Nvidia Launches The GTX 980 Ti At $649 With Full DX 12 Support
So, posting last week with a rumoured price on the GTX 980 Ti, the estimations were extremely well off the mark– by a full fat $150. In what seems to be a company rushing to push out their new card–something Nvidia is not usually known for–they’ve gone ahead and announced the GTX 980 Ti, which will be in selected stores, for the MSRP of $649. I’m pretty sure the pricing mentioned in EVGA leaks were once valid, and I suspect that was once Nvidia’s price, but if the rumours around AMD’s new card hold any merit, Nvidia saw good cause to reduce the price by $150.
Now I say Nvidia is in a rush, and I believe it’s due to the imminent release of AMD’s own flagship “Fury” HBM powered graphics card. Nvidia has taken their sweet time to reveal their entire Maxwell range, and they are not waiting much longer or giving AMD much chance to gain a foothold.
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Now even though the pricing is “lower” than anticipated, it’s not going to be affordable for the common “journeyman” PC gamer. But compared to what performance it offers for the price, you are looking at a card that offers a massive amount of performance–more than a Titan X–for a price which is $100 more expensive than the GTX 980 and a whopping $350 cheaper than the Titan X. Unless the Titan X and the the GTX 980 get some price cuts, the GTX 980 Ti has effectively made the Titan X pointless and made all those who bought a GTX 980 question why they dropped so much on a card which is only $100 less than Titan X like performance.
The GTX 980 Ti is every bit a Titan X as it can be: it has the same clockspeeds, similar reference cooler with the main discernable difference coming through its allocation of 6GB of GDDR5 memory over a 384-bit memory interface. It has the same clockspeeds on the core and memory, while it contains a cut down version of the same GM200 core in the Titan X, only featuring 2816 CUDA Cores, 176 TMU and 96 ROPS, all operating on the same 250W TDP.
So, before Computex even launches, Nvidia has already set the industry churning and consumers reading how a $649 card is placing the it ahead of the Titan X–even at 4K resolutions. The reason for this must be that because the Titan X is a hotter running card than the GTX 980 Ti, the 980 Ti is able to achieve a higher boost clock over the Titan X, thus securing it a faster frame rate. This clearly begs the question: What is the point of the Titan X retailing for $999? Past Titans had the benefit of offering professional users the sought after Double Precision capabilities, something the GTX Titan X does not offer. Personally, the Titan X needs to get a substantial price decrease or like Nvidia has allowed, let the AIB partners get creative with the cards to offer something a Titan range has not seen before–Aftermarket cooling.
So, first salvo from Nvidia. Now we wait for AMD to respond and then we can see whether the GTX 980 Ti is a worthy buy at the moment, of if the next crop of AMD cards will cause the green team to pause and reconsider their pricing.