Gainward GTX980 Ti Phoenix GS Golden Sample Review
Published: 7th September 2015 | Source: Gainward | Price: |
The consistency of the various GTX980Ti models is unbelievable. Annoying if you're a manufacturer, but great for the public. You can purchase almost any GTX980Ti and be certain that both it, and you, will obtain a certain level of performance. The differences are slight at best, with the majority of gaps in the graph relating to whether the card is heavily overclocked out of the box or reliant upon the nVidia GPU Boost 2.0 technology to expand its horizons.
Not everyone wants to overclock their graphics card and the Gainward Phoenix Golden Sample caters for the more cautious owner by coming equipped with 1152MHz/1241MHz Boost out of the box. This clock speed had benefits reflected in our graphs with the Gainward one of the better GTX980Ti's in stock trim in our graphs. If you are in the mood to overclock it then it responds beautifully with a combination of high clock speeds and fast memory giving good frame rates throughout our testing.
The Gainward Phoenix has a lovely cooler design with triple fans backed up by good fin density and pretty copper heatpipes. The capabilities of this cooler are shown in the 73°C that the card reached in out-of-the-box trim, and further highlighted if you boost the fan speed beyond automatic. With the serious 100MHz overclock in place, boosted to 300MHz in use, and 80% fans the Phoenix only reached 60°C. Obviously 80% fans has a noise price to pay, but in regular use the Gainward is quiet enough.
There are two distinct feelings we came away with from our time with the Gainward Phoenix. Firstly although the raw numbers in GPUz indicate that this could be the fastest GTX980Ti when overclocked, the actuality was somewhat disappointing. Obviously performance is relative and any 980Ti is blisteringly fast, but this is very much an average GTX980Ti, if such an expression can be used. Secondly, and its importance depends entirely upon your personal preference, the card is pink. There are no two ways about it. It was clearly meant to be red but it's very clearly pink. We can't think of any other pink hardware so even if you're a massive fan of Bret Hart, Citta di Palermo or just want to express your support for the fight against breast cancer, little else will match the Gainward offering. The only plus point we can find is the cooler is easy to dismantle making it a great choice for anyone looking to customise their GPU, we know this is going to be a very niche market but it really would be really easy to give this a new look with a lick of paint.
The cooler performs well and is relatively quiet, but that pink hue and the otherwise average performance and power efficiency in such an extremely tight market mean that the Gainward GTX980Ti Phoenix Golden Sample only wins our OC3D Silver Award.