Nvidia GTX980 Maxwell Review
Published: 18th September 2014 | Source: nVidia | Price: |
It barely seems a moment since we were looking at the GTX780Ti and marvelling about the amount of performance available, and then from out of the blue the word sprung that nVidia were going to release their new Maxwell GPU and graphics cards.
It's fair to say we're somewhat surprised to find them in the wild so early, especially as the GTX780Ti is still a monster of a card, capable of matching/beating almost anything you bring to the party. However, as soon as we saw the direction nVidia are going then it all makes sense.
The GTX980 - and GTX970 - aren't designed to be another massive leap forwards from the GK110, but rather to refine it until the power draw is much lower and the architecture supports the very latest in DirectX 12 and nVidia GeForce optimisations. It is a very similar roadmap to the one taken by Intel with their CPUs, equivalent performance in a more ecological package.
Despite having slightly fewer CUDA Cores than the GTX780Ti that preceded it, the overwhelming eye-catcher in the GTX980 specifications has to be those clock speeds. 1.2GHz on the GPU Core, 7GHz GDDR5 giving 5 Teraflops of compute power. There certainly isn't any scrimping in raw horsepower terms. Cast your gaze a little further down and we see that the Maxwell GTX980 only has two 6pin PCIe power inputs. A hint of the ideology that underpins this latest nVidia GPU.