EVGA this week quietly introduced what could be the world’s highest-performing graphics card based on Nvidia Corp.’s GeForce GTX 980 graphics processing unit. The EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Classified ACX 2.0 graphics board utilizes custom printed-circuit board (PCB) that is designed with overclocking in mind.
The EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Classified ACX 2.0 4GB graphics card features 1291MHz/1405MHz (base/boost) GPU clock-rates, a significant increase from 1126MHz/1216MHz frequencies on reference-design GeForce GTX 980 graphics boards. To ensure further overclocking potential, the EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Classified ACX 2.0 sports two 8-pin PCI Express auxiliary power connectors (Nvidia-designed GeForce GTX 980 boards feature two 6-pin PCIe power connectors) as well as the company’s own ACX 2.0 cooling system.
Like previous-generation Classified-series graphics cards, the EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Classified ACX 2.0 uses a large custom PCB with enhanced PLL circuitry, improved GPU power plane as well as ability to control voltages using Evbot accessory sold by the company. All of the enhancements are designed to provide further overclocking potential for those, who need maximum performance.
It is possible that eventually EVGA releases EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Classified K|NGP|N Edition that will likely feature three aux PCIe power connectors (2*8-pin connectors and a 6-pin connector), preinstalled dedicated PWM baseplate as well as even higher clock-rates and overclocking potential.
Earlier this week KitGuru published a review of the Asus GTX 980 Strix OC graphics card. During the testing, the adapter was overclocked to whopping 1380MHz/1481MHz base/boost using air cooling. At such high frequencies the graphics solution almost hit 21,000 points in the graphics test of 3DMark 11 – KitGuru’s highest yet for a single GPU.
Given the enhanced design of the EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Classified ACX 2.0, it is highly likely that it will not only beat Asustek’s solution in terms of overclocking potential, but will even beat Nvidia’s GeForce GTX Titan Black in terms of performance in games.
Pricing of the EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Classified ACX 2.0 has not been announced yet, but do not expect it to be low.
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KitGuru Says: It is noteworthy that Nvidia’s partners decided to offer heavily-overclocked versions of its GeForce GTX 980 early in the life cycle and not to wait for 8GB versions of the boards to arrive. If you use a 4K display, it makes sense to wait for factory-overclocked Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 graphics cards with 8GB of memory. It is unclear whether such boards could further boost memory frequency, but the amount of memory itself should help to play comfortably in high resolutions.