BARK AND BITE

Gi­ga­byte GTX 970 XTREME Gam­ing

HWM (Malaysia) - - TEST - By Peter Chu

Back in 2014, we re­viewed the Gi­ga­byte GTX 970 G1 Gam­ing GPU, a card that we thought was plenty pow­er­ful in its own right, judg­ing from the way it man­aged to mus­cle its way through our syn­thetic bench­marks and games with fi­nesse. Imag­ine then, just how bru­tal the Gi­ga­byte GTX 970 XTREME Gam­ing would be, see­ing that it boasts even higher fac­tory over­clocked speeds out of the box.

But be­fore we rel­ish our­selves in the GTX 970 XTREME Gam­ing's per­for­mance, let's first talk about some of its dis­tin­guish­ing fea­tures, like its WINDFORCE 3X cool­ing sys­tem, which makes use of three, spe­cially-de­signed cool­ing fans and sev­eral com­pos­ite heat­pipes to help keep the card con­sis­tently cool. Safe to say that the cool­ing sys­tem works as in­tended, as the card's tem­per­a­ture didn't ex­ceed 62-de­gree Cel­sius while we were bench­mark­ing it ex­ten­sively – and in a fur­ther over­clocked state, no less.

Adding on to the GTX 970 XTREME Gam­ing's ‘cool' fac­tor are its three cir­cu­lar LEDs, which are strate­gi­cally placed right below the card's three cool­ing fans to give off the il­lu­sion that they're spin­ning at blaz­ing-fast speeds – es­pe­cially when they are lit in a yel­low­ish- or­ange hue. Of course, you're given the lib­erty to cus­tom­ize the light­ing style, bright­ness, and col­ors of said LEDs to your lik­ing though Gi­ga­byte's OC GURU II soft­ware.

Be­ing the de­mand­ing folks that we are, we only gauged the per­for­mance of the GTX 970 XTREME Gam­ing af­ter we over­clocked it fur­ther, by push­ing its base core clock of 1,190MHz to 1,340MHz, and its base mem­ory clock of 7,100MHz to 7,384MHz.

The first bench­mark to suc­cumb to the sheer might of GTX 970 XTREME Gam­ing was 3DMark, as the card man­aged to score an im­pres­sive 11,103 for the Fire Strike bench­mark, 5,881 for the Fire Strike Ex­treme bench­mark, and 3,099 for the Fire Strike Ul­tra bench­mark, re­spec­tively.

Next in line was the Unig­ine Heaven bench­mark, which the GTX 970 XTREME Gam­ing ran rather com­fort­ably in QHD (2,560 x 1,440) and on Ul­tra qual­ity at an av­er­age frame rate of 35.3 fps.

But enough about syn­thetic bench­marks, let's talk about how the GTX 970 XTREME Gam­ing han­dles games at their high­est pos­si­ble graph­ics set­tings and in QHD (2,560 x 1,440). We opted for QHD over Full HD sim­ply be­cause we had a hunch that the card could de­vour games that were run­ning in 1080p way too eas­ily.

And we were right. Even in QHD and at max­i­mum graph­ics set­tings, the GTX 970 XTREME Gam­ing still man­aged to muster a com­mend­able av­er­age frame rate of 54 fps in both Fall­out 4 and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, be­fore plow­ing through Hit­man: Ab­so­lu­tion, and BioShock In­fi­nite with an av­er­age frame rate of 83 fps and 119 fps, re­spec­tively.

All in all, the Gi­ga­byte GTX 970 XTREME Gam­ing would def­i­nitely ap­pease the avid gamer who's not only look­ing for a graph­ics card that can ef­fort­lessly steam­roll its way through games, but one that could also put on a flam­boy­ant light show while do­ing so.

Slot

PCI Ex­press 3.0

GeForce

GTX 970

Mem­ory

4,096MB 256-bit GDDR5

SLI

Sup­ported

Price

RM1,929 (incl. 6% GST)

AT A GLANCE

With great power comes greater power draw: the Gi­ga­byte GTX 970 XTREME Gam­ing needs two 8-pin power con­nec­tors and a min­i­mum 600W PSU to work.

CON­CLU­SION

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