The new Nvidia Geforce GTX 980
The new Nvidia Geforce GTX 980

And so we come to the real meat of our review - graphical performance. As we've said earlier, the most impressive thing is that this new graphics card is able to outperform the workstation-class GK 110 GPU inside the GTX 780 Ti. And that means, double precision performance aside - it can also outperform the GTX Titan Black.

In our platform agnostic Heaven 4.0 benchmark though there isn't much to choose between an overclocked GTX 780 Ti and a reference GTX 980, but as soon as you start throwing actual gaming workloads through the two cards things change quite a bit.

At the highest resolutions - 2560x1600 and 3840x2160 - the GTX 980 can only claim a couple of frames per second performance boost on average, but it's the rise in the minimum frame rates that really impress. And that speaks to the success of the improvements Nvidia has made to the memory system and the extra ROP count of the GM 204 GPU.

DirectX 11 1600p synthetic performance (Heaven 4.0 - (Min) Avg FPS: higher is better)

  • Nvidia GTX 980 - (21) 41
  • PNY GTX 780 Ti XLR8 - (17) 43
  • Sapphire R9 290X Tri-X OC - (17) 34
  • Nvidia GTX 970 - (18) 32

DirectX 11 1600p gaming performance (Bioshock Infiinte - (Min) Avg FPS: higher is better)

  • Nvidia GTX 980 - (19) 78
  • PNY GTX 780 Ti XLR8 - 11) 76
  • Sapphire R9 290X Tri-X OC - (16) 58
  • Nvidia GTX 970 - (19) 67

DirectX 11 4K gaming performance (Bioshock Infinite - (Min) Avg FPS: higher is better)

  • Nvidia GTX 980 - (20) 43
  • PNY GTX 780 Ti XLR8 - (9) 42
  • Sapphire R9 290X Tri-X OC - (16) 30
  • Nvidia GTX 970 - (15) 36

DirectX 11 1600p gaming performance (Battlefield 4 - (Min) Avg FPS: higher is better)

  • Nvidia GTX 980 - (35) 60
  • PNY GTX 780 Ti XLR8 - (35) 60
  • Sapphire R9 290X Tri-X OC - (34) 53
  • Nvidia GTX 970 - (40) 55

DirectX 11 4K gaming performance (Battlefield 4 - (Min) Avg FPS: higher is better)

  • Nvidia GTX 980 - (22) 34
  • PNY GTX 780 Ti XLR8 - (22) 33
  • Sapphire R9 290X Tri-X OC - (12) 32
  • Nvidia GTX 970 - (20) 29

DirectX 11 1600p gaming performance (GRID 2 - (Min) Avg FPS: higher is better)

  • Nvidia GTX 980 - (80) 101
  • PNY GTX 780 Ti XLR8 - (74) 92
  • Sapphire R9 290X Tri-X OC - (66) 82
  • Nvidia GTX 970 - (67) 84

DirectX 11 4K gaming performance (GRID 2 - (Min) Avg FPS: higher is better)

  • Nvidia GTX 980 - (44) 58
  • PNY GTX 780 Ti XLR8 - (45) 55
  • Sapphire R9 290X Tri-X OC - (44) 54
  • Nvidia GTX 970 - (38) 50

Peak platform performance (BF4 - Watts: lower is better)

  • Nvidia GTX 980 - 292
  • PNY GTX 780 Ti XLR8 - 389
  • Sapphire R9 290X Tri-X OC - 368
  • Nvidia GTX 970 - 284