As we are approaching Computex and the majority of press and media analysts are in the plane en route Taipei, companies such as Intel, Nvidia and AMD are polishing their press releases for the first day of the show.
One such product is GeForce GTX 980 Ti, a product refresh which does not have a lot to do with ‘refresh’. While the original GTX 980 was based of GM204 GPU, featuring 2048 CUDA cores attached to 4 or 8GB of GDDR5 memory. As you might have guessed, the chip was using 256-bit memory bus. When you combine GPU clock of 1.12 GHz and GDDR5 clock at 1.75GHz QDR (7.0 “GHz” i.e. 7.0 Gbps), you get 5 TFLOPS of compute power and 224GB/s bandwidth.
GeForce GTX 980 Ti should be named GTX 990 Ti, because it has NOTHING to do with the part it replaces. First and foremost, GTX 980 Ti is powered by GM210 chip, a 28nm GPU which you can find powering highest-end cards such as TITAN X and TITAN Z. GTX 980 was powered by a 5.2 billion transistor chip, while GTX 980 Ti ups this to no less than 8 billion transistors.
980 Ti is powered by a GM200-310 chip comes with 22 SMM clusters (packing 2816 CUDA cores) and more importantly, a 384-bit memory interface with 6GB of GDDR5 memory. We have no doubt NVIDIA will be driving the point home how 980 Ti has 50% more memory than AMD’s upcoming Fiji XT card (albeit will keep quiet on the memory bandwidth side).
While GM200-310 chip carries 3072 cores, the company disabled two SMM units and created a 2816 core unit. This naturally led to reduction in number of Rasterizing Units (ROP) from 192 to 176, available L2 cache and so on and so forth. The company was however, very coy about touching the texture memory units and its memory controller functionality which bit them hard with the GeForce GTX 970 fiasco, which lead to numerous refunds for the “4GB which actually works as 3.5 and 0.5GB”.
Clocks are set closer to GTX 980 than TITAN X, but that was to be expected. When it comes to 6GB of GDDR5 memory, you should not have any issues overclocking the card to higher clocks than TITAN X, and achieve well north of stock 336GB/s (identical to TITAN X). While this card will beat GTX 980 head over fist, and prove to be a worthy competitor to AMD’s Fiji XT (Radeon FURY 🙂 ).
6GB at 350GB/s vs. 4GB at 512GB/s will be a very nice battle that will shift the dynamic between the red and green throughout 2015, with the key battleground being performance in 4K resolution. This summer will bring first $199 and $249 4K displays, and the resolution will become as ubiquitous as 1080p is today.
And if you are wondering how much will the GTX 980 Ti cost, the answer is simple: $649, $350 less than TITAN X, and $100 more than the stock GTX 980, which is heading for a major price cut.
Let the games begin (again).