And by ‘big one’, we mean the GTX Titan. The mammoth of a card that packed in an astounding 12GB of memory and came at a price that could make grown men cry. By ‘grown’, we mean poor. Anyway, the Titan came with a spec sheet with so many goodies packed in, it could choke a dolphin to death. But now, Nvidia offers the GTX 980Ti at a significantly lower price and some shaved-off bits here and there. Does it perform lesser? Technically, it should, right? Let’s find out...
The 980Ti looks nothing different from the Titan X, except for the obvious name. In fact, it looks exactly like the rest of the top-end cards from the Nvidia stable that we’re used to looking at. We would obviously like to see some effort by Nvidia to now change something on the darned thing! But well, there’s always an option to get a 980Ti from the other manufacturers that add cool things like Twin Frozr and the like. Of course, they’ll cost a tad more.
The new 980Ti is based on the same GM200 GPU, but instead of the 12GB memory found on the Titan X, the 980Ti packs in 6GBs. There’s 2816 CUDA cores compared to the 3072 on the Titan X, and instead of 192 texture units, the 980Ti packs in 176. The ROPs remain the same at 96, along with everything else. So, does the lesser VRAM and lower CUDA cores and texture units mean a dip in gaming performance? Well, yes, but ever so little.
In fact, the difference is quite shockingly miniscule and we had to double check our tests and numbers. That 1440p and 1080p performance is absolutely brilliant, and you’ll be shocked to discover that 4K performance is almost identical to the Titan X’s, only with slightly lower FPS. Metro Last Light, Arma 3, COD and Battlefield 4 tethered around the 55-60 FPS mark at ultra settings on a 1440p resolution, while when played in 4K, the FPS dropped around the 23-31 mark at very high to ultra settings.
The 980Ti did get hot when we pushed it hard. We recommend you use proper cooling and make sure your case is well ventilated. Keeping that in mind, the overclocking capabilities of the 980Ti are also great, thanks to the whopping 92-degree thermal limit of the card! Power draw remains the same as the Titan’s 250W.
With almost identical performance as the Titan X, at least for gaming, and a lower price tag, the 980Ti completely wins here. It obliterates the point of getting a Titan X for gaming. The only thing in favour of the Titan X and the 12GBs it packs is its future-proof nature and application use. Many game devs will keep launching high-quality texture packs that will continue to be released for those wanting to play at 4K, and 12GBs gives developers (and you) a bit more headroom when that happens.
With that said, let’s focus on the now, however. In the Titan X review a few months ago, we said, “If you’re still happy gaming at 2K, then save yourself over ₹40,000 and buy a GTX 980 card instead.” Well, let’s make a slight amendment to that wonderful statement. If you’re still happy playing at 2K resolution or want to game in 4K with almost identical performance as the Titan X, then save yourself ₹30,000 and buy a GTX 980Ti card instead. Happy gaming!