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Reviewed: Gigabyte GTX 970 Xtreme Gaming

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Shawn Baker

Page 1: Reviewed: Gigabyte GTX 970 Xtreme Gaming

gigbyte gtx970xtreme logoWith the Xtreme Gaming series, Gigabyte puts a new high-end model in place to help them stand out from the competition. Apart from the G1.Gaming version of the GTX 970, Gigabyte hasn’t done a whole lot with the model. Gigabyte hope to offer a complete all round package with the GTX 970 Xtreme Gaming. Let’s find out if they’re able to do it on the following pages.

Overall, the Xtreme Gaming series from Gigabyte currently comprises of five models. These would be the GeForce GTX Titan X (GM NTITANXXTREME-12GD-B), GeForce GTX 980 Ti Windforce Edition (GV-N98TXTREME-6GD) and Water Force Edition (GV-N98TXTREME W-6GD), GeForce GTX 980 (GV-N980XTREME- 4GD), GeForce GTX 970 (GV-N970XTREME-4GD) and GeForce GTX 950 (GV-N950XTREME-2GD).

Gigabyte wants to move the Xtreme gaming series in two directions. On the one hand they want to offer the fastest cards when it comes to factory overclocking. Of course this is dependent on how aggressive other manufacturers go with clock speeds. Those wanting to venture even further, though, can do with the help of improved current and voltage supply, additional power connectors and a special LN2 BIOS. On the other side, noise and cooling performance continues to be an important emphasis.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 Xtreme Gaming
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 Xtreme Gaming

When it comes to cooling, Gigabyte remains faithful to their WindForce design with only minor improvements. One such area is additional optimizations within the fan controller. While the largest WindForce cooler is able to dissipate up to 700w of heat. Such high values aren’t seen from any of the high end NVIDIA offerings.

Architecture

Priced at around $300 these days, the GTX 970 has become a mid-range offering thanks to aggressive price drops. Thanks to its solid price to performance ratio, the GTX 970 has enjoyed great popularity. Like the GeForce GTX 980 it comes equipped with the GPU-GM204. This comes with 5.2 billion transistors and is manufactured in 28nm.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 Xtreme Gaming
model Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 Xtreme Gaming
price $369.99
Homepage www.gigabyte.com
Technical specifications
GPU GM204 (Maxwell)
Manufacturing Process 28 nm
Transistors 5.2 billion
GPU Clock Speed (Base Clock) 1,190 MHz
GPU clock (Boost Clock) 1,342 MHz
Memory Clock 1,775 MHz
Memory Type GDDR5
Memory Size 4GB
Memory Interface 224 + 32 bit
Memory Bandwidth 227.2 GB / s
DirectX Version 12
Shader Units 1,664
Texture units 104
ROPs 56
Typical Board Power 145 Watt
SLI / Crossfire SLI

Of course, Gigabyte boosts performance by overclocking the base clock from 1050MHz to 1190MHz. This in-turn has pushed the boost clock from 1178MHz to 1342MHz. This equates to an increase of 13% and should be reflected in our benchmarks later. As for the 4GB of GDDR5, Gigabyte has bumped that up slightly from 1750MHz to 1775MHz.

The other technical data remains identical between all GTX 970s. This includes 1664 Shaders, 104 Texture Units and 56 ROPs. The reference power consumption comes in at 145 watts, however, overclocking increases that number.

Comparison of temperature and clock
game temperature Clock
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt 65°C 1,430 MHz
Battlefield: Hardline 64°C 1,430 MHz
Grand Theft Auto IV 65°C 1,430 MHz
Far Cry 4 65°C 1,430 MHz
Total War: Attila 64°C 1,430 MHz
Metro: Last Light Redux 65°C 1,430 MHz
Tomb Raider 65°C 1,430 MHz
DiRT Rally 65°C 1,430 MHz
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor 65°C 1,430 MHz

While the boost clock comes in at 1342MHz, that’s just a minimum. Looking above, we can see that our Gigabyte GTX 970 Xtreme Gaming achieves 1430MHz across all our benchmarks. As for the temperature side of things, that bounces between 64c and 65c. We’ll take a look later on at just how this compares to other models.

GPU-Z-Screenshot zur Radeon R9 Nano
GPU-Z screenshot for Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 Xtreme Gaming

The GPU-Z screenshot confirms the details we’ve just mentioned.