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An overview of Nvidia’s GeForce GTX GPUs for 4K video processing

by on October 24, 2014

by Stephan Jukic – October 24, 2014

Nvidia is building a major reputation for itself as the chipmaker that’s most on top of the market for game card GPUs and processors that are ready to handle full 4K at full frame rates of 60 fps.

We’ve seen this reputation develop over time with a whole series of GPUs ranging from the Maxwell series to the Titan Z line of Video cards to their massively powerful new GeForce GTX line of GPUs.

The company has even released driver updates that allow older, weaker GPUs like its Fermi and Kepler series of video cards in the 400 to 700 ranges the capacity to render 4K graphics for users of weaker PCs in a certain limited way.

Currently however, some of the newest and greatest Nvidia game cards are the GeForce GTX line, which include the GTX 970 and the even more powerful GTX 980.

These are the brand new flagship additions to the Nvidia graphics card lineup and are being touted as the next generation replacements for the existing 780Ti, 780 and 770 line of GPUs, which were previously Nvidia’s absolute best top-shelf single GPU products.

Because of their reputation for hardcore performance under even the most difficult conditions, the GTX 980 and 970 lines are also being incorporated into some of the latest powerhouse gaming PCs by companies like Origin PC and Digital Storm. Both of these brands create boutique gaming PCs that serve the high-end 4K ready game market.

Now, given their reputation and the reputation of the company making them, it’s pretty clear that the GTX 970 and 980 GPUs have some really heavy duty specs working inside them.

Here’s a quick overview of exactly what these specs consist of.

GeForce GTX 970

The GeForce GTX 970 is definitely the “weaker” of the two new Nvidia GPUs but despite this status, it’s still a massively powerful workhorse of a graphics card.

With the GTX 970, users get their hands on 1,664 CUDA cores, base and boost clocks of 1,050 MHz and 1,178MHz. Also, like its more powerful cousin, the 970 features a 7,000MHz memory clock and offers a 4GB GDDR5 RAM memory.

This RAM alone is twice as large as what was available in the GeForce GTX 770, which is the 970’s official predecessor.

Furthermore, the 970 offers a 256-bit memory bus, memory bandwidth of 224GB/sec and three DisplayPort connection ports along with one HDMI 2.0 port and a dual link DVI port setup.

Also, the power savings that come with using the GTX 970 are enormous when the new card is compared to its predecessor the GTX 770, which used a full 100 watts more energy despite being a much weaker game card.

The GeForce GTX 970 and 980 GPU's are extremely notable for their nearly unique inclusion of HDMI 2.0 connectivity

The GeForce GTX 970 and 980 GPU’s are extremely notable for their nearly unique inclusion of HDMI 2.0 connectivity

GeForce GTX 980

The GTX 980 represents the very top of the line when it comes to Nvidia graphics cards. This is a GPU that comes with some truly massive processing power built into it in the form of 2,045 CUDA cores, a base clock of 1,126 MHz and a boosted clock of 1,216MHz.

Like the GTX 970, the 980 also comes with a 7000MHz memory clock, a 4GB GDDR5 RAM, a memory bus of 256-bits and a 224GB/s memory bandwidth.

Also like the GTX 970, the GTX 980 offers the same three DisplayPort connectors, an HDMI 2.0 port and a dual-link DVI port.

The inclusion of HDMI 2.0 in both of these GPUs is extremely notable because, for one thing, this is the only version of HDMI that can handle graphics rendering in 4K at 60 frames per second (60 Hz) and also, virtually no GPUs on the market today are capable of supporting HDMI 2.0. The GTX 970 and GTX 980 are likely the only ones with HMDI 2.0 built into them in fact.

The power consumption of the GTX 980 is a very impressive 165-watts, quite an achievement for such a massively powerful top-shelf game card.

The GeForce GTX 970 and GTX 980 GPUs are of course already on sale and the 970 sells for $349 while the 980 is retailing for $549 USD.

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  • Nathan
    December 30, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    I sure can’t wait for Nvidia to make some low-profile graphics cards with HDMI 2.0/HDCP2.2 so I can upgrade my HTPC’s one for my Samsung HU8550 75″ 4K UHD TV.


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