Saturday, July 25, 2015

MSI GTX 980Ti Gaming 6G

Out of the box, MSI’s 980 Ti comes with a factory overclock, bumping the core and memory up from 1,000/7,000MHz to 1,178/7,096MHz. That nets you a good 10-15% boost in most games over a standard 980 Ti, and up to 35% more than a GTX 980 at 4K resolution.

MSI’s grafted its new generation of Twin Frozr cooler — this is the fi fth iteration — onto Nvidia’s GPU, and like its previous Gaming branded cards (the company’s top-tier models) you get high-quality electrical components throughout plus a 6-month license for the XSplit live game streaming app. As we’ve previously seen, that cooler design is both quiet and effi cient — it never gets above a low hum, even at 4K. Idle temps were a reasonable 46ºC and it peaked at 70ºC. It’s worth noting that, as with most other Maxwellbased Nvidia cards, the fans on this cooler won’t spin up while the GPU is idle — the heatsink is doing enough to dissipate the latent heat. And speaking of airfl ow, MSI’s included three built-in fan/ overclocking modes (Silent, Gaming and OC).

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There’s not a huge difference between Gaming and OC, but Silent mode down clocks the GPU to 1,000MHz to ensure the fans run at a very low speed. MSI’s bigger cooler comes with a slight cost: you need two eight-pin PCIe power plugs to run the card. The rear outputs are identical however, with three DisplayPort, one HDMI and one DVI. What helps MSI’s card is that it’s substantially less expensive than the Gigabyte (right) — so if you’re not overclocking, this is still a great implementation of Nvidia’s top-tier enthusiast GPU.


Not quite as overclockable, but is slightly more affordable and has good acoustics. Easy to recommend.

By Dan Gardiner

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