Nvidia Releases $549 GTX 980, Beats 780 Ti in Benchmarks

New flagship Maxwell GPU from Nvidia boasts 165W TDP and GTX 780 Ti-beating performance; GTX 970 also arriving today while GTX 780 Ti, GTX 780, and GTX 770 are discontinued.

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GPU-maker Nvidia has taken the wraps off the GTX 980, its new flagship GPU that's set to retail for $549 in the US and £429 in the UK. It launches worldwide today.

Featuring Nvidia's latest Maxwell architecture, the GTX 980 is said to focus on power efficiency, with the company boasting that the GPU will have 2X the performance per watt of the Kepler-based GTX 680.

The GTX 980 has a TDP of 165W, which compares favorably to the 195W of the GTX 680 and the 250W of the GTX 780 Ti. It comes packed with:

  • 4GB of 7Ghz GDDR5 memory
  • 256-bit bus width
  • 2048 CUDA cores
  • base clock of 1126Mhz
  • boost clock of 1216Mhz
  • 2MB of cache
  • two six-pin inputs for power
  • (on reference versions of the GPU) Nvidia's aluminium cooler.

Connectivity comes via one DVI port, One HDMI 2.0 port, and three full-size display ports. Up to four displays can be connected at any one time, including three 4K displays, or three G-Sync displays; up to quad SLI is also supported. Nvidia recommends two or more GPUs are needed for ultra-smooth 4K gaming, but claims that a single card is all that's needed for gaming at 2160p.

GameSpot's benchmarks of the GTX 980 show it to be an admirable performer, besting the GTX 780, and the likes of AMD's R9 290X. It also matched and often beat the performance of the GTX 780 Ti, all while consuming far less power.

In addition, Nvidia is releasing the GTX 970, which is based on the same Maxwell GM204 chip as in the GTX 970. It features 1664 CUDA cores, a slower clock and boost speed of 1050Mhz and 1178Mhz, but a cheaper price of $329 in the US, and £259 in the UK.

The previous generation GTX 780 Ti, GTX 780, and GTX 770 are being discontinued. Retailers will be clearing out existing stock, though, so there may be bargains to be had.

For more on the GTX 980, Nvidia's Maxwell architecture, and the latest from its GameWorks initiative, be sure to check out GameSpot's full review.

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