Wrap Up: The GeForce Lineup and Where the GTX 980 Ti Stands
With today's release Nvidia has dropped the MSRP of the vanilla GTX 980 from $550 down to $500, a nice 9% discount for potential buyers. The Titan X is still the biggest money grab at $1000, while the new GTX 980 Ti slots in at $650, double that of the GTX 970.
The GeForce GTX 980 Ti certainly delivers on the performance front. From the 20 games tested, we found it to be a mere 7% slower than the Titan X at 2560x1600 and 3840x2160. Considering that the GTX 980 Ti is 35% cheaper, it's unequivocally the wiser buy for most.
When compared to the GTX 980, on average the 980 Ti was 20% faster at 2560x1600 and 25% faster at 3840x2160. Taking in consideration the GTX 980's price cut, the GTX 980 Ti is 30% more expensive. Therefore, with the GTX 980 and GTX 980 Ti offering a similar level of performance per dollar, it comes down to which one you can afford.
The Radeon R9 290X is serious value at $300 - $350 as the GTX 980 Ti costs ~100% more but only delivers 42% more performance at 1600p and 2160p. However if it's 4K gaming you're after, at least two Radeons will be needed.
Depending on the games you play, the R9 295X2 is potentially the faster option. AMD's dual-GPU monster was considerably faster than the GTX 980 Ti in BioShock Infinite, Battlefield 4, Battlefield Hardline, Far Cry 4, Civilization: Beyond Earth, Assassin's Creed Unity and The Witcher 3. However the GeForce GTX 980 Ti was much faster in Watch Dogs, Dying Light, GRID and Project CARS. Meanwhile performance was relatively even in Crysis 3, Metro Redux, Tomb Raider, Thief and Total War: Attila.
Nvidia is really tightening the screws on AMD with this release. Although the Radeon R9 295X2 can be faster than the GTX 980 Ti, especially in games where Crossfire scales well, we would invest in the GTX 980 Ti given the choice. When it comes to power consumption, the GeForce GTX 980 Ti is worlds better than the R9 295X2 and even consumes a little less than the R9 290X.
But make no mistake, Nvidia is thinking forward. It's no coincidence AMD is set to release the Radeon R9 390X in the coming month. The GTX 980 Ti is all about putting pressure and being first to market with a highly capable GPU that also delivers on the price/performance front.
The GeForce GTX 980 Ti is a great high-end contender and a straight kick in the nuts for anyone who purchased a Titan X in the last two months. To put it another way, if you just invested in a pair of Titan X cards, you could have bought three GTX 980 Ti's for the same money... ouch.
Pros: Fast and efficient. Capable of 4K gaming. An expensive affair but nonetheless a good value. Runs quiet and overclocks well.
Cons: The Radeon R9 295X2 remains a threat in pure throughput.