Last month Nvidia released the new 900 Maxwell series of GPUs Asus also released their new non-reference designs of the 900 series called STRIX 980 and 970s. These video cards sold out faster than anything since the GeForce 8800 GTs back last decade. These cards are so revolutionary that they actually have “less” under the hood vs the 780 ti cards, yet the performance is identical.
The GeForce GTX 980 reference cards have lower CUDA core count, 256bit memory bandwidth (vs 384bits), lower clock speeds, and lower thermal rating (TDP) than the GTX 780 ti. It’s performance is on par with the 780ti but those cards cost $200 more than the GTX 980 reference cards. Nvidia has truly optimized and refined what their CUDA cores can do since the Kepler series.
Now if you consider what ASUS has done with their version called Strix, a non-reference design, then you’re dealing with an overclocked video card, with a better and quieter HSF assembly and high end power regulation to extend the lifespan of the card when it goes into overclocked modes, and better performance over the 780ti.
The only card faster than the GTX 980 are Kepler-based TITANS which simply have large CUDA core count, but that costs upwards of $1000 which is ridiculous. Imagine what a TITAN version of the Maxwell GPUs could do?
There is no reason why I would want a last-gen GTX 780 when it performs slower than the GTX 980, and performs identical to the GTX 780 ti while the GTX 980 is much cheaper. The GTX 980 has less but does more with what it has compared to the GTX 780 ti, AND runs cooler and requires less power, so you don’t need a massive 1000watt PSU to use it.
I’m hoping to order one by sometime before Halloween, assuming I can get the money together in time when they become available again since they sold out so fast some vendors have hundreds of these cards on back order. I may have to wait longer even after the next batch of STRIX 980s ship out to stores. The video card I have now is a GeForce 550 ti, which is really showing it’s age now.