When the MSI Titan X landed many consumers drooled over the thought of the Maxwell (GM200-400) architecture ‘unleashed’. Sadly not everyone can afford the asking price of those powerhouses. Then NVIDIA did what most seasoned enthusiasts knew they would do: released a slightly cut down version, called it a 980Ti and unleashed it upon the unsuspecting public. In its reference state the GeForce GTX 980Ti is rather impressive as it boasts 2,816 Cuda Cores, a 384-bit wide memory bus, and 6GB of GDRR5 RAM. However, as we all know NIVIDIA is very conservative in their reference specifications and this leaves a lot of room for the manufactures to capitalize upon…and improve upon.
For many years now MSI has been known and respected for their custom heatsink and fan designs. Specifically their Twin FROZR designs have cooled many an enthusiasts’ overclocked video card over the years, and now the latest version, aptly called the Twin Frozr V, intends to continue this enviable tradition. However, this new generation has a few tricks up its sleeve to make the MSI Gaming 6G 980TI even more enticing to consumers. For you see not only does MSI’s heatsink boast 6 massive ‘SuperSU’ heatpipes, and two independently controlled TORX fans, but this massive heatsink is so potent that when the GPU is idling those low noise fans actually stop spinning. Yes that is correct, this heatsink is so capable of cooling an overclocked GTX 980Ti core, that it can actually do it passively. That is indeed impressive and gives the MSI Gaming 6G 980TI a major leg up over the competition.
As expected the MSI Gaming 6G 980TI is also not just about being low noise, and boasting a very impressive factory overclock. As we said, NVIIDA is very conservative in their settings and a ‘reference’ GeForce GTX 980Ti has the nearly fully function GM200-310 set to run at a clock speed of 1000Mhz that can be boosted to 1075Mhz, and the memory speed is set to an effective 7,010Mhz. The MSI Gaming 6G 980TI on the other hand has a base clock of 1178MHz, a boost of 1279MHz. As an added bonus MSI has also boosted the memories effective speed to 7,100MHz. Equally important, as the MSI Gaming 6G 980TI has that massive custom heatsink this card is able to stay in boost mode longer before thermal throttling occurs.
Mix in an aggressive Red and Black color scheme, and a 3 year warranty and on paper the MSI Gaming 6G 980TI is one very potent video card. However, MSI has one more trick up its sleeve to make this high performance video card even more enticing: the asking price. Right now a reference GeForce GTX 980 will set you back about $649. For only $31 more, consumers can instead get this factory overclocked MSI Gaming 6G 980TI ($680), making it also a potentially great value. That certainly is a lot of expectations to have riding on one card, but MSI has an enviable reputation for consistently doing just that. So let’s see if the MSI Gaming 6G 980TI can indeed live up to its potential.