Here we have the MSI GeForce GTX 980 Ti Gaming 6G
. Like the ASUS card on the previous page and the EVGA card below, this baby is all custom and features an elaborate cooling solution, dubbed Twin Frozr V, that not only performs well, but is very quiet and user-configurable.
The dual-slot Twin Frozr V cooler sports high-density heatsinks, with dual 100mm cooling fans, and thick copper heatpipes that run from the cooler’s base up through the heatsink fins. We should also point out that the cooler’s base is made of copper and the entire assembly is nickel-plated.
The Twin Frozr cooler has also been outfitted with proprietary “Torx blade” fans that reportedly push more air than previous “Propeller blade” designs MSI employed on the Twin Frozr IV, while also directing the air-flow in a more downward direction. The assembly also improves the structural integrity of the card. Thanks to Maxwell's relatively low-power characteristics, MSI's Twin Frozr V can even operate in a completely silent mode. When the card is operating at below 50'C, the fans will stop completely, and produce no noise at all.
The customizations on the MSI GeForce GTX 980 Ti Gaming 6G don’t stop at the cooler though. The card also has a custom, all digital PWM that can handle more current than reference designs and it’s outfitted with MSI’s “Military Class” components, which is to say it has solid caps and super ferrite chokes installed, and there is a lighted dragon on the top edge, which can be disabled by simply unplugging it.
And, of course, the card is factory overclocked. MSI actually offers multiple modes of operation on this card, a silent mode where the GPU uses NVIDIA reference clocks, a gaming mode where it will boost up to 1228MHz, and an OC mode where it’ll hit 1279MHz during boost states. The 6GB of memory on the card is clocked at an effective speed of 7100Mb/s.
Unlike reference designs, supplemental power is handled by dual 8-pin PCIe connectors (as opposed to the 6-pins + 8-pins on reference designs) and the outputs on the card consist of a single DVI output, along with a trio of DisplayPorts and an HDMI port.
And finally, we’ve got the EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti SuperClocked+ Edition
. EVGA’s got a handful of GTX 980 Ti-based cards in their current line-up; the SC+ Edition – though factory overclocked -- is one of their lower-clocked models, which also includes ACX 2.0+ cooling.
The EVGA GeForce GTX 980T I SC’s main differentiator is its ACX 2.0+ heatsink and fan assembly. The dual-fan Active Cooling Extreme, or ACX, cooler features a large heatsink array, with increased fin volume over reference designs. If you look close, you’ll notice that unlike earlier model ACX coolers which had two heatsinks underneath the shroud, one that sat right atop the GPU and another just to the side, this card has three—one right on the GPU, and two flanking each side. The heatsink is linked to the baseplate by multiple thick heatpipes and there is an additional heatplate mounted to the card’s VRM as well.
The fans used on the ACX cooler also got some special treatment. According to EVGA, the fan blade design offers superior strength to standard fans and the dual-ball bearings offer increased longevity over more common sleeve bearings. All told, EVGA claims the ACX cooler outperforms reference coolers, while also reducing weight and thickness.
As for the card itself, it looks much like EVGA’s previous-gen ACX-branded offerings—which is to say it looks great. The EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti SC+ is a dual-slot card, but it is slightly thinner than reference models. This particular version ships with a base GPU clock of 1102MHz and boost clock of 1190MHz and includes 6GB of GDDR5 memory clocked at an effective 7010MHz. The card’s TDP is 250 watts, and it requires one 6-pin and one 8-pin supplemental PCI Express power feeds. We should also mention that the "+" in the model number refers to the backplate that's installed on the card. A non-plus SC version with the same clocks is also available, sans the backplate.
Outputs consist of a pair of a single DVI output, along with a trio of DisplayPorts and an HDMI port. And like the other cards we’ve shown you here, the EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti SC+ has more than enough muscle to push multiple displays simultaneously—it can push 4 in total. Included with the card, you’ll find a handful of adapters, drivers and a user’s guide, along with a case badge and poster. EVGA also offers up their excellent Precision X tweaking utility for free; MSI and ASUS offer similar utilities as well.