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Pros: + Performance is top notch
+ Noise level when idle is great (because there is none)
+ Relatively low power draw, so it ca be used on lower wattage power supplies easily.
+ Size is perfect for smaller rigs
Cons: - Can be a bit noisy during long gaming sessions
- Can be hot, but not dangerous (read other)
Other Thoughts: I bought this card to go into a Shuttle PC I recently picked up on Woot. This card is perfect. Absolutely destroys games at 1080p. In GTA V, running with a mix of high and very high, I was getting a constant 60fps. BF4 was even crazier, allowing me to completely max out the settings and still get that consistent framerate. However, not everything is perfect. With the fan curve they have included, the fans don't really ramp up until they reach around 80C. After torture testing in Furmark, I saw a final temperature of 85C. It never dropped frequency. Now, a lot of people would be worried by that temperature, but this is well within Maxwell's safe temps. If you do not feel safe with these temps, drop in a custom fan curve with Afterburner, and you are set.
The biggest issue with this card is the fan noise. It is completely noticeable during long gaming sessions, and can get pretty loud. However, it is not an unpleasant fan noise that I have heard on other card brands. It is not whinny at all. I did not remove an egg for this, because there really isn't an issue with this. Every card is going to have fan noise, and with this being a little smaller, it is inevitable. However, it is something everyone should know about. Fan noise at idle is not an issue, though. This is because of their cooler design. The fan physically shuts off when the temps are below 60C. True silence at idle.
In the end, this is the card to own for 1080p gaming.
This review is from: PNY GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB CG EDITION
Pros: + Card performs exactly as you would think a 980 Ti to. Destroys games at 1080, 1440, and can even run some games at 4K (if you cherry-pick settings).
+ Decent overclocker (check other thoughts)
Cons: +- The stock cooler is terrible, but this is not the fault of PNY. The reference design is made to look cool, and do an OK job at cooling. Do not expect load temps under 80C.
+- Fancy lifetime warranty voids if anything is done to affect thermals, but that is to be expected
- ASIC quality is a little low for a card at this price point
- NO BACKPLATE
Other Thoughts: This card isn't bad. It runs exactly how you would expect a reference 980 Ti to run. With the stock cooler, I was able to almost reach 1400MHz. After installing the EVGA Hybrid Cooler (and a custom BIOS), I was able to go a bit crazy with this card. At 121% power limit, and 1.205V, I was able to reach 1450MHz on the core, and just shy of 4000MHz on the memory. This is my day-to-day overclock. However, for bench clocks, it went a little crazy. I set my voltage to 1.25, and was able to reach 1520MHz on the core. That is INSANE. Surprisingly, all of this was done with an ASIC quality of only 68%. Absolutely crazy.
And for those wondering why I subtracted points for not having a backplate, it DOES affect temps. You will see about a five degree C drop when using a backplate on a blower cooler. With a water cooler or an open air cooler, it doesn't make as much of a difference. In my testing with the stock cooler, I was able to squeeze out an extra 15MHz with a backplate, with no extra volts or power.
Pros: + Looks great
Cons: - Board was DOA, and confirmed by Gigabyte support. More info in other thoughts
Other Thoughts: OK. I really, REALLY, wanted to like this board, and give Gigabyte one final try. Needless to say, it didn't go as plan. First a bit of backstory. I have ran Gigabyte since my first true build. However, I started getting a little bit of a bad taste for them starting with my first Gigabyte graphics card, the 6870. The card failed after a month of use, and their RMA department did not want to accept the return on the card. They were fighting, stating that Newegg would allow for an RMA directly, and that I needed to attempt to get a replacement that way. That would be fine, except that Newegg told me I needed to RMA it back to the manufacturer. After emailing them a copy of the email stating this, I was finally able to get a replacement. Strike one.
My next build was another Gigabyte-based build. First, the graphics card, the 7970 GHz edition, had a voltage lock that could not be bypassed. Then, when I received the board, it was DOA, and the tech I talked to from Gigabyte about this was unbelievably lacking in knowledge. He initially said that it was because my processor was incompatible. However, it was posting. It was just failing on the PCI initialization. I confirmed it was the board by swapping in my old 1055T, and it continued to fail. Finally, after escalating the issue, I was able to get an RMA. Strike two.
With this board, I wanted to give them one final chance. I saw the "server-grade testing" that they said each board went through, and thought that this would be a great board. It should be reliable, and it will be great. Opened the box to see the "certification letter" front and center. Great sign. Built the machine out of the case, powered it on, and nothing. No screen what-so-ever. Went through the typical diagnosing, and it just refused to post. Called customer support, and they were completely clueless again. They told me that it had to be my processor. Again, I told them that everything benched fine on another system. Fought for about an hour to finally confirm that the board was DOA. With this board, I was able to get a refund from Newegg. Bought an Asus board and worked perfectly fine.
I know that DOAs can happen on any piece of hardware, but with the sheer number of issues I have had these past couple of years with Gigabyte products, it is obvious that they have a QA problem. I gave them three chances, but each one they came up short. I will not be purchasing Gigabyte for any of my equipment again. This is disappointing. Visually, their boards are phenomenal, and the layout is nearly perfect. But the sheer number of DOAs is unacceptable.