980 Ti - Unspoken words - Build quality war

Hello everyone,

Alright so there have been VS threads with every Amd and Nvidia release ..clocks, stocks and overclocks all in all
its a 980 Ti, you can't really go wrong with it...but can you?
I'm trying to get a different point of view - Build quality..but in detail like Wendell does with his videos..just sublime ticks of topics that just a few people get into.
I busted my ass off trying to get info from people that bought a 980 Ti whatever the reseller may be so far I have the following top:
Asus Strix 980 Ti - See Wendell''s awesome review
Gigabyte G1 Gaming 980 Ti - same old 3x windforce but still kicking
Msi 980 Ti - tall bastard
EVGA - no idea about it

Now I want the bad and ..well mostly the bad since the good parts are all too well known.
In my opinion strictly build quality - sturdy, good bios, temp resistance and overall usage over a long period of time
(and here we're not going to talk about Pascal which everyone is going to upgrade to no matter the rumors or the outcome ) is the Asus Strix 980 Ti BUT ( and a big one ) I really really like the Gigabyte even though I`m getting a more trustworthy feeling from Asus. ( past owner of 980 G1 )

Holy crap I wrote a lot..
Let there be posts :)

From my experience with any Asus product I would not even think about considering the Strix.
290 had overheating issues why I went back to my trusty Sapphire 270x 2GB
Asus notebook failed on me and my friends (I have one at the bench because something is wrong with it)
Asus Monitor broke for no damn reason! It was just sitting in a shelf not being connected to anything (not even power)

If you want to get into the really deep nitty gritties, look for reviews where they actually remove the cooler from the PCB - the PCB "in the flesh." If they have good enough quality images, you can take a close look at the components they've used - specifically for the VRM. Chokes are a bit hard to look up, but capacitors and mosfets usually aren't too hard to find. Prepare to educate yourself on some terms and symbols, so you can properly appreciate the good for the bad.

... Not that you will necessarily find anything bad. Some designs may be better than others, but they will also probably cost more. More worrisome is the cooling solution they use.

When I am look at which vendor to purchase from, I generally look at how cool they have managed to keep the card. If possible, I try to cross-reference a number of sites to see if one of the test results is not a fluke. Not just the GPU core temperature, but also the temperature of the VRM. Thankfully, more sites are using a FLIR-type of thermal imagery to show the hotspots on tested products in an open-air testbench. In my opinion, for graphics card reviews, that is the best thing since sliced bread. Tom's Hardware did it pretty good with the R9 300 series of cards that MSI supplied them.

Beyond cooling, there are the other added features or accoutrements that some people prefer. If it is a large card, then some added support - most notably a backplate - is nice.

I, currently, can't speak to which company makes the best 980 TI. I do know that both the Gigabyte G1 Gaming cooling solution almost always makes VRM cooling a part of the primary heatsink, which usually helps a lot. With the 980 TI, they made no exception. The Asus Strix cooler, in this case, did likewise - although I know for other cards (like the R9 285) they used a secondary heatsink as a stand-in.

I currently have the EVGA GTX 980 Ti Superclocked+ ACX and have had no issues with the card. It runs nice and cool and is very quiet. I particularly like that the card comes with a backplate. While I have had no problems, I believe some people have had poor cooling until the card warmed up quite a bit since the fans don't normally run when the card is idle, but this can be fixed with software if the default fan profile (which is fine for me) gives you issues. I had a GTX 770 superclocked ACX before that and it was also a good card. Unfortunately I can't compare evga with other nvidia partners since the only other nvidia card I've ever owned was an XFX 8600 GT XXX, and they no longer make nvidia parts.

I like Asus motherboards

I buy Asus motherboards

I don't buy other Asus products... anymore... because of experiences like yours and mine.

Because Asus is and always will be (in my opinion) a motherboard manufacturer.

I hope they'll prove me wrong, and to be honest, I do have some hope for this 100% machine-manufactured process they've come up with.

Recently I've been buying MSI cards as the Twin Forzr cooler always seemed to work well in my cases. Last setup was 2 x MSI GTX 970 cards in a HAF XB case which mounts the mobo horizontally and hence the cards vertically. No need for a back plate and no drooping like the previous MSI GTX 670 had shown signs of after ~3 years in a tower case.

I would have bought another MSI GTX 980 Ti if I was going to stay air cooled but liked the idea of an AIO cooler. So as the hybrid wasn't available at the time I bought an EVGA reference card with a basic OC from the factory and waited for the AIO cooler upgrade to become available. Fitted that and have been gaming mostly on that with an OC to 1450 MHz and have only seen the temp on the AIO go above 50 DegC when it was middle of summer. My CPU also doesn't run above 45 DegC either I like to keep things cool now :)

No excessive fan noise either just a good balanced setup in the HAF XB EVO case.

Thread derail but not really cause the reply system makes my reply invisible to people talking about the 980ti.

I just wanted to say yes Asus makes quality stuff, yes you can sometimes find that same level quality elsewhere but not with the track record of Asus, so that pays off in the end. Although I had some problems, they're mitigated now and I'm lovin it:

My z87 Plus had a RTC issue and that wasn't fixable until they came up with a bios update. It also sometimes does not boot the first time it powers on, doesn't draw all the power it needs I think. It's a PSU unrelated issue. It also has a really stupid boot sequence issue where you can have a hard drive partitioned for windows 7 pretend it's an operating system and overtake my SSD that had other OS (win 10 or linux)

Despite those problems it's a very good board and it even overclocked my non overclockable 4770 to 4.25ghz, something some 4770k aren't capable of at almost stock volts (it's been a year since I did this I forgot). And this new uefi update boots a bit faster, with an intel 520 on sata 3 boots into Win7 in 8 seconds without "hardware fast boot" on.

Hello guys,

Sorry I couldnt get to duel with you guys since I posted this here's my sort of vision about this :
Now the new Strix 980 ti card its said to have been by 800 series Terminators..literally
Machines are taking over :), that's good and bad ...bad why ? it's sort of a prototype...for me at least
Unless this has 1 year of XP under it's belt with no issues sure, I
ll bet my money on it.
Very good are the components of the card, just really amazing high end stuff.

Second guy I have my eyes on is the G1 from Gigabyte which everyone is buying like crazy, it has lower temps
nothing super but enough to seen.
really awesome build and those Windforce coolers really top notch
If I was to have a top I couldn`t place G1 or Strix on nr 1 but G1 seems to have a little advantage.

So far G1 Ftw but just like this dude said penguinairlines - I hope they prove me wrong

I picked up a reference gigabyte card at launch. Threw a EK block on it and have been happy since. The only downside I have for this card is the overvoltage. Gigabytes oc program blows IMO. I have been a afterburner user for years and I cant get a hang of the overclocks in the oc guru or whatever they call it.

Voltage in afterburner on my gigabyte card is still locked months after launch, kinda depressing.

Dude..I've never understood why people get the reference cards, I just don`t see the point since you are clearly not getting the most of the card by default, and I know you can customize it yourself but still a custom pcb one will always come out on top.
I bookmarked the 980 page from a local shop and kept looking for updates daily until the card came out :))

I'd think it's due to the blower-style design. Other than that: Maybe there is an argument to be made that the stock-gpu layout won't be suffering from a design flaw.

  • Compatibility with waterblocks.
  • True blower style design dumps most of the heat out of the system.
  • Lately nVIDIA blower designs are also very quiet. Also it will maintain it's noise characteristics for a lot longer then a custom fan design.
  • They use an "industrial grade" blower fan that will outlive by a factor of 5 any of the cheap fans you find on custom cards.
  • Sandwich type SLI setups work a lot better with blower cards.
  • Tiny and crammed cases work best with blower cards.
  • If you have a case with poor ventilation, a blower will somehow find all the air it needs.
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I like the Gigabyte G1 Gaming series cards, but those cards sag/droop big time! Had to strap the end of my 980 G1 Gaming to a spare HD cage to level it up.

Now I have an EVGA 780Ti. And that thing doesn't budge! Like shoving a brick into the PCI slot.

i think that most important things have been said allready.
Custom pcb and decent cooling units, are an important thing to look at.
But i do wanne point out, that you should not stair too much blind on overclocking results from Tech reviewers realy.
Because they might be manage to reach a great overclock, that doesnt automaticly mean that you will be able to reach that too.
You can buy 2 exact the same high quality cards, one can be a great overclocker, the other one can be a total dull at overclocking.
For that matter it mostly come down to luck.
A custom pcb and decent cooling unit will definitely help, but if you loose the silicon lottery you still might end up with a bad overclocker, no-matter how manny powerphases you put in the card.

The reason I bought a regular pcb was I bought it at launch and ordered a titan block right away. I know a custom pcb card could perform better but if you want something at launch and you want the most water block compatibility you get a reference design. That being said my card hits 1475 mhz with no over volt so I am happy.

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