GBT Windforce GTX 980Ti 14

Gigabyte G1 Gaming GTX 980Ti SOC GPU Review

  1. Introduction, Packaging and Specifications
  2. Closer Look
  3. Utility and Manual Overclocking
  4. Test Bench and Testing Methodology
  5. 3DMark (2013) Benchmark
  6. 3DMark 11 Benchmark
  7. OpenGL Benchmark- Cinebench 11.5 and R15
  8. Heaven 4.0 Benchmark
  9. Hitman Absolution
  10. Shadow of Mordor
  11. GTA V Benchmark
  12. GRID Autosport Benchmark
  13. GPU Computation Benchmark
  14. Folding at Home and LuxMark OpenCL Benchmark
  15. Preset Profiles and Overclocking Impressions
  16. Conclusion
  17. Online Purchase Links


A particular Gigabyte GTX 980 that I reviewed earlier made a good impression. It was a good quality, good packaging and pretty large copper plate for the GPU core and thicker heatpipes. Gigabyte G1 Gaming GTX 980Ti SOC does not disappoint in the same way. This non-reference GTX 980Ti seems to have the complete package along with three clock speed profiles.

The packaging is pretty straightforward from the outside, but Gigabyte uses foam instead of card or plastic like the previously reviewed Gainward Phantom GTX 970 GPU.

The review unit has all the protection caps for the connector, PCIe and the SLI interface. The card stands out at first glance because of the silver highlights on both sides of the metal cooling shroud. In my opinion, foams are better at protecting such expensive components.

ChipsetGeForce GTX 980 Ti
Core ClockBoost:1279 / Base: 1190 MHz in OC Mode
Boost:1241 / Base: 1152 MHz in Gaming Mode
Memory Clock7010 MHz
Process Technology28 nm
Memory Size6 GB
Memory Bus384 bit
Card BusPCI-E 3.0
Memory TypeGDDR5
DirectX12
OpenGL4.5
PCB FormATX
Digital max resolution4096 X 2160
Analog max resolution2048 x 1536
Multi-view4
I/ODual-link DVI-I / Dual-link DVI-D / HDMI / DisplayPort*3
Card sizeH=39 L=296 W=120 mm
Power requirement600W (with two 8-pin external power connectors)

Zotac GTX 980Ti Extreme AMP! was tested much earlier, and hence, this makes it easier to compare it with.

Nvidia Reference GTX 980TiG1 Gaming 980Ti
(Gaming Mode)
G1 Gaming 980Ti
(OC Mode)
G1 Gaming 980Ti
(ECO Mode)
Base Clock (MHz)1000115211901062
Boost Clock (MHz)1075124112791151
Dimensions (inches)4.376 (H) x 10.5″ (L)4.72 (H) x 11.65” (L)

As one would expect, Gigabyte G1 Gaming GTX 980Ti SOC is a bit bigger card than its reference variant. The card has three modes (advertised as two in its packaging but OC GURU II highlights three), of which even the ‘ECO’ mode has a higher base and boost clock compared to its reference’s setup.

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Gigabyte G1 Gaming GTX 980Ti SOC’s design is really not so different from the previous Windforce 600w based card, but the silver highlights on both ends of the metal fan shroud make it stand out. The card does have vented backplate- and its metal.

Gigabyte’s WINDFORCE 3X cooling system comes with an assurance to drive out heat up to 600w. This is possible with a combination of three fans using unique blade design, along a series of special fin architecture with five 8mm and one 6mm copper heatpipes (on the other end of the cooling shroud). Gigabyte’s fan by default is switched off when idle, but it turns itself on when it crosses its Power consumption or temperature level. This happens out of the box and doesn’t rely on OC GURU II to make it work.

GBT Windforce GTX 980Ti 32

The card has all the required video outputs- dual-link DVI-I and dual-link DVI-D, followed by an HDMI and three DisplayPort outputs.

GBT Windforce GTX 980Ti 27 Gigabyte G1 Gaming GTX 980Ti SOC has multi-coloured LED bling which fancies itself as a fan indicator. Gigabyte’s OC GURU II utility also allows you to preset colour and its effects along with the usual monitoring and overclocking options.

Did I say it has a large copper surface for the GPU core and other components?

Many GPU makers reduce the size of the copper cooling plate just for the GPU core and use some metal sink for the VRMs. An aluminium plating is used for the VRAMs surrounding it. Note that this card has two overclocked profiles and obviously one will try to overclock these further. Depending on the setup and ambience, at some point, these combinations of passive and active cooling helps. Of Course, it depends more on the GPU and its preset clock speed. Or else it’s just an overkill, making the card unnecessarily expensive.

Notice that unlike many cards, the VRM sink is on the GPU cooler for a change.

There’s a total of 12 SK Hynix H5G04H24MFR GDDR5 chips- same as what GTX Titan X uses.

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Like many overclocking utilities, Gigabyte OC GURU II allows you to monitor and manual set GPU/Memory clock speed and voltage. You can also manually set the fan speeds as per temperature.

You can manually add voltage with intervals of 0.0125v. There are seven LED options and 1 multi-LED light options, along with LED effects such as Breathing, flashing and Dual flashing.

The clock speed presets are ‘Eco’, ‘Gaming’ and ‘OC’. The high preset (OC) gives a base clock speed of 1190MHz. ‘Gaming’ clock speed profile is enabled by default, which switching to OC profile requires the utility.

Note that Gigabyte has something that they call it as ‘GPU Gauntlet’ (with a trademark icon) sorting. As per their words, Gigabyte SOC (Super Overclock) graphic cards guarantees the higher overclocking capability.

Using the OC GURU II utility, I was able to get it to +160MHz boost. In the end, it gave 1312MHz base/1401 MHz boost clock speed- a 10.25% increase compared to OC profile’s base clock and 31.2% compared to reference version’s base clock.

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Hardware BBQ gets very minimum support from hardware manufacturers since we have a no-strings-attached policy and ended up blacklisting even tier 1 brands for improper misconduct. But thanks to a handful of companies who value the importance and benefits of providing components for the test bench, we do what we’re good at with the resources at hand. I would like to thank:

  • Gigabyte India for providing Gigabyte Z97X-Gaming GT Rev 1.0 motherboard
  • WD India for providing 4x WD Red 3TB NAS drives
  • Coolermaster India for providing Coolermaster GX450 RS-450-ACAA-D3 Power Supply
Test Setup for:Gigabyte G1 Gaming GTX 980Ti SOC
CPU+ CPU Cooler+ MBIntel i7 4790K + Noctua NH-U12S + Gigabyte Z97X-Gaming GT
GPU DriversNvidia GeForce 361.43 WHQL Drivers
MemoryKingston 8GB 1600MHz DDRIII
Primary OS driveSanDisk Extreme 240GB SSD + WD Red 3TB WD30EFRX
Power SupplyCorsair TX750
ChassisLian Li A70F Full Tower PC Case

Driver Version: 361.43

[divider] The Benchmarks are as follows:

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  • GBT G1-Gaming GTX 980Ti 3DM Sky Diver
  • GBT G1-Gaming GTX 980Ti 3DM FS
  • GBT G1-Gaming GTX 980Ti 3DM FS Extreme
  • GBT G1-Gaming GTX 980Ti 3DM FS Ultra
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  • GBT G1-Gaming GTX 980Ti 3DM11 Performance
  • GBT G1-Gaming GTX 980Ti 3DM11 Xtreme
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  • GBT G1-Gaming GTX 980Ti Cinbench 11.5
  • GBT G1-Gaming GTX 980Ti Cinebench R15
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GBT G1-Gaming GTX 980Ti Hitman Absolution

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GBT G1-Gaming GTX 980Ti Shadow of Mordor

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GBT G1-Gaming GTX 980Ti gta v

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GBT G1-Gaming GTX 980Ti grid autosport

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  • Face Detection Test
    Face detector based on the Viola-Jones algorithm which used for biometrics and digital image processing to identify locations and sizes of faces in images.

    TV-L1 Optical Flow Test
    Based on dense motion vector calculation using the variational method. Used wisely in video compression and video quality enhancement for driver assistance systems and motion detection.
    GBT G1-Gaming GTX 980Ti Compu BC 1

  • Graphics Test “T-Rex”
    A path tracer featuring dynamically updated acceleration structure and global illumination

    Video Composition Test
    A composition of videos using various effects such as pixelation, masking, mix and blur.
    GBT G1-Gaming GTX 980Ti Compu BC 2

  • Ocean Surface Simulation
    FTT (Fast Fourier Transform) algorithm test using ocean wave simulation.
    GBT G1-Gaming GTX 980Ti Ocean Surface Simulation

  • Particle Simulation-64K
    Particle Simulation using discrete element method with OpenGL
    GBT G1 Gaming GTX 980Ti Particle Simulation 645k

Bitcoin Mining
The popular Bitcoin algorithm that tests the integer performance of the GPU.

GBT G1-Gaming GTX 980Ti Bitcoin Mining

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GBT G1-Gaming GTX 980Ti Folding @ Home

GBT G1-Gaming GTX 980Ti Luxmark

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GPU-Z reports that the ASIC quality of this graphic card is 75.1%.ASIC Quality

  • GBT G1 Gaming GTX 980Ti OC Sky Diver

  • GBT G1-Gaming GTX 980Ti OC Fire Strike
  • GBT G1-Gaming GTX 980Ti OC FS Extreme
  • GBT G1-Gaming GTX 980Ti OC FS Ultra
As a result, you get 6.21% boost compared to the card’s ‘OC’ preset in Fire Strike ultra and 6.47% boost in Fire Strike Extreme.

As a result, you get 6.21% boost compared to the card’s ‘OC’ presets in Fire Strike ultra and 6.47% boost in Fire Strike Extreme.

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The card performs at its best with ultra high/Ultra settings. As expected, it trades blows with Zotac GTX 980Ti Extreme AMP! Edition. Zotac’s variant, however, is bit longer and occupies three slots. Sure, Zotac does have more clock speed on default compared to the G1 Gaming variant. Zotac did achieve a little bit more than G1 gaming.

Which then comes down to the cost. In Newegg, Gigabyte G1 Gaming GTX 980Ti SOC costs US$ 669.99 and Zotac GTX 980Ti Extreme AMP! Edition also costs US$ 699.99. You should know that the second DVI port on the G1 Gaming enables its user to have one of the two video output configuration to run a four-screen setup. If you plan on building a mini-ITX setup, G1 Gaming would probably be more case-friendly than the Zotac variant. Zotac also provides more warranty period once its registered after purchase.

Either way, both are pretty good cards, coincidentally having the same price tag.  If you’re going to make a real choice, it’s probably going to be more favourable towards the G1 Gaming because of the dual-slot cooling unit. However, if you can play the waiting game, you could wait for the next generation Nvidia Pascal lineups.

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