You know, I had tried to make a clever lead-in for this news piece, but I’m still picking up my jaw from looking at these pictures. After the jump are some of the most revealing close-ups of Big Maxwell, which is scheduled to be launched either this week or the next. I’ve been waiting on reporting on these images because I was so sure that someone had made a really elaborate Photoshop of various GTX 700-series cards. But its looking like the real deal more and more.
Once again the source is Videocardz, but given that we’re a little under two weeks away from the official reveal I can let this through because there’s no reason to put misinformation out there. This is the big kahuna, the GTX980. It’ll ship with 4GB of VRAM by default and altough I’m not reporting on any architectural leaks, it’s going to be sitting at a similar shader unit count to the GK110-based Geforce GTX780 Ti. The stock cooler returns and looks just as impressive as it did on day one when it popped out with the Geforce GTX680.
The big change is early on in the leak in the second picture – that’s right kids, three full-sized Displayport connectors, one HDMI and one dual-link DVI. It looks like Nvidia has been paying attention to the feedback on GSync and has decided that putting three GSync monitors on one high-powered monster of a card is a perfectly fine idea.
GSync works best in the 30-60fps range anyway, so getting one of these cards with three of those monitors and cranking up the graphics settings to the max won’t result in an unplayable mess. Instead, it’ll be buttery smooth and people will call you two weeks later asking if you’re still alive and why you haven’t left the house.
There’s no real change in the make-up of the stock cooler underneath the magnesium shroud. It still is massively efficient and quiet.
Damn, they really did listen to everything that enthusiasts found wrong with the 600 and 700 series! Nvidia is now adding in a backplate for their reference cards along with a optional metal cover to hide the parts of the PCB that cover the power connectors and what looks like the pin-outs for a BIOS switcher. If you’re putting a water-cooled rig together a backplate goes a long way to make it look really stylish and clean as well as preventing any bending from the heavy copper blocks.
They’re really going all-out for this one. AMD is going to have a big problem on their hands because they have to either match the stunning good looks of the reference card or they have to price it so much lower that you won’t care what the reference card looks like.
The reference design is the same for the GTX970 and there doesn’t seem to be any discernable differences between them. Nvidia may be limiting the number of production runs of these stock coolers to make them more desirable, so if you’re thinking of picking one up you may as well do it sometime in the first three months after the launch so that they won’t get drowned out and replaced by the custom coolers from Nvidia’s partners.