Our Summary and Conclusion
Performance Summary: There are two things to consider in this performance summary, how the three custom GeForce GTX 980 Ti cards we tested compared to each other and how they compared to competing products from AMD. Explaining both aspects couldn't be any easier--the highest clocked card we tested, the ASUS STRIX GeForce GTX 980 Ti was the fastest overall, followed by the MSI GeForce GTX 980 Ti Gaming 6G and then the EVGA SuperClocked+ Edition. But the deltas separating the cards were relatively small. And all three cards were faster than AMD's current flagship, the Radeon R9 Fury X overall.
A Trio Of Bad Ass GeForces - Find Them At Amazon
Throughout out testing for this article, two things were became readily apparent. First, all three of these factory overclocked cards are significantly faster than any reference GeForce GTX 980 Ti card. But they're also quieter, more overclockable, and offer more features. MSI, ASUS, and EVGA have all done commendable jobs with these graphics cards.
Recommending any one single card from this group is difficult because all of the cards kick some serious butt, and their prices and performance are in-line with our results. The EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti SC+ can currently be had for around $659 (after MIR), the MSI GeForce GTX 980 Ti Gaming 6G can be had for about $679, and the ASUS STRIX $689. If you want the most affordable, factory overclocked 980 Ti, the EVGA card is the way to go, but if you want the fastest out-of-box experience, regardless of price, the ASUS offering is your card. The bottom line is that all three of these graphics cards are excellent.
If we had absolutely had to choose one over the others, the MSI GeForce GTX 980 Ti Gaming 6G would likely be the one. Its stock performance was only a tick behind the STRIX card, but it put up a better score while overclocked. The MSI card is slightly less expensive and it was quieter too--though, we're told the coil whine we experienced with our STRIX sample under load was not an issue affecting all cards. Ultimately, though, if any one of these three speedsters landed in your rig, you'd probably be one happy gamer.