Nvidia has been putting quite a show with its 10th generation Graphics cards that are based on the Pascal architecture; we have reviewed all of them on our site; you can search them if you want to read them. These cards have been the most affected due to the Crypto mining and shortages which caused an increase in price. However, prices are now almost same as their launch prices, but if you are looking for a 10th gen flagship from Nvidia, you are not going to get it at a price less than 500 dollars.
Even GTX 1070Ti is retailing at a price close to 500 dollars let alone the GTX 1080 or the GTX 1080Ti, but there is a flagship from Nvidia that can provide performance close to the GTX 1080 with the price that is less than 500 this card is the flagship from the Maxwell 2 architecture the GTX 980Ti.
As the graphics card has been in the market since June 2015, you can easily find a deal on this card that will require you to pay a lot less than 500 dollars or even less than 400 dollars. That is why we opted to review Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 Ti card, and we wanted to see how this card performs against its successors and current gen games.
Based on the 2nd generation of Maxwell architecture proved itself as it was able to utilize the available memory bandwidth to a much greater extent than the Kepler architecture, the GM 200 GPU utilizes almost all of its potential to make this card great in the league of Flagships.
Nvidia could neither use the full potential of the GM 200 GPU as it was already used in the TITAN X and it could sabotage TITAN X’s sales, nor they could make the cores less intensive against the double precision math as the GM 200 is a “gaming only” device. Nvidia took the route where it had to disable four stream multiprocessors making the GM 200 in $1000 TITAN X superior, but that does not mean the GTX 980Ti is slack at any rate.
The reviews at the time of its release showed that the 54% less expensive GTX 980Ti had only 8% performance difference with the TITAN X. Almost everything else remained the same including the 8 billion transistors on the huge die made with the 28nm process.
As the GTX 980Ti was the flagship of the 9th generation of the GeForce Graphics cards it had all the specifications that it needs to satisfy the needs of the most demanding games. There are a total of 2816 CUDA cores spread over 22 SMMs with the base clock speed of 1000MHz and boost clock speed of 1075MHz.
Additionally, there are 176 Texture rendering units which makes the Texture filtering rate 176GT/s these are accompanied by 96 rendering output units that make the total pixel filtering rate 96GPixel/s. The graphics memory specifications are identical except the size that is cut in half to 6GB for the GTX 980Ti; the 384-bit GDDR5 memory bus has a speed of 7GT/s which makes the memory bandwidth 336.5GB/s. Lastly, the Graphics card is rated at 250 Watts and requires an 8-pin power connector to work at its full potential.
The Graphics card was a performance beast at its time and could play pretty much every game that was released before 2015 at 4k with decent framerates there are some exceptions too. Our test starts with the first person shooter game by EA the Battlefield 1 at 4k ultra settings the game was constantly above 60FPS with an average framerate of 79 and 1% lower 62FPS.
Then we tested the open world title form the Rockstar games the Grand Theft Auto V the game is very taxing at the high textures since it is an open world and requires the GPU to refresh textures now and then but the GTX 980Ti tamed the game easily with the 67 average framerates at 4k ultra settings.
Ashes of the singularity is the game that requires raw power both from the CPU and GPU the GTX 980Ti could barely keep the framerates above 30 at 4k standard preset. Another game that specifically targets the Graphics processor is the fantasy open world game the Witcher 3 the game was not playable at 4k ultra settings we had to scale it down to 1440p ultra to get framerates in respectable late 50s.
GTX 980Ti is still one of the best cards that you can buy right now; it directly rivals the GTX 1070Ti and GTX 1080 with a price that is lower than both these Graphics cards. As it is almost three years old now, you can easily find it used or with an offer that will require you to pay less than 500 dollars. If you want a flagship Graphics card that is not very hard on your wallet, the GeForce GTX 980Ti should be on your list. You can buy it from Amazon here.