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Which GTX 970?

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Evil-Mobo

Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2015
Location
MD
How's it going guys, was wondering if any of you could offer some input here. Almost done getting the parts for my gaming build together, just need the GPU now. There's still a part of me debating 980 vs 970, but for the difference in $$ I'm leaning towards a nice 970 to be honest. However, I am looking for a 970 that is not Voltage locked (or can be unlocked with different BIOS I should say) and that I can have some fun with OC'ing. I have owned a 980 Ti in the past and it was a picky SOB to over clock especially the memory and I couldn't get it stable on air over 1500mhz on the core clock.....:shock: but that's a story for another day lol.

Right now the two cards I am eyeballing are the EVGA GTX 970 FTW+ ACX 2.0+ and the Gigabyte G1 GTX 970 Windforce. I'm leaning towards leving the GPU on air. I know there's no sense sometimes paying more for a factory overclock over a reference style card, but don't you have a better chance at getting a better GPU buying one of the factory over clocked models? Also that aside, the FTW has the dual BIOS with the switch right on the card which greatly appeals to me.

Thanks for the help :thup:
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
If you are pushing the overclocks, I would go Giga GTX 970 Extreme. It doesn't have a dual bios, but to be frank, you wont need it. It will be voltage limited, but you won't run into a power limit issue as you will in most others without modding the bios. To be honest, unless you are overclocking heavily, I wouldn't mod the BIOS anyway for maybe 50MHz more... Check out my review on the front page for that card.

but don't you have a better chance at getting a better GPU buying one of the factory over clocked models?
Not really, no.
 
OP
Evil-Mobo

Evil-Mobo

Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2015
Location
MD
If you are pushing the overclocks, I would go Giga GTX 970 Extreme. It doesn't have a dual bios, but to be frank, you wont need it. It will be voltage limited, but you won't run into a power limit issue as you will in most others without modding the bios. To be honest, unless you are overclocking heavily, I wouldn't mod the BIOS anyway for maybe 50MHz more... Check out my review on the front page for that card.

Not really, no.

Thanks I will go look for the review... :thup:
 

Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
I had 3 GB GTX970 and I can only say if you don't mind BIOS mod and missing LEDs on the cooler then simply get the cheapest Giga Windforce ( of course if price difference isn't big ). All GTX970 are overclocking the same. The only difference is power limit ( without mods ) and cooler. In all cases you will need luck to get good overclocking gpus.

Personally I would consider single GTX980Ti over 2xGTX970 but that's me.
 

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
EVGA has a hybrid 970...comes with its own 120 mm radiator and AIO.

I have the 980 Ti hybrid and it runs very cool and quiet.
 

Vellinious

Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2013
Location
Central US
How's it going guys, was wondering if any of you could offer some input here. Almost done getting the parts for my gaming build together, just need the GPU now. There's still a part of me debating 980 vs 970, but for the difference in $$ I'm leaning towards a nice 970 to be honest. However, I am looking for a 970 that is not Voltage locked (or can be unlocked with different BIOS I should say) and that I can have some fun with OC'ing. I have owned a 980 Ti in the past and it was a picky SOB to over clock especially the memory and I couldn't get it stable on air over 1500mhz on the core clock.....:shock: but that's a story for another day lol.

Right now the two cards I am eyeballing are the EVGA GTX 970 FTW+ ACX 2.0+ and the Gigabyte G1 GTX 970 Windforce. I'm leaning towards leving the GPU on air. I know there's no sense sometimes paying more for a factory overclock over a reference style card, but don't you have a better chance at getting a better GPU buying one of the factory over clocked models? Also that aside, the FTW has the dual BIOS with the switch right on the card which greatly appeals to me.

Thanks for the help :thup:

If you're leaving it on air, just grab whatever. Except the STRIX....they're voltage locked and power limited. Same with some of the GALAX cards. If you're going to push whatever you get very hard, even on air, having the dual bios will be a great benefit when you go to flash the card. Removes the worry from the flashing process.
 
OP
Evil-Mobo

Evil-Mobo

Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2015
Location
MD
If you're leaving it on air, just grab whatever. Except the STRIX....they're voltage locked and power limited. Same with some of the GALAX cards. If you're going to push whatever you get very hard, even on air, having the dual bios will be a great benefit when you go to flash the card. Removes the worry from the flashing process.

Yeah this is what still appeals to me about the FTW+ as we had previously discussed :thup:
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
If you think you're ever going to flash the BIOS then get something with dual BIOS.
 

wingman99

Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2003
My EVGA GTX 970 SSC really overclocks well, it was just good luck. Also I like the 3 year warranty from EVGA, I feel they give better support.
 

Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Actually if BIOS flash fails then you can reflash it easily. Just put it into 2nd pcie and in 1st slot keep any other card. Next use force flash on 2nd card and that's all.
There is no such thing as better or worse overclocking GTX970 because chip quality is random. All cards are close to the reference design and all have the same voltage limits. Difference is only how anything above stock is locked ( or not ).
If your card has +100mV option in software then probably manufacturer set lower 3D voltage. The same if card has +50mV ( what is most common ) then manufacturer used higher 3D voltage. At the end max voltage by software can't be higher than ~1.27V as it's within Nvidia specs and all partners have to stick to these limits or they lose warranty on GPUs.
This is also reason why there are no GTX970 designed for extreme overclocking like Lightning, Matrix, KPE etc.
To overclock high all cards will need unlocked BIOS with higher power limits or additional mods. Even with BIOS mods you can't pass ~1.29-1.32V on nearly all cards as at this voltage OCP/OVP will activate. All within' Nvidia specs...

Simply EVGA gives you best warranty and it's the only thing which makes it better than most competition. Overclocking is still matter of luck.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
Not all cards. As I said, the gtx 970 extreme from giga seems to have adjusted the wattage/power limit so you can run wild until whatever the vomtage limit is for the card. ;)
 

Vellinious

Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2013
Location
Central US
The Gigabyte and MSI high end cards seem to be able to use up to 1.3v. I'm not convinced it actually does anything useful for them. I've heard people say that the EVGA cards can also use 1.3v, but....none of the cards I played with would do anything at all above 1.275v. No raise in temps, power usage, and no increase in stability. Didn't matter much though, they still ran right with and better than the cards that claimed 1.3v. The ASUS STRIX and some of the Galax cards have voltage locked at 1.212v at the VRM. Apparently, someone had made a voltage tool that was supposed to unlock the STRIX voltage, but.....from everything I've read, it quit working after subsequent driver updates around last May. The STRIX is also power limited, by only having a single 8 pin power connector, reducing their overall overclocking capability only being able to run a power limit of 255 or 260 watts.

So, yes...the silicon is all equal, or as equal as the lottery allows for, but....the cards themselves are not.
 
OP
Evil-Mobo

Evil-Mobo

Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2015
Location
MD
I have an EVGA GTX 970 FTW+ en route so we will see how it goes. I do appreciate everyone's input and it was a very hard decision between the Giga and the EVGA Earthdog, but the support from EVGA is what pushed me over. I spent the entire day yesterday looking at the Giga Xtreme cards but my guy said EVGA. Doesn't mean I still can't get a giga X to play with later on though

:thup:
 

Super Nade

† SU(3) Moderator  †
Joined
Aug 30, 2004
Location
Santa Barbara, CA
I have an eVGA B-Stock card that I picked up for sub $250. Flashed the BIOS and it clocks quite well at 1500+ MHz core. No problems till date. :)
 
OP
Evil-Mobo

Evil-Mobo

Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2015
Location
MD
I have an eVGA B-Stock card that I picked up for sub $250. Flashed the BIOS and it clocks quite well at 1500+ MHz core. No problems till date. :)

There's deals to be gad for sure with their B Stock. For my nephews Xmas build I got him a 650W G2 for $40 lol and a 4GB GTX 960 for under $150, I check the B stock page almost everyday lol........