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KFA2 GeForce GTX 980 ‘8Pack Edition’ 4096MB

Rating: 9.0.

Nvidia’s GTX980 has been one of their greatest success stories in the last decade. While we have reviewed almost every partner board available, today we look at something very special – the new KFA2 GeForce GTX980 ‘8Pack Edition’. Overclockers UK resident overclocking world champion Ian ‘8Pack’ Parry has been working with the company to produce one of the world’s fastest air cooled cards. This solution is not only shipped at very high overclocked speeds, but it has been the recipient of uprated Capacitors and VRM components.
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Nvidia’s Maxwell architecture has been dominating the graphics sector for the last year. The GTX750ti was a warning shot across the bow for AMD – a super efficient GPU with more powerful siblings waiting in the wings. Some time later, the GTX970 and GTX980 hit market without an answer. AMD’s power consumption is still a concern and until their next generation of cards hit later this year Nvidia have been able to run amok in the high end.

GPU GeForce GTX 750ti (Maxwell) GeForce GTX 960 (Maxwell) Geforce GTX 970 (Maxwell) GeForce GTX 980 (Maxwell) Geforce GTX Titan X
Streaming Multiprocessors 5 8 13 16 24
CUDA Cores 640 1024 1664 2048 3072
Base Clock 1020 mhz 1126 mhz 1050 mhz 1126 mhz 1000 mhz
GPU Boost Clock 1085 mhz 1178 mhz 1178 mhz 1216 mhz 1076mhz
Total Video memory 2GB 2GB 4GB 4GB 12GB
Texture fill-rate 40.8 Gigatexels/Sec 72.1 Gigatexels/Sec 109.2 Gigatexels/Sec 144.1 Gigatexels/Sec 192 Gigatexels/Sec
Memory Clock 5400 mhz 7010 mhz 7000 mhz 7000 mhz 7000 mhz
Memory Bandwidth 86.4 GB/sec 112.16 GB/sec 224 GB/s 224 GB/sec 336.5 GB/sec
Bus Width 128bit 128bit 256bit 256bit 384bit
ROPs 16 32 56 64 96
Manufacturing Process 28nm 28nm 28nm 28nm 28nm
TDP 60 watts 120 watts 145 watts 165 watts 250 watts

The new GM204 GPU is very efficient. The Maxwell SM has been rebalanced so that the CUDA cores are fully utilised more often. Doing so saves power and enhances overall performance. The L2 cache size in the GM204 is 2MB, or four times larger than the GK104. The addition of extra cache means that fewer requests to the GPU memory are needed – again reducing power consumption and pushing more performance.

The Geforce GTX 980 is equipped with 7Gbps memory. Those of you with higher resolution monitors, or running in a multi screen configuration will also be pleased to hear that there is 4GB of GDDR5 memory on the card, not 3GB – this memory will push 224 GB/s sec. Nvidia have added a new compression engine to reduce the demand on DRAM bandwidth.

The KFA2 Geforce GTX980 ‘8Pack Edition’ has received a mighty impressive core clock enhancement to 1,304mhz – from 1,126mhz on the reference design (boost speed 1418mhz). The GDDR5 memory is running at the default 1,753mhz speeds (7Gbps effective) but we believe there will be huge potential for overclocking, later in the review.

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