MSI GeForce GTX 980 Ti Gaming 6G Review

With the GTX 980 Ti Gaming 6G, MSI has a Maxwell based graphics card in their portfolio, which features a rather high factory overclocking and apart from that there is the brand new Twin Frozr V cooler. MSI is combining a custom PCB with a custom cooler in order to allow for great overclocking potential and we’re really curious to find out what this beast can do.

MSI is amongst the first Nvidia add-in-card (AIC) partners that have decided to introduce a new custom GTX 980 Ti graphics card which is using NVIDIAs latest and greatest GM200-310-A Maxwell chip. For this graphics card, MSI makes use of a custom PCB along with a new version of their TwinFrozr V cooler. On the backside of the card, there is a good looking backplate. A quick glance at the specs also reveals that this card ships factory overclocked.

Browsing the specifications of this card we find 2816 CUDA cores, 176 TMUs and 96 ROPs. For comparison reasons, the GTX 980 features 2048 CUDA cores, 128 TMUs and 64 ROPs. This means that, compared to the smaller model, there are significantly more CUDA cores, TMUs and ROPs. Looking at the clock speeds of this monster we find 1’178 MHz base clock and 1’279 MHz boost clock, whereas the NVIDIA reference cards run at 1000MHz/1075MHz, therefore there is a massive 19% factory overclock on the GPU.

As we already mentioned, MSI decided to use a significant factory-overclock on their new GTX 980 Ti Gaming 6G. While the reference GTX 980 Ti is set to work at 1000 MHz for the base clock and 1075 MHz for the GPU boost clock, the GTX 980 Ti Gaming 6G runs at 1’178 MHz base clock and 1’279 MHz boost clock.

When it comes to memory clock speeds we see a slight, 100 MHz frequency boost, which makes the chips run at 7100 MHz. Combine this with a 384 Bit memory interface and you end up with a total of 340.6 GB of memory bandwidth.

Whereas the typical boost clock is set at 1’279 MHz, the maximum boost of 1’380 MHz was achieved quite easily and the GTX 980 Ti Gaming 6G held that clock most of the load time due to the capable TwinFrozr V cooler as well as good TDP target (nVidia’s Boost technology being power-based and not temperature-based on this card).




MSI GTX 980Ti G1 Gaming GeForce GTX 980Ti GeForce GTX 980
Chip GM200-310-A1 Maxwell GM200-310-A1 Maxwell GM204 Maxwell
Process 28 nm 28 nm 28 nm
Transistors 8.00 billion 8.00 billion 5.20 billion
GPU clock 1’178 MHz 1’000 MHz 1’126 MHz
GPU Boost clock 1’279 MHz 1’076 MHz 1’216 MHz
Memory GDDR5 6’144 MB 6’144 MB 3’072 MB
Memory clock 1’774 (7’096) MHz 1’750 (7’000) MHz 1’750 (7’000) MHz
Memory interface 384 Bit 384 Bit 256 Bit
Memory bandwidth 340’600 MB/s 336’600 MB/s 224’000 MB/s
Shader Cores 2’816 2’816 2’048 (12 SMX)
TMUs 176 176 128
ROPs 96 96 64
TDP 250 Watt 250 Watt 165 Watt
PCB Type Custom Reference Design Reference Design
Slots 2 2 2
Cooler Twin Frozr V NVIDIA Reference NVIDIA Reference
Launch Price $749 $649 $599