The GeForce GTX 980 Ti: NVIDIA new weapon in the fight for supremacy on the market of graphics solutions
For video game lovers and enthusiasts a new generation of GPUs always cause for lively discussions. Anyway, we’re talking about a very specific group of users to the question «How much power do you need?» always answer «the more the better!».
Two leading companies in this market segment – NVIDIA and AMD are well aware of this and regularly try to excite fans with announcements even faster graphics processors. However, the emergence of a powerful new product from NVIDIA is definitely a surprise, because since the announcement of the new generation of graphics chips Maxwell it’s only been 9 months. The novelty may seem like a minor modification, but the GeForce GTX 980 Ti is actually pretty interesting hybrid, combining the best of Titan X and more affordable flagship: the GTX 980.
The GeForce GTX 980 Ti on paper
From an engineering point of view, the new graphics leader NVIDIA is not offering anything new, but it the manufacturer has suggested a very interesting way. Instead of re-inventing the wheel, the company combines technology from two leading products – lightning (but ruinously expensive) card Titan X and a slower, but almost two times cheaper GTX 980.
New/old model GeForce GTX 980 Ti relies on a modified version of the powerful GPU of Titan X, but in combination with a smaller amount of VRAM and the same set of advanced technologies, the proposed architecture Maxwell.
The result is particularly attractive to lovers peak performance hybrid offers «the best of both worlds» – the speed of the Titan X and relatively affordable price the GTX 980.
A bit dry and technical statistics – GeForce GTX 980 Ti has 2816 CUDA cores vs GTX 980 2048 and 3072 in Titan X. the Card features 6 GB of GDDR5 memory – twice less than the Titan X, but 2 GB more compared to the GTX 980. Unlike the GTX 980 GTX 980 Ti is using 384-and not a 256-bit bus for communication between the memory and the graphics processor. According to NVIDIA, in combination with a new data compression algorithm it provides peak throughput of 9.3 Gbps bus.
However, the technology that the GTX 980 Ti borrows from Titan X, has one drawback – the new card loses one of the key advantages of the generation of Maxwell – amazing energy efficiency. She needs 250 watts, while the original GTX 980 only requires 165 watts.
The GeForce GTX 980 Ti in practice
Although at first glance they seem like relatively small improvements in the GTX 980 Ti has seriously affected the practical performance of the card. In most modern games it is able to provide figures comparable to those seen in Titan X, but at a price of about $ 350 below.
Tests show that the card is able to deliver 40-60 fps at 4K resolution and high level graphical settings in games like Hitman: Absolution, Bioshock: Infinite, Tomb Raider, Thief, GTA V, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
This makes the GTX 980 Ti first to market a graphics card of this class, which is both relatively affordable and able to offer a comfortable gaming performance at 4K.
The GeForce GTX 980 Ti – why now?
In the beginning of the text I mentioned that the emergence of this product less than a year after the announcement of generation Maxwell was somewhat unexpected. However, when examined in the context of the forthcoming arrival of a new generation of graphics chips from AMD, the release of GTX 980 Ti doesn’t seem so surprising.
It is known that NVIDIA can’t offer competitive processors every 6 months – from the arrival of Pascal, the successor of Maxwell, we are separated by at least another year. But at the moment the company occupies a leading position, as compared to high-end products Maxwell a competitive card Radeon Radeon R290 and R290X based on the architecture Hawaii XT is already outdated.
Soon, however, AMD plans to introduce the next generation of video processors and at least one of them will offer a revolutionary new technology using multilayer chip memory (High Bandwidth Memory). We are talking about the product, code-named Fiji XT (Radeon R390X), which will be equipped with video memory, providing 9 times more solid throughput compared with mass currently GDDR5 chips (on which we are counting all the cards from NVIDIA).
A practice whether the new cards from AMD faster Maxwell – all that remains to be seen, but it is more than clear why NVIDIA doesn’t want to take unnecessary risks.
In light of the upcoming events advancing step that the company has done with the GTX 980 Ti, acquires a common market sense. By the time when AMD will announce the Fiji XT, the GTX 980 Ti will have a mass offered on the market. Thus, even if the new card Radeon R390X will be faster (and possibly cheaper) of an existing direct competitor to the GTX 980, NVIDIA will already have a ready answer in the form of GTX 980 Ti.
Besides, NVIDIA will have a space for price maneuver. Companies just need to know how much a competitor will appreciate the new products, and to respond by reducing prices for their own cards, or save them on the same level, depending on the cost of alternatives from AMD.