Nvidia GTX 980 GPU Review with GeForce 344.75 WHQL Drivers

  1. Introduction
  2. Test Bench and Testing Methodology
  3. 3DMark Benchmark
  4. 3D Mark 11 Benchmark
  5. 3D Mark Vantage Benchmark
  6. OpenGL Benchmark- Cinbench 11.5
  7. OpenGL Benchmark- Cinbench R15
  8. Heavens 3.0 Benchmark
  9. Sanctuary v2.3 Benchmark
  10. Game Benchmark: Batman- Arkham City
  11. Game Benchmark: Hitman- Absolution
  12. Game Benchmark: Metro 2033
  13. Game Benchmark: Shadows of Mordor
  14. Game Benchmark: Sleeping Dogs
  15. Game Benchmark: Sniper Elite V2
  16. OC Performance Analysis- 3DMark Benchmark
  17. OC Performance Analysis- Shadows of Mordor
  18. Conclusion
  19. Online Purchase Links

Yes. We finally got out hands on one! About time, yeah??

Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 'Maxwell' GPU
Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 ‘Maxwell’ GPU

I already posted a proper introduction for Maxwell architecture two months ago. I also posted the packaging and the pictures of the reference version over here, along with more details in our work-in-progress BBQ database. Usually, all of this would be under a single review for easy reference, but we got the card rather late post the release. As an end result, it would look fragmented. I know the frustration. You’re not the only one. When I sent two separate links to Nvidia India’s PR, I sensed an ‘Is that it?’ tone (nah, it’s cool).

Unfortunately, we didn’t get the Nvidia GTX 980 GPU at a time where we could have published the review when the NDA was lifted just like how many websites do. But on the bright side, thanks to a wise man I also got my hands on Zotac GTX 780Ti Extreme AMP! Edition GPU. Therefore, I was able to compare the Nvidia GTX 980 GPU with the older GTX 780Ti so that it would be a proper full-fledged performance overview. It shouldn’t be a surprise that Nvidia concentrated more on power efficiency with this card. But as always, you would like to know the performance of it. Reference Nvidia GTX 980 in comparison to Zotac GTX 780Ti Extreme AMP! Edition.

There’s also one more advantage. I tested it and benchmarked both the cards with the much newer GeForce 344.75 WHQL drivers.

GTX 980 Engine Specs:
CUDA Cores2048
Base Clock (MHz) 1126
Boost Clock (MHz)1216
Texture Fill Rate (GigaTexels/sec) 144
GTX 980 Memory Specs:
Memory Clock 7.0 Gbps
Standard Memory Config 4 GB
Memory Interface GDDR5
Memory Interface Width 256-bit
Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec)224
GTX 980 Technology Support:
NVIDIA SLI® ReadyYes (4-way)
NVIDIA G-Sync™-Ready Yes
NVIDIA GameStream™-ReadyYes
GeForce ShadowPlay™Yes
NVIDIA GPU Boost™2.0
Dynamic Super ResolutionYes
NVIDIA GameWorks™ Yes
Microsoft DirectX12 API
Bus Support PCI Express 3.0
OS Certification Windows 8 & 8.1, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Linux, FreeBSD x86
Display Support:
Maximum Digital Resolution 4096×2160
Maximum VGA Resolution 2048×1536
Standard Display Connectors Dual Link DVI-I, HDMI 2.0, 3x DisplayPort 1.2
Multi Monitor4 displays
Audio Input for HDMI Internal
GTX 980 Graphics Card Dimensions:
Height 4.376 inches
Length 10.5 inches
Thermal and Power Specs:
Maximum GPU Tempurature (in C) 98 C
Graphics Card Power (W)165 W
Minimum System Power Requirement (W) 500 W
Supplementary Power Connectors2x 6-pin PCIE
GTX 980GTX 970GTX 780 Ti
Core Clock1126MHz1050MHz875MHz
Boost Clock1216MHz1178MHz928Mhz
Memory Clock


Memory Bus Width


CUDA Cores204816642880
Texture Units128104240





1/32 FP32

1/24 FP32


Transistor Count



Before proceeding, understand GTX 780Ti- the reference version- has an interesting TDP rating of 250 watts. GTX 980 has 165W. Yowsa! That’s a big drop! Note that Zotac GTX 780Ti Extreme AMP! Edition has a base core clock of 1006 MHz and boost of 1072MHz.

Moving ahead…

Nvidia’s first gen Maxwell cards were GeForce GTX 750 and 750 Ti which used the GM107 core. The cards were based on 28nm fabrication process. NoW, these are GM204- the second-generation Maxwell architecture based cards. Comparing a reference to reference specs, GTX 980 is bit faster than GTX 780 Ti, but the main feature of this core is more about better power efficiency.

If we’re talking about API, this Maxwell cards has full support for DX11.2 and DX11.3. It should be noted that DX11.3 will be coming for Windows 8.1, but it goes without saying that Microsoft’s future implementation DX12 will bring a lot of noteworthy feature sets. Nvidia GTX 970 and 980 are the cards that will support DX11.3 and DX12. Of course, it all depends on which games take advantage of these feature sets, and how much detail the card can produce. By the time that happens, Pascal might come out and AMD Radeon would have something up its sleeve.

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