If you don't have the cash to splash on Nvidia's eyeball-melting Titan X, then this is the GTX 980 Ti — the next GeForce flagship, designed for smooth frame rates at 1080p, 1440p and even 4K gaming of brand new AAA titles like The Witcher 3, GTA V and Project CARS. It's the newest and most powerful 9-series graphics card from Nvidia, and overtakes even the regular GTX 980 by a fair margin.
The new top dog in Nvidia's GeForce GTX line-up, the GTX 980 Ti supplants the already impressively powerful GTX 980 in every way — with a 1000MHz stock and 1076MHz boost clock for the GPU, 6GB of 7GHz GDDR5 VRAM running through a 384-bit memory bus for 336GBps memory bandwidth, 2816 CUDA cores, it should offer performance squarely in between the 980 and a Titan-grade card. Power consumption comes in just the same as a previous-gen GTX 780 Ti — 250 Watts maximum TDP with a 600 Watt PSU recommended.
Compared to the two-generation old GTX 680, the 980 Ti offers noticeable performance improvements that scale with resolution bumps — roughly twice the frames at 1080p, two and a half times the frames at 1440p, and almost three times the frames at 4K under ideal testing. Gains over the last Titanium-branded card, the 780 Ti, are lesser but still significant at higher resolutions. As an example of the difference in a modern game, Nvidia is quoting 19fps vs 45fps in Witcher 3, 28fps vs 61fps in GTA V, and 18fps vs 47fps in Project Cars for a GTX 680 versus the new GTX 980 Ti (all at maximum quality and 2560x1440p res).
The GTX 980 Ti will be Nvidia's top mainstream gaming card for quite some time, and that's important considering that Windows 10, and its baked-in support for the next generation of graphics processing through DirectX 12, is very much on the horizon. Only Maxwell graphics cards — that's the GTX 960, 970, 980, this new GTX 980 Ti and the Titan X — will be able to run DirectX 12's advanced (feature level 12_1) graphics features, according to Nvidia, and that means you'll have to have a new card to make new games look their absolute best.
Nvidia is pegging the 980 Ti's price as US$649 with a copy of Batman: Arkham Knight bundled — sitting below the US$999 Titan X and US$499 GTX 980. Make of that what you will as to what price we'll see in Australia. The particular GTX 980 Ti pictured above is now living in Gizmodo AU's test rig — kicking out a measly GTX 960 — and we'll be bringing you a full review as soon as we get a chance to benchmark it. Stay tuned! [Nvidia]