GALAX GeForce GTX 970 EXOC - Affordable RAW unadulterated perf ...
GALAX is back in da house, this round we review their GeForce GTX 970 EXOC Black Edition with EX as in Extreme Overclock. It's in the name as the product comes factory overclocked with a boost clock of 1317 MHz (!). The product has a custom and relatively small PCB, it's the cooler that makes it lengthy in a more regular fashion. Talking about that cooler, GALAX had a mission, it was to make the card both silent whilst offering temps in the 60 Degrees C range, and hey they certainly achieved. The card has 4 GB graphics memory, is energy efficient and comes factory overclocked for you. Let's check it out shall well?
The PC market is interesting, it has been on a decline for sure, but here at Guru3D.com we've noticed an opposite trend, gaming PCs are getting more and more popular, much like an American muscle car or should we say card. We all want a beast of a gaming rig as, let’s face it, PC gaming as an experience is just so much better than anything else out there. Roughly a year and a half ago it became apparent that Nvidia was brewing a new GPU architecture under codename Maxwell, yes, named after the mathematical physicist. The Maxwell family of GPUs is actually the 10th generation of GPU architecture for Nvidia. With several design goals in mind (higher performance and lower power consumption) Nvidia was hoping to reach 20nm by the time their high-end product would be released. It is now September 2014 and it is abundantly clear that the 20nm nodes are not yet viable for volume production of wafers with huge transistor counts. So Nvidia pretty much had to go with plan B and stick with 28nm, this makes their silicon sizable, in relative proportions of course. None the less, Nvidia has moved forward and today the 2nd Maxwell based products (GTX 750 was actually the first trial) are being released as GM204 based GPUs. Yes, correct, GM204 and not GM210, meaning Nvidia is once again using the ‘high-end’ and not ‘enthusiast class’ chip to empower the product series we are about to review. Armed with voltage, power and load limiters Nvidia these days can harvest massive performance out of chips when you think about it. They did the very same with Kepler really, GK104 versus GK110 anyone? So Nvidia is certainly doing something right. Today is testimony to that as we see two products performing in the GTX 780 Ti range of performance, but both will consume much less power. That’s actually a primary feature design target for Maxwell, more performance with less power consumption. The GPU used thus is the 28nm GM204, the two derivatives created from it are the GeForce GTX 970 and 980. Ah, you noticed? Yes, correct, Nvidia decided to skip the 800 series to avoid confusion with some of their rebranded mobile parts. Maxwell is a new and sound architecture and as such it is released with a new series name.
With a custom PCB, all dark / grey / military design and cooler the GALAX GTX 970 EXOC Black Edition will get all the cooling it needs. While temps stick at a roughly just over 60 Degrees C, the noise levels are low overall. And how does a 1165 MHz core GPU clock frequency with a 1317 MHz Boost frequency sound eh? Check 'r out as with an etail price of 325 EURO this is also one of the more affordable models available on the market as well.