Gigabyte GeForce GTX 980Ti Xtreme Gaming Graphics Card Review
John Williamson / 2 years ago
A Closer Look
Gigabyte has adopted an elegant black and white colour scheme which complements a wide range of motherboards. It contrasts with models such as the MSI Z170A GAMING PRO CARBON beautifully and proves to be the perfect combination! In terms of dimensions, the graphics card measures 51mm in height, 270mm in length and a width of 134mm. The GPU has a fairly wide profile, but its length is very respectable considering some models can exceed 320mm. This means you should be able to easily install the card without restricting case airflow or storage mounting options.
The graphics card utilizes high quality 12+2 power phases to reduce MOSFET temperatures and provide a more stable voltage output. Theoretically, this can extend the GPU’s life-cycle and should help with stability during manual overclocking. On another note, the GPU opts for the same metal chokes and solid capacitors from the Titan X which enhances durability. The aerospace-grade PCB coating is dust resistant, protects against moisture and manufactured to eliminate corrosion. This exemplifies the premium build and no-compromise approach.
Gigabyte’s Windforce X3 cooling system features four 6mm and two 8mm composite heatpipes, a special fin architecture and unique fan blade design. More specifically, the airflow is split through the triangle design at the fan edge and guided through a 3D stripe curve. This reduces turbulence while enhancing airflow by 23 percent. Furthermore, the Triangle Cool technology in tandem with the other key cooling attributes delivers very effective heat dissipation. The middle fan spins in a reverse direction to optimize air flow, and attain lower temperatures.
On the side, there’s an additional 6-pin PCI-E connector and LN2 BIOS switch. Once enabled, the liquid nitrogen BIOS provides extra overclocking headroom to set benchmarking records. Clearly, this is only for a very small number of professionals, and consumers should disregard these hardcore overclocking options.
From this image, we can see the LED cabling, and PCB thickness. It does look a little untidy from an extreme close-up, but it’s not that noticeable when the graphics card is installed.
The graphics card requires two 8-pin PCI-E connectors to drive the factory overclock, and provide enough headroom to achieve extreme boosts from NVIDIA’s reference specification. Once the connectors have been plugged in, two white LEDs help with diagnostics regarding your power supply. If the lights remain solid, this means the PSU is working as intended. However, when the LEDs start to blink, this refers to a problem with the power delivery.
Gigabyte have added an understated blackplate which reduces GPU droop and creates a more solid feel.
Connectivity-wise, the GPU comes with a dual link DVI, three DisplayPort and single HDMI capable of running a 4K display at 60Hz.
With the lights switched off, the graphics card’s LED illumination gleams in a beautiful way and looks absolutely phenomenal. The colour range is gorgeous and makes for such a distinctive finish.
Behind each fan is an RGB ring capable of outputting 16.8 million colours. It’s easy enough to select your favourite colour or cycle through various effects in Gigabyte’s OC Guru II software package.
As you can see, the end result is astonishing and a real show-piece for any custom-made system.