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This review is from: GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 980Ti 6GB G1 Gaming OC Edition
Pros: *Unlike the standard Windforce OC version of this card, these run very cool/quiet out of the box in stock trim and don't throttle.
*Zero coil wine
*Tried all connections and no issues with mine (knock on wood)
*Overclocks like a champ! With stock bios, stock power settings and stock cooling, this card will run +325/+200 all day long without breaking a sweat.
*Gee-whiz info.....ASIC score is 69.9 but overclocks better than my other 2 WF ti's that are in the low/mid 70s.
*I didn't have this offer but now they're throwing in a game and rebate - win/win!
Cons: *We always want things for less....
*I haven't had an issue with this but it is a slight cause for concern that others are reporting issues with the inputs/connectors
Other Thoughts: I have two main gaming systems in my household - one had 290X's on liquid and this one replaced a 680 SLI setup. I recently swapped out the 290X's for the Gigabyte OC version of the 980ti and have to say this G1 version is THE version to get. It runs cooler, faster, more overclocking headroom and is well worth the extra ~$30 in the long run. Probably going to return the standard Windforce OC versions and replace with G1's.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 980Ti 6GB WINDFORCE 3X OC EDITION
Pros: *Good price, plus mail in rebate (if it works...they rarely do).
*Good bang for the buck vs other 980ti's
*They look nice and come with a backplate (although I'm not a fan of the backlate, more below on that but some like them)
*Decent overclockers but not as high as I had hoped (more about that in the con section) but hard to be disappointed with +225/125 running 100% stable with slight room for improvement left on the table with stock bios. Then again, every 980ti is a good overclocker and is only a matter of just how good....
*I have no brand loyalty and go back and forth between AMD and NVidia based on what's offered at the time but with that, I must say NVidia is a much nicer environment to be in right now on the software/driver/gforce experience side of things (just my opinion).
*Not really a pro or con but the ASIC score on these cards are 70 for one and 72 for the other (to compare the G1 980ti that overclocks like a beast is 69.9 and my 290Xs were 74 and 76, which overclocked very well by AMD standards)
*To me the biggest pro here is the fact I can run all 3 monitors off DVI at 120hz without the need for an active display port adapter! Everything I've read says this can't be done but it does work and is working right now. I could go up to 144hz for a short time but start to get artifacts in game (similar to a bad OC) but at 120hz everything is perfect. Save you needing to buy $100 adapter if you're going multi-monitor. Furthermore, even with a nice adapter I was having issues with my 290X's flaking out at 120hz so the fact this was a simple direct plug-n-play is a huge bonus for me or someone looking to do a setup like this.
Cons: * A huge testament to just how good the 290X's were and still are....in my 5882x1080 (bezel corrected) triple monitor setup, the 980ti's are hands down faster BUT, not by as much as I had expected. My overclocked 290X's (also on water) were surprisingly close in performance to the 980ti's in most real world games. There is a big difference in synthetics, but real world, barely noticeable. So much so that dropping $1300+ on this upgrade almost feels like a waste at this point...."almost". ;-)
*Rebate only good for 1 card (I knew this ahead of time but pay attention to fine print if you're getting more than 1 and at the end of the day $20 off vs the price paid is much to get excited about)
* Initially tested these in stock trim before I put them on water and these ran insanely hot with stock cooler! I have a huge case (900D) with tons of active cooling (15 fans!) and these cards were quickly climbing up to 90C (manually set this temp in software as upper limit) and they would throttle themselves on relatively short benchmark runs with all fans at max and ambient temp down to 68F. Once the stock HSF was removed, it looked like the stock thermal paste is exceptionally bad. If you're not swapping these out for liquid, I'd strongly recommend changing out the paste ASAP. I didn't run a test after that (should have) but I'm convinced reseating everything and adding better paste would have made a huge difference here.
*Backplate looks well ventilated but retained way too much heat. Cards run cooler without backlates installed.
* Perhaps expectations have been set to high given what everyone else claims they're getting but, these cards didn't overclock as high as I was expecting = +225 core and +125 memory on water and power as high as it will go on stock bios. There is more room for tweaking but I had hoped for more considering everything is in place for these cards to scream.
Other Thoughts: I purchased 2 of these through another website (same price, free 2 day shipping) as an upgrade to my 290x crossfire system. In another rig I have a cherry picked G1 980ti version of this card I tested these against (hands down G1 is a beast and is the card to get here!). My main system is a huge custom liquid loop in a 900D cooling for CPU and GPUs, 2700K at 5Ghz and triple Acer 24" 144hz monitors on an Obutto Revolution rig.
Knowing what I know now, I wouldn't have made this purchase and would have waited for the next flagship cards to come out...even if that meant waiting another year or more. These are hands down amazing cards but, if you have anything newer than a 290X/970 range card, save your pennies or if you have a single card, get a second and wait it out. I should have.....
Pros: - Big, tall, powerful = very good cooling!
- Looks amazing...maybe even a bit intimidating?
- Get in a p!$$!ng contest; just point to this bad boy and you win....
- Quiet.....as in under 25db running wide open at over 70cfm!
- Good fan design
- High quality FDB fans (can be oiled for longevity)
- Heat pipes up the wazoo (8)!
- Universal fit...this will cool anything you throw at it (yes, even overclocked AMDs running crazy voltage)
- Comes with a lot of goodies (case badge, decent thermal paste, fan hub, etc.) all a very nice touch
- Cools better than most AIO liquid coolers and cost less = impressive!
Cons: - Need low profile memory modules to install in traditional orientation
- Size may be an issue if you have a small case or limited space within the case (can be mounted facing different directions to accommodate)
- Very heavy! If I was leaving this in my rig long term, I'd like to see additional bracing that could be used with this massive HSF
- Installation can be a bit of a PITA vs other options on the market - read the directions and you should be fine
- Doesn't come with and can't use a 3rd fan (to be fair, not needed and if you reeeeally wanted a 3rd fan, you could rig something up to make it work)
Other Thoughts: My main rig is running a massive custom liquid loop cooling 2 overclocked 290X's and an Intel 2700K running 5ghz at 1.4V. The loop has 2 triple 120 rads and a single 120 rad = everything runs extremely cool year round. Keep in mind GPU(s) and CPU are all on the same loop however and those GPUs throw a ton of heat. When testing the HSF on it's own, it won't have the GPUs adding extra heat so it's not an example apples-apples but you'll get an idea of just how good this HSF is. The liquid loop has AC Ceramique thermal paste and the Assassin used the paste it came with.
Ambient room temp = 22C
60 minutes Idle temp:
Liquid = 30C (average across all cores)
Air = 28C (average)
Intel Burn test (careful if you run this - it cooks CPUs!) Run 10 times at standard:
Liquid= 72C (average across all cores)
Air = 79C (average)
10 seconds after end of burn test:
Liquid = 36C
Air = 45C
30 seconds after:
Liquid - 33C
Air = 32C
60 seconds after:
Liquid = 30C (back to standard idle temp)
Air = 31C
I was going to post numbers for gaming but it's not a fair comparison as the GPUs heat up the whole liquid loop. With that, this massive HSF from deepcool is pretty amazing! If you don't want to go with a custom liquid loop (which is waaay more than this HSF) you'd be very hard pressed to do better than this Assassin II from Deepcool. It is as good or BETTER than most all in one (AIO) units out now and cost less. You aren't going to fit this in a mini home theater PC like you could with an AIO but if you want this for overclocking a serious gaming rig, it'll do it with ease.
If this was easier to install and had better bracing/support, I'd have no problem giving this a solid 5. Overall great unit!