As far as I am concerned, Palit has thew nicest looking card at hand, and the most silent one as well. I am surprised that they didn't factory clock this product a notch higher, i mean the thermals are excellent with this in-audible card. Ah well, it's tweaked out of it real fast though and man this card is performing really well. The Palit GeForce GTX 980 Ti Super Jetstream edition can get your performance upwards in an extra 15% to 20% region on top of the reference cards due to the increase in base and boost clock frequencies. It does so running at colder temperatures opposed to what Nvidia is offering with the reference coolers and runs a lot more silent as well. Armed with 6 GB of graphics memory and combined with the sheer rendering muscle this card has, you'll be future proof for a while. The one question that remains, and I will address this in each and every 980 Ti review, is simple; do you really need a card as beefy as the GTX 980 Ti really is? Well no Sir, not at all if you are playing games in the 1080P or 2560x1440 monitor resolution domain as the GTX 970 or 980 is sufficient. But the grand performance this card offers does help as you enable any quality settings you desire, and next to that DSR (super-sampling) is slowly becoming popular. With DSR you render at a higher resolution than sample it back to say 2560x1440, and that adds a level of extra image quality as pixels are calculated and rendered more accurately. We have an example of that in our benchmarks session, Shadow of Mordor which we rendered at a whopping Ultra HD and 5K and then output at 2560x1440. And yeah I know, it's all relative but these are options the true enthusiast crowd likes. Then there is Ultra HD, that brute resolution of 3840x2160 requires sheer raw horsepower to output its 4x Full HD resolution, and the GTX 980 Ti is one of two cards that can handle this resolution well with very decent image quality settings. So again, value for money wise you are way better off with a card like the GeForce GTX 970 or 980, make no mistake about that as there is no doubt. But this is enthusiast grade graphics hardware, and yeah it kinda rules. + you are a little more future proof with the nice 6 GB frame-buffer of course.
So the Palit GeForce GTX 980 Ti Super Jetstream is certainly a looker, the shielding covering the cooling area is plastic though. But hey, it works and looks great. Also funky are the two white LEDs just behind the fans.So overall it is an aesthetically pleasing product. Looks however are personal, that I have to mention.
Cooling & Noise Levels
The reference design of the GTX 980 Ti are set at an offset threshold of 80 degrees C. Once the GPU gets warmer the card will clock down and lower its voltage. Palit however throws in a cooler that manages roughly 600W of cooling performance. It is so good that up-to a degree or 60 on the GPU, this card remains passive and thus inaudible. Once the fans kick in, you can expect to hover around the 72 Degrees C marker, and that's with with hefty games.Due to the design of the cooler you will need proper ventilation inside your chassis to achieve that number. But yeah Palit shaved off a good 10 Degrees C over reference. Noise wise, we can’t complain about cooling whatsoever especially when you consider how far this product is overclocked for you already. Expect sound pressure values in the 38 dBA range at max under load. That's measured 75 cm away from the PC. This means you can cannot hear the card while using it. If we place the dbA meter at 10 cm, even then we can only measure 42 dbA. This is overall VERY silent. Overall I'd rate the solution as very silent. We have been able to hear a bit of coil noise or whine, it however is at a level that you will need to place your ears in close vicinity of the card. In a chassis, you just cannot hear it.
Much like the GM200 Maxwell GPU harbored in Titan X, this GTX 980 Ti is rated as having a 250~260 Watt TDP, our measurements pass that number by a small degree as we measured roughly 270~280 Watt. It likely is due to the overclock, which requires additional voltage. We remain comfortable advising a 650 Watts power supply if you do not go crazy overclocking wise. If you go with 2-way SLI, an 950 Watts power supply is recommended. Remember when purchasing a PSU, aim to double up in Wattage as your PSU is most efficient when it is under 50% load. Here again keep in mind we measure peak power consumption, the average power consumption is a good notch lower depending on GPU utilization. Also, if you plan to overclock the CPU/memory and / or GPU with added voltage, please do purchase a power supply with enough reserve. People often underestimate it, but if you tweak all three aforementioned variables, you can easily add 200 Watts to your peak power consumption budget.
We can't be any clearer about it, all ranges from 1080P to Ultra HD are very playable for the GeForce GTX 980Ti. Up-to WQHD (2560x1440) this card seems to be a true sweet-spot, however it is really capable of rendering games in that whopper of a resolution Ultra HD as well. You'll be in the 40 FPS on average domain with decent settings and the latest titles mostly, and that's ok. This much game rending horse-power versus the nice 6 GB graphics memory helps you in Ultra HD, hefty complex anti-aliasing modes, DSR and of course the latest gaming titles. And that makes this the second viable single GPU solution that allows you to game properly in Ultra HD with some very nice eye candy enabled with a single GPU. Drivers wise we can't complain at all, we did not stumble into any issues. And with a single GPU there's no micro-stuttering to fight off. Performance wise, really there's not one game that won't run seriously good at the very best image quality settings. You must do gaming with a nice 30" monitor of course, at 2560x1440/1600 or Ultra HD.
The boost modes can be configured with temperature targets relative to maximum power draw and your GPU Core frequency offsets. Saying that; I realize it sounds complicated but you'll have your things balanced out quite fast as these products are easy to tweak. Our GPU sample could take a 1,260 MHz base clock, add to that the dynamic boost clock and you'll see your games rendering in the 1,400 to 1,500 MHz domain. The memory you'll be able to get close to roughly 8 GHz effective. This card uses Hynix memory btw. Don't push memory too far though, and we certainly do not recommend adding voltage to that memory. The overclock potential is good, albeit it already has a fantastic factory clock frequency of course. And bump of the fan RPM a little, the card remains silent enough yet you can shave off another 10 degrees C under load. Pretty cool stuff (literally).
The Palit GeForce GTX 980 Ti Super Jetstream is in my favorite shortlist of cards. The cooler simply does its magic really well, it's a fast card with a nice factory tweak (albeit a little shy compared to the competition). The most impressive things however is how silent the card is, you need to weigh in the overclock and the sheer size of the GPU before you realize that this noise level is qutie remarkable. Nothing but props from me for that, very nice. The card is a little bulky with its 2.5 slot design is a no-go for some of you, whereas other folks simply won't be bothered. Other then that there's nothing to complain or nitpick. Well of course pricing remains a bit of a topic with the GXT 980 Ti in general. The PCB is 100% custom, the GPU is kept at very acceptable temperatures, the components on-board remain at decent temperatures, the looks are good albeit bulky, the board design is sturdy with metal plates, and even the backside is covered by a back-plate. The performance is seriously faster than a GTX Titan X, yet pricing is much better at MSRP is $700 USD marker plus tax. In the end this product will offer you a AAA gaming experience in any monitor resolution, as even Ultra HD now becomes a viable resolution for single GPU setups. The card does so while keeping itself at nice temperatures. Compared to the GeForce GTX 980 Ti at 2560x1440 you can expect an increase of up-to say 25% performance (over the reference GeForce GTX 980 Ti) and overclocked you can add another 10%. We really do like the Palit GeForce GTX 980 Ti Super Jetstream edition, but honestly we like all other brands just as well. Each brand has it's own small little advantages, overall the performance and OC results are roughly almost the same for all of them. If you want something fast and silent, this card is comes recommended. It will not disappoint.