ASUS GeForce GTX 970 STRIX, Gainward GeForce GTX 970 Phantom and Gainward GeForce GTX 980 Revealed

Hassan Mujtaba

NVIDIA is going to launch their GeForce GTX 980 and GeForce GTX 970 graphics cards on 19th September however several non-reference and reference models have started appearing on the web. Today, we are looking at the GeForce GTX 970 and GeForce GTX 980 models from AIB partners ASUS and Gainward that feature the latest GM204 GPU.Gainward GeForce GTX 970

ASUS GeForce GTX 970 STRIX and Gainward GeForce GTX 970 Phantom Pictured

The leaks come from Videocardz and Computerbase and the cards shown are the final variants which will be available to purchase on Friday, this week. Before looking at the cards, let me list down the specifications for the GM204-200 GPU which is being featured across the GeForce GTX 970 graphics card while the GTX 980 will adopt the GM204-400 GPU which is the fully enabled GM204 chip.

NVIDIA's GeForce GX 970 features 13 SMM units placed in 4 GPC (Graphics Processing Clusters). Since each SMM unit has 128 CUDA cores, 32 in each logic unit (32 x 4), the total number of CUDA cores equates to 1664 on the die. From the first generation Maxwell core architecture, we learned that a Maxwell SMM (Streaming Multiprocessor Maxwell) unit has 128 cores compared to 192 on the current generation Kepler SMX units. The cores fused on the GeForce Maxwell generation of graphics cards were shows at 35% faster than Kepler cores but the percentage is increased with the second generation Maxwell architecture due to a mature process and architecture design that enables amazing power efficiency.

Along with that, we have a 4 GB GDDR5 memory running across a 256-Bit memory interface clocked at 1753 MHz (7.00 GHz Effective) which pumps out 224.4 GB/s bandwidth. The core clock is maintained at 1051 MHz and 1178 MHz boost clock something which I was expecting if the cards were to be able to take on the GK110 core based graphics cards. Lastly, we have the fill rate numbers which amount to 33.6 GPixels/s Pixel and 145.0 GTexels/s Texture fill rates. Now these are strictly the reference clock speeds and the custom models from both ASUS and Gainward will be clocked higher than these.ASUS GeForce GTX 970 STRIX

So coming to the cards, the ASUS GeForce GTX 970 STRIX adopts the latest Strix variant of the DirectCU II cooling design with its much famed 0dB cooling design which ensures the card goes silent under a certain thermal limit (65C by standard), so that means the fans will not operate unless or until the GPU runs beyond the temperature point. The card features 4 GB GDDR5 memory and comes with a custom PCB design to ensure better stability and overclocking performance.Gainward GeForce GTX 970 Phantom

The cards from Gainward include the reference GeForce GTX 970 which to be honest is a decent design and the best part is the display output which includes a Mini-HDMI port along with three mini-Display ports and a DVI connector. This card is clocked at the standard 1051 MHz core and 1178 MHz boost while the second card that includes the Gainward GeForce GTX 970 Phantom adopts the Phantom cooler with the cooling shroud based on a mesh aluminum heatsink plate which has two fans integrated inside it and can be removed and inserted easily from the sides of the card. This being a non-reference model comes at 1152 MHz core and 1304 MHz boost clock. Both cards stick with the standard 7 GHz memory which pumps out the reference 224.4 GB/s bandwidth. Last up is Gainward's reference GeForce GTX 980 which is clocked at 1127 MHz core and 1216 MHz boost clock. All cards are powered by dual 6-Pin connectors and would be available this weekend.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 and GTX 980 Specifications (What We Know So Far):

GeForce GTX 470 GeForce GTX 480 GeForce GTX 570 GeForce GTX 580 GeForce GTX 670 GeForce GTX 680 GeForce GTX 770 GeForce GTX 780 GeForce GTX 780 Ti GeForce GTX 970 GeForce GTX 980
Codename GF100 GF100 GF110 GF110 GK104 GK104 GK104 GK110 GK110 GM204 GM204
Process 40nm 40nm 40nm 40nm 28nm 28nm 28nm 28nm 28nm 28nm 28nm
GPU Core Fermi Fermi Fermi Fermi Kepler Kepler Kepler Kepler Kepler Maxwell Maxwell
SM Units 14 x 32 15 x 32 15 x 32 16 x 32 7 x 192 8 x 192 8 x 192 12 x 192 14 x 192 13 x 128 16 x 128
CUDA Cores 448 480 480 512 1344 1536 1536 2304 2880 1664 2048
ROPS 40 48 40 48 32 32 32 48 48 TBC 64
TMUs 56 60 60 64 112 128 128 192 240 TBC 128
Core Clock 607 MHz 700 MHz 732 MHz 772 MHz 915 MHz 1006 MHz 1046 MHz 863 MHz 875 MHz 1051 MHz 1126 MHz
Boost Clock 1215 MHz 1401 MHz (Shader Clock) 1464 MHz 1544 MHz (Shader Clock) 980 MHz 1058 MHz 1085 MHz 900 MHz 928 MHz 1178 MHz 1216 MHz
Memory 1.2 GB GDDR5 1.5 GB GDDR5 1.2 GB GDDR5 1.5 GB GDDR5 2 GB GDDR5 2 GB GDDR5 2 GB GDDR5 3 GB GDDR5 3 GB GDDR5 4 GB GDDR5 4 GB GDDR5
Memory Bus 320-Bit 384-Bit 320-Bit 384-Bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 384-Bit 384-Bit 256-bit 256-bit
Memory Clock 3.34 GB/s 3.69 GB/s 3.80 GB/s 4.0 GB/s 6.0 GHz 6.0 GHz 7.0 GHz 6.0 GHz 7.0 GHz 7.0 GHz 7.0 GHz
Memory Bandwidth 133.34 GB/s 177.4 GB/s 152.00 GB/s 192.4 GB/s 192.0 GB/s 192.0 GB/s 224.5 GB/s 288.6 GB/s 336.0 GB/s 224.5 GB/s 224.5 GB/s
Texture Fill Rate GT/s 34 42 43.92 49.41 102.5 128.8 134 166 210 145.0 TBC
TDP 215W 250W 219W 244W 170W 192W 220W 250W 250W 148W 175W
Power Connectors 8+6 Pin 8+6 Pin 6+6 Pin 8+6 Pin 6+6 Pin 6+6 Pin 8+6 Pin 8+6 Pin 8+6 Pin 6+6 Pin 6+6 Pin
DirectX 12 Support Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Launch March 26th 2010 March 26th 2010 December 7th 2010 November 09 2010 May 10th 2012 March 22nd 2012 May 30th 2013 May 23rd 2013 December 2013 18th September 2014 18th September 2014
Price $349 US $499 US $349 US $499 US $349 US $499 US $349 US $499 US $699 US $299 Reference
$329+ Custom
$549 Reference
$549+ Custom

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 and GeForce GTX 970 Pictures:Gainward GeForce GTX 980 Gainward GeForce GTX 980_3Gainward GeForce GTX 970_3Gainward GeForce GTX 970 Phantom_3


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