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GTX 970 vs 980

PostGTX 970 vs 980 by RubberJonny

It has come to my attention that a fair number of TBC members are genuinely considering upgrading to the GTX 9XX series but are mostly uninformed about what they will actually be paying for when pricing between the two models currently available.

As driver support improves and we start seeing games specifically built around the Maxwell architecture we will see increased performance from both the GTX 970 and GTX 980 but when i comes to choosing which to buy some pertinent information appears to be often omitted.

Estimating how “future proof” new hardware will be is nigh on impossible but using the evidence available to us from past generations we can draw some conclusions that will determine the long term worth of buying in to the GTX 9XX series.
Eighteen months ago the GTX Titan boldly claimed the crown for single GPU desktop graphics but the GTX 980 has now dethroned the GTX Titan Black when it comes to gaming performance for almost half the price. The GTX 970 does not do this but it comes damn near close to the Titan Black and at nearly a third of the price. As we all know, though, the GTX 980 only has a 10% - 20% performance boost over the GTX 970 for over a third more of the cost...

The reason for this price difference is explained by the consistent 20-30+% performance increase from the previous generation to the next (e.g. GTX 670 – GTX 780 / GTX 770 – GTX 980).* This is a considerable leap and to put it in to perspective the GTX 9XX series is a recommended upgrade for GTX 770 owners but not necessarily for GTX 780 and GTX 780 ti owners.** When buying the GTX 970 you could potentially need to upgrade again in a single generation (eighteen months) if you want to keep up with the latest graphics. Whereas the GTX 980 should theoretically hold up at least until the generation after (36 months).

Also, something to bear in mind is the potential for 4K gaming. While the GTX 980 still does not offer the single card 4K performance that we have been promised since the GTX Titan the GTX 970 offers even less, falling short of the standard GTX Titan in most games.*** I'm sure for many of you the idea of gaming at 4K resolutions is a long way off but 4K monitors are entering reasonable price points with increasing quality, and eighteen months a go I'm sure the idea of you owning a GPU better than the GTX Titan was unimaginable. Choosing the GTX 980 allows you to play some games in 4K today and gives you the option to buy a second or a third in the future to experience 4K gaming in all its glory.

My own personal break down for which GPU a user should consider (Holiday Sales!):
• GTX 980 – If you have the money to spend or you can wait as long as you need to afford it then the GTX 980 is the best choice; particularly if you are upgrading from the GTX 7XX or GTX 6XX series.
• GTX 970 – If you unequivocally cannot afford the GTX 980 no matter how long you save for and your budget can accommodate the GTX 970 then it's a solid purchase particularly if you're upgrading from anything below the GTX 6XX series.
• GTX 960 – If you are heavily budget conscious but can get by on what you are currently running then waiting to see what the GTX 960 will offer and at what price is a good idea.

* Source. The graphs on this page show a combined performance summary of all the tests on previous pages, broken down by resolution. Each graph shows the tested card as 100%, and every other card's performance is relative to it.
** Source. Final Words, end of first paragraph: “Both cards obviously are recommended if you are still on an up-to say GTX 770 or lower product series graphics card.”
*** Source. Gaming at 3840x2160.

***All sources are for quick reference only. All conclusions were drawn from the evidence given by multiple sources. If you are interested in reading up more on the subject Google is your friend. I will link to additional reference material if requested.***

If there is anything i've missed or anything you'd like to dicuss in more detail please make a post.

Peace Out!
Man Will Never Be Free Until The Last King Is Strangled With The Entrails Of The Last Priest
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» Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:05 pm «Top

PostRe: GTX 970 vs 980 by RampantBadger

Do you have any benchmarks of them playing goldeneye on the N64?
That is what I really need.

(thanks for the info, thinking of upgrading after xmas, so I will give it a read when I am less tired)
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» Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:15 pm «Top