ASUS GeForce GTX 980 Ti Poseidon Review

Graphics cards 1022 Page 4 of 35 Published by


Maxwell GPU Architecture

Technology Deep Dive

The GeForce GTX 980 Ti graphics card is based on the latest iteration of GPU architecture called Maxwell, the cards uses revision A1 of GM200; also known as "Big Maxwell", the 20 nm node is not ready (and as it stands now it is skipped), so these products are based on the rock solid 28nm fabrication node. Sticking to 28nm has a side-effect though as the die size of a product of this caliber is big, in fact 601mm2. With 8 billion transistors you can rest assured that the GM200 S-FCBGA chip is large. GeForce GTX 980 Ti comes with 2816 shader (CUDA) cores while its little brother the GeForce GTX 980 has 2048 shader processors at its disposal. The change in shader amount is among the biggest differentials together with ROP, TMU count and memory and obviously Maxwell architecture.

  • GeForce GTX 960 has 1024 shader processors and 2 GB of GDDR5 graphics memory.
  • GeForce GTX 970 has 1664 shader processors and 4 GB of GDDR5 graphics memory.
  • GeForce GTX 980 has 2048 shader processors and 4 GB of GDDR5 graphics memory.
  • GeForce GTX 980 Ti has 2816 shader processors and 6 GB of GDDR5 graphics memory.
  • GeForce GTX Titan X has 3072 shader processors and 12 GB of GDDR5 graphics memory.

The product is obviously PCI-Express 1x, 2.0 and 3.0 compatible, it has a max TDP of around 250 Watts with a typical idle power draw of less than 10 Watts. That TDP is a maximum overall, and on average your GPU will not consume that amount of power. So during gaming that average will be lower.

The GM200 is based on the Maxwell architecture, as such you will get the pre-modeled SMX clusters of what is now 128 shader processors per cluster (which used to be 192 shader processors on Kepler).

There are 24 SMX clusters for the GeForce GTX Titan X and 22 SMX clusters for the GeForce GTX 980 Ti, times 128 shader processors which thus offers you that total of 2816 and 3072 shader processors. The reference card will be released with a core clock frequency of 1.0 GHz with a Boost frequency that can run up to 1076 MHz. As far as the memory specs of the GM200 Maxwell GPU are concerned, these boards will feature a 384-bit memory bus connected to a lovely 6 GB of GDDR5 video buffer memory, AKA VRAM AKA framebuffer AKA graphics memory for the graphics card. On the memory controller side of things you'll see that the reference memory clock (effective data-rate) is now set at 7 GHz / Gbps.

The GeForce GTX 900 and Titan X series are DirectX 12 ready, with Windows 8.1, 7 and Vista also being compatible to take advantage of DirectCompute, multi-threading, hardware tessellation and the latest shader 5.0 extensions. The latest revision of DX12 is a Windows 10 feature only, yet will bring in significant optimizations. For your reference here's a quick overview of some past generation high-end GeForce cards. 

GeForce GTX 780 780 Ti 970 980 980 Ti Titan Titan Black Titan X Titan Z
Stream (Shader) Processors 2304 2880 1664 2048 2816 2688 2880 3072 5760
Core Clock (MHz) 863 875 1050 1126 1002 836 889 1002 705
Boost Clock 900 928 1178 1216 1076 876 980 1076 876
Memory Clock (effective MHz) 6000 7000 7000 7000 7000 6000 7000  7000 7000
Memory amount 3072 3072 4096 4096 6144 6144 6144 12288 12288
Memory Interface 384-bit 384-bit 256-bit 256-bit 384-bit 384-bit 384-bit 384-bit 384-bit

With 6 GB graphics memory available for one GPU, the card is attractive for both modern and future games no matter what resolution you game at. Nvidia reworked the memory subsystem quite a bit, enabling much higher memory clock frequency speeds compared to previous generation GeForce GPUs. The result is this; memory speeds up-to 7 Gbps combined with a faster 384-bit wide bus. Combined with some clever advancements in color compression Nvidia can claim even more bandwidth as Maxwell cards now use 3rd generation delta color compression (eg. 7 Gbps *1/75%) = 9.3 Gbps effective bandwidth thanks to enhanced color compression and enhanced caching techniques. 



Share this content
Twitter Facebook Reddit WhatsApp Email Print