Asus’ limited-edition GTX 980 claims highest GPU clocks

This year is Asus' 20th building graphics cards, and to celebrate that milestone, the company has created a limited-edition version of the GeForce GTX 980 with the fastest GPU clocks we've seen to date. The GTX 980 Gold Edition is jacked up to 1317MHz base and 1431MHz boost, a big step up from not only the GPU's 1126/1216MHz stock frequencies, but also the tweaked speeds of the hot-clocked cards Scott reviewed last year.

Source: Asus

Despite its hopped-up GPU, the card has the usual 4GB of memory pushing data at 7 GT/s. Asus does, however, add a DRAM defroster designed to keep winter from coming when overclocking with LN2.

Dipping into sub-zero territory requires removing the DirectCU II cooler, which snakes blacked-out heatpipes through a similarly stealthy radiator. Dual fans provide airflow, and they spin down completely with lighter loads. I'm a little surprised the cooler lacks the blower-infused CoolTech fan available on Asus' Matrix GTX 980, though.

Like the Matrix, the Gold Edition has color-coded lighting on the top edge. "20th Anniversary" glows one of three colors depending on the GPU load and a fourth shade when the card is running in safe mode. Safe mode resets the card's firmware to its default configuration at the touch of a button, which should make it easy for overclockers to recover from failed attempts.

Although the dual-slot cooler and 11.7" length aren't particularly oversized for a high-end graphics card, the 6" height rules out compatibility with some smaller and low-profile enclosures. Another factor that may give folks pause is the price. Asus hasn't announced how much the Gold Edition will cost, but limited-edition products are rarely cheap, especially when they have best-in-class clocks and premium extras.

Comments closed
    • jihadjoe
    • 6 years ago

    One site says it’s going to cost Rs 58,500 (USD 940)!
    [url<]http://www.deccanchronicle.com/150407/technology-latest/article/asus-announces-limited-20th-anniversary-gold-edition-gtx-980[/url<] LOL!

      • Ninjitsu
      • 6 years ago

      Dude. That’s not wrong. India has crazy taxes on electronics, especially GPUs (30%). BTW I used to write for Deccan Chronicle once, so it’s interesting you linked to what could have been my article. 😀

    • LoneWolf15
    • 6 years ago

    For those of you old enough, tell me this didn’t come into your heads.

    [url<]http://www.modestoradiomuseum.org/images/SOLID-GOLD-best.jpg[/url<]

      • derFunkenstein
      • 6 years ago

      Definitely not old enough. Lol

        • thecoldanddarkone
        • 6 years ago

        Agreed.

        If this came with 8 gigs I think it might earn gold star but right now it’s just lame.

      • jihadjoe
      • 6 years ago

      Golden Sample Ti4200!

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 6 years ago

    It really is a shame nVidia won’t let any of these companies release an 8GB version of the 980 (or a 7+1GB version of the 970) because it’s what the masses really need versus an amped up, juiced up clock version of these cards.

    An 8GB version of the 980 would probably suit most any gamer for years to come, especially given DX12.

      • JJAP
      • 6 years ago

      Agreed. Perhaps nvidia (marketing dept.) wants to reserve 8GB for 980 Ti. (It could be worse… the 980 Ti might be 6GB only… making sure SLI won’t serve you when you go 4K).

        • MadManOriginal
        • 6 years ago

        Except SLI is supposed to combine memory into a large pool in the future. For DX12 maybe?

          • Firestarter
          • 6 years ago

          oh yes that would be very useful in 2018

        • jihadjoe
        • 6 years ago

        TPU took peak memory usage figures when they tested the Titan X. Pretty interesting but most games hardly go beyond 4GB, even at 4k resolutions.

        The notable exception was COD:AW which peaked at 7.3GB used, but that may have been the game not flushing textures because the immense 12GB VRAM of the Titan X made it unnecessary. 4GB per card in the 970SLI and 295X2 certainly didn’t seem to limit performance, even at 4k.

        [url=http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GeForce_GTX_Titan_X/33.html<]TPU Sauce[/url<]

    • maxxcool
    • 6 years ago

    … sooo much epenis there.

    • AdamDZ
    • 6 years ago

    So that gives you what, 2fps boots, if even?

      • llisandro
      • 6 years ago

      Seriously, their comparison is a ~10FPS gain versus “reference” at [b<]1080p[/b<], when basically no 980 is at reference clocks and this card will be putting out >100FPS at 1080p? I guess it could be significant if you have a 120 Hz monitor, but the fact that they're not showing data at a reasonable resolution for a 980 seems suspect. I guess it would be interesting to know how 99th percentile framerates change upon overclocking, but my guess would be not much. edit: I get that this card is directed at LN2 OCers, but it's silly to me that ASUS trots this "10% FPS advantage over reference" for their entire line of cards.

      • Meadows
      • 6 years ago

      Who’d even wear those?

      • MadManOriginal
      • 6 years ago

      feet per sock?

    • Ninjitsu
    • 6 years ago

    [quote<] the 6" height [/quote<] You mean width...(according to LxWxH, or x.y.z).

      • Thresher
      • 6 years ago

      I think he means 6″ clearance, not height.

      • Meadows
      • 6 years ago

      It’s height as far as “classic” PC placement is concerned, where the case rests on its broad side.

        • vargis14
        • 6 years ago

        It is the extra width that extends past the PCI bracket that could be a concern on some small cases. My 770 classifieds are the same way with a extra like 2″ or something past the PCI bracket which is a great thing since the extra PCB space allows for spacing out of hot components like VRM’s and alike over a much larger area than a standard Graphics card that is just as wide as the PCI bracket. This leads to less hotspots and whatever hotspots there are the heat is spread out over a larger area thus equalling to lower hot spot temps than a standard width card that I am sure we will see in some up and coming reviews when they use a IR camera. TR needs one of them in their bag of tricks.

        My super wide 770 Classy’s just fit with around 1/4″ of space between the cards and the side panel 25mm thick 120mm fans that I have set exhaust on my HAF922 case.

        Anyone with a smaller/Skinnier case then my 922 or even a mITX case running a single card would be much better off with a Blower type cooler anyway since the open cooler like this ASUS StriX design to blow a lot of heat inside the case. My EVGA Classified are especially good at shooting hot air towards the motherboard and the side panel because they have horizontally aligned fins that run across the card, where the open air cards that run the fins lengthwise along the length of the card do a better job of expelling hot out the back of the case and towards the front of the case. In that situation having side panel fans that are on the graphics card area setup as intakes help reduce GPU temps a good bit. Instead of the Horizontally finned cards like my Classified 770’s it made them run 15-20c hotter because it was fighting the 120mm fans air pressure against its own fans trying to get rid of the heat, swapping the fans to exhaust dropped temps dramatically.

        • Ninjitsu
        • 6 years ago

        Except he should specify that he means with respect to the motherboard. For me, height = thickness in such cases.

    • anotherengineer
    • 6 years ago

    I’m guessing about $1000 when this is available in Canada.

    • Neutronbeam
    • 6 years ago

    Disappointed there’s not more wee bit more DRAM–say 6GB or 8GB–to make it extra special.

      • homerdog
      • 6 years ago

      8GB GM204 is supposed to be on the way. 4GB should be plenty for most, but on a card like this 8GB would make a lot of sense.

    • vargis14
    • 6 years ago

    Nice, I looked at some PCB pics of this cards board and it reminds me of a EVGA classified “which is a very good thing” 14 power phase etc.
    I would snatch one up if it is cheaper then a Classified.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 6 years ago

    Yo dawg I herd you like gold editions, so we made an Apple watch app so you can overclock your Gold Edition from your Gold Edition.

    • Pez
    • 6 years ago

    It’s a nicely engineered card for sure. It’d have been nice if it came with a waterblocked option, although that would mean their Poseidon version is less desirable.

    • bjm
    • 6 years ago

    When overclocking, being limited is the last thing I want.

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