Date: Monday , March 16, 2015
What makes this video card unique is that it can be cooled out-of-the-box on standard air cooling and there are optional connectors to plug in a closed loop liquid cooling system to lower the GPU temperature on this video card to very low levels. By doing so you lower the fan speed needed to run at full-load, making for a near-silent video card. Beyond that, extra cooling can lead to increased overclocking potential. In our tests, we certainly benefited from this by using liquid cooling.
With liquid cooling connected we managed to achieve the highest overclock we've yet to receive on a GeForce GTX 980 GPU. We hit consistent GPU clock speeds of 1580MHz in-game. In addition, the GPU temperature remained cool and the fan speed on the video card remained at idle speeds. The overclock gave us real-world advantages and major performance improvements in performance for this GeForce GTX 980 GPU.
In our initial evaluation we compared the ASUS ROG Poseidon GTX 980 Platinum video card to an overclocked SAPPHIRE VAPOR-X AMD Radeon R9 290X TRI-X video card. This video card was the fastest AMD Radeon R9 290X GPU based video card we current have. It allowed us to overclock the AMD Radeon R9 290X GPU to the highest levels we've ever achieved out of that GPU. By doing this we could see how a highly overclocked GX 980 compares to a highly overclocked R9 290X.
Even with the AMD Radeon R9 290X overclocked to the levels we achieved the overclocked ASUS ROG Poseidon GTX 980 Platinum video card still put the smack down on the R9 290X GPU.
Given the high price of the ASUS ROG GTX 980 Platinum video card at $639.99 it is hard to find an AMD equivalent at equal pricing. There is another video card, that has come down in price a bit that is worth examining for performance comparison. This video card is a dual GPU video card; the AMD Radeon R9 295X2.
The AMD Radeon R9 295X2 was launched with an MSRP of $1,499.99. Therefore, based on MSRP it is nowhere near the price of the Poseidon. However, due to price drops over time, this video card is much less expensive. You can find it at Amazon for $739 with Prime Shipping and at Newegg for $669 after $30 MIR.
You can see how volitale the pricing on this R9 295X card has been in just the last two months according to Hover Hound.
That puts the R9 295X within $30 of the ASUS Poseidon GTX 980 Platinum video card. With pricing that close, we have to consider it as an option in this price range.
The AMD Radeon R9 295X2 is a single video card containing two AMD Radeon R9 290X GPUs in CrossFire mode. The GPU clock speed runs a bit higher than standard AMD Radeon R9 290X GPUs though at 1018MHz versus 1000MHz. Otherwise, both GPUs have access to 4GB of VRAM each, and memory runs at standard clock speeds.
Since this video card is CrossFire in nature, it does rely on CrossFire profiles in games to operate at its best. There is an option in the AMD Catalyst Control Center which allows you to enable CrossFire in games that don't have profiles, but you are not guaranteed it will actually work.
This is an excellent opportunity to test performance between the overclocked ASUS ROG Poseidon GTX 980 Platinum video card and the AMD Radeon R9 295X2. We will see if an extremely overclocked GTX 980 GPU can match or reach near dual R9 290X GPUs, or if AMD Radeon R9 295X2 pulls out ahead.
For this evaluation the ASUS ROG Poseidon GTX 980 Platinum video card is overclocked as per our original evaluation as detailed on this page. The video card is running at 1580MHz GPU and 8.1GHz memory.
We have tested the AMD Radeon R9 295X2 at standard clock speeds, and later in the evaluation overclocked as well. We have also included 4K testing in this evaluation. During testing a new patch for Dying Light was released, 1.5.0 so we re-tested the ASUS ROG Poseidon GTX 980 Platinum and all cards so these use the latest patch. BTW we will not test Far Cry 4 in this comparison because CrossFire does not work in the game yet. Our test setup is the same as laid out on this page.