The Chinese portal Expreview refused to wait that the NDA imposed by Nvidia were finished and has already posted the review of both the Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 and the Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 and, as you’ll see below, there are pleasant surprises.
GeForce GTX 980 vs GTX 780 Ti
First we have the review of the Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 (reference model) based in the GPU GM204-400 that, against all odds, is positioned as a more powerful option of GeForce GTX 780 Ti, briefly the GTX 980 is a 13.27 percent faster than the current top-range graphic card. The only negative point that we will see if when we look for this graphic to play 4K resolutions over its 256-bit interface.
GeForce GTX 980 vs Radeon R9 290X
If we compared with the top-range of AMD, the AMD Radeon R9 290x, the trend continues, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 is a 15.76 per cent faster than the AMD option.
GTX 970 vs R9 290X vs GTX 780
Now we go with the most interesting model of all considering its balance of price / performance / consumption, this is none other than the Nvidia GeForce GTX 970, which exceeds in performance the AMD Radeon R9 290X for 1.57%. If we compared with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 780, we see a 4.63% slower, but of course, is a GTX 780 with a GPU overclocked to 1.05 GHz and consumes / overheated.
Consumption (Complete Kit)
If we focus on its consumption, it is surprising to see that in most cases the Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 consumes less than the Nvidia GeForce GTX 970.
Now, you can see how the demanding benchmarking software Furmark the GTX 970 causes the computer consumes 221W and GTX 980 243W, compared to 320, 337 and 343W of the GTX 780 Ti, GTX 780 and Radeon R9 290X respectively. As we can see, there is a difference of 100W between the GTX 980 and Radeon R9 290X.
Consumption must go along temperatures, and we can see that under the demanding benchmarking software the GeForce GTX 980 reaches 83 degrees, compared with the 65 degrees of a GeForce GTX 970 that makes use of a cooling system customized by Zotac, some temperatures quite enviable for any other graphic seen until now. Let´s remember that GTX 980 uses the reference cooling system.
With no doubt, in lack to see a price, Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 and GeForce GTX 970 have the requirements that every user are searching for: higher performance over the previous generation coupled with a decrease in energy consumption and temperatures.
Now we only have to know what AMD are going to do and if this will help you rethink your future with your Radeon R300 line in regards to the consumption. In the short term, everything is reduces to lower the price of the Radeon R200 series if you want to offer an alternative.