PNY GTX980Ti XLR8 OC Review
Published: 29th October 2015 | Source: PNY | Price: |
We have all found ourselves at the beginning of our hardware purchasing time looking through massive lists of hardware - sorted by price - and looked at the manufacturer names we might not be familiar with, before accepting the small price increase for one of the bigger brands. To some degree that belief system might be wise, but that's when our job becomes a) more interesting and b) more important.
PNY might not necessarily be the first name that trips off your tongue when thinking about a graphics card, but it should now, because the XLR8 continues PNYs relentless march to provide serious performance at a seriously affordable price. The consistency of the nVidia GPUs is beyond reproach and it would take a particularly ham-fisted manufacturer to manage to ruin such a capable GPU. PNY have, by virtue of providing the GM200 with an excellent cooler and a factory overclock, only enhanced the mighty reputation of nVidia's finest.
Although the colour scheme might be a departure from the regular black and red efforts we've become so accustomed to seeing it makes for a nice change. Sure the gold isn't quite the gold we might have hoped for, particularly when contrasted with the gorgeous box art, but we're struggling to recall any manufacturer who has managed to replicate gold in a satisfying manner. Short of actually gold plating it of course. However, even if you dislike the decision to go with the gold the design of the XLR8 is such that it is of no consequence anyway. Even better PNY have eliminated the light-up side that has been the bane of anyone seeking to have a harmonious colour scheme in their system so you're not stuck with neon green in an otherwise alternatively coloured rig. The side is all black and the backplate similarly so, thus the XLR8 blends into your rig rather than dominates it.
Performance is as excellent as every GTX980Ti has proven to be. With a factory overclock you'd expect the manual overclock to provide smaller benefits, but if anything the XLR8 OC had the opposite effect with the 'stock' card being good but not spectacular and the overclock up amongst some seriously heavy-hitters and, importantly, some seriously pricey offerings too. In contrast to something like the MSI Lightning or the EVGA Classified the PNY is significantly more affordable yet delivers the same low temperatures, low noise and outstanding performance in every resolution.
Next time you're flicking through your wishlist make a mental note to add the PNY GTX980Ti XLR8 OC to it, because you're getting a good looking card with blistering performance at a very affordable price. It has all the bells and whistles with none of the price-gouging that normally comes along with factory overclocks and for that it wins our OC3D Gold Award.
Thanks to PNY for supplying the XLR8 OC for review. Discuss it in our OC3D Forums.