Nvidia’s recent GTX970 and GTX980 launch has been one of the most successful we can remember. We have already analysed many partner cards and today we look at the new flagship model from Palit – the GTX980 Super Jetstream. This card is the first one that ships with a core clock speed over 1,200mhz ‘out of the box’. It is also the first high end Maxwell card we have tested with enhanced memory timings as well. How does it stack up against other cards available on the market today?
First impressions of the Palit GTX980 Super JetStream are very positive. The red metallic colour is very eye catching and the dual fans are constructed from a high number of sculpted blades. We will look at this in more detail on the next page.
The Maxwell architecture has been designed to deliver twice the performance per watt of previous generation Geforce hardware. It sounds easy enough on paper to achieve, but the real world challenges for Nvidia have been complex.
|GPU||GeForce GTX 680 (Kepler)||GeForce GTX 980 (Maxwell)||Geforce GTX 970 (Maxwell)|
|Base Clock||1006 mhz||1126 mhz||1050 mhz|
|GPU Boost Clock||1058 mhz||1216 mhz||1178 mhz|
|Total Video memory||2GB||4GB||4GB|
|Texel fill-rate||129 Gigatexels/Sec||144.1 Gigatexels/Sec||109.2 Gigatexels/Sec|
|Memory Clock||6000 mhz||7000 mhz||7000 mhz|
|Memory Bandwidth||192 GB/sec||224 GB/sec||224 GB/s|
|TDP||195 watts||165 watts||145 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 Palit GTX980 Super JetStream OC has received a core clock enhancement to 1,203mhz, from 1,126mhz on the reference design. The GDDR5 memory has also received a small tweak, clocked from 1,753mhz to 1,800mhz (7.2Gbps effective).