Let’s see – 4GB of GDDR5 memory, 1253/1354MHz base/boost operating speeds in overclocked mode, ‘Waterforce’ self-contained liquid cooler… yeah, I’m pretty sure this card could run the original Crysis at a reasonably stable 60 FPS at 1080p. Pretty sure.
That, and basically any other game you care to name, at 1080p, actually. The major selling point of Gigabyte’s GeForce GTX 980 Waterforce isn’t its ability to render a seven-year-old shooter at silky-smooth frame rates, though – it’s in the overclocking potential.
Realistically, a stock GTX 980 pretty much has you covered all the way up into 4K gaming territory. It’s only when you start seeking that mythical 4K/60 FPS performance or overclocking for the sheer sport of it that this water cooler demonstrates its value.
The GTX 980’s base operating frequency of1228 MHz (1329MHz under load) has been beefed up to1253/1354MHz on the card’s OC mode profile, but can probably be pushed a fair bit further still. To that end, Gigabyte have included their Gigabyte OC GURU II software, included with several other models, to help you tinker with it.
Two45cm SFP tubes take fluid away from the PCB towards a single 120mm ‘silent’ fan, and they’re aligned so they extrude from the rear of the card so they’re still stackable in an SLI environment. Gigabyte reckon they’ve improved the cooling performance of the reference card by 38.8%.
There’s no word on pricing or availability yet, but to tide you over here’s a video of the cards being installed in single GPU and SLI environments.