When it comes to heavy gaming, having a great graphics card is by far the most important thing. Processor and RAM are also important, but the graphics card should be considered as the primary thing.
On the other hand, if you are not interested in gaming and use the computer only for simple tasks, then an integrated graphics card will do the job. You don’t have to spend a lot on a great GPU.
Among all the graphic cards on the market right now, these models that we are reviewing are two of the best, and yet not the most expensive ones. Before starting an in-depth review, let’s take a look at some of the features that these graphics cards provide.
EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti Review
This is a high-performance graphics card made by Nvidia back in 2015. Although it seems to be a bit old, it’s still great. Since it is based on a GM200 graphics card processor, this card supports Direct X 12. A GM200 processor is actually a chip on a graphics card that contains around 8,000 million transistors to render high-quality graphics and suit the needs of every gamer. It features 2816 shading units and 176 texture mapping units. The GPU is operating at 1000 MHz which is pretty solid and can be slightly boosted up to 1076 MHz. Since it is a dual-slot card, it has 6-pin and 8-pin connectors and a maximum power draw rate of 250W.
As we can see, the actual graphics card has trimmed a little bit, but it still offers great performance. It is also improved according to EVGA GeForce GTX 980 since instead of 4GB, it has 6GB frame buffer and almost 35 percent more shaders. With the performance it provides, you will be able to play high-end games like Witcher 3 and Grand Theft Auto 5 with no problems.
This graphics card visually looks a lot like its predecessors, and a similar, futuristic cooler is used, although it is released with various cooling solutions. There is also a nice-looking LED light on the top and a glowing logo. The shell of this graphics card is made of aluminum and a magnesium alloy and is perfect at preventing noise while heavy gaming. It uses polarized capacitors, known as POSCAPS, to reduce unwanted noise.
It also has a DVI dual-link connector, which means that you can connect two displays at the same time. The graphics card doesn’t have a backplate, although some people won’t like that, the fact is that a backplate can slow down the cooling process and trap heat.
It has a Maxwell processor with 6GB of GDDR5, which makes it a very powerful product. While used in Ultra HD, it is almost 30% better than its predecessor, the GeForce GTX 980, which is a pretty substantial difference.
The product is obviously a PCI-express, both 2.0 and 3.0 compatible, and has a maximum TDP of 250W. However, on average, GPU won’t consume that amount of power, not even in some rare cases. In the idle state, it consumes around 10W.
With its 6GB of graphics memory, it is great both for modern games, and future games that are yet to be released.
However, although the card is not noisy, it is never completely silent, even in idle mode. When you install this graphics card, you will notice that your computer will slightly change the noise. Also, the graphics card will pretty quickly reach a temperature of more than 80°. After all, not having a backplate might be seen as a flaw for some users. On the other side, although it doesn’t have back protection, it will help in cooling and prevent trapping the heat.
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Review
This graphics card seems to be one of the best in terms of price and quality (performance) it provides. Unlike the previous one, the GTX 980, it is based on the Pascal architecture. It is equipped with amazing 11GB of GDDR5X graphics memory and a new GP102-350 GPU, making it a great graphics card for the modern era. We know that “Ti” in the name stands for Titan, and it is completely justified.
It features 3584 CUDA cores, 224 texture units, a memory controller of 352 bits and, as mentioned, 11GB of high-quality and proven graphics memory, with a memory bandwidth of 484 GB/s.
The card can boost up to 1600 MHz, but when overclocked, it can reach up an amazing 2GHz. However, if you are used to playing video games at Full HD, you might be a bit disappointed with this card. Its performance at Full HD resolution will be limited by a processor, and even the best and fastest processors on the market won’t be able to keep up with it properly.
It has a FinFET 16nm node that works well, and you might notice a great memory configuration. However, all these features make this graphics card very expensive.
This graphics card has 3584 shader processors and has been fitted with a very powerful, dual-slot fan cooler, which is still pretty much quiet.
If you take a look at this graphics card, you will notice that it looks very similar to its predecessors. It has a nice, fashioned, and futuristic design, which also includes an LED light and a logo on top, like the previous one we reviewed. It has cooling that is based on a vapor chamber, made of plexiglass.
It has a maximum power of 250 watts but is also designed for overclocking and heavy-duty. Unlike the previous one, it has a double backplate, which looks excellent but slowly traps heat over time. Also, it protects the backside of the card.
To improve the performance of this graphics card, engineers have designed a new airflow solution that provides almost double more airflow than GeForce GTX 1080.
This card offers incredible 4 connectors, which include three DisplayPort connectors and an HDMI connector. It supports displays of 4K at 120Hz, 5K at 60Hz, and 8K also at 60Hz, using two cables.
Its Pascal 16nm architecture comes with 12 billion transistors, 3584 shader cores, and a base clock frequency of 1,480 MHz while performing texture filtering at 332 Gigatexels per second.
However, this graphics card also has some downsides. At first, many users stated that it is not as quiet as some other cards in that price and quality range. It is definitely not loud, but it could be just a little bit quieter. Also, a reference-style cooling is not as efficient as custom cooling systems. In the end, it can be a bit pricey investment for most of the people, having in mind that if you wait for a year, its price will gradually decrease.
Main Differences Between These Two Graphics Cards
As you probably guessed, the main difference can be seen in their performance. Although both cards are great, GTX 1080 Ti is slightly better, but also more expensive. However, to completely compare these two graphics cards, we have put them on a benchmark test, and the results are obvious. GTX 1080 Ti has a better benchmark score, but let’s see where the differences lay.
At first, we noticed a much faster effective speed, for about 60 percent, and even more. Also, texture details are much better with GTX 1080 Ti, up to 75 percent compared to GTX 980 Ti, which is a big difference. It also offers around one third faster multi-threading and almost 80 percent faster NBody calculation. Peak texture details are also amazingly better, and peak multi-rendering is around 25 percent faster.
Besides the actual benchmark test, we have also tested the graphics cards with actual video games, at the same video configuration and settings. While playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, GTX 1080 Ti had around 25 percent higher frame rate, around 20 percent higher on Fortnite, almost 30 percent on PUBG, and almost 40 percent on Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt.
Both cards had a similar FPS while playing Minecraft, which reached a constant of 260 frames per second. However, you should note that a high frame rate is sometimes not noticed by the human eye. Some displays can’t even work on more than 60 or 120 frames per second. In that case, 250 frames per second don’t seem to be very important.
What are the Similarities Between These Two Graphics Cards?
Among the obvious differences in performance, these two graphics cards also have some similarities. And of course, we are not talking about the price.
Although the digits that are written in graphics card specification might not seem like a big difference, they can actually greatly affect the performance. For example, the difference between 6GB and 11GB of memory has a significant impact on performance, as well as the difference in FPS they achieve in certain games.
A lower performance graphics card can lead to low framerate, which can greatly affect the gaming experience. Also, a frame drop can easily be noticed even at high frame rates, and if it’s frequent, it can also significantly affect the experience negatively. The best advice is to use a frame locker in that case, for the smoothest gameplay.
At first, they are very similar in design. Although GTX 980 Ti doesn’t have a backplate and GTX 1080 Ti has, both of them have that modern, if not futuristic design, with nice color combinations, LED light, and a perfectly fitted logo.
Also, both of the cards reach a temperature of 80° pretty fast, especially when overclocked. However, when returned back to idle mode, both of these cards will cool down pretty quickly, due to a great cooling system that they have.
Best Use for Each Card
When it comes to what these cards should be used for, there is no special separation. It is quite obvious that both of these cards are made for heavy gaming. Also, both of the cards can run modern games very well, and it seems that both can be a great choice for games that are yet to come.
However, there is a noticeable difference in price and performance. Although both GTX 980 Ti and GTX 1080 Ti are great, the second one offers better performance. On the other hand, the difference in price is pretty high, so you should definitely consider that if you decide to buy any of these two, amazing graphics cards.
If you plan to keep playing video games in the future, and want to play those that are yet to be released, you should definitely aim for GTX 1080 Ti, with no doubt. However, have in mind that only a great graphics card is not enough for an outstanding gaming computer. You will also have to buy a good processor and RAM, which also increases the price of assembling your own computer.
On the other hand, if you want to play modern games, but are not sure about the future titles, GTX 980 Ti, is a definitive answer.
Let’s review some of the most asked questions about graphics cards in general.
What is GeForce Experience?
GeForce Experience is an application that comes with GeForce GTX graphics cards. Its role is to keep drivers up to date and automatically optimize game settings.
Which graphics card is the best for gaming?
Although the two graphics cards that we reviewed are great for gaming, there are some which are even better, and also more expensive. GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is currently one of the best on the market and will play video games at high settings for a long time.
What is the minimum graphics card memory to play games today?
Some people are still using graphics cards with 2GB memory to play modern games. However, this is a very minimum, and at least 4GB of memory is recommended.