MSI GTX 980 Gaming 4G Review – The launch of NVIDIA’s new GTX900 series cards has seen some superbly marked improvements in terms of GPU performance unlike anything we’ve seen in quite some time. We reviewed the stock GTX980 last month, and we were left with nothing but nice things to say about it. MSI sent us a unit of their take on the GTX 980, and what a card it is.
With the launch of the MSI GTX 980 Gaming 4G, MSI is also introducing the Twin Frozr V, the fifth generation of its Twin Frozr cooler. While the fans themselves appear to be smaller now, they generate way more airflow than the predecessor, and only runs when the GPU core hits a certain temperature point.
While the stock GTX 980 impressed us by only requiring two 6-pin PCIE plugs to power it up, the MSI variant uses two 8-pin plugs, and for good reason. As far as video output is concerned, the GTX 980 Gaming 4G comes with the standard single DVI, HDMI and three DisplayPort ports that allows users to hook up to four displays on one single card.
The GPU core is overclocked from the stock 1,126MHz to 1,216MHz in the MSI variant, although everything else remains the same. That being said, the GPU core can still be overclocked to over 1,300MHz, hence the need for two additional pins on each plug to power the GPU.
Despite the overclocked settings, as we mentioned earlier, the fans do not kick in until a certain temperature level is reached. When we ran our 3DMark benchmark tests, it wasn’t until halfway through the Fire Strike Extreme test that the fan started spinning.
As far as performance goes, we were able to max out settings on new games such as Shadow of Mordor, running at 60FPS with relative ease. Even as we pushed the card with games set at high-end settings, the card remained silent even while the fan is spinning. The temperatures also lingered around the 70 degrees Celcius mark even during high load times.
The MSI GTX 980 Gaming 4G graphics card is one of the best GPUs we’ve tested that combines both superb graphical performance with low noise and power consumption. The fact that the GPU is capable of running above 60 degrees Celcius without the fan running is also super impressive, which makes this card one of our most recommended one if you’re looking to build a high-end gaming PC.
- Excellent performance
- Very quiet
- Too big, May not fit some cases
MSI GTX 980 Gaming 4G Specifications
- Core clock: 1,216MHz
- Boost clock: 1,317MHz
- Memory size: 4GB GDDR5
- Ports: 1x DVI-I, 1x HDMI, 3x DisplayPort 1.2