BARK AND BITE
Gigabyte GTX 970 XTREME Gaming
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.
PCI Express 3.0
4,096MB 256-bit GDDR5
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.