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Inno3D GTX 980 ‘iChill Herculez X4 Air Boss Ultra’ Review

We weren’t sure what to think of the Inno3D GTX 980 ‘iChill Herculez X4 Air Boss Ultra’ the first time we saw it. Many Nvidia partners have opted for subtle, inoffensive GTX980 designs – and there is no doubt that the MSI GTX980 Gaming 4G is the sexy ‘looker’ of the bunch. Inno3D have taken a different route – creating a product that reminds us of a horrific weapon from one of the latest SAW films.

While we wouldn’t consider the Inno3D GTX 980 ‘iChill Herculez X4 Air Boss Ultra’ a beautiful looking graphics card, the sharp angular edges and bright patterns certainly attract the eye.

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Build quality is stellar. The card is constructed mainly from metal and subsequently feels hefty in the hand. Discerning enthusiast users always appreciate a backplate, to cool the PCB and to offer additional protection. Another box ticked.

While the appearance of the Inno3D GTX 980 ‘iChill Herculez X4 Air Boss Ultra’ is likely to split opinion, the performance will not. Out of the box, this is the fastest GTX980 we have tested to date and it claims top position in most of our game tests today. It is however the cooling capabilities which deserve special mention.

The iChill HerculeZ X4 cooler on this card absolutely destroys all previous benchmark results. Under extended gaming load, this solution peaked at a measly 48c. The MSI GTX980 Gaming 4G and ASUS GTX980 StriX hit 61c and 62c respectively. The reference GTX980 hit 73c under the same circumstances. This is a truly remarkable cooler and one worthy of serious praise.

You can pick up the Inno3D GTX 980 ‘iChill Herculez X4 Air Boss Ultra’ from Overclockers UK for £499.99, and there is a price drop this week to £459.99 inc vat.

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Pros:

  • it doubles up as a very handy weapon. Jigsaw will want it back.
  • exceptional build quality with backplate.
  • 4GB of GDDR5 memory.
  • Best GTX980 cooler we have tested.

Cons:

  • some may say it looks ugly.
  • a shorter name would have worked better. Seriously.
  • will still need two of them for super smooth 4K gaming.

Kitguru says: It looks like a beast, and performs like a beast.
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Rating: 9.5.

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