heaven - 4K

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Thanks to the overclocked GM200 GPU, we see the Palit GeForce GTX 980 Ti Super JetStream enjoying a nice lead over the reference GTX 980 Ti from NVIDIA in all three runs of 3DMark. I didn't think we'd see this much of an improvement, but 3DMark is a really great indicator of (synthetic) performance.

When it comes to Unigine Heaven, the Palit GeForce GTX 980 Ti Super JetStream pulls ahead in all three resolutions - as expected. The domination from Palit really comes into play at 1440p and 4K, which we're hoping will continue as we begin benchmarking our games.

Benchmarks - 1080p

Battlefield 4

This is one game that we did differently, as it does not feature a built-in benchmarking feature. When it comes to Battlefield 4, there are countless ways you can benchmark it. Some find a spot in the single player campaign which is easily repeatable, and use that. For our testing, we've chosen to use a 64-player online multiplayer server for real-time performance statistics.

We joined a 64-player map and played for five minutes using FRAPS, pulling our minimum/average and maximum FPS. We did this for each test, we run the game for 5 minutes at 1080p/1440p and 4K. We are using a custom Ultra preset (disabling AA). It's time consuming, but it gives us a perfect look into true real-world performance.

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Grand Theft Auto V

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GRID Autosport

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Metro: Last Light

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Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

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Thief

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Tomb Raider

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BioShock Infinite

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You can find our performance summary of all of our gaming tests later in the review.

Benchmarks - 1440p

Battlefield 4

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Grand Theft Auto V

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GRID Autosport

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Metro: Last Light

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Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

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Thief

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Tomb Raider

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BioShock Infinite

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You can find our performance summary of all of our gaming tests later in the review.

Benchmarks - 4K

Battlefield 4

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Grand Theft Auto V

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GRID Autosport

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Metro: Last Light

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Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

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Thief

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Tomb Raider

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BioShock Infinite

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You can find our performance summary of all of our gaming tests later in the review.

Performance Summary

How Does The Palit GeForce GTX 980 Ti Super JetStream Stack Up?

Let's face it, you're not going to be buying a $650+ video card to game at 1080p, but some gamers will. We will always include 1080p results, but the Palit GeForce GTX 980 Ti Super JetStream really comes into its own at 1440p and 4K.

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We run our 4K benchmarks at Medium/High settings for a more real-world feel, and at these settings, every single one of our games apart from Thief run at 60FPS. Damn good results here from Palit, but let's take a deeper look. We will be comparing the Palit GeForce GTX 980 Ti Super JetStream directly against the reference GTX 980 Ti from NVIDIA.

Performance at 1080p

Battlefield 4 performance hits a new high, where we have the Palit GeForce GTX 980 Ti Super JetStream reaching a huge 185FPS average, compared to the 170FPS average that the reference GTX 980 Ti is capable of.

We're seeing an FPS wall with GRID: Autosport, where we won't squeeze any more performance out of the game at 1080p. We have 11% more performance from the Palit card in Metro: Last Light, with 111FPS average at 1080p. Shadow of Mordor enjoys the additional horsepower from the Palit GeForce GTX 980 Ti Super JetStream card, with an extra 15% performance, or 131FPS average. Thief and Tomb Raider see an additional 10% and 12%, respectively.

Performance at 1440p

Kicking things off with Battlefield 4, we see the Palit GeForce GTX 980 Ti Super JetStream with 151FPS average at 1440p, an impressive result. This is a decent increase over the reference GTX 980 Ti of 9%.

Moving to Metro: Last Light, the Palit card is 7% faster than the reference GTX 980 Ti at 1440p, while it's 8% faster in Shadow of Mordor. The Palit GeForce GTX 980 Ti Super JetStream is 12.5% faster than the reference card in Thief, while it's 14% faster in Tomb Raider.

Performance at 4K

This is where we want to see the Palit GeForce GTX 980 Ti Super JetStream really stretch its legs, where Battlefield 4 sees the performance scale up to a huge 89FPS average, compared to the 78FPS from our reference card. We have an additional 13% performance in Metro: Last Light, while Shadow of Mordor doesn't do much with the faster GTX 980 Ti. Thief is a decent 15% faster on the Palit card, while Tomb Raider is just 2FPS faster on the overclocked GTX 980 Ti at 4K.

Overclocking, Power Consumption and Sound Testing

Overclocking - Let's See How Far We Can Go

The Palit GeForce GTX 980 Ti Super JetStream overclocked quite well for us, where we were able to reach 1240MHz on the GPU, resulting in a Boost Clock of 1328MHz. This is up from the default clocks of 1152MHz and 1241MHz, respectively.

Battlefield 4

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Metro: Last Light

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3DMark Fire Strike Extreme - 1440p

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Heaven - 1440p

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Power Consumption

I was expecting the power consumption on the Palit GeForce GTX 980 Ti Super JetStream to be around 10% more than the reference GTX 980 Ti, so let's see how we went with power consumption.

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As we can see, I almost nailed it. 390W total system power consumption with the Palit card in our system, compared to the 360W of power consumed with the reference GTX 980 Ti card in our system from NVIDIA.

Sound Testing

The thing about video cards these days, and more so with the new Maxwell-based NVIDIA cards, is that they run so cool under load that the fans never have to spin up. Palit has also done an incredible job with the Super JetStream cooler, that it never made noise during our testing, apart from me manually turning the fan speed up to 50% and 100%.

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What's Hot, What's Not & Final Thoughts

This is where you can fast forward to the final section of the review, and get a quick recap and points on the Palit GeForce GTX 980 Ti Super JetStream.

What's Hot

It's Beautiful: The Palit GeForce GTX 980 Ti Super JetStream is one of the best-looking pieces of technology that I've laid my hands on. If you want to impress with a case window, you can't go pass this card.

Great Performance: This card handles any resolution you throw at it, so don't worry about performance, Palit has you covered.

Excellent Thermals: With an elaborate, but slick-looking cooling solution, the Super JetStream doesn't nudge above 70-72C. Even with a decent overclock applied, the card will keep its cool under pressure.

Great Long-Term Card: I don't think there's anything such as "future proofing" when it comes to video cards, but with immense power behind it and 6GB of VRAM, the Palit GeForce GTX 980 Ti Super JetStream will have you gaming at up to 4K and with VR headsets right into 2016 and beyond.

NVIDIA's Maxwell Architecture: NVIDIA created a champion when it designed the Maxwell architecture, so we have a power efficient card that runs cool, but it is also feature loaded. Things like HDMI 2.0, VR compatibility, triple DisplayPort outputs, GameStream, and so much more are included.

What's Not

It's A Little Thick: Palit could've used a dual-slot cooler on the GTX 980 Ti Super JetStream, but it has opted for a 2.5-slot design. The card is also quite tall, but it's the width that gets me. You couldn't use this in a 4-way GPU setup, but 2- and 3-way setups will be more than fine.

Final Thoughts

The Palit GeForce GTX 980 Ti Super JetStream is the second aftermarket GTX 980 Ti we've reviewed, and we were spoiled. It's a great card that well and truly lives up to its expectations. It looks great, is super-quiet, and has out-of-this-world performance.

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The reference GTX 980 Ti is an excellent card, but the GM200 GPU has so much headroom that AIB partners can really stretch the GPUs legs and let it fly. Palit has made an excellent example of this with the GTX 980 Ti Super JetStream. We have around 10-15% added performance, with the still-silent cooling, and even better looks than NVIDIA's reference card.

Palit has used a specific style with its card, which will definitely have fans of it clicking the 'buy now' button. The silent cooler, beefed up performance from the reference GTX 980 Ti and the stylish look makes for an all-round winner here.

TweakTown award
Performance (overclocking, power)90%
Quality (build, design, cooling)95%
General Features (display outputs, etc)95%
Bundle, Packaging & Software95%
Value for Money90%
Overall93%

The Bottom Line: Palit has one of the best-looking GeForce GTX 980 Ti video cards we've seen so far, with some incredible performance behind it. Don't hesitate on that 'buy now' button, you won't be disappointed.

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Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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