EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti FTW Graphics Card Review

Print
by Rob Williams on October 19, 2015 in Graphics & Displays

NVIDIA’s GeForce 980 Ti is a seriously compelling high-end graphics card, so it’s not too hard for vendors to make their offerings tempting. With its FTW edition, though, EVGA does have one trick up its sleeve: a bumping of the reference clock speed to 119%. There’s more than just that to the card, though, so let’s dive right in.

Best Playable: Single Display

For about as long as GPU-accelerated games have existed, an ideal performance target has been 60 frames-per-second. Owing thanks to this is the standard 60Hz monitor, which delivers its best result when the framerate matches its refresh rate. To make sure the monitor’s refresh rate and game’s framerate keep aligned, to avoid visible tearing, VSync should be enabled.

While I believe our Best Playable results will appeal to any gamer, they could especially prove useful to those intrigued by livingroom gaming or console replacements. The goal here is simple: With each game, the graphics settings are tweaked to deliver the best possible detail while keeping us as close to 60 FPS on average as possible.

In this particular matchup, all three 980 Ti cards in our possession are compared against each other. Given the similar performance of each card, the overall settings are going to be extremely similar. There will be some exceptions, however, as will be noted as we go along.

With that, let’s tackle this:

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
MinimumAverage
EVGA GTX 980 Ti FTW5160
Graphics Settings
& Ingame Screenshot
Resolution: 3840×2160
Environment:Very HighShadow:Very High
Texture:HighReflection:High
Anti-aliasing:FXAAGod Rays:High
Ambient Occlusion:HBAO+ (Low)Volumetric Fog:On
Motion BlurOn
Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag - Best Playable (4K) - EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti FTW
EVGA GTX 980 Ti SC+5360
Graphics Settings
& Ingame Screenshot
Resolution: 3840×2160
Environment:Very HighShadow:Very High
Texture:HighReflection:High
Anti-aliasing:FXAAGod Rays:High
Ambient Occlusion:HBAO+ (Low)Volumetric Fog:On
Motion BlurOn
Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag - Best Playable (4K) - EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti Superclocked+
NVIDIA GTX 980 Ti5762
Graphics Settings
& Ingame Screenshot
Resolution: 3840×2160
Environment:Very HighShadow:High
Texture:HighReflection:High
Anti-aliasing:FXAAGod Rays:Low
Ambient Occlusion:HBAO+ (Low)Volumetric Fog:On
Motion BlurOn
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti Best Playable (4K) - Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag

The goal most people seem to have when purchasing a pre-overclocked card isn’t to increase detail levels, but instead get better framerates in general. Admittedly, there’s no surprise to that: most overclocks don’t allow people to actually crank settings higher. There are some exceptions here, though, since the FTW card sports clocks 19% faster than reference. Over the reference card, both the SC+ and FTW increase both the Shadow and God Rays detail in Black Flag, and still average out to 60 FPS.

Battlefield 4
MinimumAverage
EVGA GTX 980 Ti FTW4868
Graphics Settings
& Ingame Screenshot
Resolution: 3840×2160
Texture Quality:UltraTexture Filtering:Ultra
Lighting:UltraEffects:Ultra
Post Processing:UltraMesh:Ultra
Terrain:UltraTerrain Decoration:Ultra
Anti-aliasing Deferred:OffAnti-aliasing Post:Off
Ambient Occlusion:HBAO
Battlefield 4 - Best Playable (4K) - EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti FTW
EVGA GTX 980 Ti SC+4266
Graphics Settings
& Ingame Screenshot
Resolution: 3840×2160
Texture Quality:UltraTexture Filtering:Ultra
Lighting:UltraEffects:Ultra
Post Processing:UltraMesh:Ultra
Terrain:UltraTerrain Decoration:Ultra
Anti-aliasing Deferred:OffAnti-aliasing Post:Off
Ambient Occlusion:HBAO
Battlefield 4 - Best Playable (4K) - EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti Superclocked+
NVIDIA GTX 980 Ti3959
Graphics Settings
& Ingame Screenshot
Resolution: 3840×2160
Texture Quality:UltraTexture Filtering:Ultra
Lighting:UltraEffects:Ultra
Post Processing:UltraMesh:Ultra
Terrain:UltraTerrain Decoration:Ultra
Anti-aliasing Deferred:OffAnti-aliasing Post:Off
Ambient Occlusion:HBAO
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti Best Playable (4K) - Battlefield 4

Settings between all three cards were equaled here, with a notable gain of 9 FPS with the FTW card, over the reference one.

Crysis 3
MinimumAverage
EVGA GTX 980 Ti FTW4060
Graphics Settings
& Ingame Screenshot
Resolution: 3840×2160
Anti-aliasing:FXAATexture:Very High
Effects:HighObject:High
Particles:HighPost Processing:Medium
Shading:MediumShadows:High
Water:MediumAnisotropic Filtering:x16
Motion Blur:MediumLens Flares:Yes
Crysis 3 - Best Playable (4K) - EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti FTW
EVGA GTX 980 Ti SC+4059
Graphics Settings
& Ingame Screenshot
Resolution: 3840×2160
Anti-aliasing:FXAATexture:Very High
Effects:HighObject:High
Particles:MediumPost Processing:Medium
Shading:MediumShadows:Medium
Water:MediumAnisotropic Filtering:x16
Motion Blur:MediumLens Flares:Yes
Crysis 3 - Best Playable (4K) - EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti Superclocked+
NVIDIA GTX 980 Ti4159
Graphics Settings
& Ingame Screenshot
Resolution: 3840×2160
Anti-aliasing:FXAATexture:Very High
Effects:HighObject:High
Particles:MediumPost Processing:Medium
Shading:MediumShadows:Medium
Water:MediumAnisotropic Filtering:x16
Motion Blur:MediumLens Flares:Yes
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti Best Playable (4K) - Crysis 3

As with Black Flag, the FTW card allowed me to bump some graphics values over even the Superclocked+ card. Those involve an increase to High for both Particles and Shadows.

Dying Light
MinimumAverage
EVGA GTX 980 Ti FTW5469
Graphics Settings
& Ingame Screenshot
Resolution: 3840×2160
Texture Quality:HighShadow Map Size:High
Foliage Quality:HighView Distance:80%
Ambient Occlusion:OffNVIDIA HBAO+:Off
NVIDIA Depth of Field:OnMotion Blur:On
Antialiasing:On
Dying Light - Best Playable (4K) - EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti FTW
EVGA GTX 980 Ti SC+5166
Graphics Settings
& Ingame Screenshot
Resolution: 3840×2160
Texture Quality:HighShadow Map Size:High
Foliage Quality:HighView Distance:60%
Ambient Occlusion:OffNVIDIA HBAO+:Off
NVIDIA Depth of Field:OnMotion Blur:On
Antialiasing:On
Dying Light - Best Playable (4K) - EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti Superclocked+
NVIDIA GTX 980 Ti4560
Graphics Settings
& Ingame Screenshot
Resolution: 3840×2160
Texture Quality:HighShadow Map Size:High
Foliage Quality:HighView Distance:60%
Ambient Occlusion:OffNVIDIA HBAO+:Off
NVIDIA Depth of Field:OnMotion Blur:On
Antialiasing:On
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti Best Playable (4K) - Dying Light

Yet again, the FTW allowed me to increase a detail setting here; this one being the draw distance from 60% to 80%. Even after that, there’s still a bonus 3 FPS topped on for good measure.

Grand Theft Auto V
MinimumAverage
EVGA GTX 980 Ti FTW5668
Graphics Settings
& Ingame Screenshot
Resolution: 3840×2160
FXAA:OnMSAA:Off
NVIDIA TXAA:OffPopulation Density:100%
Population Variety:100%Distance Scaling:100%
Texture Quality:Very HighShader Quality:Very High
Shadow Quality:Very HighReflection Quality:Very High
Reflection MSAA:OffWater Quality:Very High
Particles Quality:Very HighGrass Quality:Very High
Soft Shadows:PCSSPost FX:High
Motion Blur:0%DoF Effects:Off
Anisotropic Filtering:16xAmbient Occlusion:Normal
Tessellation:Off
Grand Theft Auto V - Best Playable (4K) - EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti FTW
EVGA GTX 980 Ti SC+5264
Graphics Settings
& Ingame Screenshot
Resolution: 3840×2160
FXAA:OnMSAA:Off
NVIDIA TXAA:OffPopulation Density:100%
Population Variety:100%Distance Scaling:100%
Texture Quality:Very HighShader Quality:Very High
Shadow Quality:Very HighReflection Quality:Very High
Reflection MSAA:OffWater Quality:High
Particles Quality:HighGrass Quality:Very High
Soft Shadows:PCSSPost FX:High
Motion Blur:0%DoF Effects:Off
Anisotropic Filtering:16xAmbient Occlusion:Normal
Tessellation:Off
Grand Theft Auto V - Best Playable (4K) - EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti Superclocked+
NVIDIA GTX 980 Ti4859
Graphics Settings
& Ingame Screenshot
Resolution: 3840×2160
FXAA:OnMSAA:Off
NVIDIA TXAA:OffPopulation Density:100%
Population Variety:100%Distance Scaling:100%
Texture Quality:Very HighShader Quality:Very High
Shadow Quality:Very HighReflection Quality:Very High
Reflection MSAA:OffWater Quality:High
Particles Quality:HighGrass Quality:Very High
Soft Shadows:PCSSPost FX:High
Motion Blur:0%DoF Effects:Off
Anisotropic Filtering:16xAmbient Occlusion:Normal
Tessellation:Off
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti Best Playable (4K) - Grand Theft Auto V

I am not sure about you guys, but simply looking at that mammoth list of graphical settings gives me a headache. While both the reference and Superclocked+ card used identical settings, I was able to bump the Particles and Water quality to Very High with the FTW card.

GRID 2
MinimumAverage
EVGA GTX 980 Ti FTW6373
Graphics Settings
& Ingame Screenshot
Resolution: 3840×2160
Multisampling:8x MSAANight Lighting:High
Shadows:UltraAdvanced Fog:On
Particles:UltraCrowd:Ultra
Cloth:HighAmbient Occlusion:Ultra
Soft Ambient Occlusion:OnGround Cover:High
Vehicle Details:HighTrees:Ultra
Objects:UltraVehicle Reflections:Ultra
Water:HighPost Process:High
Skidmarks:OnAdvanced Lighting:On
Global Illumination:OnAnisotropic Filtering:Ultra
GRID 2 - Best Playable (4K) - EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti FTW
EVGA GTX 980 Ti SC+6170
Graphics Settings
& Ingame Screenshot
Resolution: 3840×2160
Multisampling:8x MSAANight Lighting:High
Shadows:UltraAdvanced Fog:On
Particles:UltraCrowd:Ultra
Cloth:HighAmbient Occlusion:Ultra
Soft Ambient Occlusion:OnGround Cover:High
Vehicle Details:HighTrees:Ultra
Objects:UltraVehicle Reflections:Ultra
Water:HighPost Process:High
Skidmarks:OnAdvanced Lighting:On
Global Illumination:OnAnisotropic Filtering:Ultra
GRID 2 - Best Playable (4K) - EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti Superclocked+
NVIDIA GTX 980 Ti5361
Graphics Settings
& Ingame Screenshot
Resolution: 3840×2160
Multisampling:8x MSAANight Lighting:High
Shadows:UltraAdvanced Fog:On
Particles:UltraCrowd:Ultra
Cloth:HighAmbient Occlusion:Ultra
Soft Ambient Occlusion:OnGround Cover:High
Vehicle Details:HighTrees:Ultra
Objects:UltraVehicle Reflections:Ultra
Water:HighPost Process:High
Skidmarks:OnAdvanced Lighting:On
Global Illumination:OnAnisotropic Filtering:Ultra
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti Best Playable (4K) - GRID 2

Maxed out, GRID 2 runs perfect on either the reference 980 Ti or EVGA’s clock-boosted versions. It is worth pointing out, though, that EVGA’s cards manage to keep the minimum FPS at 60+.

Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition
MinimumAverage
EVGA GTX 980 Ti FTW6274
Graphics Settings
& Ingame Screenshot
Resolution: 3840×2160
Anti-aliasing:NormalHigh-res Textures:On
Shadow Resolution:HighShadow Filtering:High
Ambient Occlusion:OnMotion Blur:High
World Density:Extreme
Sleeping Dogs - Best Playable (4K) - EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti FTW
EVGA GTX 980 Ti SC+5766
Graphics Settings
& Ingame Screenshot
Resolution: 3840×2160
Anti-aliasing:NormalHigh-res Textures:On
Shadow Resolution:HighShadow Filtering:High
Ambient Occlusion:OnMotion Blur:High
World Density:Extreme
Sleeping Dogs - Best Playable (4K) - EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti Superclocked+
NVIDIA GTX 980 Ti5262
Graphics Settings
& Ingame Screenshot
Resolution: 3840×2160
Anti-aliasing:NormalHigh-res Textures:On
Shadow Resolution:HighShadow Filtering:High
Ambient Occlusion:OnMotion Blur:High
World Density:Extreme
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti Best Playable (4K) - Sleeping Dogs Definitive Edition

As beautiful as Sleeping Dogs is, it’s one setting in particular that obliterates performance: anti-aliasing. Once that’s dropped down to normal levels, all three cards deliver excellent performance. The FTW does come well ahead, though, proving that this game is really sensitive to clock boosts. And yes – despite being pretty random with where I take certain ingame screenshots, I managed to almost perfectly match the location of the screenshots taken with the FTW and reference cards. At first, I thought I had messed up a filename, but not so!

The Crew
MinimumAverage
EVGA GTX 980 Ti FTW5760
Graphics Settings
& Ingame Screenshot
Resolution: 3840×2160
Geometry:UltraShadows:High
Textures:UltraEnvironment Mapping:Ultra
Depth-of-Field:HighMotion Blur:High
Anti-aliasing:FXAAGrass:High
Ambient Occlusion:SSAO
The Crew - Best Playable (4K) - EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti FTW
EVGA GTX 980 Ti SC+5560
Graphics Settings
& Ingame Screenshot
Resolution: 3840×2160
Geometry:UltraShadows:High
Textures:UltraEnvironment Mapping:Ultra
Depth-of-Field:HighMotion Blur:High
Anti-aliasing:FXAAGrass:High
Ambient Occlusion:SSAO
The Crew - Best Playable (4K) - EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti Superclocked+
NVIDIA GTX 980 Ti5860
Graphics Settings
& Ingame Screenshot
Resolution: 3840×2160
Geometry:UltraShadows:Medium
Textures:UltraEnvironment Mapping:Ultra
Depth-of-Field:HighMotion Blur:High
Anti-aliasing:FXAAGrass:High
Ambient Occlusion:SSAO
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti Best Playable (4K) - The Crew

Both the Superclocked+ and FTW cards enjoy a High Shadow setting over the reference card. It’s a pity Ubisoft deems it appropriate to cap the framerate in many of its games, as the scaling would be much more interesting otherwise.

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist
MinimumAverage
EVGA GTX 980 Ti FTW5163
Graphics Settings
& Ingame Screenshot
Resolution: 3840×2160
Texture Detail:UltraShadow:Ultra
Parallax:OnTessellation:On
Texture Filtering:16xAmbient Occlusion:Field AO + HBAO+
Anti-aliasing:FXAA
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Blacklist - Best Playable (4K) - EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti FTW
EVGA GTX 980 Ti SC+4959
Graphics Settings
& Ingame Screenshot
Resolution: 3840×2160
Texture Detail:UltraShadow:Ultra
Parallax:OnTessellation:On
Texture Filtering:16xAmbient Occlusion:Field AO + HBAO+
Anti-aliasing:FXAA
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Blacklist - Best Playable (4K) - EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti Superclocked+
NVIDIA GTX 980 Ti5772
Graphics Settings
& Ingame Screenshot
Resolution: 3840×2160
Texture Detail:UltraShadow:Ultra
Parallax:OnTessellation:On
Texture Filtering:16xAmbient Occlusion:Field AO
Anti-aliasing:FXAA
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti Best Playable (4K) - Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Blacklist

With Blacklist, there are two routes to choose between: A) Keep full-on ambient occlusion, or B) Reduce ambient occlusion and gain 10+ FPS. With the SC+ and FTW cards, you can have both.

Support our efforts! With ad revenue at an all-time low for written websites, we're relying more than ever on reader support to help us continue putting so much effort into this type of content. You can support us by becoming a Patron, or by using our Amazon shopping affiliate links listed through our articles. Thanks for your support!

Rob Williams

Rob founded Techgage in 2005 to be an 'Advocate of the consumer', focusing on fair reviews and keeping people apprised of news in the tech world. Catering to both enthusiasts and businesses alike; from desktop gaming to professional workstations, and all the supporting software.

twitter icon facebook icon googleplus icon instagram icon